By Paul Sonoda
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 3, 2006
If you’re concerned about your driving record or the soaring cost of car insurance, getting speeding tickets is not an option. The challenge is to make sure that you’re obeying the speed limit in the presence of speed detection devices. Beltronics has the answer. With over 85 percent of the industry patents, Beltronics is the technology leader in radar detectors. The subject of the review is the Beltronics V995. How well does it perform? Read on.
The Beltronics V995 is a self-contained windshield-mount radar detector. About the size of a pack of cigarettes, the V995 is housed in a black plastic case with a brushed metal top. A front display and four buttons on the top front of the unit make up the user interface. The Beltronics V995 uses a bright, dot matrix display that delivers an easily readable combination of alphanumeric characters and bar graphs to display information to the driver. With the display, you can choose between standard bar graph display and a “Tech Mode” that the displays numeric frequency of any radar signal.
Using its ultra-fast microprocessor, the V995 can process a signal in less than one second. According to Beltronics, the response time is crucial against laser and instant-on radar. The Beltronics V995 has sensitivity modes for Highway, City, or AutoScan. There are three modes for City filtering, including Low X band and No X band for quiet operation on city streets. When a radar signal is detected, the V995 displays the active threat band’s signal strength and gives an instant audible alert. Different types of radar produce different tones from the on-board speaker.
A Closer Look
The DSP (digital signal processing) of the Beltronics V995 uses a patented AutoScan feature to continuously analyze incoming signals and reject false alarms. Using a new varactor-tuned microwave receiver, the V995 delivers the best performance on all major bands, including the new Ka band. Total Tracking Laser circuitry detects laser guns both on and off axis. For the ultimate performance, the Beltronics V995 can be interfaced with an LP905 “Laser Blocking” system. This will detect when laser detectors are activated and deliver an error code to the laser detector. Even without the LP905, the V995 uses Exclusive Shadow Technology to render the unit undetectable by VG2 devices (radar detector detectors).
Installation doesn’t get any easier. Attaching the V995 to the windshield via the quick release bracket is a simple process. There are additional suction cups included for future use. Power is delivered through a coiled power cord that plugs into the cigarette lighter adaptor. The cord is long enough for both bottom and top of the windshield installations. The V995 also includes three additional colored overlays designed to cover the brushed aluminum top to change the look of the V995 to match your vehicle’s interior or your personal whim. For travel, the V995 includes a soft travel case. Very nice.
The Beltronics V995 includes a quick reference card to get started using the detector. If more detail is needed, the V995 also includes a comprehensive owner’s manual, which is detailed and well written. On the Web site, www.beltronics.com, I was able to quickly and easily find information on the V995. The manual was also available for viewing in PDF format. (The company reports that this has been fixed - ed.) If you purchase the V995 via the Web site, there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. Otherwise, the Beltronics V995 comes standard with a one-year warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
Ease Of Use
The ergonomic design of the Beltronics V995 works well. Without being familiar to the operation of the unit, I found controlling the V995 to be intuitive.
Set from the factory, the V995 is optimized for immediate use and is extremely intuitive to use. The AutoScan feature makes choosing between City and Highway sensitivities not necessary for proper performance. In addition, the Beltronics V995 also gives a voice alert that informs the driver of the type of radar detected. Helping the driver focus his eyes on the road, the V995 reduces the volume of the alarm after a short period of time. Pressing the main button during an alert instantly mutes the unit for that alarm. It stays muted until a new radar signal is detected. This is a great feature. Finally, the V995 has four levels of brightness to choose from, including full dark mode for discreet night travel.
I started using the Beltronics V995 on my normal route to work. I found that the V995 detected low levels of K band whenever I was near retail stores with automatic doors. After a couple of days of driving, I knew when to expect these alerts and could mentally filter them.
In my area, the use of Ka band and Laser are the most common of speed detection devices. Every time a Ka band alert happened on the interstate, I had a good 20-30 seconds before I saw the source of alarm. One time, I was blasted with a Laser alert — I had plenty of time to slow before I saw the patrol car hidden behind the overpass. (Good thing I wasn’t speeding.) The Beltronics V995 definitely delivers the performance.
What I like most about the unit is the intuitiveness of its design. Out of the box, the unit just worked — just plug it in and go; no settings to set, no features to turn on. The performance of the unit is impressive. The V995 never sent an alert (other than K band) that was not a radar gun. That’s so important. The Beltronics V995 uses a combination of simple controls, clear digital voice alerts, and great performance to make an outstanding radar detector. If you get one, you won’t be disappointed. <<
The Beltronics V995 On the Sonoda Scale
Strengths: Great performance, ease of use.
Weakness: Can’t really think of one
Best use: A must have for the informed driver
Performance Value (Out of 5): * * * *
Performance vs. Weight (Out of 5): * * * * *
Speed Measurement Device Detection (K, Ka, Ku, X band and Laser)(Out of 5): * * * * *
Manuals, Online Support (Out of 5): * * * *
Beltronics V995 Specs
Price & Contact: MSRP: $299.95; www.beltronics.com
X-band: 10.525 GHz – 25 MHz
K-band: 24.150 GHz – 100 MHz
Ka-band: 34.700 GHz – 1300 MHz
Ku-band: 13.400 GHz – 25 MHz
Laser: 904nm, 33 MHz bandwidth
Radar Receiver/Detector Type
Scanning Frequency Discriminator
Digital Signal Processing (DSP)
Quantum Limited Video Receiver
Multiple Laser Sensor Diodes
280 LED Alphanumeric
Bar Graph or Tech Display
3 Levels of Brightness, plus Dark Mode
12VDC, Negative Ground
Signal Strength Meter
City Mode Sensitivity
Highway, AutoScan™ and City
Auto Calibration Circuitry
One Year Limited Warranty (Two-year extended service plan available)
Dimensions (Inches): 1.25H x 2.75W x 4.75L