Tuesday, January 26, 2016

No more radar lock-on

The road from Wells to Dorchester undulates through rolling countryside and the occasional village. The speed limit flicks irregularly from 30 to 40 to 50 to 60 and back again. I might have been doing 35 through a 30 mile per hour zone when Clare said worryingly, "You just passed a speed camera."

Do they still flash? Was this one of the ones they turned off to save money (but they make money, don't they)?

How does anyone drive around in the UK today without rapidly incurring 12 points and losing their licence (not to mention c. £400 in fines)? After my recent problem (Speed Awareness Course next week) I am determined not to go down that route .. and as always, I look to technology to help me out.

Most camera detectors have very mixed reviews: many seem to break (yes, as in stop working), to not actually detect the cameras (although they seem to do a good job on supermarket automatic doors), or to require complex configuration. This one seemed the best of the bunch.

Aguri Skyway GPS/radar/laser speed trap detector

It's not cheap, but saving one speeding ticket basically pays for it. It's legal in the UK to use a device which directly detects the radar (or laser light) from a speed camera, as well as using a camera GPS location database. People complain that it's a charter for speeding idiots, but I doubt that. Impulsive risk-takers are unlikely to be conscientious enough to go to the trouble of acquiring and regularly using such a detector - they'll be more than outweighed by the rest of us who just need regular hints to be more cautious against these modern automated predators.

I'll let you know how it performs once it arrives.

If I can get it to work.

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Update: Wednesday 27th January 2016. The Aguri Skyway arrived promptly this morning and it's now in the car as shown. Handy that I have a cigar socket doubler.

The Aguri Radar Detector joins the Sat Nav - click on image to make larger

It was not immediately obvious how to attach it to the windscreen - I was googling images to find an example - and configuration is as hard as it always is with multi-mode push buttons.

My advice to Aguri, as to all other vendors of small, configurable electronic devices, would be to add a configuration tool - basically an e-form - to be used when the device is plugged into the PC. It would make all the difference.

I did manage to update the speed camera database. The documentation said that this was unnecessary as the device ships up-to-date but (a) I never believe that, and (b) I wanted to know how it worked.

Whether the device works in the real world I have yet to find out. I guess I'll be doing a drive soon enough which takes me past a speed camera.

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Update: (April 22nd 2016)

Yes, it works well. It picks up the radar from traffic cameras (and garage/supermarket automatic doors) and its database of speed cameras is useful. It's in regular use.

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Update: (May 3rd 2016)

I received an email query from "Ann" and responded as follows.
Hi Ann,

Thanks for your note. Here are some answers,

I have recently had 2 speeding tickets - arrgh!! & would like a device to warn me when I forget or I'm chatting?  

"I have been using it for a while now and it's very useful.

"The built-in camera database warns about speed cameras, usually a verbal warning of the relevant speed limit.

"Most roadside cameras emit "K-band radar" and a polite female voice announces this, also with bleeping. Unfortunately, so do automatic doors at supermarkets and garages, so it's an annoyance you just have to put up with.

"Laser (lidar) is announced with a voice warning and a different tone - I've only had this once."

I would appreciate hearing your view as to its suitability for an older person.  I can use a computer IPad & mobile phone but find more complex things difficult. (Maybe upgrading would be problematic for me?)

"Like most things, it's a bit fiddly when it first arrives. You have to read the documentation carefully. But its default settings don't really have to be altered.

"There's a volume control on the side which is essential to avoid being deafened!

"The two rubber suction pads go on the windscreen and the metal tab is bent around so that the device doesn't slide off. The narrow end with the display faces the driver. The device is powered from a cable leading to the cigar-lighter socket. Worth buying a socket doubler if this is already used, for example for the sat nav.

"So yes, not a gimmick, a very useful tool if you basically drive at the speed limit but occasionally stray a little too fast. It should slow you down again and avoid those three points and a fine."

Regards,

Nigel.

4 comments:

  1. Hi Nigel - would you say its as good as the road angel everyone raves about, as you say earlier there are so many options to chose from? Thanks Richard

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Nigel - would you say its as good as the road angel everyone raves about, as you say earlier there are so many options to chose from? Thanks Richard

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have one of these units, I chose this over the Road Angel as the Road Angel does not pick up laser and they charge for monthly subscription for what you do get. Don't get me wrong the Road Angel is a good device and does not get set off by supermarket doors but hats just one of those things one has to put up with. I previously had Snooper units and found them to also be very good. The Aguri is a new unit on the market however, the guys behind it have been around for many years in this market sector many of whom came from Snooper.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Nigel, the Road Angel does not (as far as I know) pick up laser and works on the data base being updated (which is charged for by Road Angel). The Aguri like the Snopper products actually tracks the camera's and lasers being live so the alerts are real time ... the only downloadable data is for traffic hot spots etc.
    I have had the Snooper products in the past and now have the Aguri. strangely the Aguri came about after may of the former Snooper guys started up on their own.

    The unit works very well, being a 'live' unit it does get set off by the Automatic doors but in my experience does this better than the Snooper products I have owned in the past.

    So far so good, I am more than happy with it's performance plus it gets free updates for life.

    ReplyDelete

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