Radar detectors are designed to detect specific radar bands frequencies. Police radars mostly use two bands, K-Band (24.150 GHz) and Ka-Band (33.4-36.0 GHz). In the 1950’s police also used X-Band radar, but because of its lower frequency, it was very easy to detect. As a result police usage of X-Band (10.5-10.55 GHz) is now obsolete. However, many automatic door openers, intruder alarms, towers and other industrial equipment still use X-Band radar. This is why you usually will hear false alarms if your radar detector is set to detect X-Band alerts. Many radar laser detectors still detect X-Band radar. It has been theorized that the radar detector companies included X-Band detection to make it appear as though they weren’t designing radar detectors solely for detecting police radar guns.
To a lesser extent, K-Band alerts can also be false alarms since a growing number of industrial equipment and intruder alarms use K-Band radar. Police still use K-Band radar, so you cannot automatically write off a K-Band alert as you would an X-Band alert. As a rule, when you hear a K-band or Ka-band alert, you should assume that you are detecting a police radar gun and adjust your speed accordingly. It could be an approaching officer or a cop laying low in a speed trap, because K-Band radar guns can be used while in motion or while at a stationary post. K-band gives police a range that extends to approximately a quarter of a mile, but your detector can warn you from as far away as 2 miles. The detection range is affected by geographical considerations such as hills, corners, and slopes. This can shorten your detection range to as little as a quarter of a mile.
The Ka-band has three subsections. The Ka Super Wide-Band was designed to detect stalker radar guns, which operate at 33.4 GHz to 36.0 GHz. The second type, Ka Wide-Band, encompasses a range of 34.2-35.2 GHz. Lastly, the Ka-band is also commonly used at 34.3 GHz, in combination with a photo radar (or “photo-cop”) system. This system uses a radar gun along with a camera to catch speeders. When the radar targets a vehicle that is traveling at or above a set speed, the camera automatically takes a snapshot of the vehicle. The snapshot is then mailed to the perpetrator, along with a speeding ticket, as proof of the violation. Fortunately, many radar detectors today enable you to detect photo radar guns while you are still a quarter of a mile away.
Finally, you might notice that your radar detector has Ku-band (13.45 GHz) capability. This type of radar is scarcely used in the USA but is still a channel to consider nonetheless.
The best radar systems have good sensitivity and range. This means they can pickup police radar detectors from far away and that they will not trigger as many false alarms. Another thing to consider is whether your radar detector is undetectable by radar detector detectors. The advanced technology of Spectre and VG-2 helps guard against radar detector detectors. Remember to mount your radar detector on the windshield for optimal detection range. Check out our wide selection of radar detectors. We carry top brands such as BEL Beltronics and Cobra.