Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
Can anyone please recommend a good radar detector. Cost is not the main issue, but it must be 100% reliable. I recently got my new car (BMW 320) and with already having some points I really need a bit of help dodging the cameras!
Radar detector recommendation - X5
I use the Origin Blue i (blue-eye geddit?). This doesn't "detect" as such. It holds an internal database of known gatso, specs, truevelo locations, plus known "hidey-holes" for lurking plods, and compares this to your location using GPS technology. The database can be updated whenever you want (subject to a support contract) using the supplied modem. It doesn't hold any traffic-light camera locations (rightly so in my view).

The unit has been reliable for me over 8 months. The only problem (on mine at least) is that it can take a long time (up to 10 mins) to get a satellite lock at night, and the accuracy of the locations can sometimes be up to 100yds out (but it starts warning at 600 yds anyway). Perhaps the sats got blown about in the winds, or maybe I should get some tech. support.

This unit was the bees knees when I got it, but I think that the market is developing fast, and it may have been overtaken. Do a Google search on Radar Detectors - some of the sites hold comparison data.
Radar detector recommendation - lezer
would anyone know the voltage and polarity of the whistler lazer detector as i have received one without a power supply!!
Radar detector recommendation - Ian D
I have a Bel 550i which is pretty good and eliminates most of the common false alarm frequencies. It comes out well in recent tests by Evo magazine, Autoexpress and Speedtraps.co.uk.

Avoid some of the cheapo ones they are not much good, the ones like the 550i are over £300 but they are worth it.
Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
Thanks for the advice guys. The speedtraps.co.uk website looks useful.
I am a very fast (but safe) driver and have already been caught twice even though I had a \'basic\' detector fitted, so I know they are a waste of money. Spending £500-600 is not a problem so I\'m probably going to go for one of the GPS ones with a subscription. I want to drive the way I like, not the way the safety crew want me to.
Radar detector recommendation - Ian D
In a bit more detail - the Beltronics 550i I have will still give false alarms but it has a UK mode that eliminated most of them. Unfortunately one or two of the plod frequencies are the same as some surveillance systems and garage dooe openers. This means in big towns/cities i get the odd false alarm, but out on the open road and driving through villages/small towns the only false alarms will be from petrol stations which are infrequent.

It will detect fixed cameras (even ones pointing in my direction of travel) in plenty of time to 'have a extra good look around' (as of course you are at an accident black spot)...
Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
Hoo-wee, XL5:

"I am a very fast (but safe) driver"
"I want to drive the way I like"

You're running the gauntlet around here!

Well, you seem to have got away with it so far... hang on - is that the slow crescendo of blood bubbling up to a boil I can hear???

Radar detector recommendation - Mark (RLBS)

You're a salesman, aren't you.

Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
I actually work in financial services and am peripheraly involved in sales, but I would not describe myself as a salesman.
I;m also a petrol head and member of the BMW Drivers Club and want to enjoy driving my new 320 hence the need for a reliable detector!!!
Radar detector recommendation - teabelly
You can enjoy driving without exceeding the speed limits. Find yourself some good twisty B roads. Very hard to exceed the limits on those. If you want to go faster then track days are the best places to do it. With a large group then you can usually get the cost down to around £50 a person, sometimes less.

If you want to make the most of the car and keep your licence I would recommend a performance driving course. John Lyons is the name that springs to mind. I am sure he could show you how to drive rapidly, within the law, safely and above all enjoy driving. Better than any radar detector.

Radar detector recommendation - HF
>>is that the slow crescendo of blood bubbling up to a boil I can hear???

It's mine. Just don't feel like starting an argument at the moment.
Radar detector recommendation - Steve S
I'm assuming XL5 is a wind up. Toad is that you?
Radar detector recommendation - Phoenicks
Speed doesnt kill. Bad and reckless driving and speeding in inappropriate areas does.

36mph in a 30mph limit will get you a speeding ticket from a camera but it doesnt mean its always dangerous.

i've heard the Morpheous Geodyssey is supposed to be very good.

Lets us know what you choose and how you get on with it.
Radar detector recommendation - terryb
I have a geodesy and it's fine. Takes a bit of time to lock on to the satellites some mornings but so far it works well.

I've had it for about a year now and I'm waiting to hear from Morpheous about an annual subscription for the dial-up updates. I've emailed them about a week ago but no reply so far.

I'm not an habitual speeder, in fact I try not to exceed limits, but I don't hang about and I don't spend the whole time looking at the speedo. So I don't want to pick up a fine or points just because I've crept over the limit by accident. Hence the Geodesy.

Radar detector recommendation - Wally Zebon
Speed doesnt kill.
Its the sudden stop that kills.

What about a Road Angel? I can vouch for them. They're great in unfamilliar built up areas with speed cameras. It will warn you with plenty of time for you to slow down and then look for where the camera is. It is also programmable, so you can delete moved cameras and add ones that it doesn't yet know about.

Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
Just ordered a \'Blackspot Interactive Road Angel with Laser Detection\' - about £400. I\'ll let you know how I get on with it in a few weeks.

No, I\'m not a windup and I\'m not Toad. Why should I be a windup? Thounsands of people buy radar detectors.
Radar detector recommendation - Phoenicks
I'm with you. Buy one and use it. Its legal after all!
Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
Thanks mate.
Radar detector recommendation - Rob C
Snooper S6 Neo is very good, GPS with Radar and Laser detection.

Saved me a few times now, not that I'm admitting to anything.
Radar detector recommendation - HF
They should not be legal. And nor should anything else which aids very fast (but safe) drivers in putting all our lives at risk.
Radar detector recommendation - Wally Zebon
HF - The Road Angel is designed to point out accident blackspots and most fixed speed cameras are located at accident blackspots. Or at least that is what the ads tell us.

The fact is though that most users are only interested in the cameras and not the blackspots! Myself included. OK - I still slow down when it goes off, but that?s only because I think it might be a camera.

Radar detector recommendation - HF
Hi Wally,

My point was not aimed towards those who try to remain within the limit, but use the device as a precautionary 'just in case' measure.

Although your comment that most people aren't interested in the blackspots does strengthen my disapproval of the device somewhat!
Radar detector recommendation - Steve S
"Why should I be a windup?"

Simple - because it's been done before, to provoke the many here that disapprove of such devices.

If you want to spend money on a device that isn't reliable and will get you in bother if you take it abroad - I say fair play.

But this "I'm a fast (but safe) driver" always amuses me.

If your position is "I don't agree with speed limits - therefore I'm seeking help in avoiding the penalties that may arise because I don't intend to stick to them". I'd say that's a point of view and has some honesty to it.

If though, you really want to enjoy your car to it's potential - take it to track days - the best fun you can have with your clothes on!

Because thinking you can "safely" enjoy a car to it's potential on the highways of the UK is, quite frankly, rubbish.
Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
Oft-quoted on adverts for detectors: "Statistics taken from research conducted in the UK by MORI : 75% of users claimed they were more conscious of keeping to the speed limit since purchasing a radar detector."

Not that I was a particular speeder in the first place, but in my own experience, I would concur with the above.

Which, according to what 'they' are constantly metaphorically hammering into our skulls, I must therefore conclude can only be a GOOD thing.

Radar detector recommendation - Steve S
Adverts for the detectors say that do they? Oh really?

So it's all the people without detectors that are the problem is it? I see.

C'mon. They are hardly going to say that "research shows that users have a disregard for speed limits" now are they.
Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
I never said that by definition people without detectors were a problem. And of course ads would state the positive side of things, but it wasn't the ads that were important, it was the survey, and my point was that that was also my own experience.

Neither my sister nor my girlfriend are 'speeders', aggressive or arrogant drivers, but I've observed them doing 39 in a 30. Are they a problem? Or are they just human and therefore not infallible?

Surely any device which heightens your awareness of the limit at your present location and alerts you to an upcoming blackspot is a useful thing, and if, as in my case, it conditions you to be generally more conscious of keeping to limits, then 'they' will surely have achieved what they set out-to.

Whether I'll have any fewer accidents I doubt I'll ever know, but at least I'm more likely to have been travelling under the limit.
Radar detector recommendation - Thommo
Terry B,

If you email me at the email in my profile I can tell you something you probably need to know about the Geodesy subscription thingy.


Radar detector recommendation - terryb

Thanks. Tried to email you but your profile is hidden from me. Feel free to try me at mine (which I hope I've made visible).

Radar detector recommendation - TrevP
I have a short saying that "good" drivers hate

- "If it feels fast to me - it's bad driving"
Radar detector recommendation - Steve S
You don't know what too fast is, until something unexpected happens.

Nothing to do with perceived "good" or "bad" driving.

Everything to do with having less time to react. However "good" you think you are.
Radar detector recommendation - TrevP

When I say "If it feels fast to me - it's bad driving"

that might be at a legal 30mph.
(In a residential road with parked cars for example)

so what do the numpties do?

40 in 30 limits and 50 down dual carriageways
("because I don't like driving fast")

And then scream blue murder if they are caught on a camera in a 30 limit.
And then go and buy a gadget - because "they" should have better things to do
(than making law-abiding people feel like criminals)
Radar detector recommendation - Steve S
I agree TP,

It's not that I think all the limits are right some are too low wher there is no need. Occasionally there's a case for lower ones in some crowded areas too.

Nor do I disagree with people about the quite obvious revenue raising in some instances, which masquerades as "safety", taking plod off traffic duty when they are needed to deal with the often more dangerous stuff.

I'm sympathetic to all that. It's just this "these detectors make me safer" stuff. When people are really saying "I wish to ignore the limits and not pay the penalty".

Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
You're 100% correct TrevP, but if, due to the gadget, they were doing 29 down a residential road with parked cars, at least that would be better than them doing 40.

Not everyone's a fantastic driver, even though they've been passed by an examiner as fulfilling the minimum standard required at the time. If they're doing 50 on a clear dual carriageway that's a pity, but a better driver should be able to safely negotiate his vehicle around them, at the same time demonstrating the standard to which they should aspire.

We don't yet have remotely-controlled speed restrictors on the cars, so really, perhaps the best we can hope for for these people is a gadget which strongly reminds them of what has been decreed to be the safe maximum at their current location and warns if for example there is a school up ahead and it is term time (the Origin b2).

Radar detector recommendation - TrevP
\"a gadget which strongly reminds them of what has been decreed to be the safe maximum at their current location and warns if for example there is a school up ahead and it is term time\"

Well, for some drivers the brain fulfills those functions.

But radar detectors do not do that - they do not say

\"Here\'s a school - drive carefully\"

they just say

\"you can drive half asleep - and I will warn you when you should brake - just to avoid getting caught\"

Or to put it another way, you can drive in your normal \"fast - safe\" way (excuse me while I scoff) - and I will warn you when you have to drive slower.
Radar detector recommendation - Steve S
Don't disagree tunacat.

But have you noticed those flashing "30" signs attached to a radar? I think they're pretty good because they give people warning.

But truth is, once people know that not a camera - they get ignored.

So if the "prompt me" argument held up with detectors - why doesn't it work for these?
Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
Ok, so latterly I wasn't referring to a RADAR detector, but these GPS jobs can give you a constant indication of the speed limit at your present location, along with your speed (more accurately, I'm sure I've read, than your car's speedo), and the Origin b2 does indeed give out a warning when approaching a school.

As I've said, we don't all have fantastic brains, so if, as I originally suggested from experience, a gadget can condition you into being even more conscious of keeping under the limit, and said gadget is constantly (not just at certain locations like those flashing signs) displaying what the limit is, I believe the limit is even less likely to be exceeded.

Because they know your speed and the limit, these gadgets can issue an audible warning any time you exceed it. That must be a positive factor towards safety. We aren't necessarily driving around half-asleep; we may have just taken our eyes off the speedo for a moment. A moment is all it takes to get caught by a gatso. Similarly, a moment looking at the speedo rather than out the window may be all it takes to notice that child that little bit too late.

Of course such gadgets could be used to 'abuse' the system by those who would always choose to do so, but to smear them as never being able to have a positive affect on safety strikes me as going down a similar route to those who might argue that no car should be capable of more than 70 mph.

Now then, handguns...

Radar detector recommendation - tpac
[snip entire note]

>>\"what a bunch of T******

There\'s one less now. Not much wrong with your opinions, but going that length to avoid the swear filter annoys me. Since I am not here all the time, I have to be careful who I leave in here unattended.

Your language is not welcome.

I should think that the effort of having to register a new e-mail account and using it to re-register here, assuming you bother, will help you remember that.

Radar detector recommendation - TrevP
"more accurately, I'm sure I've read, than your car's speedo"

So? so you speedo overreads by 3% - so what?

"A moment is all it takes to get caught by a gatso."

Erm, no.

It takes either a deliberate or negligent action to exceed the speed limit by in excess of 10mph

"Similarly, a moment looking at the speedo rather than out the window may be all it takes to notice that child that little bit too late."

Erm, no again.

I have not seen children with 1g acceleration.

I (and my clients) have no problem with glancing at dash about every 5 secs on straight road.
(even cunningly hidden speedos like on Yaris)
Radar detector recommendation - Mark (RLBS)
>>I have not seen children with 1g acceleration.

Try taking your eyes off them for 2 seconds when there is chocolate in the room !!!

I swear my daughter has got a cloaking device as well as warp drive.
Radar detector recommendation - TrevP
Ah well, you have not set the scanners to long range.!

(or multi-phasic for short range)
Radar detector recommendation - Phoenicks
I cant believe what i'm reading. Firstly lets set this straight. i dont condone speeding nor road racing, however i strongly disagree with these badly made anti speeding points.

Speeding isnt dangerous alone. Speeding in inappropariate areas and driving without due care and attention is. Why does everyone use the blanket arguement that speeding is dangerous. Its a complete joke. You can get flashed by a camera doing 36mph (as happened to my friend) - NOT 10mph as stated Trevp. So is 6 mph over the limit on say a 50mph dual carriageway at 9pm that is empty and straight dangerous? No of course it isnt. is 65mph on a straight, clear, 50mph limit dual carriageway dangerous. no it isnt. However the arguement too often is 'well thats the law - obey it' but then choose to throw that arguement out when it suits them when they talk about radar detectors- they're legal. so deal with it.

I have never seen a Speed Camera outside a school where they are needed and justified. No they stick them on revenue generating roads where they lower the speed limit because they know the road can handle higher speeds safely and therefore people travel more quickly. And get caught. and generate income. A lot of speed cameras dont protect anyone.

People like you Trevp should spend less time arguing blankets points about speed limits that dont always match the conditions, and campaign more for speed cameras in relevant locations. Because there is a set speed limit does not mean that it is justified to be that speed on that particular road.

And before you respond in the manner i expect you to, let me just reclarify that i do not condone speeding, nor do i have any points on my license (never have) and nor do i own a radar detector. I just hate illogical agreement of speed limits and camera's on the basis that 'it must be right because its the law'. Well sorry, but think for yourself and question these things. Then we might see more cameras in places that they are required and more traffic police catching drink/drug drivers. Not people who do 36 in a 30 getting stupid revenue generating fines, and morons like you who label them as speed freaks because of your inability to comprehend that that may not always be dangerous.

As i said speeding isnt dangerous alone. Speeding in inappropariate areas and driving without due care and attention is. Speeding is a term used to clarify when someone has gone over the arbitrarily set speed limit that may not be justified. Next time you do 32mph in a 30 or 75mph on the motorway YOU are speeding. But speeding does not automatically mean dangerous.
Radar detector recommendation - TrevP
"Its a complete joke."

Yes, you are absolutely right.

Anybody thinking they can set their own speed limits is a joke.

"Why does everyone use the blanket arguement that speeding is dangerous?"

Excuse me - when have I said that?

It is illegal - that's good enough for me.

It's also stupid in 30 limits
(yes - even at a booked 36 - at 40 on the speedo?)

And please please report back to this Forum any evidence you have for anyone being booked for doing 56 in a 50.

You carry on breaking the law pal - but be very careful who you call a moron.
Radar detector recommendation - Dynamic Dave
Just a reminder that this thread was to ask for a radar detector recommendation, not a ranting session on the fors/againsts of speeding. I might break this thread up later and move some of it over to the current "speed camera thread" instead.
Radar detector recommendation - Phoenicks
>>but be very careful who you call a moron

Why? What are you going to do?!
Radar detector recommendation - Dynamic Dave

Any more personal insults, or arguing, and the whole thread gets the chop.
Radar detector recommendation - eMBe {P}
Any more personal insults, or arguing, and the whole thread gets
the chop.

Agreed DD, not before time - even without the slanging.
Mark deleted a similar speed merchant's wind-up - where the starting "technical" question was the workings of ABS on a GolfVR6.
Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
I have
Radar detector recommendation - Fireball XL5
I have just come back to look at the board and I am amazed at the amount of argument my question generated. It was not a wind up question, I just wanted know details of a good detector, and in fact I got some good advice.
Thousands of detectors must be sold everyday (Argos sell the Road Angel that I have purchased). I gave the reasons why I wnated one, I was not being a hypocrite. I coiuld save myself £400 and just look at the signs. I drive one of the finest vehicles ever made ('03 BMW 320i) it will out corner and out-break just about any equivalent saloon car on the road, when driving a car like that you need a little extra help to stay within the law and keep your licence.
When driving in a 30mph area who do you think is safer - me at 36mph in my car, or 'Mr Potato-head' in his clapped out G reg Sierra with two bald tyres driving at 30mph? Who would get the ticket? Speed and safety are not directly linked, as we all know.
Radar detector recommendation - TrevP
Most people manage by engaging brain.

8< 8< Snip 8< 8<

It\'s a pity you seem unable to practice what you preach TrevP, even after a warning about personal insults. Bye.

Dynamic Dave
Back Room Moderator

Radar detector recommendation - Morris Ox
Fireball, you've been commendably honest about your reasons for wanting a detector, but I just wonder whether your pride in what's clearly a good car might well be preceding something.

Whether a 320i will our-corner and out-brake its rivals is utterly irrelevant on the road, and whether or not you need help keeping your licence is determined solely by how you drive not what you drive.

Which is why your assertion that your car is automatically safer than a G-reg Sierra is similarly flawed.

If you want a detector, fine, and by all means enjoy a lovely car, but concentrate on your abilities, not those of the car. If you need a detector it's because of YOU, not the 320.
Radar detector recommendation - Morris Ox
As DD has indicated much of this thread seems to have disappeared up its own invective-driven exhaust pipe, though may be this isn't altogether surprising given the author's reasons for wanting a detector.

I've thought about having one too, but mainly at a time when I was doing a lot of long journeys and, frankly, losing the plot sometimes. Figured it would be a useful wake up call.

Speed IS dangerous, largely because of that well-known component, the nut behind the steering wheel. The nut is the guy who doesn't realise that pressing the loud pedal requires no skill whatsoever, and that, on occasions, 30 in a 30 limit IS dangerous. You might be the most responsible, considered driver in the world, but you're in a minority. Just enjoy the the sastisfaction of knowing the right speed for the conditions. That is real skill and I for one am still learning it.

There are times when limits will be appropriate and inappropriate (both up and down) and that's why you have blanket application where certain basic principles apply.

Phoenicks, you made some legitinate, interesting points. Dropping a personal insult in was ill-mannered and unnecessary.
Radar detector recommendation - HF
MO's points are perhaps the best and most logical on this thread. He seems, unlike many of us (and I include myself in that) able to put across a valid point without taking anything to heart.

I think, however, that I would rather encounter Mr Potato-Head doing 30, any day, rather than Fireball doing 36 or any other speed for that matter! ;)

Radar detector recommendation - KB.
HF, It would seem that you and I feel similarly. In the "Me first" thread (in which you also contributed) I wrote of Fireball....." Putting the above post of yours together with your comments earlier in this thread, I think most people can gather that when they see you coming up behind them in your nice new BMW 320, by far the best course of action would be to pull over and let you get as far away as possible. I wouldn't want you anywhere near me judging by your comments here".

I've not since seen any further posts to make me change my mind.

I was somewhat disheartened to read much of what was said by Gen and Fireball in the two threads in question but then (not surprisingly) on some topics I see things differently to other members who post here.

Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
People's talk about engaging their brain and exercising their skill at driving at the appropriate and safe speed are precisely the two issues in the mix: Are brains always unfailingly engaged? If you drive at a safe and appropriate speed will you always be within the law?
A stretch of road near me is 3/4 of a mile long and straight and flat. In my living memory it always had a limit of 60 mph. There are no houses, just wide pavements and a few industrial units. To me, and most users I've seen, 60 seemed a little bit high: 45-50 was the speed people generally went. Recently though, the limit was changed at a stroke to 30. This speed feels plainly too slow, and anyone who was familiar with the old limit, or unfamiliar with the road, and who, for whatever reason, missed registering the signs, would have been caught by a gatso had there been one there. As these cameras proliferate, more and more people driving safely will incur a fine.

Of course, those with their brains permanently 100% engaged who have never, ever, even had a near miss such as returning their gaze straight ahead to find the car in front has dead-stop-stalled at a roundabout, need have no fear.

For the rest of us, who just the once missed that sign, for looking in the mirror momentarily as the kids in the back fought over that chocolate, we might be glad the gadget on the dash chided us for safely breaking the law.

I see no reason not to recommend such a gadget - I hope it allows XL5 to drive more safely and to remain within the law.

Radar detector recommendation - Phoenicks
A good point well made. Glad you put the thread back into context.
Radar detector recommendation - Altea Ego
I have to say I see no harm in detectors. If cameras are placed at accident black spots, and people slow down (if they see the camera, or the detector does) then job done in my book. Frankly anyone that gets done by a fixed visible gatso deserves all they get for not spotting the thing. Same with marked mobile or parked police cars.
Specs is a different ball game, 85 - 90 mph on the M3 with no traffic and good weather is safe in anyones book, and being nicked by unmarked specs for that is unreasonable.

For that reason I am settting up a palm based GPS camera detector. I have the palm so will cost about 150 quid for the rest..

Radar detector recommendation - smokie
Bit late on this one, just back from hols.

I bought a Snooper Neo (GPS scamera locator with radar detector), somewhere about £400 plus a subscription. It was OK, did what it said on the box. But when SmartNav announced speed camera location with their GPS SatNav product, all fitted for £625 (plus subscription) I flogged the Snooper and got the SmartNav. The navigation isn't flawless but the device is a whole lot better value than the Snooper. The navigation takes current traffic conditions into account too so is useful even if you know where you are heading.
Radar detector recommendation - Thommo
Erm up to a point Lord Copper.

These fixed gatsos are hidden behind road signs, overhanging bushes etc so its easy to miss one. The powers that be have gone to great lengths to make them virtually invisible and were mightily peed off when told they had to put yellow coats on them.

Why are they hidden when they're supposed to be a deterent?

Radar detector recommendation - Altea Ego
>virtually invisible

sorry Thommo, still say that anyone who cant see the calibration marks on the road in time to slow down to the speed limit still deserves to be knicked.
Radar detector recommendation - terryb

...and those that don't have calibration marks????

Radar detector recommendation - Altea Ego
The only ones that dont are forward facing truvelo camera's and you cant hide those....

Radar detector recommendation - terryb

I don't want to get into a point-scoring argument because I agree with the sentiment of what you're saying. But neither Specs nor etched-lens cameras have road markings and can be or are hidden/disguised.

To be really pedantic, arguably truvelos do have markings in that the road sensors they use are visible.

Radar detector recommendation - Altea Ego
Lets call a truce then. In summary my views anyone caught by any visible detection methods deserves a fine for not seeing them (driving without due care). My sympathies to anyone knicked by specs.
Radar detector recommendation - tunacat
My sympathies go out to those should they fail to get points removed from their licence if they incurred them on this stretch of road BEFORE these two guys and the subsequent farce!


Radar detector recommendation - henry k
At a nearby crossroads we have a red light Gatso that has not flashed for years. One of the nearby warning signs which has been in existance for years is upside down. Does that invalidate any fines? I guess not as it is not on the approach road to the Gatso but you never know these days.
Radar detector recommendation - Dynamic Dave
RF, there is a Gatso on the A420 Oxford to Swindon road (the one just after The plough Pub, nr Longcot) that didn't have the calibration marks on the road for ages after it first appeared. Rumour has it that the calib marks were in the grass verge in the form of small wooden posts. Very sneaky, which is why I suspect the marks are now on the road.

Value my car