|Tests & Reviews
Mounting Your Radar Detector
First off, it is a good idea to follow manufacturer's recommendations. Here is what the operator's manuals for the popular high-end detectors have to say:
Escort 8500 X50, BEL STi Driver, BEL RX-65:
"Using the Windshield Mount, mount your (detector) level, and high enough on your front windshield to provide a clear view of the road from the front and rear."
"Valentine One works best when mounted high in the windshield, and toward the center between the windshield pillars. Use your choice of windshield or visor mounts"
- Good for Radar: higher mounting gives you more "line-of-sight" with the targeting radar. If you do the math, one foot higher mounting gives you an few tenths of a mile extra, maybe even more than 1/2 mile. The average driver isn't likely to notice such a small difference in range, but it might help out in a pinch (detecting brief instant-on at long range)
- Good for detecting laser targeting vehicles ahead, since it can "see" through their windows better etc.
- Bad for detecting laser targeting you, since it is mounted further from the aiming point (front plate/headlight).
- Not as good for radar, but you might not be giving up too much.
- Good for detecting laser targeting you: closer to the aiming points(front plate/lights). More likely to give a laser warning when you are targeted, and you'll have time to slow down if they don't get a reading when you are first targeted, such as if you have a dark vehicle, are using VEIL, they aren't holding the gun steady etc.
- Not as good for detecting laser targeting vehicles ahead, since it can't "see" through their windows as well
Mounting in the middle might give you some combination of the above.
Other Things to Consider:
- If you don't have a laser jammer, but have a dark car, VEIL, etc, then consider mounting low. You'll have a better chance of getting a warning when you're being targeted, and might have a chance to slow down before he gets a speed reading.
- If you don't have a laser jammer or VEIL, and have a light-colored car that can be easily targeted by laser, then consider mounting high. You'll have a better chance of getting lucky with a prior warning when a vehicle ahead is targeted.
- If you have a laser jammer, then you are covered for laser pretty well. You might as well mount the detector high to maximize radar range.
- If you mount TOO low then you could obscure the rear radar or laser sensor on your detector.
- If you plan on leaving the detector in your vehicle, and theft is a concern in your area, then of course it should be mounted in a way that makes it the least visible from outside the vehicle. Many people in choose to hardwire the detector, and mount it high.
- You also might want to mount the detector so that is is easily visible to the driver, and also easy to access for changing modes, muting, etc. The less time your eyes are off the road, the better.