How Do Radar Detectors Work: A Guide on Things You Should Know?

How do radar detectors work

For many drivers, there is one thing that most of us are guilty of – speeding. Admit it or not, this is most probably one thing that you have done at one point in your life. Consider yourself lucky if you have not yet been caught for such violation. If you have been ticketed, on the other hand, you must have learned your lesson. With this, it will help if you can invest in a radar detector, which will help you to know where exactly the radars are.

In its simplest sense, a radar detector is a small device that detects radar. However, it is not as simple as how it looks like. If you are wondering how do radar detectors work, keep on reading the rest of this post and we will try our best to explain it in a manner that is easy to comprehend. By the time you are finished reading, you will most probably be left wondering why you have not yet invested in a radar detector.

The Basics of Radar Detectors

Before we go deeper into our discussion, let us first have a discussion of the fundamental things that everyone must know. With a radar detector, you will know when there is a radar present in your location. The most common type of radar that it detects is the one used by police to detect over-speeding. Therefore, you will be immediately alerted when there is a possibility that you will be caught. This is an indication that you should not go above the speed limit that is allowed by the law. This speed limit will depend on your specific location.

How It Works?

Knowing how to do radar detectors works will be essential to optimize its functionality. In this case, it is important to be familiar about radar. Radar utilizes radio waves for the monitoring of moving objects. It can also be used for the identification of speed and distance. This is possible through emitting what is technically known as a radio wave. Electromagnetic energy will be produced and will be reflected. The radio wave will be moving through the air at the speed of light. With this, the device will be able to compute the distance of the object depending on how quick the signal is returned to the receiver.

To measure speed, the standard police radar uses Doppler effect. According to this principle, the wavelengths will be shorter when the target approaches closer. Consequently, the wavelengths will be longer when the subject goes farther.

For the radar detector to monitor speed, it uses the amount of radio wave emissions as the basis. These detectors only basically function as a receiver of radio signals. They will be able to pick up certain frequencies that are emitted by radar devices. They will be able to pick up radio waves when you come near a radar that is used for speed monitoring. Since you will be alerted, you will be instantly reminded to go back to the speed that is allowable.

The effectiveness of radar detectors will be dependent on some factors. With this, one of the most important will be the frequency range. This simply refers to the distance that can be detected. The frequency detection should also be impressive. There are different frequencies that are used by radars. It will be good if you will use a radar that can detect a wide range of frequencies. Also, your radar detector must also be accurate so that it can detect only frequencies from radars that measure speed, and not from the ones that are found in garage doors, among others.

In most cases, however, it is not enough that you have a device that can be used to detect radar. This is a passive device. This means that it can be easily detected by the police, and hence, the authorities will know that you are using something to elude them. This makes it important to invest in one that has a radio transmitter, which will be capable of emitting jamming signals. This will replicate the signal that is used by the radar guns of the police. It will also be combined with additional noise. The result is that you will be left undetected by the police.

It should be noted that there are areas wherein the use of radar detector is illegal. This means that if you have been caught with such a device, you will face a penalty, which will depend on the existing laws within the jurisdiction. Companies have introduced radar detector detectors. Their simple function is to detect the presence of radar detectors so that police can go after them. With this, it is more important to find a detector that jams signals from the police, as it has been noted in the paragraph above.

Types of Radar Detectors

In knowing how do radar detectors work, it will also be good to be familiar with their different types, as well as the benefits and functions that they can deliver.

  • Corded: They are often installed on the windshield with the use of suction cups. They are the best when it comes to the range that can be detected.
  • Cordless: Portability is one of the benefits of this type of radar detector, basically because it can be easily used from one car to another. There is no need to exert any effort in its installation.
  • Remote Mount: If you have the money to spare, on the other hand, this is what you should choose. They are permanently installed in your car, but the good thing is that they are concealed.


By this time, I hope that the discussions above enlightened you on how do radar detectors work. This device may seem simple, but it can be a life-saver, especially regarding preventing the possibility of being issued a ticket. However, it is important to always drive safely! Do not be in a hurry. You will get there, anyway!

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