Are you buying Theia when it is available? (Poll)

Are you buying Theia when it is available?


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InsipidMonkey

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@InsipidMonkey posted it in another thread. If I remember, I think the number was under 20. It’s not as big as you think.
I think you're referring to this: https://www.rdforum.org/threads/98855/post-1424786
There are 86 currently approved radar guns, but most are no longer manufactured. Note also that many of these guns use the same antennas, so the actual number of emitters that need to be classified is much lower.
 

Heywood

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MikePA

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The way I see it the WORST case is that in the long run Theia has to revert to a more traditional detection scheme. I don’t see anything in the architecture that would prevent this. Even if it has to do this it should still be an exceptional detector. And of course the best case is Theia delivers as promised, and makes some real changes in the field.
If this were to occur, Theia would be a huge failure.
 

Token

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Rai doesn’t use frequency to ID the gun. It reads the components used in the gun and their unique fingerprint that the components that carried along the signal.

To be that badly damaged, the gun would probably be inoperable. Doesn’t matter how much it’s dropped. The components won’t change in the gun itself
I was not talking about frequency at all when I made my comment. It has been made pretty clear frequency is a low priority parameter, if considered at all, my assumption is they at least look at it, even if they do not classify by it.

I disagree pretty strongly with that last statement. There are likely a variety of failures that can impact phase noise, stability, settling time, unintended modulations, etc, and still leave a gun operational. Sometimes degraded (say reduced sensitivity from increased unintended modulation products, which an officer would never quantify, or reduced low Doppler performance from higher phase noise, which may show fine with a 35 MPH fork but fall on its face at 25 MPH), but operational all the same.

Transmitter fingerprinting relies on the system starting at a known point and allows for some variations around that known point. The variation parameters may be based on multiple samples and projection on sample set based on basic design parameters and components used. But it is improbable that it could account for every possible failure mode. Further, widening the allowable variations will increase the false alarm rate, so some risk management process must be considered.

Radenso my be using wholly new techniques to fingerprint, I don't know. But they have to start from some "nominal" normal, and allow outward from that.

Until we know exactly what features Theia uses you simply cannot say, with authority, that anything that can change a gun that much will render it inoperable. And what are the chances Radenso will tell us all the features they use to ID? Pretty small, I would think that is not something you want to share everything on. The basics, sure, the details, not so much. And I don't begrudge them that at all.

And note I am NOT saying this will be a problem, possibly Radenso has it all worked out. But it is one of the potential issues I will be keeping my eyes on.

This possibility will not stop me from getting one as soon as I can though. I want this device to exceed my expectations, but that does not mean I won't attempt to find out what its performance limits are once in hand. I have a spare K and Ka antenna that I am just itching to hammer on, to see how mangled I can make it, it continue to work, and Theia continue to yield good results. Why? Because I am curious.

T!
 
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Heywood

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I get what your saying, but all your shifts and modulation have to do with frequency.

im talking about the physical components in the gun itself.

Don’t worry about the antenna. Better beat the brains.
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True garbage, in garbage out.

Have a look, how RAI is doing it in the past threads. It takes a bit to change the thought process of how and realistically how it’s doing it.
Not arguing, just ignoring the frequency aspect all together.

It can be as sensitive to see if the gun is battery powered or ran off an alternator. That’s also public information in past threads. Have a look.
 
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InsipidMonkey

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Transmitter fingerprinting relies on the system starting at a known point and allows for some variations around that known point. The variation parameters may be based on multiple samples and projection on sample set based on basic design parameters and components used. But it is improbable that it could account for every possible failure mode. Further, widening the allowable variations will increase the false alarm rate, so some risk management process must be considered.
There is a thread somewhere on Theia's IOscout feature, where they describe characterizing radar guns when they first power on before the frequency stabilizes. I think by classifying the warm-up period and steady state period separately, they can address the issue you are describing (unless I am misunderstanding your point).
 

Token

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There is a thread somewhere on Theia's IOscout feature, where they describe characterizing radar guns when they first power on before the frequency stabilizes. I think by classifying the warm-up period and steady state period separately, they can address the issue you are describing (unless I am misunderstanding your point).
I am thinking about systems that have deviated significantly from production values (and I am not just talking about frequency drift). Repaired units, greatly aged units, abused units, etc. Some things will remain pretty stable, some things will not. No matter how you look at it those will be outliers. And some consideration has to be made for them. Be it the blacklist / whitelist kind of situation and then alert for everything not on one or the other list, or some other way of addressing it.

For example, one way to ID a CW transmitter might be to look at the settling time if you catch it on turn-on. When the button is pushed and the transmitter comes online there are certain aspects of the signal you can look at in detail that will help ID it. How quickly it stabilizes on frequency, what kind of pull the transmitter suffers as the power supply filters respond to the inrush current, etc. And because the same model radars will have generally the same pieces / parts / design, in use there should be some similarity across a family of transmitters and you may be able to use that similarity to ID the family.

Of course, this does not factor to C/O radar, but other things do.

In the pulsed radar world (does not apply to police CW radars, just another general example of the idea) you can look in detail at a single pulse and determine is this radar Magnetron based, or some kind of power amplifier based? If Magnetron, does it use a PFN (Pulse Forming Network) or some other key control? If it uses a PFN how many capacitors (charging stages) are there? All of these things can be told from a single pulse if you can capture that pulse in enough detail. And that level of detail can go a long way towards identifying which specific radar it is, even without looking at other factors. But what happens when one of the PFN caps ages, or worse yet shorts, and changes the shape of the pulse? The radar may still work, but that specific detail has changed, and so you factor other details with that one.

I am sure there are similar things you can do in the police radar world. But what works great in the lab may require tweaking in the open air real world. And of course, that is what pre-production testing is partially for. I suspect that Theia will have to address strong and weak signals a little differently, applying much more stringent constraints to strong ones, and looser rules to weak ones.

And that was really all I meant when I said "But I have to wonder how it will function in the real world. Sure, it has shown an ability to discern radar types. But what has been the sample set tested so far? How many of each has been identified? What happens when Theia sees that Stalker out there that has been bounced off the asphalt a few to many times, it still works and calibrates fine, but whatever unique features Theia is looking at have shifted significantly?"

I did not mean to imply there was a problem with the detector before anyone has had their hands on it, I just asked a question and voiced that aspect as my personal highest concern with the proposed system.

Personally I have set aside one K and one Ka transmitter to try and "mess" with Theia once I have a detector in hand. Out of pure curiosity I want to see how badly I can tweak each radar transmitter, have the radar still function with no abnormal operator indications, and what Theia response to it will be. Note the intent is not to "prove" or disprove anything, I have no agenda, I just want to better understand.

T!
 

Bloovy One

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I believe it's wise and beneficial for RDF as a whole to discover any possible flaws in any detector so that it can be addressed before being available to the masses. That's partially what we are here for it seems.
The average customer will not know what to look for. Trying to trip up any of the detectors available to us can help the manufacturers out. :)
 

Jon at Radenso

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I am thinking about systems that have deviated significantly from production values (and I am not just talking about frequency drift). Repaired units, greatly aged units, abused units, etc. Some things will remain pretty stable, some things will not. No matter how you look at it those will be outliers. And some consideration has to be made for them. Be it the blacklist / whitelist kind of situation and then alert for everything not on one or the other list, or some other way of addressing it.

For example, one way to ID a CW transmitter might be to look at the settling time if you catch it on turn-on. When the button is pushed and the transmitter comes online there are certain aspects of the signal you can look at in detail that will help ID it. How quickly it stabilizes on frequency, what kind of pull the transmitter suffers as the power supply filters respond to the inrush current, etc. And because the same model radars will have generally the same pieces / parts / design, in use there should be some similarity across a family of transmitters and you may be able to use that similarity to ID the family.

Of course, this does not factor to C/O radar, but other things do.

In the pulsed radar world (does not apply to police CW radars, just another general example of the idea) you can look in detail at a single pulse and determine is this radar Magnetron based, or some kind of power amplifier based? If Magnetron, does it use a PFN (Pulse Forming Network) or some other key control? If it uses a PFN how many capacitors (charging stages) are there? All of these things can be told from a single pulse if you can capture that pulse in enough detail. And that level of detail can go a long way towards identifying which specific radar it is, even without looking at other factors. But what happens when one of the PFN caps ages, or worse yet shorts, and changes the shape of the pulse? The radar may still work, but that specific detail has changed, and so you factor other details with that one.

I am sure there are similar things you can do in the police radar world. But what works great in the lab may require tweaking in the open air real world. And of course, that is what pre-production testing is partially for. I suspect that Theia will have to address strong and weak signals a little differently, applying much more stringent constraints to strong ones, and looser rules to weak ones.

And that was really all I meant when I said "But I have to wonder how it will function in the real world. Sure, it has shown an ability to discern radar types. But what has been the sample set tested so far? How many of each has been identified? What happens when Theia sees that Stalker out there that has been bounced off the asphalt a few to many times, it still works and calibrates fine, but whatever unique features Theia is looking at have shifted significantly?"

I did not mean to imply there was a problem with the detector before anyone has had their hands on it, I just asked a question and voiced that aspect as my personal highest concern with the proposed system.

Personally I have set aside one K and one Ka transmitter to try and "mess" with Theia once I have a detector in hand. Out of pure curiosity I want to see how badly I can tweak each radar transmitter, have the radar still function with no abnormal operator indications, and what Theia response to it will be. Note the intent is not to "prove" or disprove anything, I have no agenda, I just want to better understand.

T!
I am really enjoying reading your posts because it is fun to see someone who understands the challenges during this type of development process. A lot of what you say is true, such as treating very strong and very weak signals differently. Luckily a lot of the challenges we face are signals that can be resolved even with extremely low SNR - there is just so much information in modulated signals that frankly we wouldn't even need AI to tell the difference. With CW signals is where we have to be careful with weak signals.

But a lot of this is the kind of thing that can be mitigated with intelligent system design, which frankly I have been having a lot of fun doing. Just because we have AI it doesn't mean we just continually cram every signal into it - with how much instantaneous bandwidth we are looking at, it's just not feasible. We sample so freaking fast and can produce FFTs so freaking fast with the ADC and FPGA we have the AI would be like drinking from a firehose. So we design the system with a lot of intelligence of how to treat signals before they go to the AI to be judged. There are a lot of statistics that we use and the system is also context aware and every channel and every bin within every channel is stateful (and has history). With basically a continually updating database broken up into thousands of bins across the spectrum, and access to a virtually infinite amount of context (geographic location, altitude, ambient light level, known enforcement equipment within geographic location, have you previously seen this signal, if you have seen this signal was there FMCW or CW energy present elsewhere and in what channels, etc, etc, etc, etc) it's possible to create a pretty powerful system to gate signals before they even do get to the AI.

And this is also where having superior sensitivity and low phase noise comes in. Just to make up numbers, let's say that we have 2x the K band sensitivity and 2x the phase noise performance of anyone else....that means we can simply not alert on an ambiguous signal until we have a high enough SNR to be accurate, whereas other detectors wouldn't even see the signal yet.
 

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All depends on Redflex detection imo. If it can't handle that, no sale and useless to me (as of first 1/4 2020 and Oceanic region requirements).
 
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Token

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But a lot of this is the kind of thing that can be mitigated with intelligent system design, which frankly I have been having a lot of fun doing.
Yeah, and that is a key right there. I, like most interested forum members, am looking at this thing a few minutes a day when I read posts, and you guys are looking at it for hours a day every day for extended periods. It is pretty much a given that whatever questions come up in these forums you guys have at least touched on and developed solutions for (if needed at all) or are moving in that direction. But for the vast majority of issues forum readers do not know what you have, or have not, put to rest.

T!
 

aim4squirrels

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I am really enjoying reading your posts because it is fun to see someone who understands the challenges during this type of development process. A lot of what you say is true, such as treating very strong and very weak signals differently. Luckily a lot of the challenges we face are signals that can be resolved even with extremely low SNR - there is just so much information in modulated signals that frankly we wouldn't even need AI to tell the difference. With CW signals is where we have to be careful with weak signals.

But a lot of this is the kind of thing that can be mitigated with intelligent system design, which frankly I have been having a lot of fun doing. Just because we have AI it doesn't mean we just continually cram every signal into it - with how much instantaneous bandwidth we are looking at, it's just not feasible. We sample so freaking fast and can produce FFTs so freaking fast with the ADC and FPGA we have the AI would be like drinking from a firehose. So we design the system with a lot of intelligence of how to treat signals before they go to the AI to be judged. There are a lot of statistics that we use and the system is also context aware and every channel and every bin within every channel is stateful (and has history). With basically a continually updating database broken up into thousands of bins across the spectrum, and access to a virtually infinite amount of context (geographic location, altitude, ambient light level, known enforcement equipment within geographic location, have you previously seen this signal, if you have seen this signal was there FMCW or CW energy present elsewhere and in what channels, etc, etc, etc, etc) it's possible to create a pretty powerful system to gate signals before they even do get to the AI.

And this is also where having superior sensitivity and low phase noise comes in. Just to make up numbers, let's say that we have 2x the K band sensitivity and 2x the phase noise performance of anyone else....that means we can simply not alert on an ambiguous signal until we have a high enough SNR to be accurate, whereas other detectors wouldn't even see the signal yet.
LOL, drink from the firehose...

 

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I'm much less concerned that Theia, with all the parameters it will be analyzing, will miss real police radar than I am that a very small number of our current RD's could be doing that already. When we pass a LEO with no alert, but observe a radar antenna, our logical assumption is that it's not transmitting. We all just take that on faith don't we? What other possible explanation could there be right?
My point is that our current crop of RD's will be crude, blunt instruments compared with what we've been shown about Theia. I'll absolutely wait to read some serious testing results before buying, but if we're concerned about any RD having a glitchy blind spot, I think it's far more likely to exist in the devices we already own.
 

SwankPeRFection

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In response to Heywood, I thought it’s ability to govern true or false of a radar threat, it compares the underlying signature or look of said frequency it detected to ID it’s source gun, but it’s first instruction set to alert was still if the frequency was police, it would still alert? Is that not the case? Because if it’s how you described it, I can see false negatives as being an issue more than false positives. Maybe not initially, but possibly with variables introduced in the future.
Post automatically merged:

I'm much less concerned that Theia, with all the parameters it will be analyzing, will miss real police radar than I am that a very small number of our current RD's could be doing that already. When we pass a LEO with no alert, but observe a radar antenna, our logical assumption is that it's not transmitting. We all just take that on faith don't we? What other possible explanation could there be right?
My point is that our current crop of RD's will be crude, blunt instruments compared with what we've been shown about Theia. I'll absolutely wait to read some serious testing results before buying, but if we're concerned about any RD having a glitchy blind spot, I think it's far more likely to exist in the devices we already own.
Very true and I’d also like to point out that as RDs get better and better, the human factor will also be used to circumvent them even more. For example, the easiest signal to detect is a C/O. Less and less cops run this because they’ve been trained that it’s too easy to pick them up. My local law enforcement has implemented this at the local city level. (Verifies by chatting with an officer.) They’ve been taught to lean more into an I/O shot direction, even when the police car is not stationary. They’ve also been trained to use other judgement to gauge if they should or should not shoot I/O when they see a target. In other words, they’ve been trained to only target true speeders based on visual input the officer notices above all else. So, with such an instruction set, you now have an even lower chance of that gun going off, so in such conditions, if you’re in an area where not a ton of speeders “appear” to the officer shooting I/O, that cop might not shoot anyone but you when you appear and are speeding along and that will still get you a ticket. This is a condition similar to laser targeting/detection, but implemented at the human level to diminish the success of RD use to circumvent. The differenace is with Lidar, you have jamming but with radar you do not, so you’re even more screwed. But regardless, ANY RD would be susceptible this type of technique, not just Theia, so don’t think I’m knocking it. (I like it because it’ll have a knob. 😉)
 
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Heywood

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I just gave the “Coles Notes” version. I did mention that.

I did mention a lot of the questions you asked have been gone over in great detail since the project was divulged at SEMA November 2019.

Some of us have a 7 month jump on you 😝

You also admit that your schedule doesn’t allow you to put as much attention to the subject as you’d like. Life gets in the way. Get that, but if you have some free time, dive deep into some of the threads and watch a few videos.

Jon explained it in much more detail than I was willing to. I also understand what your conveying, and I do understand everything your saying. My reply’s are just simplified out of convenience..... not of ignorance.

Edit:
Im not accusing you of thinking I’m ignorant lol.
 
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analyzerman

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In response to Heywood, I thought it’s ability to govern true or false of a radar threat, it compares the underlying signature or look of said frequency it detected to ID it’s source gun, but it’s first instruction set to alert was still if the frequency was police, it would still alert? Is that not the case? Because if it’s how you described it, I can see false negatives as being an issue more than false positives. Maybe not initially, but possibly with variables introduced in the future.
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Very true and I’d also like to point out that as RDs get better and better, the human factor will also be used to circumvent them even more. For example, the easiest signal to detect is a C/O. Less and less cops run this because they’ve been trained that it’s too easy to pick them up. My local law enforcement has implemented this at the local city level. (Verifies by chatting with an officer.) They’ve been taught to lean more into an I/O shot direction, even when the police car is not stationary. They’ve also been trained to use other judgement to gauge if they should or should not shoot I/O when they see a target. In other words, they’ve been trained to only target true speeders based on visual input the officer notices above all else. So, with such an instruction set, you now have an even lower chance of that gun going off, so in such conditions, if you’re in an area where not a ton of speeders “appear” to the officer shooting I/O, that cop might not shoot anyone but you when you appear and are speeding along and that will still get you a ticket. This is a condition similar to laser targeting/detection, but implemented at the human level to diminish the success of RD use to circumvent. The differenace is with Lidar, you have jamming but with radar you do not, so you’re even more screwed. But regardless, ANY RD would be susceptible this type of technique, not just Theia, so don’t think I’m knocking it. (I like it because it’ll have a knob. 😉)
My local PD uses C/O 99% of the time but in the surrounding metro area I'd guess the the percentage drops to 75% C/O. The state boys are a different animal and my guess is only 20% C/O.
 

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Definitely buying one. But I'm going to be extra granny driver with it for a while.
 

Heywood

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In response to Heywood, I thought it’s ability to govern true or false of a radar threat, it compares the underlying signature or look of said frequency it detected to ID it’s source gun, but it’s first instruction set to alert was still if the frequency was police, it would still alert? Is that not the case? Because if it’s how you described it, I can see false negatives as being an issue more than false positives. Maybe not initially, but possibly with variables introduced in the future.
No that’s not how it works.
No that’s not what I said/ment.

You have to stop using frequency with RAI. It’s not a frequency analyzer. It’s a true signal analyzer.

The police gun could be the exact same frequency. I can change my Bushnell to match the exact same frequency as that speed sign in K band at 24.144 in the lockout test I just did.

RAI would totally ignore the speed sign and only alert to the gun. You could put multiple things there and it will only alert to the actual police radar gun because of the specific components used in that make of guns. It’s trained to look at all of it, but it sweeps so fast and is so sensitive, it’s looking much deeper than what the frequency looks like. Frequencies can be made to look identical and frequency doesn’t matter to RAI.

It’s been like this since day one at SEMA.

It also has the option to alert to everything if you wanted it to. Your not bound by a lot of rules. You can set it to show you what you want. It can see it, it can show it to if you want if that make you more comfortable. It’s up to the end user and app developers

It’s the AI that can decipher what real and what’s not. It’s not by frequency.

It’s like looking at dogs and cats simply put. Both have 2 forward facing eyes. Walk on 4 legs and have paws. Most have tails. Fur.

You can tell the difference because you’ve seen a million cats and dogs instantly. Even at a glance crossing the road.

A traditional radar detector can’t do this.

Narrow it down to the point where I only show you 50 dogs faces and 50 cats faces. I’ll bet you get it right 100% of the time. Why? What’s the difference between the 2? The eyes, the ears, the whiskers, the snout.

That’s what RAI is looking at, just like you and me.

RAI, more than likely, has seen these guns and been trained. Like in a barnyard. Where you have pigs, goats, sheep rabbits. They’re all similar but you can pick them out. Didn’t matter the size, age , color, scars, missing one foot, breed.

How do they train it?
A lot of the guns can be acquired or borrowed. Multiple copies of each gun to rule out any discrepancies in manufacturing or supply change then ask RAI to spot the similarities. Once it get the specifics, run it thousands of times with a bunch of other junk to pick out those things. Just like a cat in a barnyard full of animals.

Jon has publicly said that once they get a copy of that gun, or signal, it takes them about 20 minutes to train RAI then get an update out if need be.

How about the ones you can’t get? Like MRCD and such?

Well, if you watched Radenso’s black ops video, you can see the field unit they are using to capture the signals they can’t buy, or bring in a lab.

You point the brass colored horn at the target, which is a super sized example of your radar horn, to get the most cleanest sample with the most amount of resolution, to see the smallest detail.

Your doing the same thing In the lab. Get the cleanest look. Even if the signal is bouncing around on other object, if it can see it, it can read what’s in it

Jon and Randy are long time radar enthusiasts. They’ve developed a pretty knowledgeable team around them. I really doubt there will be many scenarios that many can come up with that hasn’t already been addressed or thought of yet.

There might be a few, but not to the extent some might think IMHO.

We’ve only seen Theia/RAI since the 2019 SEMA show. I’d guess development has been going on a lot longer than the last 7 months.

As for future guns?
There are not many manufactures. Things don’t stay quiet long. Just like I see some specific things that no one else does. I report it. They come out and get a sample if they can’t buy it themselves..... and Whalla. Every one get the update.

Doesn’t matter if you have a Leo with a MPH running 24.222 in Virginia or another at 24.029 in Kansas. Frequency doesn’t matter at all.

It’s an approved gun used by law enforcement, recognized by the courts and the NHTSA..... or what ever your country uses, your golden as that’s how RAI sees it and as long as it’s trained for it.

That’s about as simple as I can make it.

Sorry for the long post. It’s more for the members that haven had the time to go over and digest the last 7 months. There’s a lot they’ve shared with us. It is all public knowledge. Just a little hard to find at times.

Hope this helps.
Heywood
 

SwankPeRFection

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What I was saying is that if they designed Theia on those grounds alone, sooner or later (depending on how the RD gun makers feel about it and how it’s impacting their business) they will simply devise a way to change or fake the circuit behavior of the guns to get around it. Maybe the technology isn’t available yet or the concept isn’t yet possible, but at one time no one approached radar detection like Jon has and frankly I think it’s quite clever how he’s done it. That said, eventually someone at the gun manufacturers will smarten up too... or not, too early to say really. Heck man, this RD can probably be flipped into different modes (if they add the capability) to key off to RD3 and use that as a measure to know where cops are... they don’t even need to shoot you with radar to know where they are with that, as an additional detection measure. It’s quite cool and almost military like tech.
 

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What I was saying is that if they designed Theia on those grounds alone, sooner or later (depending on how the RD gun makers feel about it and how it’s impacting their business) they will simply devise a way to change or fake the circuit behavior of the guns to get around it. Maybe the technology isn’t available yet or the concept isn’t yet possible, but at one time no one approached radar detection like Jon has and frankly I think it’s quite clever how he’s done it. That said, eventually someone at the gun manufacturers will smarten up too... or not, too early to say really. Heck man, this RD can probably be flipped into different modes (if they add the capability) to key off to RD3 and use that as a measure to know where cops are... they don’t even need to shoot you with radar to know where they are with that, as an additional detection measure. It’s quite cool and almost military like tech.
It is highly unlikely radar gun manufacturers would spend money to redesign their guns in response to the small percent of the driving public who will be using Theia nor would police department buy them if they did.

The percent of the driving public who use radar detectors is small and the percent using Theia will be even smaller.
 

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