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Old 2009-04-05
TSi+WRX TSi+WRX is offline
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Join Date: 2008 Sep
Location: Cleveland/Shaker Heights, Ohio, USA
Posts: 44
TSi+WRX is on a distinguished road

Originally Posted by Trustey View Post
Hey all, I'm new here. I'm a 29 y/o career US soldier....
First, welcome to the Forum, and second, thank you for serving - thank you for keeping me and my family safe, with our slice of the American dream.

Third, awesome ride - as you can see from my signature file, we're a Scooby family. My wife, just last week, came off-lease on her '05 WRX, and we got a '09 Forester XT as replacement.

...and just traded in the pickup for the dream car. I only dreamt of it before since when I was 25 or so insurance for it was damn near 4000/yr. Now have a clean record and insurance is at 90 a month, and I'd like to keep it that way hehe, or better.
Oh man, how I remember those days of high premiums!

Just moved to some great driving country, eastern Oregon, lotsa canyons and mountain passes.
Perfect for your new STI !

Just be sure to let the tires' mold-release compound burn off, first, and your brakes to break-in, before you get over-enthusiastic! The STI is a wonderful machine with amazing limits for a factory automobile - particularly for its price-tag - but it's still very much dependent on its tires and brakes.

Also, if you haven't driven a powerful performance-oriented AWD vehicle before, take some time to get used to it, before you really push things. Remember that AWD is 1/2 RWD, and that rear end can and will snap around on you, if you really pushed things overboard.

Explore the limits of your vehicle in a safe confine, before putting too much on the line on public roads.

I'm not sure what they are using up here but I'm pretty sure it's just straight radar since I've never seen law enforcement aiming anything, just chilling in their hidey holes.
Remember, though, that LIDAR can also be shot from "in vehicle" (even "bounced off" of the vehicle's interior or exterior mirrors, and yes, even through the vehicle greenhouse glass) and it may resemble something as harmless looking as a set of binoculars (i.e. Kustom ProLite).

I also, unfortunately, do not know what they use out in your neck of the woods - I would recommend that you check specifics on the Forums, which has sections/threads/reference-posts devoted to both what LIDAR guns are used in what states, as well as specific local/regional-area threads/posts that delve into such locales' enforcement hardware (and habits/tactics) in-detail.

I don't drive at insane speeds that would get me put in jail, but when I was here years ago I got a ticket for 59 in a 55. Ridiculous I say. SOOOOO for my first car mod I'd like to get 360 degree protection preferably something discreet or entirely invisible as well. Lots of great posts and lots to choose from! Love the site already! Ok time to start shopping
I'd say, first of all, to let everyone know that you're serving your country.

If your state has service/veteran/Purple Heart tags, and you are eligible, then get them. For something truly as ridiculous as a 59 in a 55 - where it's all that much more likely that the enforcer is just trying to meet his daily/monthly quota, if they've been in the service or otherwise consider the Uniform a form of fraternal courtesy, you could get a break.

Certainly, I don't think it will help, if you're doing something outright stupid or highly illegal (i.e. wreckless driving or drunk driving), but for cases like that of the above, I think it may just work.

As for the protective hardware:

Just about any of the in-vehicle, stand-alone detectors can, today, be made discrete.

Good consideration made towards mounting/placement of the detector itself as well as its remote controls (and/or remote display) can well have an in-vehicle detector nearly invisible, even to prying eyes.

Given these fact, any of the top-flight in-vehicle, stand-alone, detectors would work for you - the Valentine Research V1, the Escort 9500ix, and the Beltronics STi-Driver.

Each has advantages and disadvantages that you must decide, for yourself, on which side of the coin you'll come out on.

The V1 is a pure instrument of war, and its raw sensitivity has so far to be bested, from truly independent testing. However, this very fact that makes it "King of the Open Road" also tends to make it undeniably chatty, given that it uses *you* as the final filter to decide what signals constitute true threats. Certainly, you can make use of its advanced programming/filtering to quiet down the alerts, but many see such a practice as self-defeating, in that the reason-for-being of the V1 is to simply report ALL signals.

The Escort 9500ix utilizes a combination of exceptional filtering algorithms as well as both a self-learning as well as user-enabled GPS-based "lock out" function to truly minimize falses. However, this does come at increased risk of, literally, "missing a true threat," and proper end-user use of these powerful tools is mandatory, or else it is, as the youngsters like to say these days, "teh fail." If your local area or frequently traveled areas utilize fixed traffic-enforcement cameras, though, its Defender Database, licensed through Trinity and based heavily on that data, is a dream, in terms of helping you be prepared to face such dangerous intersections. The lack of threat directional arrows as well as an absence of a true rear antenna and true rear LIDAR receiver does somewhat compromise the rearward coverage of this unit, and there is currently no remote display available (although the SmartCord does show, actively, a rudimentary "alert" visual).

[ Note that coupling the V1 with SpeedCheetah's GPS Mirror or their C100 stand-alone GPS-alert unit, plus their Detector Interface, will render the V1 with the same fixed camera threat warning capabilities as the Escort 9500ix, and will also enable you to set an alert threshold speed below which the audible alerts of the V1 will be suppressed, but will still present you with full visual alerting. ]

The Bel STi-Driver is a unique tool, in that, currently, it is the only stand-alone in-vehicle unit known to be, conclusively, Spectre Radar Detector Detector (RDD) proof. This may be of critical importance to you, if you decide to operate such units on a US military base. [ It, too can be combined with the Cheetah products. ]

Since you've been so adamant about pursuing concealability of the units, if you're willing to pony-up the initial monetary investment as well as to then pursue the critical proper installation of such units, the Escort 9500ci and Bel STi-R may also be viable - and indeed may be more towards your end-desires.

Although neither offer a true rear-facing RADAR antenna, their exceptional raw sensitivity easily allows them to pick up reflections of RADAR signals from the ambient environment, and to thus properly alert to such - and given such exceptional sensitivity, it goes without saying that their absolute raw sensitivity, forward-of-vehicle, is just without peer (note that although the V1 serves as a benchmark, here, it is not truly fair to compare the V1 to these remote-mounted [with the RADAR antenna beyond the vehicle firewall] units).

The absolute concealability (which includes the fact that these detectors are immune to the Spectre RDD) often makes these units most attractive to high-end vehicle owners.

In terms of LIDAR protection, the 9500ci comes with the Escort ZR4 Laser Shifter already packaged-in. This partially explains the fact why the 9500ci is some $500 more expensive than the Bel STi-R, which is essentially the same unit, in different wrappings.

The ZR4 is a decent active LIDAR jammer. Certainly not the "best" on the market, but in most real-world circumstances, it will definitely work well enough, and should be able to provide "ticket saving" performance, particularly given your confessed "not over the top" driving style, and also given that your local enforcers do not either utilize hardware for which the ZR4 has a weakness against, nor engage in unfavorable/extreme targeting procedures (you'd be wise to check these with your local crowd, on, as I've cited above). Coupled with LaserVEIL G4 on the vehicle lighting hardpoints as well as with other thoughts placed towards passive LIDAR protection, you should be OK.

[ Note that the ZR4 can also be purchased "a la carte," and added to and "Linked" to your choice of Escort/Beltronics stand-alone, in-vehicle detectors, such as the 9500ix. ]

Overall, however, I would instead recommend either (no order of preference) the Blinder Mx5, J16 revision (where x = 4, 3, or 2, which in turn refers to the number of jammer heads that the unit is equipped with) or the Laser Interceptor ("LI").

Traditionally, the Impreza platform WRX and STi/Is have not fared well against police LIDAR.

The abundance of frontal lighting elements as well as the various scoops and voids (which combine both sharp edges as well as radiused curvatures, both of which cause LIDAR "hot-spots") gives this vehicle a rather awful LIDAR profile, which has been demonstrated repeatedly, by our fellow hobbyists and enthusiasts, as well as by vested-interest jammer testers, such as steagall (who sells Blinder - and of the above test, if he's speaking of the same one, it was not a MY07 "hawkeye/slant-eye," but rather, a MY04-05 "peanut eye" [ ref: Blinder M45, Veil G4, Escort ZR4, Test - notice that I specifically mentioned the "peanut eye," repeatedly, in my replies there, and that as a Scooby devotee, I'm rather unlikely to make a MY-based mistake .... take heed of the specific weakness noted in that particular I said, the Impreza has been a hard platform to protect, due to the convoluted "skin" as well as the widely spread hardpoints; for more discussion: Choosing a perfect protection system ], and even if it *was* a "hawkeye" MY06-07, there still resides drastic differences in the specific hardpoint profiles of that vehicle, in comparison to your current-generation STI).

Although no-one has yet tested, to the best of my knowledge, either the current-generation, '08+ Impreza, Outback Sport, Impreza 2.5GT, WRX, or STI, based solely on a subjective assessment of the vehicle's hardpoint profile, I would certainly not be too optimistic of the current-generation vehicles' performance.

This, combined with your vehicle color-choice (white, IIRC, from your other post), would lead me to want to recommend to you either the dual LI (both heads forward facing) or, at the very least, a Blinder M35 unit, if not a M45 unit, with all 3 or 4 of its heads, respectively, forward-facing.

If you want rear protection, I'd either go with the quad LI (two heads each direction, with the dedicated rear-facing "Slim" heads at the rear), or dedicate a full Blinder M45 unit towards that aspect of the vehicle. Given the rear hatch profile, plus the widely dispersed lighting units (including the spoiler-integrated CHMSL and the two lower reflectors), you're going to need that coverage...... [ Here, the ZR4's single rear head will do nearly no good at all - yes, it'll provide point-coverage of rear center-mass and the rear plate and is thus "better than nothing," but as soon as the LIDAR pans to other areas of the rear of the vehicle, you will be toast. ]

Based on purely technical reasons, I cannot recommend either the AntiLaser G9 ("AL G9") or the Laser Pro Park ("LPP"), as they either (1) has not yet conclusively demonstrated their capabilities against the US-variant of the LTI TruSpeed or (2) is still in "Beta" form, with no date-of-update/replacement locked, for said threat.

Whichever of the above recommended routes you choose, you'll wind up spending about the same amount of money. And given that both overall reliability and durability of these cited units are near-identical, and their customer-service (both pre- and post-purchase, including warranty service) pretty much neck-and-neck, I think it is total personal preference of the end-user that's going to decide what will be chosen.

Whatever route you choose, consider also adopting as many passive-protective measures as you can or are willing to compromise for, such as with LaserVEIL (aka "VEIL") G4, LaserShield, etc.

While these passive protective measures do not mean much, in and of themselves, their synergy when combined (with either other passive measures or with active jammers) will tremendously enhance your overall protection, and is well worth the few extra dollars invested.

Hope this helps!

TSi+WRX's Sig:- Allen/Usual Suspect "DumboRAT"/One of the Three Stooges

LI Rev.2.8, Ver.7.03 - quad 8.0A-f w/ 8.5 Slim-r
LPP v8.3h(CAN/AU)/10.1s, 2xF/1xR
9500i, Red (4307) w/ZR3
CR8APL8s, w/LaserShield(F)
Cheetah GPS-Mirror

[ Wifey's FXT -> Bue 8500x50 (Rev.5); LI Rev.2.9, Ver.7.08 - dual 8.5 ]

Me: '05 Legacy 2.5GT Ltd., mildly modified
Wifey: '09 Forester XT, barely modded
Baby-Anna: too short to reach any pedals!
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