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Top of the line radar detector feedback?

7739 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  newzfirst
I'm probably going to have the new Escort 9500ci radar detection/laser jamming system installed in my IS-F tomorrow or Friday. It's quite expensive (over $2k with pro installation), and so before I give the definite ok to proceed with the install, I'd appreciate hearing from any of you who have this system, or one like it (Valentine?) installed on your car.

I'm told it will require 2 or 3 sensors in or near the front bumper/grille area and one on the rear end of the car. Also, a blue LED readout for alerts will be mounted on top of the steering column so as not to block the instrument panel behind the plexi. Also, 2 bi-colored LEDs will be mounted in pinholes in the instrument panel, near the gauges, to alert me to the direction of the threat (front or rear, etc.).

There's also a GPS aspect to this system to warn of known speed traps, cameras, etc. I guess that's wired into the car's fin on the roof.

Anyway, if you have experience with this type of system, please let me know how you like/disklike it. This will be my first somewhat serious mod of the car, so I want any feedback I can get before proceeding.


Redondo Beach, CA:cool:
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I've used every major radar detector and there is none better than the Valentine One.
Valentine 1?

Have you tried the Escort 9500ci system? If so, why is the Valentine 1 a better radar, in your opinion?

Thanks for your input.
wow thats really, really expensive. and i thought the V1 at $400 was expensive. you wont need anything more than the V1 IMO.
You can have the best radar detector, but if the oficer doesn't have his/her radar gun on, and flicks it on only when they see you, your Sh*t out of luck!! By then, it's too late !! I had a Passport 8500 and got rid of it. With it, I thought I was "safer", and had a license to speed, when in reality, you have a greater risk of getting a speeding ticket !!
^I agree 100%. I got the radar a few months ago, but don't use it much. This is the first one I've purchased. Previously, I've never gotten a speeding ticket and I do speed a lot. My record is clean. Been driving since 16 and turning 25 Wednesday lol. You just gotta watch your six and use your mirrors, watch traffic flow, don't stick out like a sore thumb by driving recklessly, watch for possible hiding spots, and make sure there's always someone going faster than you. Just my 2 cents... :)
I've been a v1 user for many years. I have also tried many Escort units over the years as well. I feel the V1 is superior to the Escort units in many ways. Unfortunately Lidar is what CHP and some local municipalities have been starting to use. All current radar detectors cannot detect lidar until it's already too late.
After having the Escort 9500ci installed professionally a couple weeks ago in my IS-F, I can honestly say this thing is incredible. The GPS is especially effective at "learning" where the false alerts are all over town. The laser "shifting," or jamming, feature has also been activated and it's comforting knowing it's there. My alerts are far earlier than any window-mounted unit I've owned, and the voice alert feature is something I like more than I thought I would.

I've had no experience with the Valentine unit, but I have no interest in it since this one is really blowing me away almost daily.

Appreciate the feedback on this topic very much, though, but I'm just saying that I feel the money was well worth it. Best radar system I've ever owned, period.

Has anyone put one of these systems in a car yet? Thoughts?
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I have heard from a few customer's that installed the 9500 system and they said basically the same thing you just did.
I just feel that with a Radar Detector your pushing the limits more because you feel "safer" from getting a ticket. I guess as long as you know that it is not fail proof, you should be ok. Don't rely on it 100%, but instead use it as a guide. You still have to watch your mirros, traffic and of course look for brake lights for no appearant reason it front of you...
You mean I should brake if there are brake lights in front of me??? I knew I was missing something.
Had the Valentine 1 since 2003 and never looked back. Saved me from more radar tickets than I can count, but the one ticket I did get was Laser. Not much you can do about those unless you are really lucky.
I used to own a Valentine 1 long ago and then purchased a Passport 9500i about a year ago thinking it was better then the Valentine 1. The lack of false alarms is nice and so is the voice part, but I still found it giving me a decent amount of false alarms.
After a year of use, the auto volume function and auto dimming functions stopped working, which wasn't a big deal, I just did it myself. Shortly after that the GPS function stopped working on it, every time it would turn on it would say there was a GPS error. Shortly after those stopped working, the detector itself wouldn't turn on, and when it did, it wouldn't read radar anymore (I know since I tested it while working at the police department one afternoon). Now I could of just gotten a bad detector but I went back to my Valentine 1 and couldn't be happier, the arrows never leave you guessing like the 9500i did.
I've heard a few similar stories of some of the features on the 9500i going out over time, but it completely up to you, just wanted to share my experiences :)
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Thanks for the info...appreciate your thoughts on the 9500ci detector.

Valentine 1 saved my a$$ several times!!!
I picked this up on "" and it chats about how the laser guns work. Trust me, here in Conn, state troopers use laser and I was going about 90 before my laser/radar detector picked him up and I hit the brakes pretty hard to only be clocked going 78 in 65. Lucky for me, I have a few state troopers friends so no ticket for me. Here is the article,

If you have read the article entitled How Radar Works, then you know how normal radar works. A normal radar set sends out a radio pulse and waits for the reflection. Then it measures the doppler shift in the signal and uses the shift to determine the speed.

Laser (or lidar, for light detection and ranging) speed guns use a more direct method that relies on the reflection time of light rather than doppler shift. You have probably experienced the reflection time of sound waves in the form of an echo. For example, if you shout down a well or across a canyon, the sound takes a noticeable amount of time to reach the bottom of the well and travel back to your ear. Sound travels at something like 1,000 feet (300 meters) per second, so a deep well or a wide canyon creates a very apparent round-trip time for the sound.

A laser speed gun measures the round-trip time for light to reach a car and reflect back. Light from a laser speed gun moves a lot faster than sound -- about 984,000,000 feet per second (300,000,000 meters), or roughly 1 foot (30 cm) per nanosecond. A laser speed gun shoots a very short burst of infrared laser light and then waits for it to reflect off the vehicle. The gun counts the number of nanoseconds it takes for the round trip, and by dividing by 2 it can calculate the distance to the car. If the gun takes 1,000 samples per second, it can compare the change in distance between samples and calculate the speed of the car. By taking several hundred samples over the course of a third of a second or so, the accuracy can be very high.

The advantage of a laser speed gun (for the police anyway) is that the size of the "cone" of light that the gun emits is very small, even at a range like 1,000 feet (300 meters). The cone at this distance might be 3 feet (1 meter) in diameter. This allows the gun to target a specific vehicle. A laser speed gun is also very accurate. The disadvantage is that the officer has to aim a laser speed gun -- normal police radar with a broad radar beam can detect doppler shift without aiming.
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