Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spectre IV US Distributor Stalker Elects to Misinform Law Enforcement about its Radar Detector Detectors (RDDs)

UPDATED: 05 Aug 08

A friend of mine from down under (who apparently was the catalyst behind the recent story about the Spectre IV RDD not being able to detect certain radar detectors) has informed me that the US Distributor (Stalker) for the Spectre IV and Spectre IV+ radar detector detectors (RDDs) has decided (likely under "external" pressure) to revise their product information page about the new Spectre IV series of RDDs and remove an acknowledgement that their latest and greatest RDD, the Spectre IV can detect 'all but two' radar detectors (actually it's three/four), the Beltronics STi Driver, its sibling abroad,: the Beltronics STi XR, the Beltronics STi-R, and the Escort Passport 9500ci. Futhermore, the Whistler XTR-695 and Escort Passport 9500i/Escort Passport 9500ix, as well as a number of other radar detectors, also appear to do very well against the Spectre in one particular test: Spectre IV vs. Radar Detectors.

(Note: Craig's test results were apparently based-upon a early Spectre IV model that was directly received from Stealth Micro Systems and may not be representative of other retail purchased Spectre IV RDDs currently available to traffic enforcement.

According to Speed Measurement Labs most recent Spectre vs Radar Detectors tests, conducted June, 2008, it appears that most (with the
exception of Cobra) of the major "conventional" radar detector manufacturers: Beltronics, Escort, Valentine, and Whistler have made further strides against the Spectre IV as well, with certain tested radar detector models not exceeding an initial approaching detection range of fewer than 400 feet!—results of which to be posted soon at Speed Measurement Labs' official test website. It appears that both Beltronics and Escort are applying some of what they have learned/achieved with their fully immune-radar detectors to their other product lines, which is a very good thing, indeed! And Whistler and Valentine have apparently been busy, as well.)

What possible benefit can come from intentionally misleading law-enforcement about the [lack of] effectiveness of the Spectre III/Spectre IV radar detector detectors (other than, of course, short-term profiteering for its investors)?

The only "benefits" that I can see is that its likely an indication that Beltronics and Escort have actually won the radar detector detector versus radar detector battle once and for all and that this is a sign of weakness (and ultimate vanquishing) of a long-time nemesis to our industry.

The other "benefit" is, if the US distributor for Spectre wishes to now perpetuate a falsehood about their products' effectiveness to law-enforcement, then we drivers who operate these undetectable radar detectors should be further immune (from undue attention from traffic enforcement—since they can't and don't even exist!).

Either way, it certainly appears that the blokes from down-under have been vanquished by the ingenuity of U.S. engineering!

It's likely only a matter of time before the legendary Valentine One goes stealth, itself, as I have actually used one (a specially modified RDD-immune V1) several years ago while I was tooling around the West at very high speeds in a black Dodge Viper (see pics on right-column) with my same friend from down-under!

UPDATE: 05 Aug 08

It appears that Stealth Micro Systems is now aware of this situation and may attempt corrective action...


Beltronics STi-R, Escort Passport 9500ci, and Beltronics STi XR Score Big Against Spectre IV RDDs Down Under

Veil Guy

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beltronics STi-R, Escort Passport 9500ci, and Beltronics STi XR Score Big Against Spectre IV RDDs Down Under

A recent news item was released in Australia/New Zealand labeling Stealth Micro Systems's Spectre/Stalcar radar detector detectors (RDDs) as 'defective' by not being able to detect the RF emissions of several radar detectors, most notably the new Beltronics STi-R and Escort Passport 9500ci remote installed radar detectors!

In this ever evolving game of one-upmanship, it appears that both Beltronics and Escort have delivered the coup-de-grace to a long-standing nemesis, the Spectre/Stalcar RDD.

New Zealand and Australian traffic control are apparently up in arms over the situation given that the costs for obtaining a Spectre IV is in the neighborhood of A$4000 and NZ$5100.

Even the Whistler XTR-690 was favorably mentioned in the same context.

Given that fines for [being '"caught'"] operating a radar detector approach A$1200 and carry nine demerit points, both Beltronics and Escort have performed a wonderful service to the many hapless motorists who must drive the roadways in other countries which employ Draconian-style state-control over motorists.

My hat's off to both Beltronics and Escort for doing, what many thought was, the impossible—by developing Spectre IV RDD immune radar detectors: the Beltronics STi XR (Beltronics STi Driver as its called in the states) and Escort Passport 9500ci!

The full news article can be found, here:
Aussie police grapple with defective detectors

Veil Guy

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Escort Passport 9500ci Mounting Instructions & Professional Installation Video Guide

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Escort Passport 9500ci Mounting Instructions Video Guide in Four Chapters
Recorded 21,22 May 2008

Back in early May of 2008, I was very fortunate to be one of only three radar detector reviewers to receive an early production shipment of the new Escort Passport 9500ci remote radar detector directly from Escort.

On May 21st and 22nd of 2008 I had the Escort Passport 9500ci professionally installed in my personal 5 series BMW by a high-end automotive audio and electronics installer located in my area, World Wide Stereo. These guys of have been installing high-line home and automotive electronics for a very long time and were my natural choice for the new Escort Passport 9500ci remote for my Bimmer as I was interested in a high-end quality installation that would enhance the value of my vehicle, not diminish it.

This comprehensive video details a how to mount the Escort Passport 9500ci, what a correct professional installation looks like, and should serve as a detailed video instruction guideline for both high-end professional dealer/installers and DIY'ers alike.

For a product like the Escort Passport 9500ci, I would recommend that you select a specialized dealer who is not only intimately familiar with the particulars of this fascinating new remote radar detector, but who has intimate knowledge of your particular vehicle. If done properly, a clean factory-looking professional installation will serve to enhance the resell value of your vehicle as opposed to detracting from its value...So it's very important to choose wisely and price shouldn't be the primary driving factor.

As with many things in life, you get what you pay for...

I would like to thank both Escort and World Wide Stereo of Montgomeryville, PA for making this instructional video possible.

A professional Escort installer/dealer can be located in your area by visiting:

Escort Dealer/Installer Locator

...Keep it between the lines...

To see more related videos, visit Veil Guy Videos on at

Veil Guy

Friday, July 11, 2008

Escort Passport 9500ix Upgrade Path (from the Escort Passport 9500i)

I just received the official low-down, from Escort, today, about the upgrade path of the Escort Passport 9500i to the Escort Passport 9500ix.

First off, the Escort Passport 9500i will continue to be offered in the red-display model for a suggested retail of $449USD. The Escort Passport 9500i Blue model will no longer be offered by Escort (which did retail at $499USD).

The good news is that the new Escort Passport 9500ix will now be offered in its stead at the same price point of $499USD as the previous Passport 9500i Blue models.

The other bit of good news is the Escort will, indeed, offer an upgrade path for existing owners of either model(s) (red or blue) of the Escort Passport 9500i to the newer and more capable Escort Passport 9500ix.

The cost of upgrade will be $89.95 (for ESP owners) or $129.95 (for non ESP owners) and will include the replacement of several processors and memory of larger capacity—to handle the extensive database and additional processing—as well as a new top cover of the radar detector which will carry the new model designation of ix.

The display colors will not be replaced. So if your Escort Passport 9500i started out as a red display model, it will remain a red display model. No plans, at least at this time, for Escort to offer a red display model of the Escort Passport 9500ix.

Escort's ESP (Extended Service Plan) can be purchased either at the time of initial purchase or shortly there after for the amount of $29.95USD. But, I am told that existing owners of Escort Passport 9500is who did not initially purchase ESP will not be able to purchase ESP at the same time of the upgrade (to save $10) in process.

Like the Escort Passport 9500ci, the Escort Passport 9500ix will be able to have both its database and firmware updated by software and a USB cable connection to your PC.

It certainly appears that the new 9500ix is going to end-up being one of my preferred radar detector choices on business trips, considering this one portable device (which can be easily taken on a plane flight) will be able to effectively detect and alert to the presence of police radar, police laser, and red light camera, and fixed speed camera locations throughout North America.

Frankly, I am loving the recent innovations that are coming from the leading radar detector manufacturers.

With the Draconion threats (like the re-establishment of a national speed limit) and the Orwellian threats we are facing—in today's political and corporate profiteering climates, "high" gas prices, (local, state, federal) government budget shortfalls (and the impulse to further gouge, us citizen "consumers" in the process with greater heavy-handed "enforcement" tactics) —the new 9500ix could not have arrived at a more propitious moment!

My hat's off to the fine folks at Escort for continuing to evolve with the times and for creating products to, at least, help at leveling the "current playing field."

Trustworthy Purchasing Source(s):

Related reading: Escort Passport 9500ix Announced

Veil Guy