Question from new member
Hello. Question: I have an older K 40 system on my 2006 Lexus LS 430 , and the K 40 people agree it's not functioning perfectly. Rather than replace whole system is it practical to use a new Valentine 1 or Escort in concert with the K 40 system? Or would the two units conflict? (I just ordered Veil from the Radar Ron page). Randy W.
K40 and Other Radar Detector Interference Potential
Welcome to our friendly forum!
I suppose that depends on the nature of your particular circumstance.
I would tend to be more concerned about the K40 model potentially interfering with your Valentine 1 or your Escort than the other way around, however, since your K40 model is externally mounted, less so.
Something to consider when running more the one radar detector concurrently beyond the potential of cross-talk, which is easy to spot on one detector (or both) [with] potentially frequent alerting to (Ka or K) radar is a more ominous result of interference, silence.
It is possible for one or both radar detectors to become less sensitive or responsive to a bonafide external radar source at certain times.
Over the years, I have occasionally performed comparisons with more the radar detector, but only after I had become very familiar with the alerting behavior of each and mutual compatibility over long periods of time.
In so far as laser detection/sensitivity, you should be fine in any instance.
In general, I would say go ahead, but be cautious and aware of the above issues before putting your entire trust into such a configuration.
If repair is not an option, you may want to consider another remote from either Beltronics (in the form of the Beltronics STi-R) or the Escort Passport 9500ci (which also provides GPS photo enforcement protection and laser jamming).
These options are certainly more expensive than a standard windshield radar detector, however they are in-line (if not less expensive) with the likes of any K40 remote installed detector (K40 Calibre) and will certainly provide far higher levels of performance (K40 Calibre Review) and unlike the inaccurate and often repeated marketing claim of an "undetectable" K40, the Beltronics STi-R (like the Beltronics STi Driver) and the Passport 9500ci, are truly undetectable by Spectre RDDs. Of course, like any discreetly mounted radar detector, it may be hard visually see, but that is not the same as being undetectable. Only Beltronics and Escort can legitimately make that claim.
For such a nice vehicle, that may be something to consider. My understanding from a number of K40 installers is that K40's BlueTooth models aren't easier or simpler to install than conventional "wired" ones and have created interference with certain factory in-car electronics. BMW released a technical service bulletin detailing interference issues, recommending removal of the K40 Calibre/disabling of the conflicting K40 Calibre transmitters.
BTW, what issue(s) are you experiencing with your K40 model? (If, of course, your radar antenna is "dead" [as mine was] and is no longer receiving or xmitting [sweeping] an LO the concern about potential cross-interference is probably a moot point).
PS: For what it's worth, I too once owned an older K40 (K40 SS3000) externally mounted radar/laser detector on my vehicle until it failed as well (I replaced it with a 9500ci and STi-R), but for a brief time I ran a Valentine 1, and the V1 appeared unphased.
Hope this information is helpful to you...
Veil Guy :driver:
I think joining this forum was a very fortunate choice. I learned more from your reply than I've learned in a week discussing radar detectors with K 40 management, my Lexus dealership, and also the local K 40 and Escort retailer installers (Cartunes; Ft. Myers Fl..) The issue with my K 40 was simple: very late warnings (even with stationary school-zone type radars). Despite conversations with the K 40 factory, I had decided to replace the K 40 in my Lexus LS430 with the ci Escort version but the local installers postponed my appointment twice. I'd decided to cancel until I received your email -- it was reassuring to read that, in your opinion, the Escort is much better. I have an older model V1, which I've given to my son, but I ordered a new one today . . . but maybe I'll go ahead and have the Escort ci installed, and try to use the new V1 in concert. I had the Veil treatment overnighted, so I will apply it on Monday, 3-13-09. This is important to me because I often use unusually effective products in my books. Thanks. Randy W
K40 Late to Alert to Radar Sources
We're pleased to have you and thanks!
Of the experiences and knowledge that I have had with K40 radar detectors, the K40 RD850 provided adequate warning times in most cases to radar threats, even though it suffered from rudimentary controls and settings and had awful and nearly indistinguishable alert tones (it was based on an earlier generation Beltronics model)—as compared to the Beltronics Pro RX65/Passport 8500 X50 radar detectors which were the current models/platform at the time.
While I never managed a speeding ticket with my K40 SS3000 remote installed radar detector during the time it was installed in one of my personal vehicles, its performance was easily exceeded by a host of windshield-mount radar detectors, of the day, radar detectors costing considerably less--detectors like the Valentine V1, Beltronics Pro RX-65, Escort 8500 X50 as well as a host of Whistler models.
Given the [high] relative cost of newly installed K40 remotes and with the level of vehicles that are targeted (ie; Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, etc.) I expected much more in terms of sheer performance. I once got some insight into this [price vs. performance disparity] by a car dealer/installer: they informed me that their margins were nearly 100%! At those lofty levels, it doesn't surprise me that the dealers/installers you have dealt with have been less than "illuminating," shall we say, as their sales margins were so high. I ran into the same sort of "ignorance" myself.
It is my understanding that Beltronics no longer provides their earlier generation (ie; lower performing) electronics to K40 and that K40 may now be sourcing their current materials from a Korean electronics manufacturer (Attowave). Given the performance history of [some] of Attowave's models, I'd be cautious.
We were intending to create a discussion forum for K40 (as there are no legitimate open discussions online) to assist other owners with K40 related real-world experiences and even invited K40 to participate, but they declined and instead requested STH not to create a K40 forum.
With respect to your new Valentine 1, The levels of performance of that radar detector are stunning, however you may find its frequent alerting to stationery door openers while driving on Rt 41 or the many cross-streets surrounding Ft Myers becomes very tiring (not really the fault of the V1).
I suspect a Passport 9500ci would be a very fine addition to your vehicle as Florida has plenty of Ka, police laser, and a growing number of photo enforcement systems (like in Orlando). Your 9500ci will provide "obscene" levels of performance relative to your K40 on radar reception, can auto-learn and auto lock-out the many sources of X and K alerts you would otherwise experience around town; provide speed-sensitive sensitivity; provide decent laser detection/jamming (especially when paired with Veil G4); will alert to red light cameras; and result in an extremely high-quality integration into your automobile (provided you select a quality installer, of course) which may enhance the re-sell value of your vehicle.
My suggestion would be to reschedule once more and get the Escort Passport 9500ci. As an all-in-one integrated solution, nothing else (and I mean nothing else) compares!
Trust me, you won't be disappointed!
If your Lexus dealer can't/wont do it in a timely fashion, you could use the following installer/dealer locator to find one that will: Passport 9500ci, Passport SRX, Passport SR7 & Laser Shifter ZR4 - Dealer Locator
It's very important to select a competent installer, one not only familiar with high-end electronics installation, but one who is intimately familiar with the particular make and model of your automobile.
Here are some related videos including one produced by Escort during one of my visits.
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Parts I-IV: Professional Installation of Escort Passport 9500ci
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Speed Trap Hunter Visits Escort to Discuss His 9500ci Install
Veil Guy :driver:
PS: Be sure to post some PICs of your install and share your experiences afterwords, please. BTW, if you continue to encounter installation "delays" from your Escort installer, you may want to communicate with Escort, they participate on this forum as the user RadarExperts and I am sure they would help you overcome your installation "issues."
If your LS430 is equipped with the adaptive cruise control, keep in mind that its distance-measuring front laser will cause high-performance detectors like the 9500ci to alert. And since that Escort comes with laser jammers, it will begin transmitting an interfering signal in response. There's no harm done, but the unique, rarely-heard laser shifter warning is enough to scare the wee out of you.
Having logged 30-odd thousand miles with the 9500ci, I can attest to the fact that you'll experience occasional laser false alarms even without the cruise control powered-up. With it powered-up, even when a speed hasn't been set and the unit's on standby, its laser is still active, leading to continual laser false alarms.
But that's a small price to pay for the world's best custom-installed remote.
^ I'd either go with the STi-R (and thus save the money), or perform an alternate mounting of the 9500ci (i.e. cap-off and store the ZR4 Laser Shifter heads within the vehicle's cabin, while leaving them plugged-in to the control-box, in order to avoid the error notifications upon startup), so as to avoid the laser-falsing issues.
There's nothing that saps ones confidence-in-equipment faster than persistent falses. :(
While its certainly good to know about such potentials, this may [ultimately] not be the problem at all, in reality.
Why? Because even if his Lexus did have this system (either a lidar-based lane-departure or ACC) and the mounting locations were problematic in this regard, I suspect, they could probably be disabled or "fused-pulled."
If not, at least these new radar detectors have ASICs which can be easily updated by software (ie; firmware) to have the specific pulse trains pre-filtered out. That's one of the great features of the latest generation of radar detectors, field-updateability by the user/owner.
I am already pleased to have experienced that the latest firmware, for both of the remote radar detectors from Beltronics and Escort, has successfully eliminated the falsing created by the POP-profile-like 24.1ghz (K-radar) based adaptive cruise control and/or lane departure systems used in models like Audi's side-assist. Kudos to the engineering teams for effectively mitigating this problem that we first documented nearly two years ago. I was hoping Audi NA would have seen to it (as I communicated directly with their executive management and their senior engineers about this) but am pleased to see Escort/Beltronics take the initiative.
If Escort (and Beltronics) haven't already specifically filtered these lidar sources, they certainly will, soon enough. Whistler has long-ago addressed these systems with their advanced LSID feature of the Whister XTR-695 and future models.
Of course, lidar falses occur on these sensitive laser detectors/laser jammers more so than windshield-mounted models, primarily due to their external mounting locations.
It is fairly common to get a front (or rear false) on either the Beltronics STi-R or the Escort Passport 9500ci when the sun is lower in the sky and being eclipsed by passing trees (whose recurring shadows at a specified frequency/speed) which can create the appearance of a police laser pulse-train (and it occasionally happens on the more sensitive windshield-mount laser detectors, too).
It's something that you get used to. At least with the knowledge that the laser shifters (or laser jammers) are doing their function (and having Veil G4 on as well), there's no urgency to stab the brake when it happens, making you a safer driver, in the process. :)
Veil Guy :driver:
Valentine One and Passport 9500ci Compatibility
You could certainly run your newest Valentine One inside along with your externally mounted 9500ci. This is something I have been doing for quite some time.
I actually use my Valentine 1(s) as a check-and-balance real-time alert-check to both laser and radar since the V1 is instant-on and off in its alerting nature, whereas both the Beltronics and Escort models (which, each has a different alerting philosophy, tend to trail a little bit even when the radar or laser source is removed) and also as a radar locating guide to the actual source(s) of the radar when they both alert. I tend to drive with the volume way down on the V1, as all I generally need is the visual queues [from its arrows]. In your case, you may even want to disable both POP, X, and (depending on where you drive, K band) on your V1 only, which will effectively prioritize it to only look at the lethal forms of Ka radar and police laser.
By advised, though if you do this, you will definitely transition into being a hardcore user...and once you do get to that place, it's hard to go back. :congrats: :flybye:
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Passport 9500ci with in-car Valentine 1 Operation
Veil Guy :driver:
I have nothing but GREAT things to say about the STI R and 9500CI. One can not go wrong with these RD's
I love my 9500ci! It is far and away more sensitive than anything on the market. The laser shifters coupled with Veil can be quite effective, but I recommend using a 4 head Laser Interceptor system for front and rear laser protection. I have the ZR4 shifters installed but only use them in receive mode and as backups should the LI's ever fail.
Here are some of my videos of radar encounters with the 9500ci. You can see there is plenty of warning. I also run a V1 and you can see that the ci alerts first every time.
YouTube - Braselton PD running Ka
YouTube - 9500ci K band IO save
YouTube - K Band Encounter I 85 S
Damn C4, you are a Speed Trap Hunter!
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One of my personal favorites!
Great videos, I love the music too. Great stuff! :congrats:
The 9500ci really is incredible (not to take anything from the V1). Steve and I have had similar experiences but he is betting me that his recently tuned V1 will give the 9500ci a run for its money.
Can't hardly wait! :eating:
Veil Guy :driver:
I've got another V1 being delivered Monday. I don't think it will be able to beat the ci but it is the best windshield mount detector out there.
Thanks for the kind words about the videos, glad you both enjoyed them.
Guys, Thanks very much. In the space of a few posts I've realized I'm far out of my league, technically speaking. So . . . Re: Veil Guy's advice, I bought a Passport 9500xi today, but will also take delivery of a new V1 on Monday or Tuesday. So maybe I will use them in tandem after reading VG's account of doing the same -- all in concert with the Lexus installed K 40 which, judging from an evening driving around with both on, is not as responsive as the Passport. (That plus I was stopped twice on Florida's Alligator Alley -- never happened using my old V1) My original intent was to replace the K40 with the custom installed 9500c1, but two failed appointments and a call to Mark at K40 changed everything. I'm glad I found this site. I just hope the darn laser scramblers on the K 40 actually work. The rest of the system was a huge (and expensive) disappointment. Thanks. Randy W.
The only way yo know for sure is to actually test them against a lidar gun. If you are ever in the Atlanta area let me know, I have a couple laser guns we can test them against.
Although it is actually difficult to find truly independent and informed reviews (one was essentially suppressed) or open discussion concerning K40 products in general, beyond the reviews already mentioned above, Craig did perform a comprehensive/documented laser countermeasure review , conducted several years ago (don't go by the article date of 2008, it was actually conducted during July of 2005) on the then current laser jammer models (along with Veil G2).
If you are going with the 9500ci, I would recommend using the built-in "laser shifting" ability of it (coupled with Veil G4 for maximum effect). I personally wouldn't count on an older diffuser technology against the latest Gen III or Gen IV police lasers.
Here are some video runs that were made shortly after the release of Veil G4 and Shifter ZR4 (which is the same as the shifting capability of your new 9500ci):
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These two types of laser countermeasures (one passive & one active), do very well together.
Veil Guy :driver:
PS: Randy, now that you stepped up to some serious protection, welcome to the club. :)
PPS: Once you get it installed, be sure to GPS mark the gator crossings on the Tamiami Trail :) :)
However, on the grander scheme of things, I think that such an effort is self-defeating.
To an extent, these active/passive-safety as well as convenience systems are there for a reason. And while the "driver" in me says that the convenience features such as active cruise are un-necessary, and that the nanny systems such as lane-departure warning is for the driving feeble :p , I also cannot help but see the other side of the equation - that they do make thing safer, overall (even the latter, one cannot always say that accidents can be avoided, for, simply, they are accidental in nature...try as we might, we're still human, and there *is* still a possibility, however remote and however hard we try to avoid it, that we will stray out of our lane-of-travel, unintentionally), and furthermore, that some such systems, such as Infiniti's "Preview Braking System," truly are the next evolution, and really will only do good, in a street-driving sense.
This is a hard one to call - and I think it *needs* to be up to the specific end-owner to decide what side of the equation he/she may fall on, and to then undertake modifications (either to the vehicle's features or to that of the countermeasures hardware), albeit with FULL knowledge of what the implications may be.
(1) I would hope that the Escort (Bel) would not be far behind, given already that they have already implemented the capability to lock-out laser falses with TrueLock.
(2) I do not know of the capabilities of such defeats from AntiLaser - I do not recall any specific testing of this, for its G9.
There have been more than one multiple-LIDAR-countermeasures user who've mentioned that the more up-to-date/revision-"happy" devices such as the Laser Interceptor can be counted on to give the least falsing possible, and this is an observation which I will agree with.
Some of these individuals have gone so far as to not to respond to their LASER alerts until the LI warns - and while I can see the practical value of this, it is not a practice that I agree with.
While I fear LASER less than instant-on RADAR, I nevertheless see it as a high enough risk, akin to Ka-band in terms of the "risk scale," that it *MUST* be responded to each and every time, regardless. To ignore such a threat, regardless of which countermeasure is reporting/alerting, is to expose oneself to a high tremendously degree of risk.
This is particularly true with the LI, given that it does not "instantaneously" warn of the LIDAR threat, but instead, "returns fire" even before it starts to audibly alert.
Also, this is dangerous given the fact that the V1 and the Escort ZR3/4 are such excellent detectors, and could have potentially seen a threat well before the threat is realized "on-vehicle," before the vehicle is actually painted.
However, I disagree with the fact that this is something that one should "get used to."
It's akin to saying that one should "get used to" Ka-band falsing - it's simply not tactically sound.
To me, this is a weakness/technical limitation of the countermeasure device that should be addressed either by the end-user or, better-yet, by the manufacturer.
In having the noise-floor so high, it can only lead to one thing - "detector desensitization," which is a cardinal sin of detector usage.
In having repeatedly inoculated the end-user to such false-alerts, the device causes one to not only doubt the veracity of its alerts, but to also increase user-latency in taking the proper action to ALWAYS, at such alert, to reduce speed as quickly and as safely as possible.
The window-of-opportunity for a successful jam, temporally/distance-covered, is small. One should not have to second-guess one's countermeasures.
In so much as we appreciate the Escort/Bel products for seeking ways to reduce falsing via advanced filtering - and often use this very characteristic of the device to counter the points made by the V1 - we should *NOT*, as end-users (or even "fans") of the Escort marque somehow come to the defense of the ZR3/4's propensity for false-alerting, but instead should demand better of the manufacturer, to address this most concerning, and most dangerous, problem.
To clarify, I did not say that one should get used to it, I merely stated that one inevitably does get used to it (as you yourself just indicated, that you can essentially predict when such things may happen). ;)
This is really much like the situation one has when driving with a sensitive (and less heavily filtered) V1. After a short time, it's pretty easy to discern the difference between a genuine X and K source versus a door opener.
...And while I agree with your assessment of new driver enhancement technology (at least in theory) I have been concerned about its actual execution. For instance, using 24.1Ghz transponders for ACC/LD systems (for cost savings) creates the very dangers that these systems purport to mitigate (by creating interference to drivers of RDs) potentially creating the very hazards they're designed to eliminate. The same goes for LIDAR-based systems. Better to have the frequency of K band sufficiently moved out of the way of RD reception tolerances or using 77 Ghz systems like Mercedes Distronic systems (but, they're more expensive to produce than cheap 24Ghz K-band transponders).
The other concern I have about these systems is that they have the potential to allow for further driver disconnectiveness from actually driving. Sure ABS/ADS systems have a place, but (I'm sure you'd agree) these systems shouldn't be a substitute for good driver skill/attentiveness (:eyescan:) and could these systems facilitate the further decline/erosion of drivers abilities/attentiveness? Has the use of the calculator undermined many people's ability to actually do math in their heads? I suppose so...
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We could learn a thing or two from our Finnish friends (courtesy of the best darn show on the tele:TopGear)
A simplier approach may be just to eliminate/reduce multi-media enhanced iDrive-like systems (for key functions) and staying off the darn cell phone while driving.
:offtopic: Please forgive my straying a bit off topic, with my philosophical :ranting2:.
Veil Guy :driver:
I just think that we as end-users of Escort's products - whose express mission is to quiet, as much as possible, false alerts, and thus lower the noise threshold - should ask for better, ask for more.
Given that the technology already exists (both the LI and the Whistler products are capable of such), hopefully, we won't have to wait long.
And FWIW, I totally agree.
The first thing to do would be to move away from "mobile entertainment," and the second, to effect better driver education and continued learning.
At the same time, I think that the engineers of these devices also need to think, just as you said, about their actual real-world execution, more - for it is hard for me to imagine that someone, among the rank-and-file, would not have noticed the unintended side-effect of these systems.
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