For more than 20 years inventor dude Mike Valentine‘s radar detector the Valentine One has more-or-less been the undisputed champion in the speeding ticket avoidance industry. An industry that came of age during the Richard Nixon administration in 1974 via the The Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act which required states to enact a 55 miles-per-hour speed limit to receive federal funding for highway repair.
Now suddenly, according to a Car & Driver magazine’s latest radar test, the company Valentine helped start, Escort has overtaken the longtime champ.
Or has it?
“This magazine’s recent comparison of radar detectors reached an odd conclusion- that the elimination of false alarms ‘provides a higher level of real-world protection’ than you’d get from detailed information about those alarms,” Valentine writes in a full page ad in the April issue of Car & Driver. “I disagree strongly. Here’s why. GPS false alarm blocking systems fail the Murphy’s Law test.”
Lest anyone be unfamiliar with said law, Valentine adds, “If a system can fail, it will sometimes.”
“Using GPS to block false alarms is not failure proof,” Valentine continues. ‘And the failures are disastrous; it blocks real radar. You can see the demonstrations on YouTube.”
“You’ve got to look at the fine print,” says one Valentine One staffer. “One of the things they did with falling was they turned off the X-Band on the Escort and left ours on. So guess what? With the X-Band on, you’re going to have more falling.”
Back to Valentine…
“Here’s the inescapable fact: There’s no detectable difference between false alarm signals and those of real radar,” Valentine says. “So every blocker uses some proxy to identify falsest; GPS uses location. But at the marked location, the blocker (on the Escort) doesn’t home in exactly on the offending false. Instead it zeros out a band of frequencies that includes the false. If a radar trap sets up nearby, on a frequency close to the false, Murphy’s Law will prevail and it will block that radar too.
“Ask yourself this; who has more skin in the game of finding radar, Murphy or the driver? At Valentine Research, my company, we’ve created Valentine One to serve the driver by telling him – instantly and on every alert for both radar and laser – everything he needs to know for defense. Including where to look and how many (alarms are) within range. All other detectors simply go ‘beep.’ ”
“Imagine my frustration when this magazine rated our competitor’s simple beeps as having value equal to V1’s comprehensive threat report,” Valentine writes. “”Even more troubling, it concluded that deferring to Murphy by preemptively blocking signals is preferable to giving the driver everything he needs to decide for himself.
“Signal blocking often works, but it doesn’t always work. And the failures are simply unacceptable, because it keeps you in the dark while it blocks the very signals you bought it to detect.”
Turns out Escort’s wasn’t very happy with C&D’s test either.
Yet curiously, where Valentine had to buy a full page ad in Car & Driver to get in his retort out, the magazine granted Escort VP Tim Coomer a nearly full page freebie.
“Thank you for rating the Passport Max the best protection…” it begins. “I do want to point out a few important facts that your writer clearly missed.”
Something about having a built in USB port for updating the detector, the cord not wiggling out of cigarette lighter receptacles and it shipping with a complete North America database of speed and red light cameras.
“In summary, the oversight of its GPS intelligence, onboard database of speed and red light cameras, and it’s ability to seamlessly connect to our award winning app Escort Live makes me think you guys spent more time taking it apart for the picture than actually driving it,” Coomer scolds. ”
Nothing like a good pissing match between corporate scofflaws.