Thursday, December 08, 2005

Validation: Radar Detector nirvana

A few years ago, I started working for, in Monterey, CA. I commuted a few days a week from my home in Marin, a trip of about 125 miles each way. Obviously, I wanted to make the trip as short as possible: that meant driving slightly faster than the speed limit. Hence, I needed a radar detector.

I looked at all of the ones I could find, and could not really see much of a difference between the ones at the usual consumer electronics companies. Then, a co-worker asked if I had seen the Valentine One? I hadn't even heard of it. I checked it out, and did my own research on the reviews: this thing was head and shoulders ahead of anything else: in most reviews, on a scale of 1-100, the most all other radar detectors score is 70; this was a 98.

Bloody expensive though. But, what price that against a ticket for doing 110 in a 65 zone? I decided to try by buying one on eBay first; saved $100. WOW. This thing was GREAT: no false alarms, notice MILES away. I sold my used one on eBay (for a profit!) and bought a new one: they are even upgradeable for the latest in threat detection. Since then, I have not received a single ticket while using the detector, and my commute to Monterey, including through traffic in both San Francisco and San Jose, was usually under 1 hour and 45 minutes each way. You do the math. :-)

Now, one of my favorite gadget blogs, Gizmodo, has done a piece on the world's greatest Radar Detectors. No surprise, but the rest of the world just learned the secret that has saved me literally thousands of dollars: good luck to Valentine on keeping up with the demand!

P.S. The folks at Valentine are SERIOUS. They don't sell Radar Detectors; they sell "total threat detection systems." I purchased a remote display for mine, and they called me the next day: they would not fill the order unless I gave them the serial number of my unit. "This is only for true ValentineOne owners," they said. Don't mess with total threat detection!

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