- Direct-Wire Instructions
- The Black ground wire is fitted with a lug to allow it to be installed under any grounded screw. The red striped wire for +12 volts is fitted with an insulated 1/4" male spade lug. We also have supplied a special 3M connector that allows you to tap into an existing wire in your vehicle. This connector can be used only with wire gauges 14 through 18.
- Overseas Inquiries
We do not ship outside the US and legal provinces in Canada. As a result, we do not monitor the frequencies used in other countries, and can not guarantee our detectors will pick up everything being used. If you can find out what is used, the Passport 8500 X50 and our other current models will pick up the following:
10.525 GHz +/- 25 MHz
24.150 GHz +/- 100 MHz
34.700 GHz +/- 1300 MHz
904nm, 33 MHz bandwidth
- Positioning Detectors
- First rule of thumb: For RADAR, the higher the better. For LASER, the lower the better. We recommend placing the detector as low as possible. Laser is more difficult to detect than radar. With that said, as far as positioning the detector, you want to give the detector a clear field of view: front and rear. Avoid placing the detector behind the tinting at the top of most windows, or hidden behind parking stickers, wiper blades, or anything similar that will obstruct the detector's window or lens. We no longer include the visor mount with the detectors because most cars have tinting that will reduce the laser detection range. We also advise placing the detector where it will not obstruct your view.
- Intermittent / No Power - Bad Power Cord
With our corded detectors, if you are getting intermittent or no power at all, the cause is usually the power cord itself. The power cord is easy to replace. You may order replacement cords and other accessories online.
If replacing the power cord does not provide power to your Passport, the detector may need to be returned to the factory for service.
- Service Required Display
- There are a number of things that may cause this ERROR message. Please be sure that you are getting consistent voltage (does the lighter socket stay ON all the time? Does it do the same thing in other vehicles?). If the Passport 8500 or the Passport X50 has shown a display that reads "Service Required" not caused by the above, it means it has failed its self-calibration and requires service. I would strongly suggest you call our Customer Service Department and they will give you a repair authorization number and instructions on how to return it to us so we can take a look at your Passport.
- City, Highway, Auto Modes
- In a nutshell, the City, Highway and Auto Modes affect X-Band sensitivity ONLY. X-Band is in very limited use in the US. There are only three states that still use X-Band radar guns in any numbers (OH, IN, NJ). The AUTO mode senses if you are getting a lot of "urban falsing" on the X-band. If you are in an area with lots of falsing, the AUTO mode responds by shifting to the CITY sensitivity. This reduces the X-band sensitivity only. When you leave the area, the AUTO mode responds by increasing X-band sensitivity. The City Mode constantly reduces X-Band sensitivity, and the Highway Mode keeps X-Band at it's maximum sensitivity.
- Remote Systems Dealers & Installers
Custom installe systems are sold factory direct and through authorized new car dealerships and high end car audio installers. Please see this list of current authorized dealers & installers.
If you have the name and locations of dealers you want to work with, please send us their information and we will be glad to contact them for you.
- Remote Systems Troubleshooting/Repair
We recommend professional installation for all of our remote systems, and questions about installation or troubleshooting are normally best answered by your own installer. Beltronics Inc. does not have the technical staff available to suggest proper installation or troubleshoot installed systems on every make and model vehicle available.
All installation questions, troubleshooting, warranty and parts replacement concerns must be directed to an authorized installer:
Remote Systems Dealers & Installers
- Spectre Radar Detector-Detector
- U.S. non-commercial drivers should not be concerned at all unless you drive in Virginia or Washington DC. If you do drive in either of those places, are a commercial driver, or drive in Canada, please note that while all of our current detectors are immune to the VG-2 radar detector-detector (RDD), there is a newer RDD named Spectre that can detect most radar detectors currently on the market. Our STi Driver and STi-R models are also undetectable by the Spectre radar detector detector.
- As far as radar "jammers" are concerned, we do not make a radar jammer. Radar jamming is illegal in every state, and is an FCC violation. With jammers there is a simple rule of thumb: if it works it is illegal, if it is legal it doesn't work. Craig Peterson finds passive radar jammers "utterly useless" in his article, Jamming Ol' Smokey, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that passive radar jammers "aren't any more useful to jam radar than a block of wood."
- Illegal Radar Detector States
- We are not legal experts, but the only places where radar detectors are illegal for passenger vehicles are Virginia and Washington DC. If you go into Canada, most provinces have laws banning the use of radar detectors.
- Speed Signs - No Warning
- The neighborhood speed signs are not used to issue traffic tickets or citations. As a result, these portable systems are not calibrated regularly and they eventually "drift" out of calibration from the FCC authorized frequencies. Our detectors have always been great at filtering out non-police frequencies to reduce the number of false alerts. It is not unusual to pass one of the signs that say "your speed is" and not receive an alert.
- Laser No Warning, Other Car Tagged
Unlike traffic radar, Laser can only be used in the "instant on" mode. The officer can "aim" the gun all day, but until they physically pull the trigger to clock the target vehicle, there is nothing to pick up.
Laser is not actually laser, but infrared. It behaves more like a flashlight than microwaves. Using laser, the police have a maximum capture range of about 1000 to 1200 feet. At this distance, the infrared beam has spread to about a 3 to 6 foot diameter circle. Laser will continue to spread well past the target vehicle and get wider and wider with distance. In hilly situations, the direction of the beam could be aimed at an angle (up or down) that would make the laser beam overshoot your car and not hit your detector.
We recommend you position the detector so it has a clear view of the road, do not hide behind the tinting at the top of the window, or any other obstruction. For laser, range is better when mounted lower on the window.
- Ticket Reimbursement
- There are methods the police use to track a vehicle's speed that do not use radar or laser. In these cases, there is nothing to pick up. As a result, we have never offered to reimburse for speeding violations.
- VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer And Recorder) is a stopwatch and calculator method of clocking a vehicle's speed. The operator will hit a stopwatch at start and stop points and a small computer calculates the time it took to travel the predesignated distance. There are no transmissions and nothing to pick up. No radar/laser detector will protect you from this method.
- Moving Radar - Limited Range/Warning
In their efforts to increase revenue and "trap" motorists with radar detectors, the police use "instant on" more frequently than in the past. With instant on, the officer leaves the gun in a standby mode and there is nothing to detect until the officer physically pulls the trigger to clock the speed of the target vehicle. If you are the leader of the pack or the only one on the road and they tag you with instant on, there may be no advance warning at all. With instant on, you are counting on them tagging someone ahead of you. This is why detectors with the longest range are important. You may hear your detector giving brief, weak bursts as an alert that might seem to be a false signal. This is a perfect example of instant on radar being used ahead of you, and should be a signal for caution.
The other possibility involves "mobile radar" and instant on. So radar can be used in a moving patrol car, they use a separate, low powered radar gun underneath the patrol car aimed at the road to clock the speed of the patrol car. This is a very weak signal and is difficult to detect because it is aimed down at the road instead of in the direction of oncoming traffic. When the patrol car wants to clock the speed of a target vehicle, they use the stronger radar gun you may see mounted on the dash.
- Stationary Alerts - X or K
All of our current models will pick up authorized police frequencies for X, K, Ka and laser. The reason we get alerts in the same locations goes back to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission). The FCC determines which frequencies can be used for which purpose. They have allocated frequencies within the bands mentioned for the purpose of motion sensing.
Whether these radar frequencies are used for traffic monitoring, grocery/convenience stores sensing someone near the automatic door openers, or stores/businesses sensing intruders after hours, it is all under the same classification: motion sensing.
There is no way to pick up police radar without picking up these other sources. In fact, this is one of the best ways to make sure your detector is working properly. If it fails to give you an alert at the "stationary" locations, it will not pick up the police radar.