How to test a Radar detector

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Gdrumm, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. Gdrumm

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Aug 29, 2008
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    Yesterday, I picked up a Radar detector, and it came with the 12V AC cigarette lighter plug.

    I plugged it in, and by all appearances, it seems to work.
    The light comes on, the sensativity adjustment works, and the needle moves.
    When turning it on, it makes a few squeeks and squeels, and then settles down as though it is in a scanning mode.

    How can I bench test it?

    I don't want to go speeding through town after town to see if it really works.
    I'm not a Type A person anymore.

    Thanks,
    Gary
     
  2. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,103
    3,038
    Haha, well you don't have to be speeding for a police radar to set off your detector. Does your town use those little radar trailers? They set them in place where folks tend to drive too fast and it shows drivers how fast they're going without having to tie up a cop in his cruiser. If you could find one you'd have your test.
     
  3. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    You will also pick up automatic door openers at drugstores, churches, hospitals.
    The radar at one airport sets mine off. Fortunately it is aimed up so it doesn't pollute much area at ground level.
     
  4. MikeA

    Member

    Jan 20, 2013
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    Is it radar or just an active infrared sensor? Back in the day (90's) I had a detector that went off everywhere. I don't remember the band that was triggered. In residential areas. Maybe motion detection solutions back then were active?
     
  5. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    As far as I know, the radar detector in my car does not detect infrared radiation and airports do not use infrared radar.
     
  6. MikeA

    Member

    Jan 20, 2013
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    What technology are "automatic door openers" then? :D

    I was under the impression that infra-red is one of the key bands "anti-radars" pick up. One of the most popular radar gun technologies used by cops is an infra-red laser as far as I know.
     
  7. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    For the curious at heart this is a good read on the subject. Being super new to this forum I don't want to manage to break a rule on day one. :)
    Police radar uses a variety of microwave bands, additionally beyond microwave frequencies there is also the newer LASER versions. It's not unusual for a radar detector to get excited around airports and remember airports use both air and ground radar.

    Ron
     
  8. Gdrumm

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    684
    36
    We occassionally have one of those trailers on Main Street.
    I'll keep the device handy and give it a test.
    Thanks,
    Gary
     
  9. Externet

    AAC Fanatic!

    Nov 29, 2005
    758
    57
    Try aiming it to a microwave oven, better if in defrost cycle.
     
  10. Gdrumm

    Thread Starter Distinguished Member

    Aug 29, 2008
    684
    36
    Interesting.

    What should I expect to see / hear from the Radar detecter?

    Thnaks,
     
  11. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    I would think nothing. The microwave ovens I am familiar with operate around 2.4 GHz. That is well below where police radar runs. However, home computer wireless routers (Wireless B) run around 2.4 GHz also. Anyway, a well made microwave oven should not leak any RF Radiation. The frequencies of police radar (other than LASER) are covered in the link I posted. A good radar detector will not false trigger, it should be selective and sensitive.

    Ron
     
  12. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    It's always a matter of how much attenuation you can achieve. Once upon a time, I checked Amana Radar Ranges for leakage. Best name brand in the business, and there was always detectable leakage within 4 inches of the corners of the door gaskets. We're talking about, "acceptable limits" here.
     
  13. Reloadron

    Active Member

    Jan 15, 2015
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    I agree, acceptable limits is what it is. There will always be some leakage. How did you test them? Years ago we would cut the leads off a NE2 lamp, tape it to an ice cream stick or drinking straw and run it around the door seals. A severe leak would also ionize the gas in a fluorescent tube, a small one. Now I may be wrong and since you have worked with these things you may know but early microwave ovens I think were 900 MHz before what I believe they are today which is 2.4 GHz?

    Ron
     
  14. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
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    Sooo long...
    Amana issued a factory standard leakage probe, but I don't even remember the range it measured, neither the frequency or the amount of power it was labeled for.
     
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