Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Safely Evading VASCAR, Electronic Timing Speed Enforcement

Earlier this evening I stumbled into a VASCAR/electronic timing speedtrap at a rate well in excess of the posted limit.

Fortunately I noticed an unmarked cruiser--sitting dark in an adjacent gas station--during the time that I was between the two painted timing strips on the road.

I immediately turned on my high-beams to change the illumination pattern of my headlights and was successful at preventing an accurate time-track of my vehicle while not having to abruptly slam my brakes (I was too far into the speed trap for braking to have likely made much of an impact on my average speed).

Contrary to what some may believe, VASCAR and other electronic timing methods can be and are easily made by tracking the trailing portion of one's headlights between two points on the road (which can be timing strips or arbitrary stationary objects).

If you ever find yourself in such a speed trap, think of this technique as it may just save you as it did me, today.

For those of you who celebrate this holiday, please have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving and if you happen to be driving sometime in the coming days, remember they are out in force!

Veil Guy

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Another Reason Why I Prefer To Do My Serious Long Distance Driving With Two High-End Radar Detectors

As many of you already know, I recently drove in a transcontinental rally (race) from Orlando, Florida to Beverly Hills, California.

While Roy and I often rotated radar detector combinations, when traveling at hyper speeds, my personal preference was to use both the Valentine One and the Beltronics STi Driver.

It's been my experience that driving with both radar detectors provides you with the best of both worlds.

With the V1, you gets:
  • The very best laser detection available (in a windshield-mounted radar detector)
  • Ultra-high level of radar reception ability
  • Directional information of the source(s) of police radar/police laser
  • One of the very best signal ramps in the industry (for quickly determining the severity of the threat)

With the Bel STi Driver, you get:
  • Ultra-high level of radar reception ability
  • Display of actual transmitting frequency (particularly useful for rapidly identifying real Ka threats)
  • Auto-muting
With Both of Them in Operation, you get:
  • The best of both worlds
  • One other benefit (something that has now happened more than once) -- a check and balance system on radar reception.
And this time it was the Beltronics STi Driver which exhibited the reception issue (the last time it was the Valentine One, which turned out to be in need of a tuning).

During one of our radar encounters, the Valentine alerted to what appeared to be an approaching Ka source out in front somewhere. The entire duration of the radar encounter may have been in excess of 50 seconds. In not one of those seconds did the Bel STI Driver alert to the presence of Ka-band--remaining silent the entire time of the radar encounter.

Based upon the findings of a particular radar/laser enthusiast group, my conclusion was that the band in question was likely that of the less popular 33.8Ghz.

Had it not been for my updated/tuned Valentine, I would have not been alerted to its use.

I expect to send my Beltronics STi Driver in for a check-up/tune-up just as I did my V1 when it too missed a bona-fide radar encounter.

I know my handling and care for each radar detector could be better (I tend to leave them up on the windshield during the hot summer sun when I park).

For me, driving with two different high-end radar detectors (which have demonstrated to be compatible together) provides me an additional level of confidence while "seriously" driving for extended distances.

I expect to share more of my experiences of this cross country rally including some of the techniques I used to keep my ticket accumulation to an absolute minimum.

Veil Guy