I couldn't find the "Introductions Forum", so I'll give a short one here and then dive right in. This is much of the same post I made in the BEL section.
I'm a radar detector hobbyist from way back to the beginning of the "sport", and my experience includes being a manufacturer's rep for the old Snooper brand (I do not rep or sell ANY automotive electronics - including anything to do with radar detectors - anymore, nor have I ever had anything to do with law enforcement). My other experience includes having a good friend who repped police radar units, knowing some industry people from the early detector, jammer and police radar days, writing a few articles on radar detectors for car clubs, appearing in the local media as a radar "expert" (when there were no forums or internet, so my meager knowledge was better than most), owning a vintage radar detector collection and also owning a few police radar units. My friends and I were probably among the first hobbyists to do fairly impressive RD tests back in the 70's & early 80's - similar to what it sounds like the Guys of Lidar are doing now.
I have run without a RD for about 12 years (my last detector was an original model V1) and I am just now starting to get back into it. I picked up three used detectors recently - one old one for fun (Escort Passport 5000) and two because I got great deals on them and wanted to see if they could cut it as my daily runner - a Whistler XTR-550 and a BEL Vector 995 (S7, late 07).
The XTR-550 is actually a pretty polished, easy to live with RD, but it has two flaws that bother me - one is that once it establishes band identification it doesn't change until all signals end. In other words, if it picks up an X door opener but then a Ka police radar comes on the scene while still in range of the door opener, it continues to alert X (but does track proper signal strength) as long as one signal is still present - even if the only signal still present is the Ka! This is not just from real world observation, but from basement testing with various X, K and Ka band radars that I own. Even if the first signal it receives is a very weak X band and then a full strength K or Ka band appears seconds later, it will continue to alert X but show the signal strength of the stronger radar - or maybe the two combined?
The other flaw is that even though it is generally quiet, my XTR-550 goes X band full alert within a mile of a communications tower array that all my other detectors remain silent for.
Yesterday was my first day with the BEL995 and I did a few quick comparisons between the units. First of all, it was a sunny day and I started driving south, into the sun, with just the BEL 995 on and the unit pretty much alerted Laser continuously. Neither the Whistler or the 5000 gave any Laser falses when I switched to them. When I would turn around and head north, or go under a bridge, the Laser alert on the 995 would stop. Seems like pretty bad filtering of sunlight, but I will continue testing just in case I had something else causing the false.
Instant on response time is very important to me, so I ran all three detectors against my guns, which include a BEE 36 Ka band unit. The XTR-550 is essentially instantaneous on all bands and does report "Pulse" even when POP is off. Having the voice on or off doesn't matter at all on this unit, both are spectacularly fast. The old Passport 5000 has a slight delay, maybe a tenth of a second or so. The BEL 995 is seriously slow on Ka band - so much so that I am investigating whether I have a setting wrong or a defective unit. On X and K band it is a tad slow (1/4 of a second?) but not too bad, but on Ka it takes a good two seconds for an initial alert. I tried turning off the voice and that did not help at all. I tried POP on and off and that had no effect. The BEE 36's antenna and the 995 were only 3 feet apart, so I will investigate if that affected it. I started driving around with my BEE 36 and could flip it on, clock a car, and turn it off again without the 995 ever making a peep. It doesn't catch up after the fact either - if the gun is off before the 995 alerts, you never get anything.
No matter which band I used, this is an area where the Whistler XTR-550 smoked this particular BEL 995 - the Whistler is virtually instantaneous no matter which band or gun I used.
In the next few days I hope to be able to do some serious distance testing.
Thanks in advance for any feedback and I look forward to being part of the community in the future!