How to Understand RADAR Detectors


Radar detectors are devices that can be installed or placed in vehicles that detect when the vehicle is being hit with radar. Police use radar and laser guns to determine how fast vehicles are going. Radar detectors are used to warn drivers that they are being speed targeted so that they can slow down before becoming visible to the police. These devices are legal in most states and can be purchased at different prices depending on the model at many automotive retail stores.

  • Turn on the radar detector by turning the dial on the front or side of the detector. Sometimes the power is integrated with the sound, where 1 means the sound is low and 10 means the sound is high. Once the radar detector is on, it will start detected radar beams hitting it from around all sides. Radar beams come in different waves and frequency lengths. For example, a K-band has a short range, which is why many radar detectors show this type of radar.

  • Click the button on the detector until a "c" pops up on the screen. The "c" stands for city driving. Use this feature when you are not driving on the highways. The city feature will allow the radar detector to disregard false radar alarms which may be caused by bank security systems. The city feature allows the radar detector to focus on police radar guns only. When radar beams hit the radar detector from a close proximity, the detector will determine whether the radar beam is a false alarm. If the beam is a false alarm, the detector will either indicate that or remain silent.

  • Click the button on the detector until the "h" appears on the screen for highway driving. This feature allows the radar detector to focus on radar hitting the car from far ahead and behind. While driving, the radar detector will sound an alarm and light up bars notifying you of when your car is being hit with a radar beam. Radar measures the frequency of distance it takes for the beam of the gun to hit the car and return back. The closer the car is to the police vehicle, the higher the radar frequency.

  • Set the radar detector setting to "emergency" mode if applicable on the device. In this mode, the radar detector will alert you if an emergency vehicle is approaching, such as an ambulance or firetruck. Many emergency vehicles use a v-band of radar while driving.

  • Select the viewing mode on the radar detector. The viewing mode allows the driver to set the radar detector's screen to invisible mode, low contrast mode or high contrast mode. Invisible mode keeps the radar detector's sound working, but turns off all visual displays. This can be less distracting while driving. Low contrast mode will dim the visuals for night driving. High contrast mode will show the standard bright visuals on the detector for day time driving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the radar detector in the center of the windshield to maximize the detectors view.

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