Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Severn, MD, USA
The radar unit range, or sensitivity, can be set back so that it does not pick up a vehicle's speed until it is close to the unit. Essentially, it prevents the microwaves being broadcast way down the road and keeps those with radar detectors from getting advance notice. The power supplied to the radar unit has no bearing on the microwaves broadcast.
Radar, unlike laser, cannot be aimed at an individual vehicle. The waves are emitted in a cone shape from the unit's antenna. Typically, the largest object moving in that cone will be the speed shown on the unit, imagine a motorcycle traveling at 65 ahead of a tractor trailer at 55. The unit will most likely indicate 55. HOWEVER, most newer units have the ability to discriminate between multiple targets. In the previous scenario, the 55 mph will show up in the target window, but the 65 will be shown in a second window. A group of m/c riding together at very close speeds, the unit will most likely show the lead bike as the strongest influence, hence the lead rider getting nailed.
Radar detectors are not infallible. No matter how much you spend on one, it will never beat the "instant on" feature of the radar unit, especially if you are the sole vehicle traveling on that stretch of roadway. The best use of a radar detector is to pick up the officer clocking someone else's speed and slowing down ahead of time. A lot of drivers/riders ignore these early warning signs, chalking them up to interference. I've written many a motorist with a radar detector. They've all been smart enough not to contest the citation, since I write, in bold letters on the citation, RADAR DETECTOR. Judges do not like to see that!
"We deal in lead, friend"
'04 K12RS (capri blue)
'07 Triumph Speed Triple
'00 HD Road King