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MG ZR ZS ZT Technical - Radar Detectors

Whilst I appreciate this is not specifically an MG Z saloon issue, as I have just taken delivery of my Zed and have found myself accelerating to above the speed limit in next to no time, I was contemplating purchasing a Police radar and Gatso detector for my new car.

I appreciate this may well open a can of worms along the lines of "speed kills" and all the rest of it but I would emphasise I do not drive with discontempt for other road users. Rather I drive to the conditions and when safe to do so, will admit to travelling in excess of the speed limit.

I also feel the Police usage of Gatso cameras and mobile laser set-ups to catch speeding motorists is merely an attempt to increase revenue to prop up their budgets especially since I live in an area of yellow Gatsos indicating Lancashire Police get to keep 100% of fines received (apparently the 50% limit quickly went). Comments such as "cameras are only ever placed in accident blackspots" holds no water with me.

Anyway, few people I've spoken to have contrasting views on speed trap detectors ranging from "saved my license" to "very haphazard results".

As I'm customising my Zed just at moment I don't have much spare dosh to waste on an useless toy and therefore appreciate any worthwhile comments.

Thanks.

Findlay
Findlay

You have the coolest name.
Jonesy

Finlay,

I agree with what you say. I consider myself a careful and safe driver, but was shocked to learn that I had got caught by a fixed Gatso. Apparently I was doing 49 in a 40 limit. I was *very* annoyed.

So I got 2 radar detectors. Here are the details:

"Snooper" 815s Signature series. Not bad, but a bit pricey for what it is. Detects all sorts of radar, including traffic light sensors, automatic door sensors, security light sensors. Tells you if speed cameras are working, but if you inadvertently do 35 in a 30 limit you will be lucky to detect a working camera in time, unless you get radar scater off another car. One of the better ones, so I'm told, and in all not bad.

BUT....

Morpheous Geodesy. Increadible. Honestly, incredible. Uses GPS to determine distance to fixed speed cameras. Does not tell you whether or not cameras are working, but just tells you when you are near to them. It works round corners, in the dark, and gives a blindly good signal every time. They state "100% accurate." So far I've found it to be just that. Benefit is that it also wanrs you about piezo-electric (e.g. non-radar) Gatsos while a normal radar detector does not (obviously). Downside is that it does NOT provide protection against "special" constables (sp?) with laser guns. Nor, really, does the snooper - it prety much warns you that you have been zapped and to expect to be stopped.

Must say that I genuinely stick to most speed limits. I have only occassionally caught myself doing 60 or so on long open roads that I actually thought were 56 or something. And have also been caught by Gatso when said long stretch of road turned out to be 40 limit (see above).

At moment these devices are still legal, but new legislation is being brought in to try and stop them. The arguement is that "these devices are with the express purpose of letting you break the law with impunity". I disagree, but there is a *WHOLE* mess of arguements there that are not worth getting into........

I am seriously considering getting a "jammer" which alerts the driver to "special" cops with lasr guns. But in addition to alerting the driver, it jams the laser signal so you have a chance to recitify your speed if appropriate. Now these things *ARE* illegal. Which is why I haven't got one. Yet. I agree that Police more often than not put cameras in stupid places JUST to get revenue, likewaise for the cinstables (sp?) that hide around a corner at the bottom of a hill, just after the sign that says "30" - so before you have a chance to slow down from 50, you're nicked. I think it is disgusting, and do not want to give them any more of my money.

Take it as you will - I *know* that people will disagree with me. Don't intend to cause any offence here.

Hope the info is useful.
Dan Goodinson

Jonesy, you taking the piss?

Dan, cheers for all that. I did spend sometime on net yesterday and came across all 3 things you mentioned. (1) standard radar detector (2) GPS located and (3) radar jammer or cloaking device!

The GPS-based one seems a cool idea but my only concern is how accurate is their database and what chance is there the company will fold tomorrow leaving me with 350 of kit no longer upgradeable?

But much obliged for the info. Will put it to good use and let you know what I decide.

As for locations of Gatsos, you're spot on. Always at the bottom of steep hills where it's impossible to stick to 30 without using your breaks and therefore causing alarm to person behind who responds similarly and before you know it someone's braked so sharply you have an accident!
Findlay

Findlay
If you go to www.speedcam.co.uk you will see some nicely "Megaed" Cams.If you go to pistonheads.com look there foe some information, inclunding the web site of the "Black Rats".
Mega.
Mega

Findlay

I have a snooper 715si and like Dan the thing goes off all over the place even in city mode (x band detector turned off). A good example is by MFI on London road due to the doors, not the gatso further down and on riversway passing the motor park due to the car dealers doors. It does detect gatsos but you are on top of them before you know it. It has been no use what so ever against the laser guns. The 850LE diffusor is the only possible solution, however it is illegal (???). There is a new GPS gadget call the origin blue which I fancy getting. You can check it out at http://www.originblueidirect.co.uk. If I were to get another Radar Detector I would get a Euro Bel 550 or/and one the these origin blue once I have seen one in action.

The 30 cameras in Preston are set between 32 to 33 ! My wife got caught recently doing 35 on London Road. The cheeky b*^%U%^& police offered for 95 pounds to put her on a one day humiliation speed awareness course rather than 3 points with no guarentee of not getting a fine of 60 pounds and 3 points, but she told them to shove it ! This is one of the other money making scams in lancs at the moment.
nigel

I do feel VERY sorry for anyone is Lancs. The Force is Run by a Women, who is VERY new Labour. I do drive though Lancs and i live also on the border. I was VERY pissed to see them on the Motorway briges of the M6 last summer.

My Jamming system is always on and it saved me 4 times in 2 weeks. I don't wish to give to many details but its almost 20 years since the "Con" last nailed me.

I will be posting a full story on this subject towards the end of the week.
Mega.
Mega

Findlay, Nigel,

Gotta say that the GPS detector I've got is blinding. Really, it's superb. So far I've only found 1 camera that was not in the database. I get around quite a bit, too. On the plus side, if ever you do find a camera that isn't listed you can update the database using the receiver - you store location at roadside then it updates the DB when you next update the receiver. And once confirmed they send you fifty quid. Not bad - although there's the possibility of getting 3 points if you are stung by the unlisted camera. I've had the GPS job for something like 5 months now, and there's only been the one camera that wasn't listed. As for accuracy, they listed locations are accurate to within 10 metres. I'm with you when you express concern about the update service - but if they last for another year or so I'll have got my money's worth and will consider it a worthwhile purchase....

I know what you mean about the Snooper - it's a bloody pain sometimes :-) I originally bought mine to detect the cameras on the A43 to Northampton... When I realised they were piezo cameras (set off by sensors in the road rather then radar), I was gutted :-) That's why I got the Geodesy. The 2 together are a pretty good defence against almost everything.

Am *so* close to getting a jammer.... Soooooo close.... Then I'd be totally secure :-)
Dan Goodinson

photography a Snooper when I first got the F and can confirm that it is a very irritating passenger, sitting on the dash making damned fool noises all the time. If you are doing 80 down the motorway it gives you just enough warning to brake down to 70 but after trying this on the M25 it just made the journey crap.

It taught me to drive within the speed limit or at least at the same speed as the rest of the traffic. I now restrict my
Patrick

Patrick for PM! Shame about his Euro ideas though ;o)
Dot

Patrick - I agree :-) Problem is that crime doesn't generate any revenue. It doesn't pay, as they say. But sending us photos of our cars is a total money spinner. They've got a good deal going there. Gits.
Dan Goodinson

nigel,

My Dad got caught doing 35 on Blackpool Road between Glanden Motors and Lane Ends. White Ford Galaxy usually parked 3 out of 5 days around lunchtime at end of row of residents' cars on the out of town side. Boot open means you can't see the flourescent stripes. Only when you pass it do you see the f*ckin' bastard sitting there pointing his tripod at you!

Dad too was offered the course though I thought it was 90. But he too rejected it and took his points like a man!

A mate of mine was similarly caught at 35 by a Gatso in Eccleston but he opted for the 1 day course. Apparently involves tuition, speed appreciation and awareness plus you have to show demonstrable ability that you aren't just going to get back in car and speed. You get given a questionnaire to fill in before and after the course and they see whether there's been an improvement of your "speed appreciation and awareness". I guess if not, the original points could still apply. But so long as you're willing to tick all the right boxes, it's a day off work, an extra 30 but no points.

I'm with Patrick. Why don't the Police spend less time arsing around 'hunting' in packs of 3 cars chatting to each other at the side of the road and actually helping to reduce crime, particularly street and car varieties. I'm contmeplating contacting Heineken with a view to suggesting their ad be replaced by pictures of Police preventing a mugging ..."what a refreshing change"!!!
Findlay

Last Sunday afternoon I noticed a police motorcyclist pull up outside of my living room window. The front of our house is located on a bend with a small lay-bye alongside it.
Well the Copper got off his bike pulled out a radar gun and proceeded to start pointing it at traffic coming around the bend.
After a while he flagged a female motorist down and waved her into the lay-bye. The problem was she didn't slow down fast enough and plowed into the back of the police bike.

Laugh I never laughed so much in my life. I was literaly rolling on the floor.

The women motorist was crying her head off, her husband was none too pleased,and the copper after seeing me through the window just stated to laugh himself.

It cheered up a miserable Sunday I can tell you, particularly as I had just driven at not an inconsiderarable speed down the same road just ten minutes before said PC arrived.

Wish I had video taped it.
ProMGR

ProMGR...nice one. Video footage on the net would have enabled us all to have a good laugh. I hope the copper's bike was written off in the incident?

Thanks to all of you who responded about my initial enquiry about radar detectors. This is how I see it, and you'll correct me if I'm wrong.

(1) traditional radar detectors not particular good at detecting Gatsos more than couple of hundred metres at best, usually not enough warning given to brake sufficiently if travelling well in excess of speed limit.
(2) traditional radar detectors can not detect Truvelo or SPECs cameras as these don't employ rader (which stands for RAdio Detection And Ranging didn't you know - just knew 'A' Level Physics would be helpful some day!)
(3) traditional radar detectors have unpredictable success rates at detecting mobile 'laser' cameras (and LASER is Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation!)
(4) radar diffusers are illegal and will only work with mobile 'laser' cameras employing a radar method. Does that mean a rear facing unit would not confuse a radar-employing gatso then?
(5) GPS-based systems detect nothing at all but use a database of fixed camera locations to forewarn the would-be motorist. Accuracy of information and frequent updating therefore essential.

Short of spending around 3-400 for each of a radar detector, diffuser and GPS system, I'm guessing there's no way to completely cover yourself. I'm loathed to part with that sum of money for something which will have limited use because of the reasons above. However, I do like to 'motor' a bit when conditions allow and don't want to pay for my boy racing.

Summary - Spend over a grand or nothing at all and keep your eyes peeled!
Findlay

Findley,

No unfortunatly not. Just a broken indicator lens and a bruised ego (the coppers). The bike was replaced in half an hour.
The good thing is the police will realise that it is not a suitable location from now on. I particularly do not relish the thought of some copper staring inside my living room window every Sunday afternoon.

Cheers

Mike
ProMGR

Re London road Preston about 20 years ago the cops often had a speed trap at the bottom of the hill,just over the river.
A chap opened a car accessory shop and called it Radar Trap, the cops did'nt like it and the name then changed to radar.

A funny one only a few years ago was on Blackpool road heading towards Blackpool,just after the park finished someone used to put up a board against the first garden wall warning when a mobile speed trap was ahead.
Joe

Joe...that London Road location you describe is now haunted by a gatso, so the Police have had a presence at the same site for getting on for a quarter of a century now!

Not heard about the story around the Larches. You still find some drivers will flash their lights to warn oncoming motorists. But board an excellent idea!

Around Preston the Plod tend to descend on the Docks every so often (30mph limits) often around UCI/Evans Halshaw. As road quite wide and not overly busy at night easy to exceed speed limit and get caught. More money in coffers, thank you very much
Findlay

If you go to www.speedtraps.co.uk

you can select any area of GB and its gives precise locations of Gatso's.

Also plenty of other useful info.
Joe

Also try www.speedcameras.uk.com.
Joe

Another very good source of info is the Association of British Drivers who, rather uniquely, are actually in favour of the motorist as opposed to the Plod, Government and local authorities, etc.

They have submitted a very thorough proposal about increasing motorway limits to 80 (and perhaps further still after an intermediate period) as well as castigating the revenue-producing usage of gatsos.

www.abd.org

They also make references to speed camera locations.

Lancashire, for example, has a full and complete location map of all cameras both current and existing. Apparently there are around 70 gatsos in Lancashire now and this is expected to reach 300-odd by 2003! Hmmm, so they're not being used to raise money at all then!

www.safe2travel.co.uk is the rather sickly named website for the location of Lancashire traps.
Findlay

Once so many cameras are in place, and you have no option (or are educated) to observe the speed limit, they will fail to raise revenue?

I dont relish points on my licence or increased insurance premiums, much to the disgust of my 16 year old son, who thinks I shud drive faster!.

Kelv.
Kelvin

Anyone got one of these?
http://www.originbluei.com/
If so how do you rate it?
Climber

Findlay:

The best cover would probably be a GPS locator, and something like the latest Bel diffuser (even though, strictly speaking, the diffuser part is illegal).

The Geodesy was best part of 400 quid (the upgrade is excellent and "teaches" you to drive within the speed limit) and the Snooper was 300 quid. *Radar* diffusers, as far as I have read from various sources) are not very good at all. A *laser* diffuser is by far the better choice if you wanted to go down that road (excuse unintentional pun).

You asked what happens if a plod/camera is to the rear of your car when you can zapped. A couple of devices allow complete protection - e.g. the Valentine1 (*very* expensive) has a display which tells you where the signal comes from - in front or behind) and you can buy additional diffusers to stick on the rear number plate (e.g. in addition to the front number plate). I have been told that a diffuser is basically a transponder which can also be used to open an automatic garage door. That would, I guess, be the reason fo having one if plod got upset. Some kits apparently even sell an upgrade kit specially designed for a garage door, so you can demonstrate. Downside is that you either have to have an auto garage door to show the policeman, or you have to convince him/her that you're telling the truth so that they don't follow you back to your house for a demo before they nick you.

Given the option (and the cash) I'd go for a GPS device (did I mention they are fantastic??), a radar/laser detector such as Valentine1 or equivalent, and a diffusoer with transponde from and rear.

Diffusers, by the way, send a loud audible signal while operating, to give you a chance to rectify your speed if appropriate. You'd definitley get nicked if you jammer the police laser, and then sped past them at 80mph in a 30 zone.

The only thing to worry about, then, would be if (when?) the devices finally become outlawed. Then you've got well over a grand's worth of kit that is illegal. Not a pleasant prospect.
Dan Goodinson

>>>>much to the disgust of my 16 year old son, who thinks I shud drive faster!.

Blimey - you should worry. My four year old daughter always watches the rev counter in my F - and constantly asks me if I will make it go to '7'!
David Bainbridge

Don't wish to be rude but if anyone is gonna buy the Origin Blue I GPS speed trap locator, I have set up a referral link at http://www.preston-south.info All you need do is click the shopping tab.

In my spare time I am part of a non-profit making, non-political international group of students and young professionals who try and raise as much money for charities as possible. We also undertake a variety of community projects like taking old folk around Blackpool Illuminations.

If you use our above link to reach the Origin Blue I site, we'll get 25 for every unit purchased. And it's all done through Origin directly in fact the only difference is you visit our site first.

Not quite what the average ZR driver gets up to in his spare time I grant you but as it's 25 without more than 2 mouse clicks on your part, I thought I'd mention it.

By the way, this year we're supporting the Make A Wish Foundation, who try and fulfil the ambitions of young kids terminally ill.

Enough of the advert for the Rotaract Club of Preston South now!

Cheers.
Findlay

1 of my friends has the best idear yet. Its the number plate he has 2. he just presses a small black button on the dash and hes 4 the blod. i wanted this extra fiting 2 my car put the garage that did it has gone. closed down 4 doggy dealings. sooo i gota snooper 815s instead. o wel.
michael

Michael...I've had that idea myself probably from watching too many James Bond films! But never knowingly spotted anyone doing electric revolving number plates, for some reason. Anyone reading this do get in touch! There's a market for at least everyone on this thread!

How do you rate the 815s?
Findlay

A colleague of mine went to Italy last year. He was offered the chance of a meal at a seaside seafood restaurant 'about an hour away'. The hour was spent at 200kph in a people carrier on the Autostrada! He questioned about speed traps, etc, and was told the authorities tried Gatso cameras around Bolognia, only to lose then because of "lorries, carrying containers and large lumps of steel that had to swerve and avoid motorists......". He saw several ragged stumps by the side of the road and one very flat camera. Maybe this is the answer......
Yorkie

You are the anus man that thinks he is the big man. If you speed with the car near to where I am living I will follow you and hit you in a completely savage manner, to make it so that you are unable to drive your donkey sh*t car which at this same time I will also burn. The law limit says that you must not speed to above the limit. You are all of the criminal class and if you speed I believe you will into the prison go, where the hairy man will open your anus. F*ck to you dog men that thinks he is clever man to speed above limit in his silly car. F*ck to you all you sh*t men.
Yoram Shevach

A little over the top with the abusive language there Yoram. It seems you've been completely taking in by 'New' Labours anti speed hype, and thats what most of it is... hype.
If you can't say something useful, why say anything at all.
I suggest you check th Association of British Drivers website (www.abd.org.uk) It puts a lot of things into perspective on the subject of speed and speed limits.
Tony

>>>Anyone got one of these?
http://www.originbluei.com/<<<

This provides a view to the future and how vehicle systems will be fed information to respond to speed limits automatically and so you, the driver, will be taken out of the loop of speed control above the predetermined threshold. GPS being the root of the system and enhanced on board vehicle electronic systems interfacing with traffic control computers.

Prototype systems I have seen and introduction is aimed for 2010 or before if possible! Gatso and other current technology will then start to wither away as new cars replace those without the appropriate equipment, however once a certain proportion of traffic is controlled it has a knock on controlling effect on other traffic. The market then will be in add on units to fool this new equipment.

Rog
Roger Parker

This thread was discussed between 04/03/2002 and 13/03/2002

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