Well folks...I've had been debating on a Pro 78 purchase mostly due to having a perfectly good Escort 8500 that has saved my a$$ many many times. I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a new backup and finally decided to pull the trigger! Mostly due to the excitement about this new product from Whistler and because of Michael B and his dedication and support to us all here on radardetector.net!!!
I received my package from the big brown truck this morning and was like a kid at Christmas time ripping into it. I was really impressed with the packaging that Whistler has chosen for the unit. My last Whistler product was in a hard-as-hell to open plastic clam shell case. The Pro 78 came in a very sturdy and reusable cardboard box. If I saw the package in the store, it would scream quality to me and really get my attention.
The contents include the unit itself, instructions, straight power cord, direct wire, sticky pad and the windshield mount. I recieved the smaller bracket with small suction cups...wish they were bigger like the ones stealthcb received with his unit. I am impressed that the direct wire cord was included... usually that must be purchased seperately. The unit is a little blocky, but it has a quality build to it and I'm not concerned with its aerodynamic qualities!! :wink: I do like the single-function buttons...my old Whistler unit had dual funtion, and always got a bit confusing when driving down the road!
I went out to my vehicle and started to play! I adjusted my bracket to allow the detector to sit level just below, and to the left, of the rearview mirror. Turned on the power and watched its beautiful blue screen come to life! WoW it is a big difference from my 'red' 8500...I think I like it a lot! I cycled through the menus, turning off POP and turning the voice alert off. I also played with the three different tone options, and decided to keep it on its default of Tone 3. I kept the 'Filter' at its default.
Volume...this thing is loud!!! Very impressed with the volume this unit is capable of. If you like riding with windows down and the music up, the Pro 78 will allow you to do that and still hear your alerts.
So I decided to take a drive to see what I could find. Well, how excited was I after the first 5 minutes of driving I recieve a X-band alert?!?! I was sitting on top of an overpass at a red light over a major 6-lane six lane divided highway (US-264 bypass in Raleigh, NC) My 78 alerted and as I looked all over for the source, I look down and see a NC Trooper down below approaching the overpass. Not a save, but impressed I got him from above and perpendicular to his direction of travel.
So after that I took a few runs around the area and unfortunately didn't find another officer anywhere. Typical when you really want to be zapped!
I did notice that the unit did tend to vibrate/bounce a little mounted on the windshield, I think the larger suction cups may be the ticket to getting a little more sturdiness to prevent the slight vibrations/bounces. (This is really getting picky on my part)
Let me qualify my next impression by saying I am in no way comparing this 78 to my 8500 because I don't believe it was Whistlers intention to hang with the Escort and V1. Now let me say, so far my 78 is really quiet- I drove by the usual grocery stores that provide a K-band alerts on the 8500, and got nothing. Hmmm... so I drove into the parking lot of this particular store and finally got a K-band alert at about 200ft in front of the door. Could the Pro 78 just be providing better filtering...??? Who knows, I'm more concerned with real police radar.
Speaking of real police radar...I commute about 40 miles to work one-way so I have many opportunities to encounter X, K, and Ka along the way. Small town #1 runs K-band, today they were no where to be found! Small town #2 runs constant x-band, today they were no where to be found. Not even an empty car at the station with the radar still running which is a common occurance. Small town #3 runs K-band and again zilch, nada, nothing! They are famous for leaving the radar unit running, today they didn't...I know becuase I came with 20 feet of a parked unit. Then comes Raleigh, which includes City PD and NCSHP. City runs Ka @ 35.5...you got it, no where to be found! My only hit was with the NCSHP unit playing IO with his K55 x-band I discussed earlier.
I do encounter one X-band drone that monitors traffic (I assume). I usually get approximately a .3-.4 mile warning with the 8500. The Pro 78 gave me about 100 ft. Again may be due to better filtering of weak signals??
So with all of that, no real encounters yet. I'll keep searching for my first 9-mile Ka save and report back asap! :wink: I just wanted to give a little feedback for those lurking around and thinking about purchasing the Pro 78. I can't speak to performance yet, but the quality and the support that you will get from Whistler (Michael B) if you ever need it, makes it a winner already!