Radar Guns Blog

We welcome all radar gun enthusiasts and the curious readers that want to learn more about radar guns. The purpose of this blog is to inform about the novel uses and developments of radar guns, as well as new products, accessories and everything relating to radar guns and related sports. We hope you will find our blog informative or just plain fascinating.

08 Jul
Radar Gun "Beam"

Radar Gun “Beam”

The radar beam is a directional signal that is transmitted from the radar antenna that is very similar to the light of a flashlight.  The beam that is transmitted from the radar gun is conical in shape and continues to be transmitted outward in the same direction until it is absorbed, refracted, or reflected.  This beam is made up of two different parts; the zone of influence, and the main power beam.  The main power beam makes up the center of the beam and uses about 80-85% of the radar’s energy.  The zone of influence is the 15-20% of energy that surrounds the main power beam on all sides.  Ideally, when police officers are scanning the streets they try to get the vehicles in the main power beam, however, the zone of influence does have enough energy to register a vehicle speed.  The main power beam is also know as the 12 degrees in the center of the beam.

Now, the range of the beam will go on continually until it hits something, however there is a certain distance that the beam can travel and reflect off of something and have enough energy to return back to the radar gun.  This is known as the radar range.  Several things can affect the radar range of all radar guns.  Some of those factors that affect the range are: atmospheric conditions such as rain, snow, and fog; some terrain like hills, curves, fences, and buildings; and also large volumes of traffic will make it more difficult for a radar beam to pick up on one individual car.

I hope this information has helped out all of you like it has me.  Come back later in the week to catch the next post about the exciting world of radar guns.

02 Jul

Hey readers, I’m back with some more great information about radar guns.  Last post I talked about how Doppler Radar works.  This post I will take a moment to talk about how that technology is used in some of today’s most popular radar guns that a lot of police officers use.

Radar guns are used to send out radio waves of certain frequencies in a single direction.  The waves then bounce off objects, vehicles in the case of police officers, and then are sent back to the radar gun’s receiving station.  When the waves reflect off of the object targeted, a measurable frequency shift occurs.  This shift is known as Doppler Shift.  The radar gun computer then uses that measured shift to calculate the speed of the object. For those of you that are having trouble picturing this concept in your mind, a good analogy would be to think of a flashlight.  When you point a flashlight at a target, you are able to see that target because the beam of light travels from the flashlight and is reflected off of the object and travels back in the direction of the flashlight.  This is how you are able to see the object in the dark.

Now, don’t think that police officers have to be stationary on the side of the road to use their radar guns, because there are a couple different kinds of radar guns.  There are ones that you have to be stationary to use and also ones that police can use while they are driving down the street.  So, even a cop going the opposite direction still has the capability to detect how fast you’re going.

That’s it for now readers, more to follow shortly about radar beams and the common misunderstanding about them.

26 Jun

With myself being fairly new to radar guns it has been very interesting and educational

Doppler Radar

Doppler Radar

to learn how they actually work and the different things that they can be used for.  Being new to the subject I know that I have just started to scratch the surface of all the knowledge and information that goes hand in hand with radar guns.

I was very interested to learn that there are two different types of radars detectors; pulse radar and continuous wave radar.  Most police radar guns use the continuous wave radar, in particular the Doppler Radar.  How Doppler Radar works is it transmits a continuous wave a constant frequency. When this frequency strikes a moving object the frequency is changed and the new frequency returning to the radar is used to determine the speed of the moving target (radar types).  Most sports radar guns also use this same type Doppler radar as well.  Some of the more popular sports that use radar guns are: baseball, softball, tennis, golf, archery, and car racing.

Stay tuned for more informtion to come on radar guns.  Click here to find out where I have been getting all my information on everything that is radar guns.

 

21 Jun

I would just like to give a big thanks to all those police officers out there on the roads everyday.  I know they are not everyone’s favorite people, especially when they’re pulling you over, but our cities and streets are so much safer with them around.  My heart always jumps a little bit when I see them on the side of the road pointing their radar gun at me, but I know they are there for my benefit.

My cousin is a police officer, and listening to some of the stories he’s told me makes me appreciate everything they do and everything they go through.  It has truly given me a new found respect for all law enforcement officers everywhere.  These individuals risk their lives every day to make sure that the general public is as safe as they can possibly be.

Police Officer

Thank you to all those who help keep our streets safe.

When I was a kid I would always dream of being the cop, and when we played “cops and robbers” I was always the cop.  It must have had something to do with all the cool gadgets they have like: their MagLite flashlight, strike baton, and especially their gun and holster.  Every time I saw a cop they even had on the coolest sunglasses. Plus, they’re the good guys.  Who wouldn’t want to be the good guy?

So, the next time you are driving down the street and you see a police officer on the side of the road with his radar gun in hand, maybe give them a little wave and know that they are there to protect and service you.

19 Jun
Bushnell Speedster III

The Speedster III is great for all ages of baseball.

With the All-Star break less than a month away many pitchers look to carry their team into the break with a win streak.  One of those pitchers is Max Scherzer, for the Detroit Tigers, who has been lighting up the radar guns all season and currently has the best record in the Majors at 10-0.  He has helped get Detroit the top spot in the AL Central along with some of their other notable pitchers; such as: Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez who have both also been very good on the radar gun all season.

The top offensive duo of Baltimore’s’ Chris Davis and Adam Jones look to improve their rankings as they are currently two and a half games behind the division leading Boston Red Sox.  With the two combining for 39 home runs thus far, their bat speed has to be some of the fastest on the radar.

The match-up of today’s top pitchers versus today’s top hitters make the game of baseball more exciting to watch then ever.  Not only can pitchers hit the top speeds on the radar guns but also the bottom speeds.  That variety in speed makes it hard for hitters to see the ball and recognize what kind of pitch it is and how fast to swing their bat.  Having a radar gun available in practice to clock their swings would be very benefical to all hitters so they would be able to time how fast or slow they could swing their bat and at what time for each pitch for the best result.

13 Aug
I was just reading through an article on new radar guns given to the Winnebago Police Department.  The radar guns were given to them by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.  The really nice thing about these new guns is that they’re LIDAR, which is a Laser-style speed gun, and they give continuous speeds on a vehicle, so if someone is speeding up or slowing down they’ll be able to see this and still get a reading on the fastest, and therefore most over the limit, the drivers goes.

I hate to admit it, but this might catch me on occasion, as I often hit the brakes when I see a police officer.  If they can see multiple speeds instead of just the one, they’d see my higher speed and THEN my lower speed and know I became aware of them.
 
Constant speed readings from a radar gun can help in sports as well.  If you’re a golfer or baseball player you can take a look at your swing speed and see if you’re speeding up and slowing down correctly.  Some golfers reach maximum swing speed too early or late and aren’t consistent with their approach.  This hurts their distance and accuracy.  The same thing goes for a batter in baseball.  You want your bat moving at its fastest when it connects with the ball.  Using a baseball radar gun can help this greatly.

It’s good to see Minnesota is outfitting their police officers with the latest in crime fighting radar guns!
07 Aug

Here’s a cool speeding ticket-overturned story: A Brisbane millionaire challenged the accuracy of radar gun and won!  Scott Flynn was booked for allegedly driving his black Lamborghini (beautiful car!) 137 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on Mt Glorious Rd near Samford last year.
He didn’t believe the speed from the radar gun, so he hired a lawyer who grilled police in Brisbane Magistrates Court about accuracy of the radar. According to the court decision, a police expert conceded the radar gun had faulty calibration and this calls into question the accuracy of the gun’s readings between October 6, 2010 and June 19, 2011.
The interesting thing is that nobody except Flynn (who wouldn’t mind paying a legitimate fine) blamed this radar for inaccuracy. Just think of how many people got tickets during this eight month stretch!
This is a fairly rare occurrence, but it does show the necessity, especially for police but also for baseball scouts and other radar-users, to accurately calibrate these guns.  Radar guns are reliable devices when used correctly, but if they start to give faulty readings you know there’s a problem that has to be dealt with immediately, especially when legal fines are potentially at stake.
 
The calibration tests are easy, but apparently some police officers don’t take the time to set up their equipment appropriately.
Be happy, drive carefully and keep reading RadarGunsBlog for more on all things radar!
23 Jul

I’ve just read a funny radar-related story.
An off-duty police officer entered a school zone within the legal speed limit. As he drove by a traffic camera (equipped with radargun) took a picture of his license plate.
Confused by the flash, he decided the settings must have been wrong so he circled around and came back driving even more slowly than before. The same thing happened again.
After what were to him two false photos taken on his license plate the police officer drove by it one more time veeeeery slowly and for a third time the camera took a picture.  He decided that the radar camera must be broken and went home.
A few weeks later he got three tickets.  They were for not wearing a seat belt!
Let this be a lesson to all of you who want to avoid tickets from police radar guns or speed traps.  If you focus too much of your attention on one rule you’re bound to forget you’re breaking another.  Fasten your seat belts AND drive within the legally posted limit.
11 Jul

I’ve just read an old, but pretty interesting article about modifying radar guns so they can identify suicide bombs worn under the clothing.
William Fox and John Vesecky cataloged the most common arrangements of looped wires used to construct “suicide vestsand developed software that can identify the radar cross-section of each. The results were good, 85% per cents of “terrorists” (volunteers wearing suicide vests) were detected by this modified radar gun.
That’s really cool, maybe soon all police officerswill have such radar guns and would be able to prevent explosions! It’s really interesting, what radar gun they used?
Link to the news – http://www.engadget.com/2010/11/27/modified-radar-gun-identifies-suicide-bombers-up-to-ten-meters-a/?icid=eng_bomb_art
05 Jul

Looking back 14 years ago at perhaps one of the best pitching performances by a rookie I had ever seen on cable television was recently retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Woods. It was May 6th, 1998 when the rookie took the mound for his 5th start in a row. He was on a hot streak and the coaches wanted to see if he had more in him. But what they were about to see was something they would not soon forget. K-k-k-k-k Kerry’s 20 strikeouts was quite eye-opener for many major league teams because not only did it show great potential, it represented a backbone to the Chicago Cubs.

The point to this story is that for athletes, especially pitchers, their performance needs to be at their peak almost all of the time; otherwise coaches will just look for the next big athlete to replace them. Luckily, for many pitchers, radar guns greatly assist in maintaining the highest standard of performance. Capturing pitch speeds ranging from a slower 70 MPH to a remarkable 115 MPH set by pitchers in the MLB, radar guns help record and evaluate whether any individual is doing the right thing when it comes to training, conditioning and consistency.