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Thread: Laser, Radar, Jammer...what?

  1. #1
    Rtinger
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    Laser, Radar, Jammer...what?

    I want to get some anti chicken-sheeta ticket like the one I recently had for speeding to stay ahead of the blind side of cars.

    I think most cops around here use laser, not radar. And I don't know whether I should be shopping for a 'jammer' or 'detector'

    What do you have? Is it working for you? What is the best of these products out there?

  2. #2
    R1200RT Artiee's Avatar
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    The only ones who will benefit financially from your purchase of a laser detector and/or jammer, will be the person or company you bought it from. Additionally, the county which issues you your ticket will likely benefit as well.

    However, if by chance your reflexes are faster than the speed of light, go for it.

  3. #3
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artiee View Post
    The only ones who will benefit financially from your purchase of a laser detector and/or jammer, will be the person or company you bought it from. Additionally, the county which issues you your ticket will likely benefit as well.

    However, if by chance your reflexes are faster than the speed of light, go for it.
    Let me start by saying I am a Navy trained electronic tech (late 1960's) and my specialty was radar. I've been servicing electronic equipment (component level) since then and work on everything from vacuum tubes, to software driven systems.

    That speed of light thing isn't what's gonna bring you down. For all practical purposes, laser is not any faster in targeting your speed than radar. The problem is that you're being painted with a very tight and narrow beam. The radar beam isn't anywhere near as narrow.

    That said, laser frequency shifters do work. "Jammers" is a misnomer. What happens is that the light pulse is received on one frequency, and returned on another. The idea is to confuse the police "gun" by giving an erroneous reading. I wouldn't count on those devices to cloak you, however. It'd be brutally easy to build wider band receivers that compute the diff in transmitted and received carrier frequency into the police units, and still report an accurate speed reading. I don't know if they exist or not, but the same engineers that build the detecters also build the police units.

    This situation is exactly like the phone company selling both caller ID and caller ID blocking, and the aftermarket companies that sell caller ID spoofing.

    In most states, shifters are still legal, but that will change. Also, if you get lit up with laser and the cop doesn't get a reading, he's prolly gonna chase you down to check out the reason why.

    Radar jammers, on the other hand, are illegal and most/all of the ones being sold DO NOT WORK. It's also true that most experienced LEOs can eyeball your speed with decent accuracy. If his Lidar device is indicating 60 and his eyeballs are telling him 85, you're gonna be toast.
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  4. #4
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    I once sat on an interstate overpass in a Illinois State Police car with my friend who at that time had spent 20 years on the road. We blocked his view of the radar. He called out the speed of cars. He never missed by more than 1 MPH!

    I asked him how he did it and he said after years and years of experience, he became a very good judge of speed. Made a believer out of me.

    But when asked "Do you know how fast you were going?" I always answer "No, but fast enough that I got your attention." Don't admit guilt, don't lie.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  5. #5
    Small road corner junkie pffog's Avatar
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    Jammers don't work, and if it is laser even the best detector will not help unless you are in traffic and you pick up some scatter, which is minimal. If they aim at you, forget it.

    Standard radar the detectors do work pretty good as long as there is other traffic, more scatter, but if they use instant on and you are all by yourself, your still getting clocked.

  6. #6
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Hey Kevin, don't eat all that popcorn. Pass it around.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  8. #8
    Tame Racing Driver Stig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artiee View Post
    The only ones who will benefit financially from your purchase of a laser detector and/or jammer, will be the person or company you bought it from. Additionally, the county which issues you your ticket will likely benefit as well.
    Well said. Nando, remember that detectors and jammers are two entirely different concepts. A detector (which is legal in most places, although I can only confirm this for NY) is a passive devise that simply alerts you to the presence of radio waves that are used by police RADAR/LIDAR speed measuring devices. A "jammer," as tommcgee described, is a device that actively transmits signals back to the police car's speed measuring device in an attempt to confuse the unit and either make it not display your speed or display a speed that is lower than what you are actually traveling. These types of units are illegal in every state as far as I know.

    There are a few important points to remember on this topic. First, modern police RADAR/LIDAR units are essentially "instant on." The unit can be powered-on, but not transmitting, so your detector doesn't tell you anything about the presence of an officer down the road until that officer sees you coming and turns on the unit to get your speed. By the time your detectors beeps/flashes, the officer already has your speed displayed on his device, and you're SOL.

    Second, in NY and most places that I'm aware of, an officer that is trained in the use of RADAR/LIDAR for speed measurement is typically considered an expert in visual speed estimation. And as SIBUD noted, most officers who patrol the same stretches of roadway on a daily basis become very accurate in determining your speed based on visual estimation alone. This essentially makes the RADAR/LIDAR a secondary confirmation of your speed. So even if you are somehow jamming the officer's equipment, or get lucky to slow down enough when your detector goes off, the officer can still issue you a summons based on his visual estimation.

    Be safe!
    Craig
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  9. #9
    Registered User MOTOR31's Avatar
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    I used to love talking to folks who had a radar detector. I had lots of them tell me I could not have clocked them as they didn't hear anything but a brief squawk from their detector. Then I demonstrated the directionality of the gun for them. All the detector told them was they had been clocked.

    As far as speed estimation goes, it's a learned skill and in my local jurisdiction, that was the primary basis for the citation. The gun was just the confirmation. My error factor was 2 MPH plus or minus of the actual speed and very frequently right on the money.

    If you are getting speeding tickets the best option is simple. Slow down. A motorcycle does not give you the option to speed whenever you want to on the road. The road does not belong to you and you would be better served taking more time to get to your destination. Start earlier to get the time for the trip.

    If you can't observe the speed, stop sign, signal lights or other traffic direction signs out there, don't come whining when you get caught. No one is holding a gun to your head to make you speed on the bike.
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  10. #10
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Motor31 View Post
    I used to love talking to folks who had a radar detector. I had lots of them tell me I could not have clocked them as they didn't hear anything but a brief squawk from their detector. Then I demonstrated the directionality of the gun for them. All the detector told them was they had been clocked.

    As far as speed estimation goes, it's a learned skill and in my local jurisdiction, that was the primary basis for the citation. The gun was just the confirmation. My error factor was 2 MPH plus or minus of the actual speed and very frequently right on the money.

    If you are getting speeding tickets the best option is simple. Slow down. A motorcycle does not give you the option to speed whenever you want to on the road. The road does not belong to you and you would be better served taking more time to get to your destination. Start earlier to get the time for the trip.

    If you can't observe the speed, stop sign, signal lights or other traffic direction signs out there, don't come whining when you get caught. No one is holding a gun to your head to make you speed on the bike.
    Hey, here's a great idea... a "traffic direction sign/signal" jammer! Lets see, how would this thing work????

    Betcha someone could make a fortune on this idea, don't tell anyone till I figure it out!

    RM

  11. #11
    Registered User mpmarty's Avatar
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    I have an Escort 8500 unit and it warns me of radar being used so far in advance it is amazing. I slow down and when I spot the emitter coming towards me in the oncoming traffic lane I wave at them. I've been pulled over a few times but always for being a wiseass not for speeding. The escort seems to pick up scatter at around three miles. The locals have gone back to X band instead of K or KA as lazy detector users ignore the X band stuff as being door openers etc.
    Marty - in the western Oregon mountains.'06RT, (gone '04RT, '86 Venture Royal, '81 Yamaha Virago920, '82Suzuki GS1100GK, '76 Suzuki GT750, Triumph 750 Bonneville, BSA Road Rocket 650, 61" Harley knucklehead)

  12. #12
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Hey Kevin, don't eat all that popcorn. Pass it around.
    I can pop more at a moment's notice!

    Your explanatory post was very good.....and very accurate.

    Especially the part about an officer's freedom to simply 'eyeball' your speed and cite based solely on that. I didn't have to do that too often, as I never had a problem controlling excessive speeders with radar or clocking (pacing). Few times I did, Wisconsin courts always held my observations to be "expert testimony" and fines were leveled.

    Where I operated, warnings were more prevelant than tickets (by a ratio of around 6 to 1), and I couldn't help but notice some motorists entering my 'radar field' and slowing when their 'detector/jammer/cloaking device/whatever' activated. What they didn't know was that I was already well aware of their speed, but was often engaged in more critical duties (i.e. an emergency dispatch or teletype) and chose not to pursue.

    Many think they have been saved by their devices. Just saying, from experience, that's not always the correct assumption.
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  13. #13
    Touring Panpsychist Theo's Avatar
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    +1 on the visual detections, lidar, and pop-radar...and on slowing down.

    One of the benefits of being at the "Fartdom" age (highly scientific gerontological term) is the awareness that life ends too soon. I choose to limit my risks to try to extend Fartdom as long as possible. Also, I took too many chances when I was younger and, thankfully, survived.

    When I was about 45, I decided that it was much better to get my thrills on the track instead of on the road. I still race sports cars but I ride my bike with all due caution. Yes, I "might" be able to control my bike in emergency situations, but I cannot control the other Morons who share the local roads! Ask me about the texting driver of a big white delivery van coming toward me while cresting a steep backroads hill...

    What I really want is frickin' sharks with laser beams!

    Slow down...enjoy the scenery!
    Theo

    2009 R1200RT, 2007 Shadow Aero 750 (sold)
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  14. #14
    Rtinger
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    I thought the RADAR speed detectors were banned because cops sued for getting cancer from using these things? I was under the impression there were only LASER guns nowadays...

    Motor31, you sound like my mom!

    But let me tell ya, there is not a soul in this town who drives the speed limit. And if you encounter one, most people will be passing him/her while shooting dirty looks at the snail. Driving the actual posted speed limit is not safe as you would have the entire traffic rushing on your asshh. I consider myself an experience and very very safe driver--regardless of the posted speed.


    My purpose for wanting speed trap protection is to avoid the kind of Idiot like the one who gave me a ticket. This would be the first ticket I have since I was 19yr. old...I am 65.

    Let me spell the story for ya: I was a cop in this town, and my LE friends claim no ones wants to work with this guy because he is a Brick with a capital P....sure enough, he was hiding behind bushes and working by himself (bike cop) when he cited me for rushing to avoid being on the blind spot of cagers--traffic rushing onto me on the rear. He must have clocked me for no more than 3 seconds. When I realized I had blue blinker on my tail I looked at my speedometer and was doing 60 on a 55.

    As an officer, I gave tickets to punks driving like maniacs, not citizen driving safely on the road going to work...the latter is not law enforcement. Many times I stopped citizens driving a little too fast and gave warnings.

  15. #15
    Steve
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    I'm a bit surprised that the "visual" clocking would hold up in court if challenged. Couldn't the speeder just demand proof of the accuracy of the method?

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