Those who consider the Escort Passport 9500ci to be the best custom-installed remote radar detector are in for a surprise: the Beltronics STiR-Plus is its equal— in one respect possibly even better. Remember, BEL is an Escort company and the BEL STiR Plus is really an Escort Passport 9500ci. The two are nigh identical in appearance and performance.
Like its Escort twin, the STiR Plus is GPS-enabled, but it comes without the Escort's standard laser jammers. Those who feel vulnerable to the nation's 85,000-odd lasers can add the test-winning Laser ShifterPro jammers.
The Escort and BEL siblings have the same radar-detection performance and have nearly identical features, including Ka-band segmentation.
This ability to narrow the Ka bandwidth is a huge aid to reducing false alarms. Much of this real estate is devoid of police radar: the only signals in these nether regions are being generated by non-police microwave signals, many from nearby Cobra and Whistler radar detectors. By intelligently deactivating all but a few of the 10 Ka-band frequency segments, the BEL STiR Plus will ignore all but real Ka-band police radar signals.
The reduction in false alarms is substantial, particularly when driving in unfamiliar areas where the BEL STiR Plus' automatic signal lockout feature, AutoLock—called Auto Learn by Escort—hasn't yet had a chance to lock them out. Reducing the bandwidth being scanned also sharpens response time and increases detection range.
One note of caution: don't tinker with this feature unless you're knowledgeable about what types of Ka-band radar are used in your driving area. We've kept a national database of this information for 20 years and know what's out there, so let us program it instead. The service is free to our customers.
On the road, this is a huge advantage. Now instead of panic-braking in reaction to every Ka-band alert or trying to decipher a numeric frequency before reacting, the BEL STiR Plus simplifies the task: Get an alert on Ka band and it's time to stand on the brakes.
There is an alternative, however. We know which radar frequencies are in use in every state and most major cities; at the customer's request we'll program the Ka segments to exclude all but those currently in service, making for a dramatic decrease in Ka-band false alarms.
The BEL STi R is operated by a small surface-mounted control unit. It's backlit, making the important buttons easy to find and use at night. A second module with a small red LED display shows operating mode and other vital information. Those who want an even lower-profile installation can opt for a multi-color LED, usually mounted in the instrument cluster, that replaces the display.
Drive ticket-free with a BEL STiR Plus
- Front radar antenna
- Tiny control, display modules
- Red light camera alerts
- Voice alerts
- Front radar antenna
- Tiny control, display
- Redlight camera alerts
- Voice alerts
In radar performance the STiR Plus turned in scores identical to those of the Escort Passport 9500ci. It was within feet of the Escort RedlineXR, holder of the world record in radar range. In a recent test the Escort spotted all of the radars from 14.37 miles away.
In a separate test of the latest laser jammers we also verified that the BEL's optional laser-jamming system was equally effective, jamming most of the guns down to point-blank range.
On the road, the BEL STiR Plus is almost supernaturally quiet. On daily commutes it rarely goes off and is nearly as quiet on highway trips. In all, a remarkable performance from what we christen the driver's tool of choice for combatting radar, lasers and red light cameras.