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Valentine One Radar Detector

Just picked up a Valentine One radar detector. It is replacing a broken 3 year old Cobra radar detector that was given to me for free. After using the V1 around town for a month and recently going on a 1200 mile road trip with it, I’d have to say that its performance is impressive and totally exceeds my expectations.

Why a Radar Detector?

I’d like go ahead and throw out there that I have always been interested in radar detectors. No, I don’t have one just so I can speed. I generally try not to go more than 5 mph over around town. I just think it is neat that I too can use a gadget to get the jump on people, whom in this case, are also trying to get the jump on me!

Why the V1?

I researched radar detectors off and on for a few years. I have watched as new ones out and I have watched manufacturers make promises and break promises. I have read dozens of reviews and field tests. What have I learned? That many high-end radar detectors have similar performance!

What Sets the V1 apart, Well Lets See:

Pros:
- Incredible detection range. It picked up Ka band from a LEO at over 3 miles on a long stretch of I95.
- Detects scatter equally as well. If a LEO is pointing radar perpendicular to the road, the V1 will most likely detect the scatter before you get in line of sight. It always detects a LEO who predictably sits in the same spot on the road by my house at least a half mile before I get in line of sight.
- Rear detection.
- Directional arrows. This is one of my most favorite features. I’ve already had a few LEOs sneak up behind me with their radar on and the V1 correctly identified the source with the rear facing arrow! Any other detector would have just beeped as usual leaving you clueless to which direction the threat was coming from!
- Hard magnesium case.
- Adjustable mute.
- Easy to read display, especially at night.
- Superior windshield mount.

Cons:
- False alerts, aka non-LEO radar. I knew going in to this that the V1 is very sensitive and would alert to the slightest bit of noise. I’m ok with that. You should have heard my old Cobra, it would never shut up! The V1 is the same way. I keep mine in “Advanced Logic” mode which is supposed to reduce the amount of X-band false alerts; but, I notice little difference. Most of the X-band “false alerts” I receive are legitimate X-band sources, just not from a LEO. I find it easy to reach up and press the mute button every now and then. If you don’t mind a chatty radar detector, you’ll do fine with the V1. If you think this may bother you, you may want to look elsewhere. My opinion is, I’d rather have a radar detector that picks up everything over one that decides not to report certain radar to you because it deems it unimportant…
- The V1 gets hot. According to the manufacturer’s website, the V1 has an operating temperature of 158°F. Since I live in central Florida, before I bought it, I did some temperature probing with a kitchen thermometer. On a particularly hot day (upper 90′s) with my truck parked out in the sun, the temperature inside my truck easily hits 150°F. I kinda went out on a limb with this one and got the V1 anyway. I was only able to find one article on the internet claiming that the V1 can get hot enough to stop functioning correctly. My V1 has reached these kinds of temperatures and has appeared to still function correctly. I know this because there is a K-band source close to work and the V1 has never not picked it up, no matter how hot it was. I guess time will tell.

A Radar Detector is Only as Smart as its User

I highly recommend the V1 for anyone looking for a good radar detector. Yes, the price is a little steep, but I’m fairly confident in the saying “You get what you paid for.” Especially with these radar detectors. Cobra? Forget about it. Whistler? Don’t waste your money.  GPS on-board? Please, LEOs already know that people turn their X-band detection off to make their detector less chatty and because most LEOs don’t use X-band anymore. LEOs are already dusting off these old radar guns and blasting unsuspecting people with X-band. Don’t you think it’s a matter of time before LEOs start parking in a Walgreens parking lot and blasting people who set their detector to ignore the area around that Walgreens? I’ve never had a problem spotting LEOs that are sitting out in the open with their radar guns set to continuous on, it’s the sneaky LEOs I’m worried about. GPS-enabled radar detectors have their pros and cons but are still ridiculous and unnecessary. Until they get GPS and cell phone capability and can send LEOs locations to other detectors, I’m not buying the hype. People must think most LEOs are dumb… Don’t get me wrong though, I’m positive that a high-end Bel or Escort will more than please you too.

Tips for Mounting your Radar Detector

Tip #1: mount your radar detector as high as possible. Yes this means that your detector is further away from your headlights/front license plate which means that it’ll reduce the changes of it detecting laser; but, if your detector alerts you to laser, the LEO already has your speed and you can’t do anything about it. The V1 has a record of beating other radar detectors in the laser department as much as 100%. Mounting your radar detector high on the windshield gives it clear line of sight of the road, puts it higher on the horizon so it has a higher probability of coming into view of a radar source quicker, moves it away from the hood which can reflect interference from the sun directly into the detector, and reduces the chance of a thief spotting it on your windshield. Every time I see someone with their radar detector mounted on their dash or at the bottom of the windshield, I can’t help but laugh because they obviously do not know the meaning of the previous four statements and the physics behind them.

Tip #2: mount your radar detector level, i.e. not pointing up at a 45 degree angle and not pointing down at a 45 degree angle, LEVEL. I see people all the time with their detector mounted pointing at their hood or straight up in the sky. They might as well put electrical tape over the front of it, it would work equally as well! It baffles the mind!

Tip #3: directly wire your radar detector into your car’s electrical system. In my opinion, having a coiled up wire flopping around my dash is very annoying and looks bad. Also, it attracts thieves and if you think for one second that a thief won’t smash your window to snatch a V1, you are sadly mistaken.

Now go have fun!

Installation Pics:

Valentine 1 Installation Pic

Valentine 1 Installation Pic - Outside

Valentine 1 Installation Pic

Valentine 1 Installation Pic - Inside

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8 comments to Valentine One Radar Detector

  • bp

    Good choice. But it won’t pick up the cop behind you pacing you at 2:15am.

  • Haha, true, thus the quote “A Radar Detector is Only as Smart as its User.”

    Hopefully you’ll see that cop pacing you at 2:15 with your eyeballs ^_^

  • Julie and I frequently travel to North Carolina and Virginia, where the use of a radar detector in any vehicle is illegal. It just looks to me like the way you suggest mounting the radar detector can’t be easily taken down and put in the glove box (or whatever) when crossing state lines. I remember in your old truck, your radar detector just had suction cups, so it would just be popped off while driving.
    Also, I’m guessing this just has a laser detector, and not a laser jammer?

  • True, you’re not supposed to have a radar detector in states like Virginia. They’ll take it from you and possibly give you a fine (ok, definitely). You can get the new Bel Sti that isn’t detectable by the LEO’s radar detector-detectors; but, you still risk them seeing it in your windshield.

    As far as laser is concerned, the V1 only detects it. There are many laser blinders, jammers, and shifters that are supposed to block LIDAR. I don’t know if these could be considered reliable enough for the money and they come with a few concerns. First, most of them aren’t 100% effective. Second, it only works if the jammer is able to correctly (i.e. accurately match the frequency) generate enough interference to block the LEO’s gun from getting a reading. Finally, the LEO’s gun will actually tell him when it is being jammed or blocked and he’ll most likely come pull you over anyway. Rest easy though, there aren’t any laws concerning jamming LIDAR, only RADAR (the frequencies they use at least). So far I haven’t been shot with laser.

    The V1 I have now still has suction cups with a “quick-release” handle that allows you to easily take the V1 of the windshield in a hurry. I would still have to manually detach the power cord. If I wanted to do it long-term, I have enough room to poke the cord up in the headliner which would easily hide it.

  • Oh, yeah, I do see the suction cups now. I didn’t see them before.

  • Bob

    The V1′s tech is old. To recommend this detector w/o GPS should be a crime.

  • Hello Bob of the United States Naval Academy (we’ll keep it at that.. be nice, please post meaningful contact information). To suggest that the V1′s tech is “old” is incorrect. It has been upgraded several times since ’92 (firmware and hardware). To suggest that something “old” is somehow an indication of inferior performance is also incorrect and naive. The Bel STI is turning 4 years old, does it have old tech? A PC built 4 years ago is considered ancient by today’s standards… So yes, it must be true. Every radar detector on the market is “old.” They must all be ancient, behind-the-times behemoth monstrosities; and, don’t forget, old.

    Now about GPS on a detector. Your wording suggests that “this” detector has a GPS option. It doesn’t. If you read the part of the review pertaining to radar detector/GPS combination, I explain why this feature creates a false sense of security and give a very good example. I also suggest that you get a GPS-enabled detector if you don’t want 100% coverage. GPS radar detectors have a feature to permanently silence the detector when the user/some database decides that this location poses “no treat” to the user of the detector. Preposterous! To suggest that a LEO doesn’t know to/eventually hang out by automated, speeding ticket giving, non-represented tax machines to catch this sort of behavior is nonsensical. Another feature of GPS detectors to alert the user to speed/red light cameras. Well I guess we should just rip the “radar detector” out of the radar detector; because, if it is alarming, it couldn’t possibly mean that *gasp* there may be radar up ahead. Getting in the habit of ignoring the detector’s alarms or *thinking* a red light/area is safe because the detector didn’t alert to any treats in it’s GPS database, be it annoying or some other reason, is reason in itself that you need some other form of speeding ticket avoidance.

    While it may seem that I’m defending the V1 up and down, I’m not. I’m defending common sense thinking.

  • Mike

    for gps lookup Trapster. can use on either Garmin, Tom Tom, or PDA type cell phone in addition to the V1.

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