After reading this forum for some time now I thought it was time for me to contribute by making this first post.
My name is The Great Dane and I live in Denmark (Scandinavia). 3 months ago I decided to get a radar detector. In my area there are a lot of photo radar vans and I have been busted a few times
I bought the Cobra ESD-7000 because it was the only one available in my local shop. A few days later I saw a photo radar van parked at the side of the road. I saw it from a long distance away and I felt exited because I could now test my new unit! Well I got closer and closer but nothing happened. Only when I passed the photo radar van the Cobra decided to give me a single peep! In the following weeks this happened a few more times. At best it alerted about 25 meters before the radar vans. My conclusion is that the Cobra is completely worthless for detecting K-band photo radar. Luckily it was cheap and can be used as a door stop or a gift for someone I do not like
Then I started doing some research and found out that Cobras are not the best choice. I then bought the Bel Vector 995. The good news is that this unit performs much better than the Cobra. The bad news is that it is still not good enough. With photo radar vans operating in the K-band I only get 50-150 meters of warning and I think this is not good enough. I need more time to react! I run the Vector in Highway mode. I have tried to disable X and KA band to improve K-band performance but this did not make any noticeable difference. It is not a good idea to disable KA-band anyway because some of the Photo radar vans operate in that band.
OK, then I decided to give the Valentine 1 a try. I ordered it and I received it about a week ago. I could tell right from the start that this unit is much more sensitive than the Bel Vector 995 because it would alert much sooner to door openers. A few days ago I did a very interesting test with a speed trailer. I found out that the V1 alerted much sooner than the Bel Vector 995. The Bel would only start to alert when the V1 indicated around 5 or 6 bars on the strength meter! The V1 alerted about 600 meters before the Trailer and the Vector only about 200 meters. The trailer was operating in the K-band. I was very exited after this test because I was now hoping that I finally had a countermeasure for those darn radar vans!
Yesterday I came across a real photo radar van again. It was monitoring traffic in the opposite side of the road. When I drove by it I picked it up on the rear antenna. I continued straight ahead for some time and then turned my car around. Time to test the V1! The V1 started to alert an amazing 625 meters before the photo radar van!
Now to the best part: I still had the Vector 995 in my glove compartment so I wanted to see how good it was against this particular van. Maybe the photo radar inside the van was more powerful than usual. I took the V1 down and hooked up the Vector 995 and did another pass. The Vector alerted about 150 meters before the Van. In other words: The V1 has 4 times the range compared to the Vector 995. I want to stress that the detectors were not run simultaneously and both detectors were placed on the exact same spot on the windscreen. The Bel Vector was in Highway mode with X-band disabled. I run the V1 in Euro mode with X-band disabled.
Well what can I say? The V1 is simply supercharged and is just what I needed. No more “flash for cash”! I only wish I had bought the V1 from the start. Instead I ended up with 3 detectors and only one is useful for me. But I am definitely a V1 fan now!
Also: The arrows on the V1 works great and also the strength meter. The Bel Vector 995 will mostly display minimum or maximum strength signal. The V1 is much better in this regard since the strength meter works very smoothly and reacts quickly to changes in the signal strength.
Bottom line: The V1 is highly recommended for Scandinavian drivers. You really need the best up here!