What is a radar detector?
The purpose of a radar detector is to detect the invisible radar waves in the air that police use to get a speed measurement of your vehicle. The radar detector will give you an audio and visual alert so you can decide what to do (for example, you can slow down!). A radar detector can be a very powerful tool for preventing speeding tickets, detecting construction zones and law-enforcement officers.
Window Mount Radar Detectors
Window mount detectors are just what they sound like – small electronic devices that fit in the palm of your hand that are attached to a windshield with suction cups. There are several benefits to this form factor, including the ability to easily and quickly transfer the detector from one car to another. This comes in handy when traveling as well – you can easily take a window mounted detector with you on an airplane, or use it in a rental car. Almost all manufacturers offer several accessories specifically designed for window mount detectors, including a direct wire kit (hides the power cord), visor mount clip, and extra suction cup mounts.
Custom Built-In Radar Detectors
Custom installed or hidden radar detectors function similarly to dash mount radar detectors, but are a very different formfactor. While a dash mount detector has the antenna, control circuitry, display, and speakers all built into a single physical unit, a custom-installed detector typically has them separated into several different modules. This allows the modules to be hidden and integrated into the vehicle OEM-style. Usually, the antenna modules will be hidden behind the front and rear bumpers, while the display can be flush-mounted into an area of the car interior for easy access.
Benefits of custom built-in radar detectors
The most obvious advantage is that custom-installed radar detectors are much more stealthy; there is nothing visible to the naked eye that advertises there is a radar detector installed in the vehicle. This is nice for users who are concerned about theft – a $500 radar detector hanging on your windshield can be an easy target. They also offer the advantage of laser shifter integration for defense against modern LIDAR guns that police officers use. Finally, the custom-installed detectors offer a much cleaner look and feel to the user. You don’t have to deal with a radar detector hanging in your field of vision and no visible cords. It just feels more “high-end.” If you are someone who likes to drive and dislikes getting unfair speeding tickets, a radar detector is a wise investment. In addition to saving money and increasing your enjoyment while driving, a radar detector will help you become a more aware driver overall.