Sunday, June 24, 2007

Another Radar Detector Test Day Spanning Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York - Part II

OK, now that I have gotten a little rest, I can continue with my real-world radar detector driving experiences of yesterday.

I continued on my easterly route on I-78 through north-central New Jersey to I-287 North towards the I-87 portion of the New York Throughway. I had seen two other vehicles—a Red Jeep Grand Cherokee and Silver Nissan Altima—pulled-over by another State Trooper—that had been lasered about a half-mile past the Viper on the west-bound side.

It was clear to me that today was going to be a busy one and that I had to be at the top of my game.

I came upon another NJ state trooper on I-287 north—a green pick-up truck— but I couldn't tell what he was using. South of Mahwah had picked up a strong X-band source and later a Ka at 33.8Ghz but wasn't able to identify the location of the cruisers using them. When I approached the Riverdale town limit another vehicle was pulled-over by an unmarked Gold Crown Vic.

Picked up I-87 north in New York and proceeded to the Harriman exit on my way towards the Bear Moutain area. During a pit-stop at the rest center, I saw a beautiful '86 arrest-me red Ferrari 328GTS that was being flat-bedded and towed. It's owner told me that he had a failing fuel-pump. I wanted to take a picture of it for the blog, but resisted the temptation as I didn't want to perpetuate his misery on the Internet.

You won't hear or see this warning on SWS.

Things remained pretty quiet until I got on 6-East , SR-293, and 9W south. This is when things really started hopping!

I picked-up a weak 35.5 Ghz Ka on my Beltronics STi Driver for about 15 seconds at 60 mph followed by a laser alert. This time around the Cobra XRS-R7 and XRS-9700 alerted was well. I was so busy documenting the action, I forgot to dis-engage my Blinder M-20 and inadvertently managed to jam [him]-to-gun—with the assistance of VEIL—although that wasn't my intention.

As I passed him I noticed has was being lazy—shooting his police laser gun through his windshield from the driver's front seat. I wasn't able to identify the gun he was using on this first pass, so I decided to pull a Jason maneuver and made a u-turn down the road to make another pass, this time with the Blinder OFF using VEIL only.

I positioned myself in the left-lane on 9W south for another laser shot. The portion of this road is prime for creating revenue—it's is two lanes each-way with a posted limit of 55mph with a nice sweeping descent in altitude—as it is very hard not to speed here, especially if one isn't too attentive.

Again I got the alerts of the radar detectors to 35.5Ghz Ka-band (which had been left-on by the officer) followed again by a laser alert. Again, all detectors alerted to the presence of the laser which lasted this time about 5-7 seconds and while I didn't get a JTG which I didn't expect to do with VEIL only with a big silver sedan, it provided me more than sufficient time to get my speed down safely to successfully avoid a speeding ticket.

As I passed him, I noticed that this time he was positioned outside of his car and was hand-holding a Kustom Pro III. I decided to really push my luck and attempt yet another pass. As I was making my u-turn I realized what probably happened—from the officer's point-of-view.

I figured, he had been shooting cars for a while with no problem while sitting comfortably in his air-conditioned cruiser through his windshield. As most of you already know, shooting police lidar through the windshield tends to reduce the range of the guns and is generally not recommended for this reason.

For most vehicles, though, this doesn't present a problem as they make for easy prey, at least in this type of targeting situation.

The officer must have been surprised that I had managed to mosey on by without being able to clock my speed. That's probably why he decided that he better get a little more engaged with his job and began lasering outside of his vehicle.

And, sure enough, he was able to finally get his reading on me. So all was well, indeed—we both got what we wanted.

By the time I had managed to do a u-turn I, it was too late—he had his next victim already.

Moving on, I managed to pick-up a host of other bonafide police radar alerts, mostly of the K-band variety. One officer was hiding off the road south of Highland Falls using a combination of steady and quick-triggering instant-on K-band that proved pretty lethal. The posted limit on this road SR-293 was 35mph—something that I respected. In this case I managed to make a number of repeated passes while attempting to change my appearance at each pass.

In one instance, the officer took a very quick shot of me. While the Bel STi Driver did alert briefly to it, neither one of the Cobra's did. This encounter suggested to me that "sensitivity" isn't just a function of signal strength, but duration as well. Apparently, the Cobras weren't quick enough in their sweeping pattern or signal processing analysis to report this one pass. With all other passes they did fine.

Returning to the lasering spot on 9W, by the time I arrived there, it was again too late. This time his victim was a hapless motorcyclist—judging by his appearance—who didn't have a clue as to what hit 'em.


Riders of motorcycles, take note, you are not immune to police radar or police laser. Fortunately for you guys, there are solutions, including VEIL (Veil video 00:23), specifically tailored to your unique requirements including radar detectors, laser jammers, and wireless helmet-based alerting systems.



I continued driving around the area of Highland Falls and the town of Highlands until I had my fill of police radar encounters. Saw some spectacular views of the Hudson on SR-218.

It was starting to get a little late, so I decided to make my way west back towards SR-6 and I-84 west to head home, in PA. As I was leaving the grounds of West Point, we got some more police radar action, courtesy of a New York state trooper who was operating instant-on 34.7 Ghz Ka pretty hard from a dark Chevy SUV from the shoulder of the road.

Again I made repeated passes by him, each time, trying to change our appearance profile— cowboy hat on, then off; sun-glass on then off; headlights on then off; foglights on then off. Each time I got hit with instant on Ka. The STi Driver didn't miss one of them. Unfortunately, I can't say the same for the Cobras whose performance didn't appear quite as consistent as did the BEL STi Driver—keep in mind, though, that the STi Driver retails for quite a bit more than either of the two Cobra models I was exploring.

Having had my fill of 34.7 Ka, I decided to leave my obliging testing companion and proceeded towards Newburgh, NY by way of SR-6 East.


The closest call that I may have had all day was an instant-on blast of 34.7 Ka from a cruiser traveling eastbound on I-84. He almost had me, which would not have been pretty.

Fortunately, my STi Driver faithfully provided the sufficient fractions of a second that I needed to appropriately respond to his instant-on Ka shot at me.

When I arrived back into my home state, things returned to their more-normal sedate form, thank goodness, because by this time, it was starting to darken, the sun was pelting me directly in my eyes, and my remaining fuel range was rapidly heading towards zero again.

All told, I put on about 600 miles and good number of those miles at a very good clip.

Thankfully, my investment into all of this equipment served me faithfully and I managed to successfully avoid every single ticketing potential I encountered today while getting a very close look at Cobra's new XRS-R7 (detailed review to be published shortly) and the synergistic performance of VEIL and a laser jammer combinedmission accomplished.

Why more drivers don't own and use radar detectors and related countermeasures, like VEIL, remains a real mystery to me.

Now, believe me when I "say" this: no more radar detector testing next weekend!

I gotta get a life...

Veil Guy

PS. most memorable post-card from this trip:

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