As part of continuing series of road adventures with the latest and greatest radar detectors, we are currently doing a driving circuit in the state of Florida to examine the performance of the top performing radar detectors when pitted against the hands of Florida traffic enforcement. Unlike Pennsylvania, Ka-band seems to be the preferred form of police radar. Today we encountered Ka at 34.7Ghz (Stalker) and 35.5 (Kustom,Decatur) operated in both stationery and moving pulsed-modes.
Both the Passport 9500i and Valentine 1 served our interests well, however while cruising at a steady 85mph on West SR80, south of lake Okeechobee in the center of the state we noticed a white car approaching us from the opposite direction. At about 2000 feet I scrutinized the profile of the car. It was a late model Ford Crown Victoria.
Playing it on the safe side, I got off the gas and slowed to about 65mph. Sure enough as the vehicle passed me, I could clearly see that it was a Sheriff's vehicle with a radar unit mounted inside the vehicle.
The entire time of this encounter, neither detector went off. Rest assured, if I had not been paying attention, my expensive detectors would have more the likely sounded off a full alert of instant-on Ka and I would have been handed a nice fat ticket.
Continuing along my route, I reminded myself that there is no substitute for situational awareness and that no matter how good radar detectors get, they are only a tool. The most important 'radar detector' remains the one between your ears.