16 April 2014|
I'm a firm believer in using top quality radar detectors in all my vehicles, and over the years these devices have paid for themselves many times over. Only once did I receive a 'performance reward' from the local gendarme while using a good detector. On that occasion, I was travelling three miles per hour over the limit and chose to ignore a laser warning thinking I was well within the usual leeway most officers afford. Nope. I was cited for going 78 mph in a 75 zone. If that’s not a classic example of tickets used solely for revenue generation, I don’t know what is.
Anyway, I’ve learned my lesson, and now I use only the highest performance radar and laser detection I can find. And thanks to innovative features like exclusive “ESCORT Live!” connectivity, my choice of detectors is almost exclusively something made by Beltronics, which also build Escort/Passport branded products.
The latest (and I believe greatest) performer in their lineup is the new STiR Plus. The STiR Plus is an installed high-performance stealth defense system. The unit is designed to be completely hidden or blended into your interior using six separate components: a display module that is less than 2 inches wide (yet still easy to read), a similarly sized control module, an interface breakout box to provide the connection ports for all the pieces and, of course, the weather and waterproof radar module itself. Also included is an amplified speaker and a dual color hidden Alert LED. The system is designed to make it disappear in your interior, without compromising on the performance or functionality of the product.
Speaking of functionality, this one has it all. You get full coverage for X, K, Ka Radar, and Laser. But most importantly, an all-new Ka frequency programming feature allows on or off monitoring for all Ka radar bands. This excellent feature allows each segment in the Ka band to be turned on or off individually. The result is increased range and faster alerts because the unit isn’t forced to scan every possible frequency. If you are unsure which bands can be safely turned off in your area, a convenient “tech mode” displays the frequencies the police are using. Once you discover these frequencies, the others can be safely disabled. Thanks to this feature your Ka alerts will occur sooner and, when they do, you’ll know it’s a real threat.
The STiR Plus also provides an advanced GPS function which is extremely effective at false alert learning. False alert locations are stored in memory, which is incredibly effective at reducing false alarms. The unit I tested learned several regular falses that I get on my daily commute in only two trips. For even better coverage and security, you can even connect the STiR Plus to your Windows-based computer and download the latest updated information from the DEFENDER database, such as photo speed camera alerts and even firmware updates.
If these devices are frowned upon in your location, rest assured that Beltronics patented TotalShield technology makes the STiR Plus 100% invisible to all radar detectors around the world. That means the VG2, VG4, all forms of Stalcar and Spectre and yes, even the OPP’s Spectre up yonder in Canada.
I completed a temporary installation of the system in my truck in a couple of hours, mounting the detector head just under my front bumper low and in the center, and my trusted Passport SRX right below the head. The connections to the interface box made things very simple and all the components simply plug in. Since I’m pretty familiar with high-performance radar products, I am astounded at how much better the STiR Plus is compared to my Passport SRX. Not only did I receive earlier warnings, but I am also surprised at how much better the STiR Plus is at picking up signals from behind me. The audio ramp-up worked very well, providing excellent auditory information to let me know how strong (close) the threat was. LiDAR signal warnings seemed instantaneous, and the sound the unit makes for a LiDAR alert lets you know whether or not it’s time to stand on the brakes. Granted, the SRX is a bit dated, but the overall performance difference the STiR brings is amazing. At least twice, the STiR bested the alert from my SRX by at least two seconds. Guess which one is now going to find a permanent home in my truck?
The Beltronics STiR Plus is without question the best performing radar and laser defense system I have ever had the pleasure of using. Granted, this level of performance and stealth doesn’t come cheap, as the STiR Plus has a suggested retail price of $1,299.95. But that still makes it about 400 bucks cheaper than the Passport 9500ci, which comes with laser shifters that some folks won’t ever need. But more importantly, the 9500ci does not include the very important ability to program which Ka bands you need to monitor, a standard feature on the STiR. Considering I still get far more Ka band alerts than LiDAR alerts, I believe the band programmability is more useful than the jammers. But if you want the maximum protection possible, the STiR is compatible with front and rear blockers.
If you are looking for what is arguably the very best radar/laser defense system available, and you want or need a product that is designed to accommodate a stealth-type install, quit looking right now and go get a Beltronics STiR Plus. You can thank me later – and you will.
For more information on all Beltronics products, check them out online at www.beltronics.com.