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How Perfect Radar Detectors Work

Radar detector are small electronic equipment that identifies and give alerts to radar and/or laser signals. To understand exactly how a radar detector works, you need to understand the basic operation manner of basic radars, aka radars used by law enforcement. Even the best radar detectors and the cheapest and simplest radar detectors, such as a Cobra and a Valentine One V1 have same operation manner based on this understanding.


Radars are radio waves used to identify distance and speed of a moving subject. They are usually used in police’s radar guns to help determine how fast a car is moving. The wave moves at the speed of light and bounces back to the device once it hits an object on its way, such as a license plate bumper. The radar gun can calculate the distance between the device and a tree at an undetermined distance based on how long it takes for the radio wave to encounter the object and to bounce back.

If a radar gun is used to identify speed, the frequency of the returned signal is altered since the designated object is moving. When the car is moving towards the radar gun, the bounced back signal has a shorter distance. Hence the radio wave increases in frequency. This frequency change helps determine the speed at which the car is moving. In other words, the faster the car is moving, the higher the frequency.

A simple radar detector will detect radio emissions from basic radar guns. Essentially, radar detectors only receive radio waves. It picks up specific frequencies used by radar guns and give drivers sound or verbal alerts. Radar detectors are more ahead of radar guns due to the fact that radar guns cast a wide net of radar signal frequencies but only track one specific target at a time, radar detector can act more quickly to pick up on those signals before the car comes closer to the police to be tracked.

Radar guns emit radio waves of different kinds, namely X, K and Ka, and sometimes Ku in some European countries. A good radar detector must be sensitive to these types of radar frequencies.

An X-band radar has low frequency and a high output. Therefore, it can work from 2 to 4 miles away. However, there are other devices generating X-band such as garage door openers or microwave towers, which can cause false alerts many times if you’re driving in town.

K-band radar is the most common signal used in police’s devices. It has small wavelength. A radar gun with K-band radar can give accurate reading from 0.5 to 2 miles far. This can cause some trouble for radar detectors as the signal emitted is weak due to small wavelength. If yours is not an advanced radar detector, there’s no doubt that it will alert you only when your car has approached the police car too close to be caught. One of best K band detector is Valentine One V1. You can check Valentine One V1 review on famous website like radardetected.com

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