Weird Frequency?

RadarScout

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Friday I got a 23.9xx K band signal from a local LEO. It was about half a mile through some heavy vegetation, so no over driving of the detector. This is the second time in the past month I've seen this. If the radar gun is that far out of tune, is it even considered legitimate as for writing a ticket? Sounds like the local police aren't keeping their equipment tuned.
 

KASHER1979

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Friday I got a 23.9xx K band signal from a local LEO. It was about half a mile through some heavy vegetation, so no over driving of the detector. This is the second time in the past month I've seen this. If the radar gun is that far out of tune, is it even considered legitimate as for writing a ticket? Sounds like the local police aren't keeping their equipment tuned.
I think you can fight the ticket if it's not tuned up and maybe win. That is bad out of tune. lol
 

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If a gun that's running in the 23.9s leads to the LEO taking an interest in you and you not being aware; fighting against an out of tune gun just adds hassle to your life.

Better to be able to detect it, avoid the hassle altogether, and focus on other concerns.

This is similar in a way to the 24.200± guns I've been seeing. There's too many for it to be happenstance. I believe they are being tuned intentionally high or low.
 

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That is way too low for legit K band. Yikes.

I know the Stalker Patrols are 24.0XX range but in the 900's that's bananas
 

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There's too many for it to be happenstance. I believe they are being tuned intentionally high or low.
I think Occam’s razor applies here. It seems far more likely their units are simply out of adjustment, but since they’re still working fine they have no idea. Hopefully soon enough Theia will make the whole thing a non issue either way.
 

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I will preface with, I don't know squat about the law concerning police radar usage, I have never been an LEO or in the police radar business, so below is all a guess.

I believe an officer in the field just performs a tuning fork test, logs the results, and that is the daily, or watch to watch, check for operation. If you go to court and anyone challenges the findings the police produce three documents, the log of daily, or watch to watch, checks done with the tuning forks, the documentation of the last time the radar gun was certified by an external lab or facility, and the officers certification / training to operate the radar. There is probably not a certification that the gun is on or off freq, just that it performed speed measurement as required.

But lets look at the technical end of what happens when a gun shifts frequency and the officer uses tuning forks to check it.

Assuming the gun was originally on 24.150 GHz. The gun is internally configured so that Doppler rates match speeds at 24.150 GHz. For example, 55 MPH is 3958 Hz (rounding tones off to the closest full Hz here) of shift and 30 MPH is 2159 Hz of shift. It shipped with two tuning forks, maybe 55 MPH and 30 MPH. The 55 MPH fork would be cut to produce a tone of 3958 Hz, the 30 MPH fork would produce a tone of 2159 Hz.

Now, if the gun is on 23.950 GHz the internal Doppler rate curve is still probably set for 24.150 GHz. 3958 Hz of shift will still show as 55 MPH on the gun, and 30 Hz of shift will still show as 30 MPH on the gun. Using the original tuning forks all will show good. However, it is no longer accurate. Because at 23.950 GHz 55 MPH would be 3926 Hz of shift, and 30 MPH would be 2141 Hz of shift. So the "real" speeds of the original tuning forks at the new frequency are 30.25 MPH for the 30 MPH fork, and 55.45 MPH for the 55 MPH fork.

Very small errors, and shifted up in speed, meaning the error is in your (the speeders) favor.

Technically it can easily be argued that the gun is still plenty accurate for the task. My biggest question would be the "certification" of the gun from the lab / technical facility that last certified it.

If the OEM specifications for the gun have a tuning range (example 24.150 GHz +/-200 MHz) or the service manual used in its certification has such a range, and the current frequency is within that range, there really is no argument.

The FCC has a specific allowable tuning range for each frequency, but this may, or may not, be the same as the technical specifications in the service manual or as designed. The users manual may have an allowable tuning range also (typically the same as the FCC allowable range), but again, this may, or may not, be the same as the service manual or the design specifications.

The FCC allowable range is, per 47 CFR Part 90.103, 24.050 to 24.250 GHz. While I would assume that is the designed performance range of the radar, that is an assumption. If that is what is in the service manual then it could be argued that the radar is no longer certified, it no longer meets the documented performance requirements.

The 2nd question to me would be authority to operate, as much as certification or accuracy.

The FCC authorizes operation based on frequency and other technical requirements, police use / service is no different. As long as you meet those requirements you have authority to operate. When you no longer meet those requirements you no longer have authority to operate.

A radar operating in the 23.9XX range would not be in the authorized 24.050 - 24.250 GHz range, and would have no authority to operate under Part 90. It may have authority under other Parts, I do not know, but its Part 90 authorization is void. For many guns I am not aware of any other Part that allows this kind of radiolocation operation by the Police.

Part 15 may allow operation outside the Part 90 authorized range, I mean below 24.050 GHz, but most police guns I have seen are Part 90 certificated, and the low power guns and unattended highway K band buzzers are Part 15.

If the gun or model number carries a Part 90 certification and is on 23.9XX GHz I would say it is probably not authorized for use under FCC regulations. On the other hand, the mentioned 24.200 GHz guns should still be legal.

So the impact is two fold, is it still meeting its performance requirements, operating within its certified frequency range of operation? Possibly not, I would say probably not, but without documentation you can't be sure. Is it still authorized for operation under FCC regulations? Probably not, but can be confirmed by the model number and required FCC certification sticker or FCC ID number.

T!
 
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RadarScout

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I will preface with, I don't know squat about the law concerning police radar usage, I have never been an LEO or in the police radar business, so below is all a guess.

I believe an officer in the field just performs a tuning fork test, logs the results, and that is the daily, or watch to watch, check for operation. If you go to court and anyone challenges the findings the police produce three documents, the log of daily, or watch to watch, checks done with the tuning forks, the documentation of the last time the radar gun was certified by an external lab or facility, and the officers certification / training to operate the radar. There is probably not a certification that the gun is on or off freq, just that it performed speed measurement as required.

But lets look at the technical end of what happens when a gun shifts frequency and the officer uses tuning forks to check it.

Assuming the gun was originally on 24.150 GHz. The gun is internally configured so that Doppler rates match speeds at 24.150 GHz. For example, 55 MPH is 3958 Hz (rounding tones off to the closest full Hz here) of shift and 30 MPH is 2159 Hz of shift. It shipped with two tuning forks, maybe 55 MPH and 30 MPH. The 55 MPH fork would be cut to produce a tone of 3958 Hz, the 30 MPH fork would produce a tone of 2159 Hz.

Now, if the gun is on 23.950 GHz the internal Doppler rate curve is still probably set for 24.150 GHz. 3958 Hz of shift will still show as 55 MPH on the gun, and 30 Hz of shift will still show as 30 MPH on the gun. Using the original tuning forks all will show good. However, it is no longer accurate. Because at 23.950 GHz 55 MPH would be 3926 Hz of shift, and 30 MPH would be 2141 Hz of shift. So the "real" speeds of the original tuning forks at the new frequency are 30.25 MPH for the 30 MPH fork, and 55.45 MPH for the 55 MPH fork.

Very small errors, and shifted up in speed, meaning the error is in your (the speeders) favor.

Technically it can easily be argued that the gun is still plenty accurate for the task. My biggest question would be the "certification" of the gun from the lab / technical facility that last certified it.

If the OEM specifications for the gun have a tuning range (example 24.150 GHz +/-200 MHz) or the service manual used in its certification has such a range, and the current frequency is within that range, there really is no argument.

The FCC has a specific allowable tuning range for each frequency, but this may, or may not, be the same as the technical specifications in the service manual or as designed. The users manual may have an allowable tuning range also (typically the same as the FCC allowable range), but again, this may, or may not, be the same as the service manual or the design specifications.

The FCC allowable range is, per 47 CFR Part 90.103, 24.050 to 24.250 GHz. While I would assume that is the designed performance range of the radar, that is an assumption. If that is what is in the service manual then it could be argued that the radar is no longer certified, it no longer meets the documented performance requirements.

The 2nd question to me would be authority to operate, as much as certification or accuracy.

The FCC authorizes operation based on frequency and other technical requirements, police use / service is no different. As long as you meet those requirements you have authority to operate. When you no longer meet those requirements you no longer have authority to operate.

A radar operating in the 23.9XX range would not be in the authorized 24.050 - 24.250 GHz range, and would have no authority to operate under Part 90. It may have authority under other Parts, I do not know, but its Part 90 authorization is void. For many guns I am not aware of any other Part that allows this kind of radiolocation operation by the Police.

Part 15 may allow operation outside the Part 90 authorized range, I mean below 24.050 GHz, but most police guns I have seen are Part 90 certificated, and the low power guns and unattended highway K band buzzers are Part 15.

If the gun or model number carries a Part 90 certification and is on 23.9XX GHz I would say it is probably not authorized for use under FCC regulations. On the other hand, the mentioned 24.200 GHz guns should still be legal.

So the impact is two fold, is it still meeting its performance requirements, operating within its certified frequency range of operation? Possibly not, I would say probably not, but without documentation you can't be sure. Is it still authorized for operation under FCC regulations? Probably not, but can be confirmed by the model number and required FCC certification sticker or FCC ID number.

T!
Believe it, or not, I was actually able to follow that.:golfclap:
Since I've lived here my entire life and have never seen the frequency that low, I think I can assume it's not that way by design, thus making it unlikely that the LEO has any special certification to be using the dash mount at that level.
Not too long ago, I remember seeing one in the 24.0xx range. I wonder if it's the same gun that's continuing to fade. Could it be a gun that's about to close its eyes for good?
 

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I think Occam’s razor applies here. It seems far more likely their units are simply out of adjustment, but since they’re still working fine they have no idea. Hopefully soon enough Theia will make the whole thing a non issue either way.
I've seen too many (mostly eastern TN) that are right in the 24.195 to 24.205 range. That's not likely just out of tune. The 23.9xx might be though.
 

Token

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I've seen too many (mostly eastern TN) that are right in the 24.195 to 24.205 range. That's not likely just out of tune. The 23.9xx might be though.
24.195 to 24.205 is still well within the authorized band.

I have not been paying attention to police radar frequencies in detail long enough to have seen, but like some vendors in Ka use specific frequencies, maybe some in K also do? The Ka vendors could all use anything from 33.4 to 36.0 Ghz, both the hardware (in most cases) and the law (all cases) would allow that. But we see some specific vendors on 33.8, some others on 34.7, and yet others on 35.5 GHz. This makes sense, you need to optimize your production and your QA / final alignments to some specific frequency, so whatever one you pick becomes "your" company freq.

The K band allows anything from 24.050 to 24.250 GHz. This is often stated as 24.150 +/- 100 MHz. But, there is no reason to stay in the center. You want to stay slightly away from the band edges so that as a radar heats and cools during the day it does not leave the authorized band, but 50 MHz should be more than enough for that, I would think roughly 25 MHz should be enough. A specific vendor could easily pick 24.200 GHz as their "center" freq for final QA / alignment.

Also, for front and rear antennas you should pick two different freqs. Here I see a lot of F/R spacing of 50 or 60 MHz. Even if you select 24.150 GHz as your normal center, the other center has to be something else, either 24.100 or 24.200 GHz would fit that very well.

T!
 

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I will preface with, I don't know squat about the law concerning police radar usage, I have never been an LEO or in the police radar business, so below is all a guess.

I believe an officer in the field just performs a tuning fork test, logs the results, and that is the daily, or watch to watch, check for operation. If you go to court and anyone challenges the findings the police produce three documents, the log of daily, or watch to watch, checks done with the tuning forks, the documentation of the last time the radar gun was certified by an external lab or facility, and the officers certification / training to operate the radar. There is probably not a certification that the gun is on or off freq, just that it performed speed measurement as required.

But lets look at the technical end of what happens when a gun shifts frequency and the officer uses tuning forks to check it.

Assuming the gun was originally on 24.150 GHz. The gun is internally configured so that Doppler rates match speeds at 24.150 GHz. For example, 55 MPH is 3958 Hz (rounding tones off to the closest full Hz here) of shift and 30 MPH is 2159 Hz of shift. It shipped with two tuning forks, maybe 55 MPH and 30 MPH. The 55 MPH fork would be cut to produce a tone of 3958 Hz, the 30 MPH fork would produce a tone of 2159 Hz.

Now, if the gun is on 23.950 GHz the internal Doppler rate curve is still probably set for 24.150 GHz. 3958 Hz of shift will still show as 55 MPH on the gun, and 30 Hz of shift will still show as 30 MPH on the gun. Using the original tuning forks all will show good. However, it is no longer accurate. Because at 23.950 GHz 55 MPH would be 3926 Hz of shift, and 30 MPH would be 2141 Hz of shift. So the "real" speeds of the original tuning forks at the new frequency are 30.25 MPH for the 30 MPH fork, and 55.45 MPH for the 55 MPH fork.

Very small errors, and shifted up in speed, meaning the error is in your (the speeders) favor.

Technically it can easily be argued that the gun is still plenty accurate for the task. My biggest question would be the "certification" of the gun from the lab / technical facility that last certified it.

If the OEM specifications for the gun have a tuning range (example 24.150 GHz +/-200 MHz) or the service manual used in its certification has such a range, and the current frequency is within that range, there really is no argument.

The FCC has a specific allowable tuning range for each frequency, but this may, or may not, be the same as the technical specifications in the service manual or as designed. The users manual may have an allowable tuning range also (typically the same as the FCC allowable range), but again, this may, or may not, be the same as the service manual or the design specifications.

The FCC allowable range is, per 47 CFR Part 90.103, 24.050 to 24.250 GHz. While I would assume that is the designed performance range of the radar, that is an assumption. If that is what is in the service manual then it could be argued that the radar is no longer certified, it no longer meets the documented performance requirements.

The 2nd question to me would be authority to operate, as much as certification or accuracy.

The FCC authorizes operation based on frequency and other technical requirements, police use / service is no different. As long as you meet those requirements you have authority to operate. When you no longer meet those requirements you no longer have authority to operate.

A radar operating in the 23.9XX range would not be in the authorized 24.050 - 24.250 GHz range, and would have no authority to operate under Part 90. It may have authority under other Parts, I do not know, but its Part 90 authorization is void. For many guns I am not aware of any other Part that allows this kind of radiolocation operation by the Police.

Part 15 may allow operation outside the Part 90 authorized range, I mean below 24.050 GHz, but most police guns I have seen are Part 90 certificated, and the low power guns and unattended highway K band buzzers are Part 15.

If the gun or model number carries a Part 90 certification and is on 23.9XX GHz I would say it is probably not authorized for use under FCC regulations. On the other hand, the mentioned 24.200 GHz guns should still be legal.

So the impact is two fold, is it still meeting its performance requirements, operating within its certified frequency range of operation? Possibly not, I would say probably not, but without documentation you can't be sure. Is it still authorized for operation under FCC regulations? Probably not, but can be confirmed by the model number and required FCC certification sticker or FCC ID number.

T!
Had to read this twice in my Saturday afternoon inebriated state of omg it is effing too hot outside to do anything......sorry...train ran off topic.....can easily see your explanation parlaying into a dismissal via a well educated argument with documentation.
 

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24.195 to 24.205 is still well within the authorized band.
Agreed.
A little background real quick on this subject because this is a slightly different point than what it sounds like you might have been thinking I was talking about. :)

A couple of years ago I noticed an increase in K-band usage in some of my travels and a portion of those guns were right in the 24.200± range instead of the typical 24.150 (or 24.125) that I had been seeing prior.

I started reporting these occurrances and it came as a pretty big surprise to many.
Since it started, I've seen even more of them all in the same areas as the first.
I've suggested that these group of K-band guns are being tuned higher than normal either by the manufacturer or the neighboring counties that are using them.

Related to that observation for which nothing else is currently known; I'm suggesting that there might be a "trick" employed by some LEOs in which the guns are being tuned to known weak spots in some detectors. That's all. :)
 

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Related to that observation for which nothing else is currently known; I'm suggesting that there might be a "trick" employed by some LEOs in which the guns are being tuned to known weak spots in some detectors. That's all. :)
You think the donut snacking crowd is going to put that much work into revenue enhancement? :happyanim:
 

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In the areas I'm seeing the majority of 24.200± I'm also seeing a lot of sneaky parking/hunting spots, totally unmarked cars, heavy presence, and a wholesale switch from Ka back to K.
I think it's likely.

BTW @FastStevie, as a fellow Accord driver you might appreciate that I now have 114,454 miles on my 2018 that I bought 6/29/18. Just changed out the chrome grill piece for a JDM style black grill last Saturday. :)
 
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All this scientific stuff is fine and dandy, but lets assume you get a ticket from an out of spec gun - how do you really go about fighting it, if a valid certification is provided (assuming you are not in NY where you can only challenge the certification in extremely limited circumstances)?

So during discovery they provide you a certification - and then you say "well my radar detector........" and then 5 minutes later you walk away with a found responsible ruling on your ticket.
 

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All this scientific stuff is fine and dandy, but lets assume you get a ticket from an out of spec gun - how do you really go about fighting it, if a valid certification is provided (assuming you are not in NY where you can only challenge the certification in extremely limited circumstances)?

So during discovery they provide you a certification - and then you say "well my radar detector........" and then 5 minutes later you walk away with a found responsible ruling on your ticket.
I assume the argument would have to be his radar gun isn't accurate because it hasn't been tuned according to the manufacturer specs. But you're still at the mercy of the officer being honest and saying the gun is out of spec. Tricky road for sure.
 

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I assume the argument would have to be his radar gun isn't accurate because it hasn't been tuned according to the manufacturer specs. But you're still at the mercy of the officer being honest and saying the gun is out of spec. Tricky road for sure.
There is no way for the LEO to know this. In the states where such an argument is allowed in court, all the LEO has to know is that the tuning fork test was good before the shift and after the shift - How could we expect that they know the frequencies it transmits, let alone the acceptable range?

If you testified that your radar detector said it was out of Spec, the prosecutor would simply provide the valid certification saying all the rules were met - passed the fork test and was certified in the last year.

If there was no valid certification, during discovery you would find that out and most likely get a quick deal or your ticket just gets tossed.

Also a radar detector is not a court recognized device to determine the calibration of any radar gun. How does the court or prosecutor know the error was not on the detectors side - which any good prosecutor would argue quickly ? Its not prudent to spend the time or money to get the court to accept that the detector's shown frequency is valid, especially considering the gun probably has a valid cert anyhow.

I cannot think of hardly any scenarios where the court would take the testimony from a regular joe detector user that the gun was out of Spec, when the annual certification is provided from the unit used to measure your speed.

In some areas (NY) it gets worse, all the LEO has to say is that he is trained to determine speed and they visually saw you speeding - and oh, btw the radar gun said you were speeding when I checked, if they even bother to mention that.

I wish this was something we could use in court, I just don't see it being all that helpful and could be even detrimental mentioning your radar detector to defend a speeding ticket.
 

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Remember (police) K band allows 100 Mhz up or down from center frequency, whether it is 24.125 Ghz or 24.150 Ghz. So theoretically 24. 025 to 24.225 Ghz is in allowable variance just as 24.050 to 24.250 is within allowable variance. anything outside of those I would be suspect of.
 

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OK, I have no background in law and this is pie in the sky conjecture, I think it would be more expensive than just paying the ticket, taking the class, whatever is required. And who is going to fight a simple speeding ticket that hard? But, discussion for the sake of discussion.

Lets not worry about fighting the speed certification or accuracy of the radar. The periodic certification and tuning fork test would testify that the officer in good faith and to all indications thought the radar was accurate. And in fact I am confident that even a very badly out of tune gun, way off frequency, could still give a relatively accurate indication of speed.

Instead look at the question of if the officer had authority to use the radar at the time it was used. Was he in violation at the time of the cite?

Police are authorized to use K band radar under 47 CFR Part 90. Part 90.103(a)(1) specifically authorizes "local government activity" to use radiolocation (radar) if it meets the specifications defined in that section. This is "authorization by regulation", no specific license or certification is required to be on file or in your possession, as long as you meet the technical requirements presented in the regulation.

There is no way for the LEO to know this. In the states where such an argument is allowed in court, all the LEO has to know is that the tuning fork test was good before the shift and after the shift - How could we expect that they know the frequencies it transmits, let alone the acceptable range?
The FCC has repeatedly, and courts agreed, ascertained that if you are operating a transmitter without proper authority you are in violation of Federal statutes. You do not have to know you are in violation or that the equipment does not meet specifications for your authorization to operate to be void. In the past arguments of "I did not know" or "I thought it was fine" or "I was told it was OK" have not held up in court for the purposes of determining authorization. Such factors have been considered for the penalty portion of the argument.

That means that if your equipment does not meet the FCC regulations then it is not legal for you to use the equipment, even if you think it is legal. Your authorization to operate is void and you are operating the equipment illegally. If you did not know at the time you may not be prosecuted for such operation, but your operation was indeed illegal at the time and any future operation would not be allowed until the condition was corrected.

If you are doing something illegal then any evidence obtained by that illegal activity may be inadmissible. Fruit of the poisonous tree and all. The question, in my mind, becomes the good faith exception, and does it apply. Arguing that kind of point is why judges and lawyers exist.

If you testified that your radar detector said it was out of Spec, the prosecutor would simply provide the valid certification saying all the rules were met - passed the fork test and was certified in the last year.



If there was no valid certification, during discovery you would find that out and most likely get a quick deal or your ticket just gets tossed.
Again, not talking speed certification or ability to read speed.

My contention would be that my radar detector indicated there may be a problem with the radar, and unknown to the officer the radars technical specifications were in question at the time of the event. Other test equipment, laboratory calibrated equipment, could confirm the issue and the general findings of the radar detector. It would literally take minutes to confirm, and could be done in court if required, or outside the court and an affidavit filed.

I cannot think of hardly any scenarios where the court would take the testimony from a regular joe detector user that the gun was out of Spec, when the annual certification is provided from the unit used to measure your speed.
You are thinking of a case were the offender is defending himself, not a defense team intent on beating the case. Of course, in the real world no one would bother with that depth, but could it be done if someone really wanted to?

Would the court consider the opinion of an unbiased, unrelated, published SME in the field of radar development, operation, and maintenance? An expert witness? Would they accept a report based on such a person and calibrated test equipment that found that the radar gun was indeed out of the authorized frequency range by the specified amount. An amount that was not marginally outside the specification, but rather significantly outside the authorized operating band? An error that matched the indicated possible issue presented by the uncertified detector?

The entire K band is 200 MHz wide, centered on 24.150 GHz (defined in Part 90.103(b)). A gun operating in the 23.9XX GHz range would be at least 50 MHz outside the authorized band, an error of more than 25% of the entire authorized bandwidth.

In some areas (NY) it gets worse, all the LEO has to say is that he is trained to determine speed and they visually saw you speeding - and oh, btw the radar gun said you were speeding when I checked, if they even bother to mention that.
Of course, that is an entirely different matter. And by the way, other states allow visual estimation of speed also, some go as far as certifying the individual officer for such observations.

T!
 

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