GA RD Lidar Sensitivity Comparison Test, November 2015

Discussion in 'Countermeasure Testing & Related Videos' started by Vortex, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Vortex

    Vortex Making Videos Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

    So I had an opportunity to meet up with some fine folks at today's GA Lidar Test. Since they had a lidar test going on already, I brought a couple detectors and a few other people added theirs into the mix as well so that we could see how well the different detectors alerted to lidar.

    There were some unexpected surprises in this test, particularly what I saw with the various M5's/M6 variants.

    We ran two different tests:

    1) Every detector run individually against the DragonEye Compact

    2) Multiple detectors run simultaneously against the PL4

    Both tests were very illuminating.

    Here's the detectors and firmware versions we ran:

    Max360 1.2 (@Vortex)
    Max2 1.6 (@nicholat)
    GT-7 1.0 (@Vortex)
    Redline BS/RDR (@Hügel66)
    Magnum BS/RDR (@notblake)
    9500ix (@TheKhosenOne)
    Uniden LRD950 1.51 (@Vortex)
    Radenso Pro SE US9 (@Hügel66)
    K40 RLS2 (@RadarNinja)
    V1 3.8945 (@Vortex)

    Guns tested: DragonEye Compact, Kustom ProLaser IV

    Here's the results of the two different tests, grouped up as appropriate:

    Test 1) Running each detector solo against the Compact

    Every detector was mounted in the same spot, low on the windshield near the dash. This made it better for front detection but made rear detection nearly impossible because they were down below the headrests. This made things apples-to-apples in terms of placement, but there may be some run-to-run variation depending on any movement of the lidar gun. @notblake did a good job shooting my vehicle center mass with the gun resting on a tripod for stability. The test course was ~2,000 feet.

    Here's the highlights:

    V1: Lidar monster

    The V1 is insane and rightly deserves its reputation. It was the only detector that could pick the signal up the signal as @notblake was shooting me from behind with the Compact. It didn't alert the entire time, but the vast majority of the time. No other detector picked it up at any point. (It was the last detector I ran in the set and the only one to do this which is why I went "woo!" at the start of the video.) From the front it was also sensational. It even alerted up to point blank while other detectors would sometimes lose the signal once you got closer and the beam got more narrow and thus less detectable.

    I had issues with my V1's suction cups. They've become flattened over the years and no longer stick well. As such it kept falling off my windshield and I had to press it against the windshield from underneath. I was really concerned about that somehow impacting the results, so I'd let it run on its own as much as possible, quickly remounting it when it fell off. It was a bit of a mucky run, the only detector with this particular issue, but the performance should be clear nonetheless. :) Here's a video showing it in both directions.

    Max360, Max2, GT-7: Not all M5's/M6's are created equal?

    The Max360 did a surprisingly stellar job. It's no V1, but it did significantly better than the Max2, which did significantly better than the GT-7. It may be too early to say yet, but this is something that I think definitely deserves some more testing.

    The Max360 alerted soon after turning around and alerted down the majority of the course. It stopped alerting a fair distance before reaching the shooter as well.

    The Max2 took longer to alert initially and also stopped alerting far earlier than the 360. Take a look at the difference.

    After those two, I figured that maybe the Max360 really has been upgraded beyond the Max2, much to my surprise, despite the same looking internals as far as I could tell. Then I ran the GT-7 and it performed significantly worse than the Max2 even. It didn't alert until nearly the end of the course. uhhhh... What? Shouldn't those two perform similarly at least? Here's the GT-7 run.

    So yeah, I have no idea what to make of this. Run-to-run variation? Maybe. Would I see the same results with additional test runs? I don't know. Rewatching the Max2 and GT-7 runs, I noticed the GT-7 actually picks up the signal after the Max2 drops it, and the GT-7 holds it much longer. It's possible the lidar beam it was seeing was itself different between runs. This isn't like exactly like radar testing where a more sensitive detector will give you longer range, you know? Either way, this is way more of a difference than I was expecting and it's something I want to test further and I'd love to see others test this as well so we can compare notes.

    Redline and Magnum:

    Again not totally identical, but far more similar with the two M3's than with the two M5's and the M6.

    The Redline was about as perfect as they come from the front. As I was in the process of turning around, the Redline went off and it continued to alert until I passed the shooter. Excellent stuff.

    The Magnum went off a few seconds after I started driving back towards the source and started dropping it a second or two sooner than the Redline, but that may have easily just been a latch difference. Either way, very similar performance and a good show by both detectors. Here's a quick comparison showing just the initial alerts with the two detectors.

    Uniden LRD950: Nicely done

    The detector lots of people are looking at the LRD950 lately. It did a good job. It alerted right after I turned around to face the lidar gun and continued to alert the entire time, but it did drop the alert as I started to get closer in.

    K40 RLS2: Respectable performance

    Again did very well. Alerted as soon as I turned around. It dropped the signal before it got to the shooter so it didn't do as well as the V1 or M3's, but it still turned in a very respectable performance.

    RPSE & 9500ix: No alert

    Unfortunately neither the RPSE nor the 9500ix alerted to the Compact at all, even when shot directly. The 9500ix I can understand being older, but the RPSE needs to get on board. Realistically it's not a make or break thing and you'll still want jammers to handle the Compact in the end, so we could certainly argue how much of a difference (or not) detecting this gun is, but nonetheless...

    I didn't redo this test with another gun due to time constraints, though I would love to another time. :)

    Test 2) Running multiple detectors at the same time

    This was the very end of the test and we were pretty ready to head out and grab a bite to eat by this point. :) We talked about running multiple detectors simultaneously and all of us immediately kneejerked to the whole "don't test multiple RD's at the same time" thing, haha. :D Laser is different though since detectors shouldn't interfere with one another the way they do for radar. Placement will be a few inches apart for each detector so again it's not perfect, but I've never tried this before and was curious to see if it was a legitimate testing technique or not. :)

    I ran 5 detectors here, the Max360, Redline, RPSE, Max2, & V1.

    Since the RPSE was on board, I wanted to use a different gun I knew it would alert to so I asked for the PL4. @GA Speed was the shooter and shot me as I was reaching the end of the little side road we were on and then kept shooting me as I turned around and headed back towards him. This was a pretty quick run so I'll let the video do the talking.

    V1 is the champ again, but the Max360 jumps in with a rear detection as well, beating even the Redline. Very nice!! Redline jumps in as I turn around, then the RPSE, and then the Max2 decides it may as well join the party as well.

    So again the 360 does better than expected, and better than the Max2. Is it definitively better than the Max2 on lidar? I can't say for sure. Maybe a detector on the outside does better than a detector that's on the inside and has other detectors blocking its signal. I dunno. GA Speed was directly behind me but just a hair off to my left at this point so it's likely the 360 had a placement edge here. Just speculating here and trying to think of all the variables. More testing is needed to rule out any other possibilities.

    Again I think it's totally worth trying to swap detector locations to see if that changes anything, try other detectors, try other guns, etc. Just a matter of doing it.

    Either way, I think it may be likely that the Max360 is indeed better than the Max2 at lidar, but given what I saw with the GT-7, I can't say for sure because those two should have most certainly been identical and they weren't... so maybe there's something else going on that additional testing and test runs may help us determine. This is really just a sample size of one, but it's got my curiosity piqued. ;)

    A big big thank you to the GA testing group, to everyone who hung out and who provided detectors, to @notblake to @GA Speed who did the shooting for this particular test, and to @Stinger and @GA Speed for providing the test equipment. This is a great crowd of folks here. :)
  2. notblake

    notblake Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

    Awesome work, [MENTION=2404]Vortex[/MENTION]. Yes my magnum is the BS/RDR variety. :)
    Vortex likes this.
  3. TheKhosenOne

    TheKhosenOne In your rearview!!! Intermediate User

    Poor little IX. Today was just not my day lol
    Vortex likes this.
  4. Vortex

    Vortex Making Videos Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

  5. Jag42

    Jag42 TXCTG Advanced User Premium Member

    Great job fellas ! [MENTION=2404]Vortex[/MENTION] you can boil your suction cups for 2 min. I boiled my Uniden cups today. It seems to revive them.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
    GTO_04 and Vortex like this.
  6. RadarScout

    RadarScout Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

    Just to be clear; though seeing the distance with each detector, none of these would have saved in those circumstances, correct? They all would have been tickets on there own? I ask because I'm not up to date on the distance laser picks up a vehicle. Second, why do they drop the signal when you get closer? BTW, I thought the distance most of them picked up the laser was terrific. I always imagined it would be much closer to the source. Not much laser used in my area, so I'm not as familiar with it. Thanks for the tests.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015
  7. hiddencam

    hiddencam Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

    WTG Max360!! Don't you love it when testing shocks you!

    Sounds like Belscort has some production consistency problems though.
  8. notblake

    notblake Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

    Without jammers I can get your speed within 0.5 seconds most of the time if I can see you (out to 2,200 ft easily, anyway). What is your reaction time, and how much speed can you scrub off after you subtract your reaction time from 0.5 seconds? It's not a pretty picture, unfortunately. Jammers are the only way to have any kind of safety against laser.

    Now I will say that sometimes, it takes a second or more to get a reading on some normal cars (darker, sleeker cars especially). About 1 in 10 shots. Which is why JTK is so effective. But I wouldn't suggest that anyone bet on being in that 1 in 10.
    Eloi, Brainstorm69 and RadarScout like this.
  9. PointerCone

    PointerCone M3 Kng Advanced User Premium Member

    Yes they do. Mine has to go back to the motherland then, because when RR was shooting me at 1100 feet and less it sucked. Not even the arrow display lit up. This isn't the first time there's been consistency issues though.

    ---------- Post added at 06:39 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:32 AM ----------

    If an LEO gets you at say a 1/2 mile which is entirely plausible, you still have a chance since chances are he's going to shoot you more than once. There is a " tendency" by lidar shooters for some reason to keep on shooting even after the initial hit or alert. At <1000 feet, you're chances are not so good. Note too the the divergence at >2000 feet is enogh that he " could" be hitting the car next to you as well. Probable no, possible, yes. It's those closer shots at <1000 feet that 99.9% of the time you're toast.

    FWIW, the LE10 was not a total bust on our tests against the newer guns. RR did note that the lidar acquisition time did in fact increase for the units. Any time in our favor is good.
    Brainstorm69 and RadarScout like this.
  10. pipinos1976

    pipinos1976 PSL +5 Intermediate User

    I was driving from Salonika (2nd major city in Greece) to Athens. At a certain part of the route there are multiple tunnels. PSL is 100kmph between tunnels and 80kmph inside tunnels. I was driving at about 140kmph knowing that police, despite the 100kmph PSL, enforces it as if it was the usual 120kmph PSL (for highways PSL was 120 at that time and now it's 130kmph). I had just passed a tunnel and I was heading to another one when I got the first alert that lasted about 1-2 seconds. I reacted immediately by releasing the throttle and braking. Then, after 3-4 seconds, came the second alert. My speed was now about 110kmph. It was enough to save my licence. The cops never stopped me. Instead they stopped a car that was coming behind me. The only thing that saved me that time was an already old Snooper S5-R RD and the two measurements by the cops. So, after that incident, I consider laser detection as necessary as the radar detection.

    The gun used was an old ProLaser II and the distance they clocked me was about 600m the first time and about 400m the second time.
  11. nicholat

    nicholat Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

    Vortex [MENTION=2404]Vortex[/MENTION] You were using my max2. The max2 is at version 1.6 I updated back on 10/01/15 when I checked to see if there were any updates.
    Vortex likes this.
  12. Vortex

    Vortex Making Videos Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

    Thank you! OP updated. :)
  13. shifter

    shifter PSL +20 Advanced User Premium Member

    you got lucky.

    it's most likely they were looking for bigger fish and the second alert was scatter and they were targeting someone behind you.

    perhaps the guy they pulled over that was coming behind you probably at a much higher rate of speed.

    laser detection is just advanced ticket notice.
  14. notblake

    notblake Premium Member Advanced User Premium Member

    Oh I mean I've been saved by scatter on my ALPs once. But its like winning the lottery. If you win the lottery, great. But if your life plan is winning the lottery, you're screwed. :)
    RadarNinja and Vortex like this.
  15. pipinos1976

    pipinos1976 PSL +5 Intermediate User

    I was lucky that they wanted to confirm speed reduction as I was approaching the second tunnel. The driver behind me was way too far to receive scatter, especially with a cheap RD like Snooper S5-R. It has happened to me another time with double measurement (PSL dropping from 100 to 70kmph). I haven't seen scatter so far but it's natural if we consider greek conditions (speed traps with no traffic, usually one lane road etc).
  16. Vortex

    Vortex Making Videos Administrator Advanced User Premium Member

    So I just rewatched the video with a bunch of detectors running simultaneously and I just realized that I've been misinterpreting the results. I thought the Max360 did very well because it went off from the rear and that is true. It may just be due to placement with the shooter behind me and just off to the left.

    The part I missed is that the detector actually STOPS alerting right after I turn around (it has a fairly long latch) and then doesn't alert for quite a while as I'm driving right towards the radar gun. It goes off right at the same time as the Max2, well after the V1 and Redline go off. Based on that, the Max360 looks like it actually has the same laser performance as the Max2, not better as I thought.

    More testing is required to figure out the whole issue of if you get better sensitivity with the detector off to the side or whatever, but from the front, performance looks to be the same.
    GTO_04 likes this.
  17. te37

    te37 Learning to Drive...secretly Advanced User Premium Member


    Man your the king of radar equipment and testing, you are on your way to lidar king too

    RINGWAYMAN Learning to Fly Beginner User

    Nice test indeed.