Because they have more data than the average driver, radar detector owners are less likely to cause accidents or receive traffic tickets. In this article, we review the different types of radar and laser detectors, how they work and how they can benefit drivers. Alerts for changing speed limits, traffic jams and nearby law enforcement may help keep drivers aware and under constant consideration of existing driving conditions. You can see our great selection of Cobra Radar/Laser Detectors here.
A radar detector is a small device that mounts on the windshield or dash of a car and warns the driver of incoming radar waves emitted from law enforcement speed detecting devices. Police speed sensing radar systems work by emitting radio waves which deflect off of objects and return to the gun. Using a mathematical calculation, the time it takes the waves to return to the gun determines vehicle speed.
For total protection and peace of mind with its Xtreme Range Superheterodyne Technology, the Cobra XRS 9745 detects all 15 radar bands with its super-fast lock-on detection circuitry. The unit provides extra detection range and the best possible advance warning to even the fastest of POP mode radar guns. It also features an 8-point electronic compass and voice alerts.
Laser speed guns determine speed differently than radar guns. A series of light pulses is transmitted, and the difference in time between pulses and reflections is used to calculate speed. This all takes place very rapidly (at the speed of light, as a matter of fact). A single pulse typically requires only a few nanoseconds to transmit and return.
The advantages of a laser gun are compelling: the laser light beam is far narrower than a radar beam, allowing more accurate pinpointing of a specific vehicle. The Cobra XRS 9845 features exclusive Cool Blue ExtremeBright DataGrafix display, an 8-point electronic compass, voice alerts and car battery voltage display/low car battery warning.
Combination Radar/Laser Detectors
The newest radar detectors on the market are likely to come as a combination, with built-in laser detection as a standard feature. Radar/laser detectors mount on the dashboard or window of a vehicle just like radar detectors do and they even look relatively the same. For that extra piece of mind, a radar combination laser detector will offer complete detection in one compact package.
Featuring safety alerts and a signal strength meter, the Cobra SSR 80 is an affordable radar/laser detector with reliable and proven performance. The unit detects all radar frequencies and laser signals currently used in United States and Canada. It comes with the UltraBright Data Display and much more.
Types of Radar Bands
The difference between standard radar (x, k, ka bands) and laser is that radar systems use radio waves, and laser uses narrow light pulses to gauge your speed. So what is the difference between radar types?
- X-Band Radar: X-band radar is the easiest to detect because of its lower frequency (10.5 – 10.55 GHz) and higher power output. Depending on terrain, temperature and humidity, X-band radar can be detected from a distance of 2 to 4 miles (accurate readings of speed from a distance of ½ mile or less).
- K-Band: K-band radar is the most common type of police radar. K-band radar waves have a relatively small wavelength (24.05 – 24.25 GHz) and so are more easily absorbed by water molecules in the air. At the power level found in police radar guns, K-band has an effective clocking range of about ¼ mile.
- Ka Super Wide-Band: The introduction of the “stalker” radar gun prompted the introduction of Ka Super Wide-Band technology (33.4 – 36.0 GHz), which sweeps all of the Ka-band allocated to radar, as well as provides continued protection against X, K, and photo radar.
- VG-2 and Spectre: These are shielding technologies that let you know when police are using radar detector detectors (RDD). Spectre is a more advanced RDD technology that is currently being used in several states and Canada. Some detectors offer Stealth protection, which warns you and then shuts down the detector, so they can continue operating without being discovered.