Monday, March 26, 2007

Some Gen III (3rd Generation) Police LIDAR (Laser) Guns Present Durability Issues in the Field

For any of you who have read my radar detector reviews, you already know that one of the areas that I like to test radar detectors for X-Band police radar detection performance is on I-78 through Warren Country, NJ during the first 20 miles east of the Pennsylvania border.

Traffic enforcement is consistently pretty fierce on that stretch of highway. This past Saturday afternoon I was examining the real-world performance of Escort's new Passport 9500i when I came upon a state trooper parked strategically in the center median facing the opposite direction of travel.

Knowing that I had just encroached upon a real speedtrap, I proceeded to the following exit and made a u-turn to drive back west into it to see how the 9500i would do. As I made my approach in the fast-lane, I spotted him again and this time he was perpendicular to the road. To my surprise the 9500i alerted to police LASER, not the X-band I was expecting. Curious as to which gun the officer was using I went down the highway a ways and once again made another u-turn to make what would be my third pass.

I pulled over on the shoulder, got out of my vehicle and approached the officer's vehicle. He was busy operating the laser gun and was not initially cognizant of my presence. To my shock and surprise it appeared that the officer was using an older LTI (Laser Technology) Marksman 20/20! These older models have been out of production for a good number of years as they have given away to smaller, lighter LTI Ultralyte, Kustom Pro III, Stalker LZ-1, Laser Atlanta S models.

Eventually I managed to get the officer's attention and after a brief introduction, he explained to me why he was using the older model. Apparently the newer lighter GEN III laser guns (many of whom are comprised of hard plastic casings) are failing in the field from the abusive duty cycles that these devices oftentime see.

The department has found that the older and more solidly constructed police laser equipment is actually lasting longer in the field and providing a longer duty cycle than the newer, smaller, (ie; cheaper) models.

I showed him some of my tricks, including VEIL, which he got a real kick out of. He knew all too well the nature of this cat and mouse game we play!

After an informative and enjoyable discussion, we parted ways and I continued on eastward in search of new speedtraps to "crash" while he returned to his job of "shooting fish in a barrel."

Veil Guy
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