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Test drive, a Porsche for lunch, radar test, and a discussion with a state trooper

Discussion in 'Model S' started by retinadoc, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. retinadoc

    retinadoc Member

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    My local Tesla Rangers (names withheld for their protection) were kind enough to grant me a test drive so I could drive a performance version. We also decided to attempt to answer the question of can a Valentine 1 radar detector function normally in a Tesla. I was lucky enough to book a time that had several cancellations surrounding it. We took the car out on I-684, a long, straight three lane highway that I know like the back of my hand from fifteen years of commuting. I know every radar trap along the stretch and we were intentionally trying to find one. The Valentine 1 was mounted on the windshield immediately to the right of the mirror. This is the zone that Tesla was nice enough to inform me that has a small window in the IR coating.

    About five minutes into the test drive I cut my speed from 75 to 60 MPH as we came around curve. My Tesla Ranger companion looked at me quizzically:confused: until he glanced down the road. There he spotted our target. A State Trooper sitting on the median. I looked up at the Valentine 1. Absolutely silent. Simultaneously a silly SUV decided to pass us on the left at high speed. Uh-oh, sure enough, as we both went past the State Trooper the lights come on and he pulls out. I knew we were fine speed wise but thought it was possible that he was coming after us to get a closer look at the car. No such luck for the SUV. The trooper zoomed past us and pulled over the hapless lawbreaker. :scared:The Valentine 1 remained silent.

    Not good. Like most V-1 users I have come to trust it given the many tickets it has saved me from. Further up the road, I knew there was a highway sign with a radar trigger. This time the V-1 started chirping. Now I was really puzzled, and swung the car around for another pass. Once again the V-1 detected the sign. Somewhat unsatisfied we decided to head back. On the way we encountered a candy red Porsche Carrera. This is a standard uniform for the hedge fund and I-bankers who are indigenous to Northern Westchester. I pulled up along side him and he gave a sneering look of superiority at the black Model S. A strange thing then happened. A Tesla grin came across my face. However, this was not the normal grin of innocent joy one usually reads about on the Tesla Motors Forum. This grin was more like the evil one that came across the Grinch's face when he looked down on all the unsuspecting Whos in Whoville. I floored the car. It was like going into warp drive and in an instant the Porsche was a speck in my rear view mirror. Fighting my adolescent urges, I took my foot off the gas and let the Porsche catch up....then I floored it again. Bye bye Porsche.

    Soon we approached the original speed trap. I was very unsatisfied with our radar test results and really wanted an answer. I pulled the car unto the center divider and walked over to the State Trooper. He was very intrigued by the car and looked it over carefully and asked the Ranger a bunch of questions. He was a car guy, and actually knew a great deal about it. Gingerly I asked him about the SUV and he explained that he had tagged it with laser not radar. Mystery solved. I asked him if he would paint us with radar to test the the V-1. He did so and it lit up like a xmas tree. Mission accomplished, although it is impossible to know if the windshield will diminish the V-1's superior sensitivity since this test was at point blank range. Not surprisingly, the IR coatings blocked the laser rebound from the SUV. Laser detection only tells you you are about to get a ticket and is somewhat a non-issue.

    Satisfied we headed home. I heartily agree with those on the forums that have stated that the nonperformance Model S is plenty fast and for all practical purposes is more than enough car. However, what I felt blowing the doors off that Porsche has nothing to do with being practical. I am opting for the performance version. I only hope the V-1 will save me.
     
  2. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Haha, what a tale. Aren't detectors illegal out that way? If so, mighty nice of the trooper. Is there nothing that detects laser?
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Radar detectors are legal in every state with the exception of Virginia, Washington DC. and while on military bases. Some states have have different laws regarding commercial vehicles. I think in Illinois, New Jersey, and New York commercial vehicles cant use radar detectors. There are lots of web sites with this info.
     
  4. Mycroft

    Mycroft Life happens

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    Lots of devices detect coherent laser light. However, if it detects the light, as retinadoc said, you've already been tagged.
     
  5. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    You might consider getting a Blinder laser jammer. One is going in my Model S.
     
  6. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah -> what Mycroft said. While radar jammers are illegal in all 50 states due to federal law, laser jammers/scramblers are regulated by states. Currently, these devices are legal in all states except California, Colorado, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington D.C. So if you don't live in any of those states, have at it. lol
     
  7. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    As you said, but there are laser jammers that make your car's speed unreadable for most laser guns.
     
  8. miemrich

    miemrich Member

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    Could you please confirm that you mounted the V1 to the right side of the mirror, looking from the INSIDE. And you mean right of the mirror at the same height as the mirror or ABOVE the mirror where the small dark window is? How close was the front of the V1 to the windshield? And I assume the power came from the 12V outlet under the armrests?
    What about signals from the back through the back window? Any chance?

    Thank you.
     
  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Not that strange for those of us who have been driving Tesla products :). The hard part is resisting the engines gunning at stoplights, wanting to show their car/motorcycle is faster. (I usually can't resist.) The best one was when I left a motorcycle stalled. I wasn't sure what the polite thing was to do... wait for him? Hah. I kept going.

    Anyway, totally get the fun you had. And you gathered some really helpful info for everyone. Nicely done.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Wow. That was your FIRST post? Welcome to the forum!
     
  10. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    Beautifully written. My choice for the best short story post I've seen on this Forum. Well done.
     
  11. retinadoc

    retinadoc Member

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    The V1 was mounted on the passenger side of the mirror. The suction cups were located in the small black window as high as I could get it. Power was indeed from the cigarette lighter plug, somewhere in the central console. Sorry but I was more concerned with the detector placement and I just do not recall exactly. Radar detectors are legal in NY. Laser jammers are also legal largely because they fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA. I have treated many State Troopers over the years. They have a tough job to do, see really nasty trauma all the time, but are just like everyone else. A little courtesy and respect goes a long way. The trooper loved the car. Maybe one day the Model S will be an interceptor. it would certainly save on municipal gas expenses.
     
  12. bmek

    bmek Member

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    +1,000
     
  13. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Interesting! I knew about Virginia--Iused to live there--but thought they were illegal in more states, including Maryland (where I live now). I wonder if it would make sense to get one, with my S coming in the next few weeks. ;-) I work in Virginia, so I guess I'd have to turn it off every time I crossed the border...remember to turn it on when I return...maybe not practical? (My only ticket in recent years was in Maryland.)
     
  14. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    I got pulled over for speeding in VA by troopers once in my camaro with my radar detector on. They noticed it but didn't care. Didn't even ticket me for speeding either.
     
  15. shokunin

    shokunin P85 & S40

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    Ha... I don't have a detector, but got tagged via lidar and got a speeding ticket yesterday. Don't have my model s yet, but I guess I need to be a bit more careful. From what I gather radar isn't used much where I live, it's mostly laser
     
  16. Al Sherman

    Al Sherman It's about THIS car.

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    How will the installation work? Do you have to cut the nose? would love to see some close up shots when they are available.
     
  17. strider

    strider Active Member

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    On my car, to the right (passenger) side of the mirror, there are little black dots instead of solid black to indicate the break in the coating. I have used my toll pass there without incident.
     
  18. Teslawisher

    Teslawisher Member

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    Same with radar if the officer is sitting with his finger on the trigger versus just leaving it on and watching the speeds flash in front of him.
     

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