This radar detector was the first that I ever laid hands on, purchased by my parents sometime in the late 80s. I never could get it to work with its own plug but tonight I thought I would give it another shot. This time I fabbed up a harness that gives it 12V power from the pre-existing hard-wire for my V1. And guess what? It powered right up!
The Spectrum 1 is a bare-bones device, to be sure. You get one button for power, one button that does both filtering and volume, and a display consisting of a single red 7-segment character that doesn't seem to dim at all. That displays H for highway, F for filter, 1-9 for signal strength, and P for pulse (yup, that's a Whistler). As far as I can tell it is only capable of detecting X and K bands.
So you're probably wondering, what good is a detector that's nearly 20 years old? In reality it isn't terribly useful since it won't detect Ka band, which is the bulk of law enforcement around here. And they hadn't even thought of LIDAR when this thing was built. But let me just say that on X and K band this thing is insane! I drove around my test-loop (roughly 15 miles) and learned that it picks up X and K band JUST AS WELL AS MY V1!. There are door openers on that route that I didn't even know existed. It alerted on time or early to those that I already knew about. So is it increased range or decreased filtering? Beats me, as I haven't tried it in "F" mode yet. Maybe tomorrow.
I was fortunate enough to have one real LEO encounter that drove it positively insane on K-band (I assume...I hadn't gotten used to the video-game tones) and produced a "P" alert at first. I can't guess the range since we were coming at each other from odd angles and I really wasn't expecting it.
Considering its age this is a truly phenomenal device. It just goes to show you that back in the day Whistler did know what they were doing. Now I have half a mind to pick up a Pro 58 to play with for comparison!
So there you have it, a review of something that isn't the "top 3." And here's a terrible pic to go along with it: