Mike Valentine
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"I figure nobody needs another energy crisis."


cordless radar detectorsThere's no cordless version of V1

It's possible to run a radar detector on two throw away AAs, but you have to give up any hope of high performance.

Performance takes power.  There's no getting around the physics of it. Batteries are weak sources of power. That's why electric cars use battery packs weighing hundreds of pounds, yet few of them can top 100 miles without recharging.

Laptop computers have very expensive batteries — quite heavy, too — yet they're lucky to run two hours on a charge.

A radar detector operates like a sentry making its rounds. If the territory is small, then he can watch carefully and often. Expand the territory and he has time for only quick glances. When "superwide Ka" radar guns came on the scene a few years back, the microwave territory a radar detector has to watch was expanded more than 1000 percent, compared to the good old days of X and K bands only. Now the sentry needs powerful circuits.

"SOLO S2 uses only a fraction of the power used by conventional corded detectors," claims the maker's website.

Uh-oh, here comes the energy crisis.

The SOLO S2's "High-Efficiency Power Management" is hardly rocket surgery. It saves the two AAs by putting the sentry to sleep more than 85 percent of the time. It just switches off the power-using detector circuitry.

A sleeping sentry can't possibly give early warning when radar is used in the instant-on mode. And it gives up all hope of detecting the POP mode.

Sure, a cordless detector would be convenient. And I'll be out in the lab cooking one up as soon as the laws of physics are repealed.

Mike Valentine
Mike Valentine