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Old 07-15-2009, 01:22 PM   #1
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Smile Custom Radar Detector... no idea how to use it

Hey guys

I just got my 986. They said it has a "$2500 custom radar detector" built in. Here are two pictures of it:

http://www.kerplunk.net/radar1.jpg (Knob that can be turned left, middle, right.)

Left = red/orange
Middle = off
Right = green

http://www.kerplunk.net/radar2.jpg This is where the lights are (no buttons or anything).

So I have no idea what the colors mean. I'd assume red/orange was in town driving and green was highway? I don't know. Has anyone seen this before? I am not really an "under the hood" kind of guy, so I don't want to take a peek at the actual unit, but if I have to then I will if no one knows.

Thanks!

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Old 07-15-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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Radar detectors are a hobby of mine. It appears that the first picture of the knob is for volume and I'm not sure what the second one is (power or mute?). It would be easier if you took a picture of the actual detector so I could identify who makes it and what those knobs probably control.
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:29 PM   #3
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You might have a K40 unit in your car. It's in that price range and is a totally built-in covert system.

Any K40 installer (read Porsche dealer) can quickly tell you if it's a K40 or not.

If it is, you can then get all sort of data about the system.
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Old 07-15-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Interesting... I noticed that the knob's tip spins a little bit, but I thought that was just how it was and had no purpose. Maybe it does control the volume.

I'm going to try and find this. I have a Porsche maintenance appointment on Friday... I'll ask them if they know as well.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:40 PM   #5
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FYI, the top part of the knob IS for volume control (nice!)

Now I just have to figure out the difference between the orange light (left) and the green light (right) haha.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:48 PM   #6
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"$2500 custom radar detector"

The way technology changes, the unit is likely fairly obsolete...certainly not worth $2500.
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Old 07-15-2009, 05:57 PM   #7
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I included that bit of information to help everyone on this forum to help me identify it. At the time it costed that (obviously).
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:13 PM   #8
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if it is a K40, it can be upgraded and reprogrammed to current threats.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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As mentioned previously, I am a radar/laser enthusiast. Before today I have never heard of the K40, but it seems like it is not effective. Check this video out to see what I mean. In the video description it does actually mention that installs are typically $2500 so it is very likely that this is indeed the K40. Nobody will know for sure until you take a picture of the unit.

After a little research, the K40 seems like the same idea that Escort offers with the 9500ci. What I mean by this is that both are radar detectors with a combo of a laser jammer. The 9500ci and the K40 comes with a concealed radar detector and uses laser jammer heads to prevent a laser gun from acquiring your speed. It will also let you know when you are being targeted so you can slow down, and then turn off your jammer so that the cop doesn't become suspicious. These devices are illegal in some states much like how radar detectors are. There are also devices which claim to jam radar. For the most part (99%), these are false claims. A popular company which makes said claim is Rocky Mountain Radar. They are junk. Do not ever buy. In fact, even if they did work (which they most certainly do not) then it would be illegal to own since a device which interferes with a radar signal is illegal per FCC statutes.

High quality radar detectors are able to detect laser signals. The problems with these, however, is that if you are being targeted by laser, the a radar detector is essentially a ticket notifier since laser guns have the ability to clock your speed in about .3 seconds. Thus the best combo you can have for protection is a high quality radar detector such as: Valentine one (V1) and Escort 8500 series and up. Another thing to note is that Cobra radar detectors are junk. I shouldn't say all of them, however, because they recently came out with a decent one (XRS-9955 and XRS-9960g). Besides those two, I wouldn't ever rely on any cobra detector. In addition to a high quailty radar detector, it is also recommended that you get a high quality laser jammer. This will allow you to stop the officer from obtaining your speed and give you time to slow down (after the alarm goes off) so you can then shut down the jammer and he will get your speed. Under no circumstance should you ever leave it on all the time since this will most likely arouse suspicion and could possibly make them illegal (which they are currently not).

In conclusion, Cobras are junk (with exception of recently released model which is still a decent one), K40 is junk, and Rocky Mountain Radar is junk. If you have any of these it is better to sell them because if you get pulled over (which you will for relying on a crappy detector), the officer will see you have one and not be so lenient if he was to be otherwise. It is best to get stand alone radar detector and stand alone jammer for maximum protection.

Also, I have been wanting to get a jammer for quite a while but I don't have the appropriate funds. I was thinking of setting up a group buy in order to reduce cost of said jammers. If anyone is interested, please PM me and if there are enough people, then maybe we could all get a deal.


The jammer I would be interested is currently the best right now and is called the laser interceptor (LI).

Currently prices are:
$700 for 2 jammer heads
$1225 for 4 jammer heads

There are also High Powered versions (HP) which are mainly for larger vehicles. I doubt that a boxster would need this, but you can never have too much protection.

Prices for HP are:
$1400 for 2 jammer heads
$2450 for 4 heads

(cost is simply doubled)

They are pricey but it is extremely reliable and can jam all guns currently on the market. Take a look at this site to see results of tests done by an independent group known as the Guys Of Lidar. You can also view radar detector results to see which one is the best. I currently own a Valentine one and I may be getting a concealed display to help hide the fact that I use it in case I get pulled over (also it allows you to move the display anywhere you want and still leave the radar detector in the maximum range location).

Last edited by Viper5; 07-15-2009 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 07-16-2009, 03:48 AM   #10
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define junk

Viper, when you say that many radar detectors are junk, what exactly do you mean? Do they not detect radar/laser? Are they unreliable giving false positives? Are they too slow to detect effectively and allow corrective action? Do they cause spontaneous combustion of boxsters? Can they cause brain cancer?
(I know, I got a little off track)

What if you just want a detector to use in finding out the likely spots for radar traps rather than on board units? Would the junk ones be OK?
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:07 AM   #11
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I'd like to know how a laser jammer really helps, if the officer chases you he can simply cite you for other reasons.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:12 AM   #12
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I had this same K40 on a previous car (an SC430) which I purchased in SF and drove straight through the night home to Seattle. It was my first detector, and it alerted me 3 time on the trip. I average more than 75 mph for the entire trip - including fuel and pit stops - and was typically going 80 to 90 on those long stretches with very little traffic. It definitely saved me a couple of tickets. Great to have something built-in, but I left it off unless doing a significant highway drive. FWIW, the other knob is for City / Highway modes.

My new experience is with a Passport 9500ix, which I got for a great price via a group buy on PlanetPorsche. I've only had it a week, and haven't taken any highspeed highway trips - just driving around town in my GX (secure when locked, and the lighter plug powers off unlike the Boxster) getting used to the signals. Damn, the thing is chatty. The GPS feature is driving me bat**************** - Seattle has quite a few tunnels and stacked roadway situations, and the damn thins is always saying "GPS signal lost" and then "GPS signal acquired". I can't turn that off without turning off all the other voice alerts like "Red Light camera in 500 feet". Or turning of the GPS feature itself, which kind of defeats the purpose of buying the high end model.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:59 AM   #13
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Buy junk I mean a few things:

1. Does not give indication in reasonalbe time to slow down (few hundred feet at best)
2. Gives too many falses (signals that aren't real)
3. May not give indication at all for laser (depending on model)
4. Leaks (causes other good high quality detectors to get false reading)
5. Hurts your chances of getting a ticket more than helps (not effective and allows cops to see it)


If you want the detector to find out where speed traps are, then you will need to get a gps unit. These units are preprogrammed with spots already so that it can let you know of past speed trap locations. At least for the Escort 9500ix, it will also let you mark locations as points of interest. These can be speedtraps, speed cameras, or anything else you would want to remember so that you will be alerted to next time you are in the vicinity. The Cobra 9960g also has gps capability which works in a similar way in addition to the Bel GX-65. Out of those three, Escort is definitely the best. However I use a Valentine one. This does not have gps capability, but has the best range to any detector on the market. I would rather get better range even if it goes off more often in the city. Escort is also good because it now has the ability to learn where false signals are by gps location. If you pass the same signal three times in a row, it will cancel it out in the future and not go off. Of course, this option can be turned off, but it does make for a much quiter detector. I just don't like relying on the autolearn feature since it may not go off when a real threat is near.



EightsandAces,

An officer won't chase you for no reason (by law). Therefore, if he doesn't have your speed, you aren't swirving through traffic, and you don't flick him off, then he won't chase you. If you use a laser jammer, then it will temporarily prevent the officer from obtaining your speed so you can slow down to a safer speed in case you were speeding. Thus, if he doesn't have your speed, he can't get you for speeding. The jammers only work for laser though, since a good detector should alert you well before you get near to the radar gun (so long as there are other vehicles on the road that he has been targeting). This is why radar detector and laser jammer is best (legal in most states) combo.

Last edited by Viper5; 07-16-2009 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:46 AM   #14
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Thanks for your reply

Viper,

Thanks for the info. Is it true that no state or local gov can make owning a radar detector illegal? Does this violate a federal law or right?

Virginia makes a big deal in telling you that radar detectors are against the law.
Yet I thought I saw them for sale at Sears and other stores located in Virginia. What gives?

I'm in North Carolina and as for as I know they are OK here.

On the GPS thing, how do they get the data base for these locations. Are they public info or is there a fleet of people driving around looking for them?
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Old 07-18-2009, 07:05 AM   #15
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State Laws

A quick search of the web indicates from numerous sources that the only state where the use of radar detectors is illegal is Virginia. A lawyer friend from Virginia tells me they will prosecute. Detectors are also illegal in D.C. Jammers are legal in most, but not all states.
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Old 07-18-2009, 02:16 PM   #16
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Chef,

I'm sure a government can do whatever they want, such as outlaw possession of marijuana, however to my knowledge there is no state which outlaws the purchase and ownership of a radar detector in the US. The states that do make it illegal, however use these devices which actually detect your detector. The common brand is spectre, and they just released the version 4. There are certain radar detectors that are designed specifically for stealth, such as Bel Sti Driver and can prevent these detector detectors from detecting your detector . Also, there are several ways to hook up your detector in your vehicle so that it is hiding which many people opt to do.

As far as gps goes, I'm not sure how they get a database for speed traps since that seems like something a officer uses at his own discretion (maybe people reporting these sites)? Either way, you could always manually mark a location that you think needs attention so you will be notified as you approach it next time. I do believe that there is a public database which reveals locations where red light cameras and speed cameras are. This is pre programmed into the detector and for a subscription fee ($10 for 1 year with escort) you can have access to their server which updates regularly for the newly added locations.

Shnellman is correct. Detectors are illegal in Washington DC and Virginia. There are other states which don't allow any devices on your windshield as they "obstruct your vision." These are not limited to radar detectors but other devices such as gps, notepad, or anything else. The states which currently enforce this law are Minnesota, California, and New York.
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:17 PM   #17
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Just an update on this... they said it was a K40, but could not give me anymore information about which one it actually was. So, thanks for the advice and stuff

So, it's not even worth it to turn it on then?

Last edited by kerplunk; 07-18-2009 at 05:27 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 08:44 PM   #18
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I would sell it and replace with something that works. If you want stealth, you can go with 9500ci. This includes excellent detector but jammer is ok. This is of course better than radar and jammer that suck. If you want the absolute best, go with a Laser Interceptor jammer and 9500ci. (You can keep the zr4 shifter and put that on too ). Boxster probably only needs 2 heads for front ($700). If you want something portable, get either 9500ix or valentine one.

Last edited by Viper5; 07-18-2009 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 07-18-2009, 10:00 PM   #19
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Hey Viper.

I/We (the whole forum) really appreciate your advice on radar detectors. If I got a different radar detector likewhat you have recommended, can I still keep the nice integration that my current K40 uses (like the pictures I posted earlier)? Is it easy to swap these out?
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Old 07-19-2009, 02:48 AM   #20
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I also appreciate the info on the detectors. I live in Virginia and was thinking of getting the Bel Sti Driver with a stealth installation. Do you have experience with their detectors, thanks,

Ed


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