Advanced Detector Features That Tattle on Radar
How some models can tell the difference between a door opener and police radar
By Jake Hand
Last updated: 2016
Ka band's extraordinary width makes it prone to a plentiful number of false alarms, many coming from the local oscillators in older radar detectors. (An even bigger source of false alarms is the Blind Spot Monitoring system found on newer vehicles. These use the same K-band frequency as police radar and can set off detectors a quarter of a mile away. Learn more...)
Whistler has developed a system that indicates whether a Ka-band alert is genuine or a false alarm that can be ignored.
Ka RSID shows whether the alert is bogus or coming from, say, a Stalker police radar gun over the next hill. The concept was pioneered by Escort but its system, Spec Mode, operates differently from Whistler's KaRSID. Escort and subsidiary Beltronics detectors will display a number—34.708, for instance—but leaves it up to the user to interpret the significance. It's an accurate system but not every driver has the knowledge to utilize it. Learn more...
Whistler simplies the task. Non-police signals show only the band and signal stregth. Genuine threats are depicted by an abbreviated, three-digit frequency and to its right, the band and numeric signal strength. Spend ten minutes using the feature and it becomes second nature.
Another feature from Whistler, this one exclusive, will identify whether a laser signal is legit. Called LSID (Laser Signal Identification), it displays the laser's PRF or pulse repitition frequency. Although U.S.-spec lasers operate on the same wavelength, most manufacturers' lasers have a unique PRF.
An LSID reading of about 200, for example, means you’re likely facing a Kustom Signals Pro Laser 4 or Pro Laser 3, widely sold and very popular with traffic-enforcement officers.
This data nugget probably won’t affect the outcome of a typical laser encounter, but could prove useful as a conversational ice-breaker when meeting a bored state trooper.