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You are here: DelonixRadar  >  Radar Detectors  >  Radar Detector Tests  >  Best Place to Mount Your Detector

Where is the best place to mount your radar detector?

Where is the best position to mount your radar detector? Down low on the windscreen, or up high next to the rear view mirror?  This is a highly debated topic amongst radar detector enthusiasts, with around 50/50 quoting each position.  We decided to do some testing...

 

Mike Valentine from Valentine Research in the USA states:

"Detector performance is enhanced by a high mounting position. Two reasons. For radar, a longer sight line to the horizon always helps. For laser, moving away from the hood and its sun reflections helps a lot."

Radar Roy from radarbusters states:

"If you have laser jammer, mount high, If not, mount low"

Our testing seemed to support the latter:

 

 

Multanova 6F 34.3GHz mounting test

 

First test we mounted a Valentine One radar detector in the grill, then drove past the speed camera and measured the alert distances over 4 runs.

 

Next we mounted the same detector low, and centred on the windscreen, with the third and final test with the detector mounted up high and centred on the windscreen.

 

Results:

Radar Detector

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

Average

V1 - Mounted in front grill

381m 394m 264m 260m 324m
V1 - Mounted Low on windscreen 383m 385m 375m - 381m
V1 - Mounted High on windscreen 201m 203m 204m 255m 215m

 

Click on any of the blue underlined links in the table above to watch the corresponding video of the test.

 

The results somewhat surprised us, especially the massive reduction when mounted up high.  We can only speculate at reason behind the figures; in that the Multanovas (operating on low powered, low divergence Ka radar) mounted on a tripod low to the ground, offer little reflection up the higher you go.  Mounting in the grill gave two maximum reading (out of any runs), but also had two lower readings.  We think that grill mounted radar detectors may be more susceptible to reflections (and blockages) from other cars.  No cars in your way, and you have maximum range.  Cars blocking the signal, and you lose 30% of your detection range.

 

Mounting up high almost halved the detection range (although mounting  against the windscreen up high and mounting on the sun visor gave different results as shown in test 3, run 4.


K-band 24.15GHz mounting test

 

Next test was using an Escort 9500i with an "around the curve" test.

 

Results:

Radar Detector

Orientation

1st

2nd

3rd

Average
Escort 9500i mounted low horizontal 101m 109m 115m 108m
Escort 9500i mounted high horizontal 94m 88m 99m 94m

 

Click on any of the blue underlined links in the table above to watch the corresponding video of the test.

 

Again the results surprised us, with the detection range around 10% less with the detector mounted high.

 

Laser 904nm mounting test

 

Finally we took our previous laser detection tests results and compiled just the windscreen detector results:

 

Results at 25m (82 feet):

Detector

Mounting Position

Test #

Right

Centre Mass

Left

Bel STi XR

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

Cobra 9330

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

Escort X50

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

Pro-78

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

XTR-690

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

Results at 50m (164 feet)

Detector

Mounting Position

Test #

Right

Centre Mass

Left

Bel STi XR

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

Cobra 9330

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escort X50

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

2

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

3

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-78

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

XTR-690

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

Results at 100m (328 feet)

Detector

Mounting Position

Test #

Right

Centre Mass

Left

Bel STi XR

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

 

 

 

Cobra 9330

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escort X50

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

2

-

-

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

3

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-78

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

 

 

XTR-690

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

3

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

2

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

Results at 200m (656 feet)

Detector

Mounting Position

Test #

Right

Centre Mass

Left

Bel STi XR

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

2

-

-

No Detection

 

 

3

-

-

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

4

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobra 9330

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

2

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

3

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Escort X50

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

2

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

3

No Detection

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

4

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-78

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

XTR-690

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

3

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

2

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

3

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

4

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

Results at 300m (984 feet)

Detector

Mounting Position

Test #

Right

Centre Mass

Left

Bel STi XR

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

2

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

3

-

-

Alerted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cobra 9330

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

3

No Detection

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

 

 

 

Escort X50

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

3

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-78

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

No Detection

No Detection

 

 

 

 

 

 

XTR-690

Low on windscreen

1

No Detection

Alerted

No Detection

 

High on windscreen

2

No Detection

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine 1

Low on windscreen

1

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

2

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

High on windscreen

3

Alerted

Alerted

No Detection

 

 

4

Alerted

Alerted

Alerted

 

 

Radar Detector % of alerts low % of alerts high
Valentine One 80.9% 66.7%
Bel STi XR 58.8% 37.5%
Escort X50 42.1% 38.8%
Cobra 9330 27.8% 22.2%
Whistler Pro-78 20.0% 6.6%
Whistler XTR690 5.5% 14.3%

 

With the exception of the Whistler XTR-690, all radar detectors Alerted to the laser gun MORE when mounted low on the windscreen.  It makes intuitive sense that this would be the outcome, since the laser beam is very narrow (around 30cm diameter per 100m) and thus aiming at he front of the car could potentially miss the radar detector's laser sensor completely.

 

Conclusions:

 

Is this the final be-all / end-all decision for all cars and all radar detectors? No, of course not, but here at Delonix Radar we believe there is not as much substance to the argument that mounting high gives you longer range.  Certainly in our few tests we've seen the opposite.

 

So in our opinion, it's best to mount your radar detector low and centred on the windscreen.

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