Reader Question: Don’t Leave Home Without Them?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Vic asks: I just watched your interview on David Knight show. Thank you for all the great information you provided. I wanted to ask you if you could recommend specific brands/models of car cameras and radar detectors and where would be the best place to purchase them. Is it enough to have just one car camera that points forward or is it better to have several cameras that point forward, back and to the side? Thank you very much!

My reply: I strongly recommend the Valentine1 radar detector (see link on the main page or click here). Yes, they are an advertiser. But I have been using the V1 since long before Valentine became an advertiser – because in my judgment, it’s the best unit available. Excellent sensitivity to all police radar – and insensitivity to non-police radar. The units come with Junk-k filters that end annoying false alarms from non-police sources of radar – in particular, the radar signals emitted by ordinary late-model cars fitted with various “safety” tech that use radar to do their thing.

The V1 also has directional antenna – forward/rear – and indicators that tell you not only the strength of the signal but the direction of the signal – so you know where to look for the AGW (armed government worker).

I’ve used them all and while there are many good units out there, the V1 is the best of the bunch in my opinion.

On cameras: If you have a decent smartphone you have this covered already. You can also buy a GoPro or similar and mount it in the car to record not just AGWs but also other cars, so that you have evidence if someone brake checks you or does some other such thing.

Thanks for the kind words!

PS: You might enjoy this!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. I have both a V1 and an Escort 9500ix, the Escort my wife keeps in her truck; I bought the V1 to replace my own 9500ix that failed a couple years back. The V1 is better in a couple of very important ways: it seems to alert faster and it filters out junk-K better. However, the V1’s laser is horrible – I get false positives frequently, usually driving into the sun or into a line of cars with headlights on, but once even backing out of my dark garage at 5 AM; the false positives make the V1’s laser useless as you learn to ignore them.

    The V1 has some bad design/quality issues that the Escort does not. Note that this is my second V1 (I bought my first in the late 90s) and these appear to be relatively recent changes. First, whoever thought of the V1’s “quick eject” fuse is an idiot. I’ve never replaced a fuse in any radar detector and is a very rare event for almost everyone, so I don’t understand why Valentine thought this was a good idea. The V1’s fuse eject lever easily catches on items such as cigarette lighter covers, causing the fuse to eject, often without being noticed until some time later. This is akin to having a car battery quick eject that drops the battery if you slam the door too hard. This has caused me to become quite irked, as you can imagine, especially when I’m in a hurry.

    Second, the windshield mount suction cup/release bar design is very low quality. My previous V1 was larger than the current V1 and had larger suction cups. With the smaller V1 the bar easily slips out, which is facilitated by the cheaply made suction cups falling apart. I lost the bar within a couple months of purchase, and shortly after that the suction cups started falling out of the windshield mount. I still had the original suction cups l from my old dead Escort and, with a little bit of trimming, replaced the V1 suction cups with the Escort’s. The suction cups never fell out of my Escort.

    Third, the V1’s windshield bracket is now weak and no longer able to hold the V1 in place on bumpy roads. Again, I owned my Escort longer than this and its design did not have this problem.

    Finally, Mike Valentine’s statement concerning using GPS to block junk signals is crap, essentially saying “more info = bad”. It works fine with the Escort and could be made even better with development – compare this to the multiple signals I get going through some areas with the V1, which I ignore because it HAPPENS EVERY TIME. I’m guessing Valentine wants to continue riding the cash cow and not sink a dime into new development.

    With all of these problems, I would hesitate to purchase another V1.


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