Frequently Asked Questions
Q What is a Gatso Camera?
A These are the grey boxes you see at the side of the road facing away from you. They work on K band radar and take your picture when you pass (if you are breaking the speed limit). They are not always switched on, some being empty shells, do not always have film in. They are so named after Gatsometer, a Dutch company that invented them and manufactures most of them. They are by far the most common speedtrap device in use in the UK.
Q What is a Mobile Gatso Camera?
A These look the same as the standard grey box Gatso cameras except they are on a trailer and are most commonly set up at semi-temporary at long term roadworks. They work the same as the standard Gatso cameras but you will not always find markings painted on the road ahead.
Q What is Mini Gatso?
A These are small Gatso type cameras the size of briefcase supported by a small tripod. They work on Ku band radar and are usually accompanied by police officers although they can be set up to work on their own similarly to the standard Gatso camera. They are not very common.
Q Are all cameras at the side of the road Gatso?
A No. There are red light cameras, which are also grey boxes, and bus/taxi lane cameras in some areas. There are also traffic monitoring cameras looking for traffic jams/accidents and small cameras on pedestrian crossings sensing approaching traffic. These work on similar principles so you may get readings from some of these.
Q Are radar detectors legal?
A Yes, radar detectors have been legal in the UK since Jan 98 when a motorist challenged a conviction in the court for using one and won. However they are not legal in all countries, they are illegal in France for example.
Q What is the best radar detector?
A The universally recognised best unit on the market is the Road Angel Professional Connected, however most peoples budgets don't stretch that far so we recommend the Bel RX65
Q What is the best GPS detector?
A The top of the range product is the Road Angel Professional Connected which is auto updating. However most peoples budgets don't stretch that far and we are very impressed with the Snooper 3Zero which has all the functionality of the more expensive products but is great value with a stylish design.
Q What about combined GPS/Radar detectors?
A The Snooper Snooper 3Zero is the only combined radar/laser and GPS unit. However as a result it does suffer from a fair few false alerts. The Pogo Alert Plus also has GPS with laser & optional radar, great if you can afford it.
Q What would you recommend?
A. Of the radar detectors we recommend the Quintezz XT-8000 Pro.
See our radar detector comparison chart.
Q Do you have any detectors suitable for motorbikes?
A For Radar Detectors GPS you can get the Novus Rider. or if you want to detect radar there is the Adaptiv TPX
Q Is there anything radar detectors don't detect?
A There are a few systems which do not work on radar or laser and therefore radar detectors cannot detect. They dont detect VASCAR (being followed and videoed by an unmarked police car) and the SPECS SVDD and Truvelo systems.
Q What is SPECS / SVDD?
A SPECS is a system based on state of the art digital cameras with number plate recognition. Its referred to as a Speed Violation Detection Deterrent, SVDD. The SPECS system comprises of 2 digital cameras that are at a set distance apart, your numberplate is photographed as you pass each one and your speed between the 2 is calculated. Each of the cameras has infra red beams either side so you don't see the traditional flash as you are caught. These cameras are set at least 200 metres giving you some chance to slow down as long as you see one of them. As you pass they both take a picture and are digitally time stamped. The system calculates the time between these 2 photographs against the distance they are programmed apart and if your photos are timed too close together it knows you were speeding between the two points.
Q What is the Truvelo system?
A This is easy to spot because it's a forward facing camera with pressure strips across the road in front of it. The time and distance of a vehicle's axles passing over these strips are measured to calculate speed and a photo is then taken if you are considered to be over the speed limit. Like the SPECS system the picture is taken using infra red so you do not see a flash.
Q Are radar and GPS detectors easy to fit, how do you mount them?
A Very, all the units we sell are portable between vehicles, no wiring or drilling involved, you simply plug them into the cigarette lighter socket for power and then mount them on the dashboard with the Velcro supplied, or as we would recommend, on the windscreen with the bracket supplied to give the detector a clear view of the road ahead. As they are portable you can easily put them in the glove box if you are worried about it attracting the attention of a thief when parked.
Q Does a heated windscreen affect a radar detector's performance?
A Generally a heated windscreen does not affect a radar detector's performance. However a certain type of re-radiating screen that reflects heat out of a car might cause a problem. These seem to be an option on some Renaults, Citroens and Peugeots since about the time the new numberplate system was introduced.
Q What is a laser diffuser / blinder?
A These are not radar/laser detectors but laser diffuser. It installs under the front grill and diffuses the laser beam of hand held laser speed guns by emitting infra red light of the same frequency. It also signals audible (bleep) to warn you to slow down. Please note these units are technically illegal because they could be considered to "pervert the course of justice and interfere with police communications".
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