In Reply to: K40/Escort/Passport Radar Detectors posted by Dave on March 31, 1999 at 06:43:49:
Car & driver tested all the battery-operated units (like the Solo) and found you lost so much range it wasn't worth it. Take the hit of the hanging cord or simply do a hardwire install. I've never seen K40's in a test, so I wouldn't buy one. Check out the attached article, it's about the V1, but if you look down at the bottom you'll see a summary of the last two tests from Car & Driver. One of detectors under $100, the other of high end detectors. Basically, if you're not going to spring for the $400 V1, your next best bet is a BEL unit. HOWEVER - the new BEL units have a serious flaw - they've changed the alert system to use a larger speaker so they can do voice alerts and this has cut down on the clarity of the alert, especially in an open car (ie you can't hear the warning).
ps the new passport/escort are a joke. Once Jim Valentine left Cincinatti Microwave, he apparently took all the expertise with him. The old Escort/Passports from the early 80's significantly outperform the current units (they even outperform all other current brands except the V1). The main reason for this was the addition of wideband-KA which reduced range on the K and KA band in most detectors. Since this is what you're likely to run into (especially in high speed highway situations), you're taking a big chance. Take a look at your insurance premiums after a ticket and then see if it's worth springing for the V1.