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Jul 03

Using American Radar Detectors Around the World?

A lot of you guys living overseas (all across Europe and in Saudi Arabia are the most common locations) have been asking me about which radar detector is best for your area. Which radar detector I’d recommend for your country. Unfortunately I can’t tell you that and what I have to share regarding American radar detectors and radar guns does not apply to your country. My recommendations only apply to the US and Canada. Here’s a few of the biggest key differences regarding what drivers experience around the world:

Why Things Are Different for Radar Detectors Outside the United States:

  • Around the world, police use radar guns that American radar detectors simply can not detect. The radar guns operate on different frequencies, use very fast POP radar, or be very low powered and require specialized detection hardware, etc.
  • In other countries you have choices for radar detectors that we don’t have.
  • American radar detectors are often not available for sale around the world.
  • You have international firmware versions for many detectors that we have that can completely change the performance and capabilities of a detector so it may be very different than the American version of the same detector we use.
  • Your laws regarding radar detectors are very different.
  • Different speed measurement tools such as point to point cameras, laser systems, license plate readers, etc. are used so you’ll need additional / different tools.
  • Sometimes a better solution may be to use an app that alerts you to fixed speed monitoring locations instead of or in addition to a radar detector.
  • Radar detectors with GPS designed for your area will typically include a database of speed zones for your area. American radar detectors will not have this.

So in short, if you live outside the US or Canada, I am not a good resource for you unfortunately, my detector recommendations and recommended settings are not going to work for you, and you’re really better off reaching out to someone who is familiar with your country, what radar detectors are best for your area, and you particular driving requirements.

I’d love to be able to help you, but unfortunately that is not my specialty and what I have to share based on what we experience here in the US will not apply to you.

If you guys know of some excellent resources including websites, forums, youtube channels, and so forth, please let me know down in the comment area. I’d love to be able to offer you guys something helpful, point you in the direction of someone who can provide more info, or even do some research myself and share what I’ve found with you, but currently all of my videos and articles apply to the US and Canada only.

14 comments

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  1. Rob

    Hi Vortex.
    I live in Europe (France) and even if here we have radars that are different compared to us ones I decided to buy a rd even if it has not been tested in my area.
    I follow your videos and website and I learned a lot.
    Even if your tests are made in U.S.A especially for Ka bands radars the mode of detection and range of the rd is similar all over the world.
    Equipments and frequency change from a area to another one that’s right but I told myself why a radar detector that works in USA should not work here ?
    So I started with a Escort 8500 CI changing to a Uniden DFR7, Genevo One S Black Edition and…. finally the uniden R1.
    I can confirm that these units works well here.
    We have K band only and low powered speed radars but Escort, Uniden and Genevo alerted me without any problems.
    The best one is the R1 and that confirm the results you got in U.S.A.
    Best range compared to the others, good bsm filtering (here fortunately we got less bsm systems in cars ), excellent off axis detection .
    The only thing different I noticed reading posts or watching video coming from USA is the extreme detection range you get.
    I means my rd Uniden R1 alert me at a distance of a half of a mile or maximum a 3/4 of a mile .
    It is sufficient to avoid a ticket but I think your police radars are more powerful than here.
    Maybe Ka band is more powerful and best detectable than K band ?
    I don’t know.
    Consider yourself lucky with the longest range you get in USA.
    In France low powered radar are hard to detect but Escort, Genevo and Uniden make their job in a correct way here too πŸ™‚

    1. Vortex

      Hey Rob! Yeah there’s some similarities and against normal radar guns, sure the detectors will fare well. Physics is physics and that doesn’t change just because you’re in another country. πŸ™‚ Many countries use the MRCD, MRCT, Gatso, and so on.. very difficult to detect radar guns that we don’t see here and are only just starting to show up in Canada. If all you have is normal radar guns then sure, American radar detectors would still work. However, given how common those guns seem to be, it doesn’t seem like the way to go. They’re all over Europe… and Aus/NZ sees them too. I’ve seen resources people have put together to list what guns are used where, like this https://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=8306, but given that manufacturers would select different frequencies for their radar guns even if they’re using the same models (we don’t have 34.3 here, for example), I think it’s something that someone who lives over there and has the capabilities and first hand experience would do best at getting into. I’m glad to hear that there’s instances where our RD’s can work over there, but for complete and thorough discussion, someone like you would be better at doing this. πŸ™‚

      1. Vortex

        Speaking of the Genevo’s and R1, I think the Genevo One M might be a better choice than the R1. The R1 is great, but given that the One M adds MRCD detection, a database of known speedtrap locations, and so on, that may actually be a better choice. I don’t have any way of testing or verifying that for myself, but just thinking aloud a bit. πŸ™‚

      2. Rob

        I agree with you Vortex.
        Here MRCD are not in use but I know that in other European country they exist.
        So Genevo M edition would be the better choice.
        And in Italy where I lived for exemple RD are not useful.
        They use a system named Autovelox that detect your speed using two laser beams perpendiculars to the road so no radars detectors would be able to save you….

    2. Vortex

      Actually, would you mind chiming in here with your experiences? https://www.rdforum.org/showthread.php?t=64019

      1. Harold

        There are not many known tests on the Mesta. Looks like Mesta is one of the mst difficult radars to detect.

    3. Harold

      Hi Rob,

      Have you also been testing on the Mesta? Even Stinger VIP has got problems with the Mesta.

      1. Rob

        Mesta are the main radar system here.
        Consider than France get over than 4.000 stationary speed radars.
        I’ve tested with Mesta radar and the R1 make the better work in detecting it.

  2. Mottie

    hello vortex
    I will try to explain for everyone knowledge the basics about this issue.
    overall in general there are no difference from a us detector and a European detector (it’s the same detector!!!) it could be v1 , redline, passport etc. the main feature of the detector is operational with the correct settings to the bands that are used for the country in question. it could be x,k or ka band (a lot of European countries don’t use k band- which is a blessing… saves a lot of false alerts) as for ka band there are some places that use the notorious Swiss multonova which transmits a very week signal of 34.5 ka band with the direction of traffic and that makes it difficult to detect on time (the only detector that can give a warning to it is the v1 with euro mode on!! . there are some more similar traps like the mrcp etc but that transmits the radar to all directions. so it’s a lot easier to detect.
    as for the detectors that equipped with gps location for red light and speed camera database is a different story some of them do support the European database (passport max and max 2 and the max 360 with the escort radar detector tool) and some are not. that is the case with the awesome uniden r3 and that is why I have been asking you about this issue quite a lot.
    in conclusion radar detectors manufacturers don’t build “two versions ” of the same detector- it’s the same detector only needs to be set and adjust to operation with the bands that are used for those locations.
    be advised that there are a lot of unauthorized dealers in Europe that falsely claim that “a special v1 for example is a euro version ” and sells it for overpriced like 600-700€ when all they did is order it from valentine research in the us set it up with the correct settings and operated the euro mode. the only reason they get away with this is that a lot of people simply don’t know the truth and don’t have the proper knowledge to set the detector themselves.
    hoped I helped
    best regards to everyone and especially for you vortex you are a great guy
    keep up the good work.

    1. Vortex

      Escort claims that there’s hardware differences between the American Redline and the International Redline, but I’m not totally sure. It is confusing with the Redline, Redline Pro-A, International Redline, Redline, XR, etc. Nevertheless, Escort has been very clear on this that there is a hardware difference. http://escortradarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13909 I’ve had a chance to test both the American Redline and the International Redline against the MRCD and the Int’l version, with its MRCD-specific firmware is able to detect it and the American one is not. There definitely is a difference in performance and capability, in addition to the different settings and options available in the Int’l version.

      I’ve tested a bunch of American detectors against the MRCD and they’re not effective. Either no alert at all or alerting only with the K band filters disabled which isn’t practical we you need a detector that can both alert to the MRCD and also differentiate between low powered K band and just a normal K band signal.

      This is what has me confused. Do you guys not encounter these guns? Do you use an app to deal with them? My Stinger does great against those. The R1/R3 does not. If you don’t encounter them, sure an American detector would work fine. If you do, however, you need a detector with specialized international firmware, regardless of whether or not there is a hardware difference.

      If you guys are doing just fine without low powered K band detection, I would love to know more and hear about where this is the case. Perhaps you guys could put together a list or something of where American detectors would work and where they wouldn’t. I don’t know anything that specific but it would be very helpful to have something like that to share with people.

      1. Mottie

        hi vortex
        yes the case with the American redline and a redline pro a or international (whatever they call it) is a somewhat unique because I own the American redline and a v1 myself but I have friends who have the redline pro a but be advised to two things:
        1.the serial numbers of both are similar and I don’t know maybe it’s a special thing that escort did or not- I can’t be sure. and even though the redline pro a has a great ability against the mrcd , it has zero!!! ability against the Swiss moltonova.

        1. Vortex

          Thank you for the info about the Moltonova. Have you put together a write-up with your experiences with different detectors in different countries, what they can and can’t detect, and how well? I’ve also found that American and International Redlines (whatever they call it) can match and don’t line up with what Escort has said. However, the performance capabilities are definitely different and ultimately that’s what matters. We can’t buy International Redlines here. It was hard to even get them for sale in Canada. Escort has a lot of resistance to selling us those detectors here so it’s tough to even test them out. I’m getting some international Radensos to test out, but I don’t have the international radar guns to test them against so it’s more of just a chance to see them and do some videos showing the differences in menu options. πŸ™‚ Seeing your realworld experiences would be wonderful and I’d love to see that.

          The international section of RDF could use some help. Would you be able to contribute and share your experiences there? https://www.rdforum.org/forumdisplay.php?f=35

          1. Mottie

            Hello vortex
            I will sure do that when I get the time.
            be advised that just like the radar detectors manufacturers of the us same goes for the radar guns manufacturers for example the bee mph 3 is in use across Europe and in some countries they even use pop!! and the same goes with stalker etc. the thing is that in addition to this here we have guns that transmit week signal with the direction of traffic. thank god in my country they’re no longer operate the moltunova and put out of service because they now placed the new guatso cameras (no radar just a loop of two lines buried in the road and measuring the time it took the car to pass and calculating the speed and flash the camera) . as for what I said earlier about the redline here example from Australia ( a bit old sorry):https://youtu.be/Yg79qFCg6GE
            best regards

  3. Syrinx

    Hello Rob,

    Where did you BUY your R1? It’s difficult to find in Europe! Thanks.

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