Q: Do I need a laser detector on the Road Angel 9000 to download updates?

A: The Road Angel 9000 doesn't need a PC because it has an inbuilt sim card to do it's downloads, it updates itself every few minutes. You need some way of downloading, whether it's a PC or a sim card to keep the static speedtrap database up to date. The 9000 uses a sim card so you don't need a PC.

For the mobile speedtraps(laser) you need either a laser detector or a laser jammer. Laser Jammers are far more effective at protecting you but require installing into the car. They will detect and jam the signal so the laser gun can't get a reading. This gives you some time usually around 8 seconds to check and reduce your speed if necessary. They are not illegal to have on the car or even to transmit infra red from the car, however it is illegal to obstruct a Police officer in his duty and that is if they can prove 'primary intent'. It's extremely difficult for them as the Laser Pro Park can be shown to be a parking sensor.

Laser detectors are far less effective but can be added to a 9000 for positioning on the windscreen. A laser detector will only warn you if it is hit by a signal, so it could be scatter from another car being hit or it could be you who is being hit and so would be too late and you would still get a ticket.

Q: I am considering a speed camera detector unit but I'm unsure which one to go for. My biggest concern is the mobile camera vans. I was told the Road Angel was best but on investigation the general opinion is that its not very good at detecting lasers either reliably or in time to slow down. Can you offer me some advice?

A: It is a popular misconception that any laser detector will pick up a laser gun before they are hit, this simply isn't the way that laser detectors work. Much like a TV remote, your TV has to be hit by the infra red signal before the channel will change. So your/any laser detector has to be hit before it will give you a warning, and of course by then it will be too late, laser detectors will only work in your favour if you can pick up reflections or scatter from a car already being hit. Other than that you will need to go for a 'garage door opener'. So for the job it does the Road Angel is probably the best, but yes the laser detector part does have limitations. Give me a call for more info. Or have a look here. LT400

Which is the best detector.
There isn't really a single best device, although a combination will give a good range of protection.
One of the laser diffusers plus a GPS device is the best value for money.
For more advice and sales on these products just call Stuart Cookson on the number above.

Is there any defence against laser.
Most radar detectors also have laser detection, as mentioned above laser diffusers are also available and are more effective at saving your licence than laser detection. The best ones on the market today(2004) are the Snooper SLD 920x and the Target LRC100.
Update - In 2013 these have been superseded by the Target LT400, Blinder Compact HP-905 and the AL G9 RX.

What are the bands I have heard about.
The bands used are X, K, Ka, and Ku, and then of course there is Laser.
X band is not used in mainland UK anymore so this band will only really give you false alarms. K band is the mainstay of most radar speedtraps. Ka is used rarely as is Ku. Ku is used in hand held radar devices, although the majority of handheld devices are now Laser.

What if I have a heated windscreen.
Heated windscreens of the type with the electrical heating elements generally will interfere with radio signals, so a weak radar signal may have difficulty being recognized by the detector. This problem can be overcome by using a remote type of detector such as the Bel 966. This detector mounts into the front of the car and has a small control box in the cockpit. A laser detector module can also be added to this device. Another system that can be used is a GPS device such as the New Road Angel, Origin b2, Micro Road Pilot or Snooper S4, again these can be mounted with a remote sensor to pick up the GPS signal.

What if I have a UV protected or climate control front screen.

Ultra Violet protected windscreens as seen on Renaults and some other manufacturers will also cause a similar problem as the heated windscreens.
Cars that are known to have these windscreens include but are not limited to :

Renault Laguna
Citroen Xsara Picasso
Citroen C5
Vauxhall Zafira
Some later model Mercedes

Customer Question.
I have had a Snooper SD815iS for the last 6 months or so.
One concern that I have is that I have passed many roadside speed detector vans in this time, but not once has the Snooper detected anything.
Is my unit faulty or am I missing something?
Hoping you can help.

these are the possible reasons,
the laser wasn't on,
the laser was on but pointed at somebody else,
the laser was on, pointed at your car, but aimed too low to hit the detector.

For further advice call 0161 355 1275.