Review by Joseph Keawkalaya
Some pictures are courtesy of Valentine Research
The Valentine 1 Radar Detector designed by Mike Valentine has to be one of the top radar detectors available on the market. At a MSRP of $399.00, this is by no means a cheap radar detector. Remember the age old axiom, "You get what you pay for?" Well, you are definitely paying for advanced features and performance. I have this currently installed in my 1995 300ZX Twin Turbo. I purchased the base unit and also the remote locator. There are other accessories available on their website, which incidentally, is the only place you can purchase a V-1 as it is called. The following is a description of how it works.
The Valentine One is able to detect radar from the front of the car, behind the car and to the left and right of the car. It is capable of searching out the typical X and K bands but also the all dangerous Laser or "instant on" radar and photo radar.
Ordinary radar detectors only detect radar in front of the car because they only have sensors in the front of the unit.
The V-1 has a sensor in the front and the back of the unit, therefore, it is able to offer 360 degree coverage.
The things that people look for in a radar detector is the ability to distinguish between false alarms and the real deal. Other important features is the ability to count the number of radar contacts, distance to the contacts, and what direction. The V-1 is able to do all of the above. There are three modes available to the user:
1) All bogey mode: V-1 will inform you of all contacts that it detects.
2) Enhanced logic: V-1 will use a built in microprocessor to filter out possible false alarms.
3) Total Logic: V-1 will use the most advanced algorithms to filter out false alarms, especially useful for use in metropolitan areas.
The V-1 has a built in bogey counter, signal strength indicator, arrows indicating direction of the contact, a single control knob for volume control, on/off, and mode selection, and has two sensors, one in front and one behind. This little guy has saved my butt on numerous occasions. On one trip to Southern California on Highway 5, there were 6 instances of CHP officers on duty. The V-1 picked out every single one and gave me plenty of advanced warning. It picked out a CHP cruiser in a rest area, a cruiser on an overpass, and one in front of a bridge that was hidden from view, to name a few. I swear by this device. I have tested other radar detectors by other manufacturers, and none of them come close. There was a review done by Car and Driver and in the February 2002 comparison test, it scored a 97 out of a possible 100 with the next competitor scoring a 73. Do your research and compare for yourself, but I am sure that you agree, the V-1 is worth the money.
The Valentine unit by itself.
Sensor facing in front of the vehicle.
The control panel and in the right hand corner is the sensor facing towards the rear of the vehicle.
Right side of the unit where the adapter is plugged into.
The left side of the unit.
I have the V-1 main unit attached to the windshield in a stealthy location by my rear view mirror. From the outside, you don't really see it because it is hidden by the tinted strip across the top of the windshield.
This is where my remote locator is mounted. This guy lights up and shows me what the V-1 is detecting. This turns off the lights on the main unit so that people following behind me don't see the unit light up. Very stealthy, just in case a law enforcement officer is following behind me. The remote locator is hardwired to the main unit which is in turn hard wired into a switched source. The radar turns on when I fire up the car. That way, I still have the use of my cigarette adapter for my cell phone and there won't be a long coiled wire plugged into my center console which would get in the way of my shifter.
For more information and how to purchase: http://www.valentine1.com
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