How to Find Out what Radar Bands, Radar Guns, and Laser Guns are used in your area

In different parts of the country they use different radar guns and laser guns. For example, in some areas K band is in use while in other areas it’s not at all and if you turn K band off in your detector, you can get rid of all the false alerts that you’d otherwise have to rely on filters to deal with. Very cool. Same thing with X band. Additionally, some places in the country use newer and more sophisticated lidar guns with anti-jamming technology. If you’re wondering what’s in use in your area as well as in other areas that you’ll be driving to, here’s the best way I’ve found to see what’s in use in what areas.

How to Find Out What’s In Use In Your Area

Read the RDFGS to find out what radar bands and laser guns are used in your area.

Read this post to find out which Ka Segments are needed in your area if you’re using Ka Band segmentation.

On the Radar Detector Forum, people are keeping track of what radar and laser guns are being used across the entire country and compiling all the information into a user generated database called the Radar Detector Forum Geographical Survey (RDFGS) that we can all access. You can go in and check down what’s in use in every state as well as what’s in use in different cities and counties. If there’s any information missing or out of date, you can go in and fill in the gaps and update the database accordingly. Very useful stuff!

Click on your state and you’ll be able to drill down and see what’s in use in different cities and counties.

What to Look For

Here’s a few tips and tricks on how to use it and what to look for.

Obviously you’ll want to take a look at the cities and counties that you’ll be driving through. Out here in Washington State, the highway is monitored by the Washington State Patrol and so if you look at the top of the chart, you’ll see information about the State Police that’s worth checking out in addition to what’s covered for the individual cities and counties.

The green box for TSR will tell you whether or not K band traffic sensors are in use on the highway and if you should enable TSR/TMF to filter those sensors out.

The notes on the right hand side are great for finding out fun little tidbits like what lidar guns are in use in that area, what types of police cars are used, what frequencies of Ka (33.8? 34.7? 35.5?) are in use, and so on.

The information presented on the RDFGS is not necessarily 100% accurate. The X band info is a perfect example. X band is almost completely entirely phased out (with a few exceptions such as OH, NJ, and some places in OR) and yet the RDFGS says that X band is in use in 24 states. This isn’t true. If anyone clicked on X band at some point, even if it was a mistake and they didn’t confirm that the X band alert was indeed coming from a police officer, now we’ve got some erroneous information.

It’s also tough to know when to delete information that someone else had posted. If someone sees that a radar or laser gun is in use and then later the agency upgrades to newer equipment and retires their older equipment, we may not necessarily know that and so the information on the RDFGS may become out of date. Some radar or laser guns may be used very very rarely so it’s hard to know whether or not the equipment is gone altogether or just that it hasn’t been seen in a while.

Ka Band Segmentation

Additionally, for those of you guys running a detector with band segmentation on Ka band and you’d like to find out exactly which Ka segments you should run in your area, we’re keeping track of that as well. Generally segments 2, 5, and 8 (or the equivalent of scanning for 33.8, 34.7, and 35.5) is what you should enable and you can disable the rest. However, in some areas, it’s recommended to enable one or two additional segments, and so check out this reference:

States where enabling additional Ka segments is recommended

RDFGS Map

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26 comments

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    • Will on April 16, 2016 at 12:05 am
    • Reply

    Can’t fine Florida Pensacola no wher can you help thanks

    1. It’s a user generated map created by people like you and some smaller cities may not be there, but some neighboring cities might. You can drive around, get familiar with what’s in use there, and then help contribute for your area by posting here: https://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=9980

    • Frank on November 16, 2017 at 12:10 pm
    • Reply

    FYI – I had a Ka detection today in Dallas, TX and when I finally reached it, it was a Dallas PD LEO standing in the median with what appeared to be a Stalker II handheld. That one isn’t on the spreadsheet.

    1. Ah cool, good eye. (I love that gun.) So I see Ka marked for Dallas, but not that gun specifically. When the RDFGS is back up on RDF and available for editing, you can post that info up there and people can update the info for Dallas. Thanks for reporting it! 🙂

    • Robert Sanchez on March 17, 2018 at 1:16 pm
    • Reply

    I just got a Kpatkoe radar detector and it goes off all the time during day light time your saying it can be sliding doors how do I know when it’s a cop.

    • Andres on April 30, 2018 at 10:26 pm
    • Reply

    I have a Uniden R3. When I travel across the US, am I better off just selecting “highway”?

    Draw a triangle from Texas to Michigan to Miami and back to Texas

    1. Selecting Highway mode if you’re on the highway the whole time would make sense.

    • Craig on July 19, 2018 at 9:35 pm
    • Reply

    Where can I find out the best settings for the R3 in the Vancouver, Canada area?

    • Casey on August 5, 2018 at 10:56 am
    • Reply

    Same question as Craig!
    Where can I find out the best settings for the R3 in the Vancouver, Canada area?

    1. They should be the same as the US.

    • Jacob on August 28, 2018 at 1:29 pm
    • Reply

    What would be the best settings to have my Uniden R3 running when driving in NJ?

    • Adam on September 4, 2018 at 4:52 am
    • Reply

    I also am going to purchase the R3 and live in NJ. Would like to know if uniden R3 is a good selection for living in NJ, I also travel through PA a good bit please let me know! Thanks

    1. Yep, it’s a great choice.

    • Ricky on September 23, 2018 at 7:54 am
    • Reply

    Can you please give me settings specifically for the Bay Area California and Modesto Area as well. That would be a lot of help for me

    1. Please check the links referenced in this article. I don’t live there and can’t tell you from first hand experience which is why we have user generated references from others who also live there and they can report what they are seeing. If you’re not seeing the info you need there, you can ask on the forums to hear from others in your area. https://www.rdforum.org/index.php?forums/32/

    • Levi Wagner on September 25, 2018 at 10:06 am
    • Reply

    Uniden R3 or V1 for kansas?

    1. Kansas is super flat so the V1 with its arrows would be super helpful (http://www.valentine1.com), but if you’re driving in any urban areas, the GPS of the R3 would be immensely useful (https://amzn.to/2MBcjU1).

        • Levi on September 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm
        • Reply

        Cool thanks for your reply im up in the north east part of Kansas so I thinking I want the R3 just because I don’t want to have to use my phone with the V1 to get the other features like gps. I just wish uniden had arrows

        1. Don’t we all… 🙂 There are reports that they’re working on such a detector, but it’s not something that’ll be coming out soon. So for that reason, grabbing on an R3 sounds like the way to go. http://bit.ly/2oNDrPl

    • Grumpy Bear on November 3, 2018 at 2:16 pm
    • Reply

    I have the Uniden R3 for two months now and I live in NJ.
    I noticed that the X and K band are working almost none stop without noticing a single police vehicle, that means for me that it’s all false alarms.
    However the Ka band is mostly used by all police cars, local and state profusely, there are very few places that the Ka is is notifying and it’s not a police radar.
    I am going still to leave all the bands “on” for a while until I’ll be (more)sure that it’s not a police radar…

    1. There are many sources of X and K band in use besides police radar so you’ll need to use the filters for your detector too.

    • Tom on November 24, 2018 at 11:56 pm
    • Reply

    Hi There, I watched your videos on YouTube. However, i’m a bit confused as too what radar detector to purchase for my area here in Massachusetts. I don’t want to spend a lot of money and was highly considering the Beltronics RX65-Red Professional Series Radar Detector. Do you think this would be a good choice for a first time detector…? I know it puts off quite a few false positives but their is a mute button for that on the plug itself that goes into your outlet. Right now i can get it on Amazon.com for under $130. And so i thought this was a good deal. That all said, if you could kindly get back too me ASAP and let me know if this would be a good choice for a detector i would greatly appreciate it. Please email me at the address i am providing you instead of replying on this website. Thank you.

    Tom K.

    • Zac on December 28, 2018 at 2:04 pm
    • Reply

    I just purchased a R1 for my drives from Raleigh NC to Fort Lauderdale every month. I also drive from Raleigh NC to Fort Wayne Indiana every couple months too. I love the radar, are there any recommendations on settings? I have highway normal with MRCD off mounted with suction cups next to rear view mirror. I run Waze at the same time. Thanks for all your posts.

      • Chris Haase on June 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm
      • Reply

      I too am in Raleigh and from Ft. Wayne area originally. Small world. But I use the MAX 360c.

    • Jim Granger on June 8, 2019 at 6:10 pm
    • Reply

    I’m about to buy a Window mount detector and I am confused. I read R7, R3, Escort, V1 etc. I am in Arkansas and what fits this state best please and one that will cover surrounding states for occasional trips as well. Help will be much appreciated

    1. Yeah there’s a lot of good options. Here’s my guide to picking a RD: https://www.vortexradar.com/best-radar-detectors/

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