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Don't bother (archive)

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Posted by RichC on March 31, 1999 at 07:49:24:

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).

- rich

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.

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