Evo Magazine Review

Evo Magazine - Radar Detector Review - May 2001

Several new models have hit the market since our extensive test of radar detectors (Evo Magazine Review, number15), so we've tried some of the best-sellers.

To cut through the jargon, k and ka bands are the most commonly used in the UK.
Both Gatso and hand-held radar work on these bands. Many detectors are based on US radar detectors, which means they also detect X band.

This used to be the source of majority of false readings. Fortunately, the latest units allow X band detection to be disabled. Mini Gatso cameras work on Ku band, but their use is not widespread.

Snooper SD715iS
Price: 154
Covers: X (switchable), K, Ka, Ku, Laser
Features: City mode with Smart Mute - reduces false reading. Audio and visual indicators. Extended bandwidths for Europe.
Claimed detection range:
GATSO up to 70m.
Radar & Laser guns up to 1 mile.

Bel Target Euro 330
Price: 329
Covers: K, Ka, Laser
Features: Developed solely for the UK. 'City' and 'Motorway' modes, shadow technology - should be undetectable by VG2.
Claimed Detection Range:
GATSO up to 250m. Radar & Laser guns up to 2 miles.

Bel Target Euro 550
Price: 359
Covers: X, K, Ka, Ku (switchable), Laser
Features: Developed solely for the UK and Europe.Enhanced bandwidths for European detection.
Claimed Detection Range:
Gatso up to 400mm. Radar & Laser guns to 3 miles.

Valentine One
Price: 545
Covers: X (switchable), K, Ka, Laser
Features: Two antennae for 360 degree detection. Directional indicator identifies source of radar/laser. Count Mode - tells you how many radar sources are nearby.
Claimed Detection Range:
GATSO up to 500m. Radar & Laser guns up to 3 miles.

Evo Magazine review verdict

Each detector claims comprehensive cover against police methods of monitoring speed. We were unable to carry out a controlled test, but the various units were tried out over a period of several weeks. The Bel units and Valentine One gave ample warning on approach to a Gatso camera. The directional indicator on the Valentine was also a useful feature. The Snooper was less sensitive, but gave just enough warning to react. False alarms were not a problem on dual-carriageways or motorways, but could become tiresome in town.

The Bel Target Euro 330 and Beltronics Target Euro 550 are developments of the 980 and 990 models which cleaned up in our previous test (issue 15). We've seen nothing to change our recommendation this time around. Both are designed specifically for use in the UK (and Europe in the case of the Beltronics Target Euro 550) and work extremely well. The Euro 550 performed marginally better with Gatso, and its settings can be changed country by country. These features warrant the extra money over the 330, but both are a good buy.
The Valentine One is an impressive looking unit with some good features. However, its US roots show through with the lack of Ku band detection, and a display angled towards the left of the cabin. The price also counts against it.


Morpheous Geodesy:
the motorist's new weapon
Looking for an alternative to conventional speed trap detectors? A new kind of Gatso-buster has recently become available to drivers.

Price:350
Covers: All fixed - site speed cameras
Features: The Geodesy is based on Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, which also powers sat nav. The unit has a built-in database which carries the locations of all fixed speed cameras in the UK. The system detects when you are approaching a camera and a series of lights illuminate as a warning. An alarm also sounds. A modem link is provided in order to update the Geodesy with a new and even temporary sites.

Does it work?
When we tested it across Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire, it didn't miss a single fixed camera site. The unit proved easy to use and a bit more stealthy than most Bells-and-whistles detectors. In these times of reduced manpower, cameras make more and more sense to police forces. Which makes the case for the Geodesy even stronger.

 

Courtesy of Evo Magazine May 2001