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Jan 27

ALP Setup Guide Part 3: Proper Head Placement

In the last section we covered what areas of our vehicle a police officer will target with their lidar guns: Headlights/taillights, grill, and license plates. Knowing this, we need to make sure that our laser jammers fully protect these target areas.

Lidar jammer heads each cover an oval shaped area of the car with a radius of about 24 inches. For the most effective performance, you should try to space them out no more than 24″ from one another. Knowing this, here’s a look at what two jammers placed on opposite ends of the upper grill would look like in terms of coverage area.

Coverage that two laser jammer heads provide

Coverage that two laser jammer heads provide

This is a textbook dual head setup. You can see the two heads themselves (the green rectangles in the grill) and the coverage they provide (the green ovals). You can see that they’re covering all the main target areas including the headlights, grill, front plate, and even down to the foglights.

Sometimes the grill makes it a piece of cake to install your heads. Sometimes some drilling and cutting may be required. Here’s a look at the dual head setup on my Miata. I’m not comfortable hacking up my own car so I had a professional do the work.

Dual ALP's in the grill of a Miata

Dual ALP’s in the grill of a Miata

Allow me to explain a few key points of why this placement works.

  • They’re far out enough to cover the headlight/foglight area.
  • They’re close in enough to provide sufficient coverage for center mass / front plate shots.
  • They’re up high enough so that as you first start to crest a hill, your heads are able to see over the hill too.

On some cars it might be far more convenient to mount the heads down lower. BMW’s with their vertical grill slats are a great example.

BMW M3 Dual Head Setup

BMW M3 Dual Head Setup

One of the nice things about ALP’s is that their increased sensitivity means that we can get away with placement options like this that we weren’t able to before with earlier generation jammers. This used to be a no go before and while installing higher would be ideal, this install would still perform well in practice.

Now if the car is larger or wider, two heads may not be sufficient to cover the entire area of the vehicle so 3 heads would be required, especially if you have a front plate far from the headlight area. Here are standard configurations for triple head setups.

Wide Stingray with Triples

Wide Corvette Stingray with Triples

In this install the two outer heads are spaced farther apart and the central head covers the middle area.

A similar idea works well for larger SUV’s and trucks. I’ve seen people get away with 2 heads on some SUV’s and it works fine since the ALP’s are quite sensitive, but 3 heads are generally the way to go.

Jeep triple head install

Jeep triple head install (thx @NickCartunesAtl)

In general you’ll want the 3 heads in line with one another, especially if you don’t have a front plate. Sometimes it’s not convenient to put the center head in line such as when you have a vehicle badge in the center of your grill.

Triple Head Setup on a Truck

Triple Head Setup on a GMC Truck

If that’s the case, it’s okay to drop the center head down a little bit. +/- 6″ up or down is a good rule of thumb. A slightly lower center head can also help make sure you have your front plate covered well too, if applicable.

Rear Installs

When it comes to rear installs, these are pretty standard. Most people install just above the license plate towards the tail lights. It’s generally pretty easy to run the wires in through the license plate light area.

Cayenne rear heads

Porsche Cayenne rear head placement

With some cars the license plate is way down low, far away from the tail lights. Take a look at the Infiniti G37.

Infiniti G37 rear head locations

Infiniti G37 rear head locations

You’ll see here that the standard placement location in green just above the rear plate is pretty far away from the tail lights.

I’ve seen some cars struggle with this location, especially with earlier generations of jammers, and they’ve sometimes had to go for a higher location like the one shown in orange. They’d attach their jammers to their trunk itself and the heads stuck out the back. It was ugly, but it worked.

With the ALP’s, this is another area where the increased sensitivity helps. The lower location in green is more difficult for the jammers, but it can still work nonetheless. Make sure you test, test, test after you get your system installed! We’ll cover testing towards the end of this guide once you have your system installed and configured.

Fine Tuning For Your Specific Vehicle

The sample setups that I’m showing you here are basically designed to show you the ideal placement locations in ideal scenarios. When you take a closer look at your car you may find it tough to install heads here due to the shape and design of the grill, a lack of mounting locations on or behind the grill, not wanting to cut the grill, etc.

I would recommend sticking to these textbook locations as much as possible. That said, some vehicles aren’t jammer friendly and there’s no good way of installing your heads without cutting something up.

Lexus IS350 F Sport with a mesh grill

Lexus IS350 F Sport with a mesh grill

Even with mesh grills it can be done. Some people look into alternate replacement grills with horizontal slats or buy a second one off eBay that they’re more comfortable cutting into. Some people go into their factory grills. That said, it can be made to look good. Check out this install for example on an Audi S6.

Audi S6 dual head setup

Audi S6 dual head setup (thx @S6Per)

I’ve also seen some creative installs where people have fabricated custom brackets to help their jammers blend in with their car better.

Porsche Cayman GT4 custom rear ALP bracket (thx @DeerHunter)

As you can see, each vehicle is different so we can’t say one size fits all, you know?

Getting Specific Recommendations For Your Vehicle

If you need help deciding on the best locations for your vehicle, you can post photos of your car up online on the Laser Jammer Placement Suggestions section of RDF and people will chime in with suggestions. You can also check out photos of other people’s installs in the Show Off Your Install section. (Not everyone installs their jammers well though so you can also take a look at people’s followup comments to see what they think about the installs.)

Now that we have a good idea of placement locations front and rear, let’s take a look at how the heads themselves should be installed to make sure they can properly protect you.

Continue on to Part 4: Proper Head Installation

ALP Setup Guide Sections:

  1. Why go with the AntiLaser Priority?
  2. Deciding how many heads you need
  3. Proper head placement
  4. Proper head installation
  5. Register your system
  6. Update to the latest software
  7. Configure your settings
  8. Get your setup tested
  9. How to use your jammers
  10. Installation & setup checklist

12 comments

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  1. Steve

    With a 2016 Base cayenne, how many heads up front would be necessary?

  2. Zach

    I tried to call ALP today after 11am in order to buy the ALP with the Hifi speaker that is not in stock on the website, but no one picking is up the phone over there.

    1. Vortex

      Shoot Tom a PM on the forums. He’s BestRadarDetectors on there and he’ll take care you.

  3. Zach

    Thanks
    I just ordered the ALP with 2 sensors and the Hifi.

    I told him that I heard about it from you.

    Thanks for all your help!

  4. david sammartino

    I have a 2007 Escalade. I have a quad LI right kmow. I want to get ALP 3 heads front and 2 back with Bluetooth and HIFI speaker. Should I buy extra cable? Where is a good spot for the 3 heads in front?

    1. Vortex

      For an Escalade you’ll need the extension cables for your two rear heads, yeah. As for exact placement suggestions, you can post a photo of your vehicle here (blur your plate) and people will chime in with the recommended spots: https://www.rdforum.org/forumdisplay.php?f=57

  5. Gene O'Brien

    The heads on the Audi don’t appear to be level. Would that be a problem?

  6. Kyle

    Can I use 3 or 4 laser shifter pro heads in the front knowing that the lsp interface has two ports for the front and two for the rear? In other words, will all three or 4 heads transmit if I was targeted, or would this setup “confuse” the unit into thinking I was being shot either in the front or rear (instead of simply the front) causing a less favorable diode defense response (one set or the other, but not more than two) all together? Help

    1. Vortex

      So the LSP is basically just an LI and LI’s would fire every head when shot. For this reason you could run 3-4 heads up front or 2/2 front/rear. ALP’s are different where they actually differentiate front or rear so if you get shot in the front, the rears won’t fire.

      1. Kyle

        Thanks for the quick response Vortex. You do know your stuff. I rarely have questions since I’m a radar “guru” of sorts since I was 16 and I was thinking along with that logic. My only concern is that the lsp alert tone sounds as “front laser shifting” or “rear laser shifting” but not both. I have a little OCD going on lol and tested three heads with my LI remote tester and one message or the other is given, but not both (not that I expected a such voice alert)
        I suppose I just wish I could see all heads firing with an IR lens of some sort to quell my nerves. Also
        Two of my heads are 18.9 and two are 19.0. The LI info states that the 19 version is a higher power. I’m wondering if there is any real difference in terms of countermeasure defense…
        Thanks again

        1. Vortex

          Yeah maybe the LSP’s are different? I kinda doubt it, but maybe they are doing something different with the bridge box. Since you have the LI tester, try this.. try pointing your cell phone camera at the LSP’s transmitters when they’re firing. Sometimes you can actually see the heads firing. 🙂 Doing it when it’s darker helps to see the diodes. Also some cameras are more sensitive than others (ie. the phone’s front camera may work better than the rear or whatever). If you can do that, you can try shooting the fronts and see if the rears trigger at the same time. 🙂

          As for the 18.9 and 19.0, there shouldn’t be any difference in terms of performance. Those correlate directly with LI version 8.9 and 9.0 heads. I don’t know the differences between them since I’ve never run LI’s myself, but I’m sure someone in the forum can point out the differences.

          1. Kyle

            Exactly. I tried using my phone to see if I could spot the IR, but to no avail. A superior digital camera might do the trick, but I don’t have one. I will try again in low level light.
            Yes, the escort version of LI can be funky and distinctly different in ways only escort is aware of, due to their minor tinkering….from what I’ve read.
            Eventually, I’ll be upgrading to an ALP and will be in touch. Your site is top notch.
            Knowledge is power
            Thanks my friend

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