View Full Version : Experience w/ Bel 960 or 985 radar detectors?

05-22-2003, 07:18 AM
Beltronics advertises something called "Tech Mode" for the Vector 960 and 985 where the unit displays the actual wavelength of the radar signal. That`s neato-burrito, but it`s only useful if the info can help identify real v. false alarms. For example, if X-band radar operates at 10.525, K-band at 24.150, and Ka-band at 33.4-36.0, then is it the case that any reading besides those are false? I know other devices, such as automatic door openers, operate in X-band, but do those devices operate at the exact same frequency as the radar?


05-22-2003, 09:59 AM
Many police Radar units are not working on the exact frequency the should be, they drift a little and are in turn less accurate as well. They should replace the unit but frankly not many people would ever know, and in most cases the police don`t know either. This would kind of make that feature less accurate, of course this is only a small percentage of older more rural type Radar units.

As far as neat features I think the best feature ever is the arrows on the Valentine one, I have had it 2 years now, when I drive a rental without my V1 I feel naked, truly an remarkable product, cant figure out why no one else has copied him.

If your on the cheap try this easy home made detector, take a Scanner, set the monitoring frequencies to the known radar frequencies, as you approach the Radar you will get an audible buzz to alert you, once on long trip I got bored and thought of trying this, I was amazed at how well it worked, playing with the squelch you can get it pretty damn near the average store bought unit for reliability and you can pick one up for 10 bucks used. Some local area prohibit them in cars so check it out for your area.

Tim Lingor
05-22-2003, 10:00 AM
Truthfully, I have given up on Bell radar detectors. I am not knocking them and I think that they are pretty good overall, but even with all of the fancy terms and technology they cite, I still prefer the Escort Model Passport 8500.

I have owned probably 30 different detectors over the last 18 years of driving. The only one that I feel confident with is the Passport 8500. It is not cheap, but it even out-performed the awesome Valentine 1 in several critical areas.

Again, I am not trying to knock your choice, but honestly, I have owned so many that I can easily recommend the Escort. Forget the hype and marketing ploys, the performance is the real proof!!

05-22-2003, 12:49 PM
Originally posted by 2hotford

I still prefer the Escort Model Passport 8500.


05-22-2003, 02:01 PM
2hotford you said the passport "out-performed the awesome Valentine 1 in several critical areas" what areas would that be? I was about to purchase a V1 but now you made me go HMMMM....

Both my friends and i have had less than great success with Beltronics...

05-22-2003, 02:37 PM
Valentine is the same people that make the radar guns.

05-22-2003, 04:18 PM
Originally posted by Calestus

2hotford you said the passport "out-performed the awesome Valentine 1 in several critical areas" what areas would that be? I was about to purchase a V1 but now you made me go HMMMM....

Both my friends and i have had less than great success with Beltronics...

Technically, both V1 and the Passport 8500 can claim#1 because some independent(as far as we know) testing has shown the Passport to be the best, and others have shown the V1 to be the best. It all depends on which one you look at. I would venture a guess that they are the top two choices out there and you can`t really go wrong with either.

05-24-2003, 09:59 PM
Thanks for the replies. My sense of the Tech Mode is the same as FalconGuy`s -- it`s more gimmick than anything. So I`ll probably get a Bel 940 for $160, which has much the same circuitry as the 960 and 985, but w/o as many extras, such as Tech Mode. As I understand it from the various testing websites and from C&D, the performance is almost comparable to an Escort 8500. I`d love a V1, but it`s way outside my price range.

Thanks again.

05-24-2003, 10:10 PM
I have the 985.

I don`t know the details of "Tech Mode".

But I do know that it gives me plenty of warning when there is radar in the area and it has never failed me.

I`ve had it for over a year, and I am constantly running over 80 between KC and Nebraska on I-29.

The 985 gives me up to a 2-mile warning.

With "Instant-on" radar, not even the Valentine will help you, ,,,,, you`re screwed. All you can hope for is some "bounce" that will give you an intermittant "beep".....

Tim Lingor
05-25-2003, 11:33 PM
If you are the only car on the road at the time and you are hit with Instant-On, you are ......I can not say it on a family forum!! It does not matter what radar detector you have.

Cal, there have been all kinds of "independent" tests from various organizations and magazines. I chose the Passport after reading all of them in a more objective manner. It is a tough choice between the V1 and the Passport!! I like the Passport for its ability to integrate other radar devices.