It’s time to take a look at RMR’s latest radar detector and do a Rocky Mountain Radar Judge review. You see, many people consider Rocky Mountain Radar to be one of the biggest scammers in the radar detector industry. They make a lot of wild claims that turn out not to be true, justify their claims with nonsensical technobabble in the hopes that you get lost in the confusion of something that sounds intelligent and just take their word for it, but really they’re in the business of taking advantage of people who don’t know any better. As the saying does, “If you can’t dazzle ’em with brilliance, baffle ’em with bullshit.” :p
Their main claim to fame is that they advertise radar and laser “scrambling” capabilities, that like radar or laser jammers, they can prevent police officers from being able to acquire your speed. They claim it’s a passive technique which makes it different from jamming, but in practice, it has NO any impact on radar or laser guns pointed at you when you’re driving down the road. None.
Now you could test this out yourself by driving past a speed sign on the side of the road, but because the product doesn’t actually have any impact on radar guns, they’ll claim that there’s no computer inside of speed signs which makes no sense at all, but it’s really just a way to avoid people from discovering that their products do not work. RMR claims that their products only work against police radar and laser guns so… let’s test against those in this Rocky Mountain Radar Judge review, shall we? 🙂
Rocky Mountain Radar, The Judge: Tests & Review
Let’s start with radar scrambling. Here’s what RMR has to say about it on their website for the Judge:
So when the feature is activated, the detector should be able to prevent a police radar gun from being able to acquire your speed. I tested against 6 different police radar guns including the MPH Bee III, Stalker II, Decatur Genesis II, Genesis II Select, Kustom Falcon HR, and MPH Z35. The first 3 are Ka band guns, the last 3 are K band guns. Scrambling was enabled for every run of course as you’ll see in the video. However, as soon as each radar gun was activated, it was able to instantly acquire my speed. No scrambling capabilities were achieved.
Next up, laser scrambling. This is supposed to work beyond 100 feet or so and prevent a police officer from being able to acquire your speed. My test course was 750 feet long, well beyond the “minimum distance” that this claims to work beyond. I found that even with the scrambling feature activated, I was able to instantly acquire the speed of my target vehicle with the Kustom ProLaser III, just like I could when the detector was powered off. No impact was made to the laser acquisition abilities .
POP Radar Detection:
POP is an automated, very quick burst of radar designed to let an officer preview your speed without triggering your radar detector. Then when they see someone they want to target, they switch their radar gun into normal operation to get a tracking history. Unfortunately there’s a whole host of problems with the legalities and accuracy of POP radar so it’s really not used much and many people actually turn POP detection off because it leads to improved performance and reduced false alerts. Thus POP detection isn’t a big deal in practice, but here’s what RMR has to say about POP detection with the Judge:
Now oddly enough, there is no option in the detector to enable or disable POP detection the way that other detectors have that actually are designed to detect POP. Either way, here’s a test with two different POP-capable radar guns, the MPH Bee III transmitting 67ms Ka band POP and the MPH Z35 transmitting a faster and more difficult to detect 16ms K band POP. The Judge is unable to detect (or scramble) a single POP shot.
Undetectability and RDD Immunity:
Some people want a radar detector that’s undetectable, particularly in areas where radar detectors are illegal. For those people, a stealth detector is desirable so that it can’t be detected by radar detector detectors (RDD’s). Here’s what RMR has to say about their stealth capabilities:
They advertise VG-2 immunity and in practice, yes it is immune to being detected by the VG-2. However, that’s an ancient RDD and one that most every radar detector is immune to. Becoming stealth to that is quite easy.
The latest RDD, the one that’s hardest to become immune to, and the one that’s currently in use is the Spectre Elite. Unfortunately the Judge is actually quite detectable by the Spectre Elite. An officer running one of these would have no trouble recognizing that a vehicle is actively running a Judge. Take a look here:
What about as a normal radar detector?
So as you can see, many of the advanced capabilities that Rocky Mountain Radar advertises are false in practice and don’t actually perform as advertised. What about as just a radar detector itself?
In terms of long range testing, I’ve found that my Stinger VIP alerts to K band speed signs much farther away than the Judge, even at the Judge’s most sensitive setting and the Stinger’s least sensitive setting. Now that’s not a fair comparison, comparing the Judge to a Stinger, not to mention that speed signs aren’t the best to test performance against, so I’ve sent the Judge out to the TXCTG for long range testing to see how it fares.
In terms of blind spot filtering, in the few days of driving that I’ve done with it, it actually seems to do a reasonably good job. I gotta give credit where credit is due. The thing is though, you can find detectors with effective BSM filters like the Uniden DFR6 for less than half the price so…
The detector doesn’t have many menu options at all. For example, there’s no ability to turn bands on and off (which.. I suppose is okay for a basic newbie-friendly detector) and it also lacks TSR to filter out traffic sensors along the side of the highway, a feature many people absolutely require.
One of the most bizarre things is that it lacks the ability to manually mute a signal when it arises, a basic feature that I’ve never seen missing in any other detector. There is a mute button on top to allow you to switch muting modes between “Mute Off” (alerting normally), “Automute” (Announcing the band, beeping a few times, then going silent), and “Mute On” (which announces the band and then doesn’t beep afterwards). However, if you press the mute button during the presence of an alert, it doesn’t actually mute the signal. It simply switches between muting modes. I’ve never seen this feature missing from a radar detector and am honestly kind of stunned.
The detector retails for $399 and in this price range, you generally find radar detectors with a GPS chip like the Uniden DFR7, Radenso XP, or Escort Passport Max. This GPS chip is vital for city driving to give you features like low speed muting, redlight camera alerts, or GPS lockouts. The Judge doesn’t offer these features so it puts the detector down among the class of detectors that often sell for $200 or less.
That extra price differential they are attempting to justify through the “added value” of so-called “scrambling” capabilities and whatnot. Not worth it…
Rocky Mountain Radar likes to bombard you with intelligent-sounded technobabble to get you believe that their products have incredible powers when in reality they’re very limited products that simply do not perform as advertised. RMR’s technique is to prey on unsuspecting buyers who don’t know any better and understandably buy into their claims. I’m hoping that this review helps to show you how the Judge actually performs in practice. In no way, shape, or form do I recommend Rocky Mountain Radar’s products. There’s a reason why you don’t see radar detector enthusiasts like myself running these to keep us protected. Now you know why.
If you’re looking for a detector that genuinely is awesome, is a good way to spend your money, and will deliver the performance that you need, I recommend that you check out my Radar Detector Buyer’s Guide and take a look at my top picks.
If you know of someone who’s looking at the Judge, please send them a link to this review.
Also, I’d like your help to helping make sure more people don’t get scammed by buying a Judge. Please check out my Amazon review of the RMR Judge and mark it as Helpful so that the review gets bumped up and people who are doing their research are more likely to see it.
Update: Great work everyone! You guys all helped bump my review up to the top on Amazon so that anyone considering this detector will see it. However, RMR saw this too and was unhappy about it, and posted roughly 200 what look to be fake 5-star reviews to boost their rating back up. Something to keep in mind when checking out reviews on Amazon.
I have zero affiliation with Rocky Mountain Radar. I purchased a retail copy of the detector brand new from Amazon and then returned it after testing. I was not provided this detector by anyone else and this review is not sponsored in any way. My review is my own objective opinion based on real world testing with police radar and laser guns. If it was a good detector, I’d be happy to link you to Amazon and make a commission when you purchase, just like I do with the other detectors I recommend instead because they are legitimately good detectors. There is no financial incentive for me to say anything bad about them. My goal is to provide you with the highest quality information so that you can make an informed and educated decision. You deserve that. I hope Rocky Mountain Radar decides to step up their game and begin selling and marketing their products with honest and integrity.