Laser Jammers – Buyer’s Guide

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Introduction

In the late ’90’s, some metropolitan cities throughout the US began adopting alternate tools, like Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), otherwise aptly called laser, to enforce speed regulations. Since the technology was new and the sparsity of its usage was minimal, radar detector manufacturers and other interested companies did not develop a countering process to combat laser. However, one entrepreneur in Washington changed the combat picture and set the stage for other companies to follow. In 1996, Peter Laakman, a CEO and chief scientist of a company called Synrad LLC., tasked his engineering team to design a laser emitting system to counter the laser used by speed enforcement agencies. This commitment grew from a series of speeding tickets he received from police using laser guns, instead of the traditional radar guns.

After a few months of research, Mr. Laakman and his team finally developed the widely known, and distinguished Lidatek LE-10 laser jammer. This laser jammer was the first true jammer available for retail. Due to its industrial strength laser, encased in a very sturdy aluminum case with mounts for securing to a license plate holder, the LE-10 had a premium price of more than $500. The LE-10 was classified, in today’s terms, as a brute force jammer, because it simply emitted a burst of 14mW 904nm laser at 2MHz. Essentially, this burst contrasted the vehicle so heavily in an aura of light that laser guns could not effectively identify the vehicle for acquiring a speed rating. The laser from the laser guns basically washed out when trying to attain a speed for the intended target. Unfortunately, the Lidatek LE-10 was produced in low numbers because the development team and Mr. Laakman took different career paths, which resulted in little to no management of this successful venture.

In the years that followed, laser gun usage slowly grew the US. On or around 2003, laser jammers began their entrance into the mainstream retail arena. Unlike the costly laser diode based LE-10, these new jammers were LED powered. Secondly, these new jammers were called “smart jammers,” because the jammer used look-up tables to identify the incoming laser gun, and re-transmitted embedded signals to prevent the laser gun from recognizing active jamming in progress. Some laser gun manufacturers made attempts at incorporating technology to alert the laser gun operator when a targeted vehicle was using some type of laser device. The Laser Atlanta was one popular laser gun used in Atlanta, GA, which had a “Stealth” mode to counter laser jammers. In this mode, which was enabled by the operator, would initiate the laser speed acquisition mode intermittently, in order to confuse the laser jammer.

Throughout this period from 2003 through 2010, jammers grew in popularity, and laser gun manufacturers continued to refine and develop ways to counter the jammers. This turbulent cat-and-mouse strategy was unbeknownst to many people, since there was no outside organization or entity discussing the evolving changes. Secondly, very few people had the interest or capability to acquire laser speed guns and conduct testing. As a result, laser jammer knock-off companies began appearing and tried to legitimize themselves in the market and profit off uninformed customers, by selling jammers that utilized expired laser gun look-up tables, or in some cases, no look-up tables and emitted some random laser pulses that had no jamming capability.

Until 2010, many people simply scoffed at the mention of a laser jammer, because a lot of uncertainty pervaded discussions about the legitimacy of some drivers stating how their laser jammer saved them against a real-life encounter with a speed enforcement agency. The lack of a notable and trustworthy laser gun jammer amongst the illegitimate knock-offs also added to the confusion of many prospective laser jammer buyers seeking to find a product that worked as intended. Around 2009 and 2010, small interest groups began taking aim at identifying which laser jammers were good and showed a favorable future, and which jammers were absolute garbage.

The purpose of the following short article is to inform readers and prospective buyers about the two most common and effective laser jammers on the market. Since laser gun manufacturers continue their attempts to change laser pulse rates on their guns or develop anti-jamming technology, we base our understanding and reviews of the  AntiLaser Priority (ALP) and the Stinger VIP Laser HD jammers from controlled tests by various m embers on our forum who have access to law enforcement grade laser guns. This cooperation amongst varying participants and random jammer units from members just like you, has led to our longstanding and unbiased source for laser jammer and radar detector information.

 


 

Laser Jammers

How Jammers Work

Laser Gun – Infrared Beam On Your Car

The following video shows viewers the circular area on a target vehicle that represents the infrared beam from a laser gun.

 

General Specifications for laser jammers

    • Transmitting diodes – 2 Types available
      • Laser (pulsed) @ 904nm ± 10nm, operating at 33MHz (note: this value can vary based on jammer manufacturer); CLASS 1M laser
        • Current standard among top performing jammers
        • Long-range
        • Examples: AL Priority (ALP), Stinger VIP Laser HD, Laser Interceptor, Blinder HP-905, Escort Laser Shifter Pro
      • Light Emitting Diode (LED)
        • Found in late-model jammers (2006 and past)
        • Weak in transmission power
        • Examples: Blinder M27/M47
    • Receiving diodes
      • Infrared: filtered and based on manufacturer
    • Operational range: -25ºC + 80ºC (-13ºF + 176ºF)
    • Power requirement: 10V – 16V (DC)
    • Update Methods:
      • Standard USB stick (AL Priority, Stinger VIP Laser HD)
      • USB cable (Blinder HP-905)
      • USB-to-RS232 (Laser Interceptor)
    • Alert Notification:
      • Audio & LED
      • Audio & Screen (with Bluetooth app on smartphone): AL Priority, and Stinger VIP Laser HD, Laser Interceptor
    • Modes
      • Active jamming mode
      • Passive receiving mode
      • Parking mode

Placement

Standard laser jammer placement (top view) of vehicle with front on right side

Standard laser jammer placement (top view) of vehicle with front on right side GREEN indicates a QUAD setup, while the BLUE front sensor represents a 5-head setup; PINK represents the CPU

Usage in the United States

As of 01 May 2016, the following states have regulations against laser jammer usage:

    • California
    • Colorado
    • Illinois
    • Minnesota
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Texas
    • Utah
    • Virginia

Despite these regulations against laser jammer usage, drivers use laser jammers to aid their driving awareness and alert them to speed traps.

Top Laser Jammers

As of the spring of 2016, the top laser jammers are the AL Priority (ALP) and the Stinger VIP LIDAR. These laser jammers have demonstrated a high rate of jamming a wide-range of laser guns, and their manufacturers have historically shown to maintain a consistency at developing firmware updates to counter new threats. Laser guns such as the Applied Concepts X-Series, or the Laser Atlanta Laser Ally, undergo firmware changes to pulse rates. As a result, laser jammers with old updates will not protect the driver from an encounter against an updated laser gun, despite the jammer from defeating it in the past. This ongoing battle for laser jammer manufacturers to remain abreast of changes has been the ultimate reason why some laser jammers have failed.

AL Priority (ALP)

The ALP gained its early popularity in Australia and Canada, where the laser jammer countered stationary laser guns like the Poliscan. During this time, the system, known as the AntiLaser G series at that point in time, employed a single-head setup and was equipped with a laser diode. Most jammers sold in this period, used LEDs, and therefore employed a dual-setup at the front of the car. The AntiLaser G series jammers had an impressive success record, and in 2013, the parent company, Radikal, dramatically changed the G series to what is now known as the AntiLaser Priority. Although the system changed in terms of hardware and software, the ALP’s notoriety came when it defeated the Digital Ally Laser Ally (DALA) compact laser gun and the Dragon Eye. This success set a precedent in the laser jammer industry, since the DALA had unique anti-jammer technology like low IR output and a very erratic and randomized pulse-rate (RPR). Secondly, no other laser jammer at the time could reliably defeat the DALA.

 

Key Features on the AL Priority
 Feature Description
Multi-head Control Box
L x H x W (4.80″ x 0.86″ x 1.97″)
Dual processor control unit; capable of accommodating 5 sensors (each sensor has a transmitter & receiver); radar and GPS compatible ports
Multi-function Control Set
L x H x W (2.20″ x 1.06″ x 0.24″)
Thin control panel for navigating and configuring the AL Priority; multi-color LED alert indicator; piezo speaker
High-power Laser Diodes
L x H x W (1.18″ x 0.55″ x 2.24″)
Class 1M, 905nm laser diode
Radar / GPS Add-On Optional module that enables the connection of a radar and GPS antenna
Supported detectors: Bel 975, Bel STiR, Bel STiR-M, Shadow Stealth, Valentine 1
ALP Radar GPS Plugin
ALPConnect Bluetooth Add-On Optional module that allows a wired or wireless connection to the AL Priority
– supports wired Control Set connection
– allows wireless updates to the AL Priority
– ALPConnect app provides users with a graphical depiction of the source of alerts and type
ALPConnect Module
Alerts The ALPConnect app (for Apple or Android smartphones) provides graphical overview of threats or obstacles (parking mode)
ALPConnect Screenshot

 Bottom Line: For drivers seeking a reliable solution to defeating laser gun threats in the United States and abroad, the AL Priority is an excellent choice. In addition to protecting drivers from old and new laser guns, or laser guns that get updated by their manufacturer, the AL Priority customer support is also very good. We have many members with positive feedback regarding the assistance from AL Priority’s representative, BestRadarDetectors (forum member).

 

Stinger VIP Laser HD

The Stinger VIP Laser HD has its initial roots in the radar detector segment in Europe. Beginning in mid-2000, the Stinger DSI was unequivocally, and still remains, the dominant radar detector in Europe. With its signature patch antenna technology, the Stinger DSI detected radar at great distances that other detectors could not match. With the entrance of laser guns into the speed enforcement community, Stinger Inc. began working toward a laser jammer solution. By 2012, Stinger developed the Laser HD jammer. After having a high success rate of defeating Poliscan units in Europe, the company decided to begin selling its radar detectors and laser jammers in the United States. In 2015, the Stinger Laser HD made its entry into the United States and faced the challenge of defeating variable pulse rate (VPR) guns like the Dragon Eye and random pulse rate (RPR) guns like the Dragon Eye Compact (DALA). After many months of testing, the Stinger VIP Laser HD finally defeated these laser guns. This string of victories against these very challenging laser guns is what distinguished the Stinger VIP Laser HD among a lot of other laser jammers.

 

Key Features on the Stinger VIP Laser HD
 Feature Description
Multi-head Laser Analyzer Box
L x H x W (4.331″ x 1.181″ x 3.228″)
Dual processor control unit; capable of accommodating 4 transmitters & 4 receivers
VIP Color Display
L x H x W (3.27″ x 2.08″ x 0.27″)
Thin control panel for navigating and configuring the Stinger VIP Radar and Laser HD
Stinger VIP Laser HD Threat
Thin Laser Fiber
L x Diameter (0.55″ x 0.12″)
High-powered Class 3R, laser diode; this thin fiber is sold optionally
Stinger VIP Laser Fiber
Laser Square (sensors)
L X H X W (2.126″ x 0.63″ x 0.63″)
High-powered Class 3R Laser transmitter, and receiver (pair shown)
Stinger VIP Laser HD Transmitter Receiver

 Bottom Line: The Stinger VIP Laser HD continues to evolve, since it is relatively new to the market in the United States. However, it currently is capable of defeating common laser guns as well as the new VPR and RPR laser guns commonly found in Atlanta, GA and parts of Canada. This laser jammer shares the same platform (Stinger Computer Center and Extension Box) for working together with the Stinger VIP Radar. As a result, the user can monitor alerts and configure their Stinger VIP Radar and Laser HD with the VIP Display. Overall, the Stinger VIP Laser HD is a top performing laser jammer, and the company provides first class customer support. Stinger Inc. remains committed to ensure their laser jammer is capable of defeating new and emerging threats, and because the company has demonstrated this pledge, it has distinguished itself as a highly capable laser jammer.

 


 

Notes