You may be new to the whole concept of an RDD, often wondering what is an RDD? An RDD, or “Radar Detector Detector”, is an electronic device similar to a radar detector (but bigger) that can sniff out radar detectors in the wild. To put it simply, most detectors emit a various level of electronic emissions which by the use of devices like RDD’s, can be alerted to their nearby presence.
In the United States and Canada, the reason why some jurisdictions use them in some of their patrol vehicles, is because the local/state/provincial laws, have limited or completely outlawed the use of radar detectors.
How does an RDD work?
Without getting too technical, radar detector detectors are equipped with highly sensitive radio receivers that can pick up even the weakest radio frequency emission that are often put off by low-end to mid-tier radar detectors (with a few exceptions of detectors that are completely stealth).
RDD’s continually sweep through the most commonly targeted frequency bands to check for presence of a nearby detector. Similar to radar detectors, RDD’s also have to sweep rapidly and repeatedly to ensure they are able to capture any brief or momentary emission leaks in a radar detector.
In the event that there’s a higher-end detector that uses the “Pulse Detection” method, the newest versions of RDD’s (Spectre), are designed to detect these pulse patterns that are uniquely characteristic of radar detector emissions.
When it comes to the newer detectors, these devices have either a one way antenna with a swivel or directional antennas that allow the RDD to pin-point EXACTLY which direction the radar emission source is.
As you can see now, radar detector detectors are unique and complicated pieces of equipment. They can do all the things mentioned, in addition to being able to filter out true and false alerts from non-radar detector sources.
The technological cat and mouse game will continue between the manufacturers of RDD’s and the latest flagships that Redenso, Uniden, Escort and Valentine One make today.
Which RDD's are police using nowadays?
As of 2023, the police are using mostly the Spectre brand radar detector detectors.
But you know, for the longest time, the VG-2 and VG-4 units were used heavily to pickup the cheap detectors that brands like Cobra and Whistler made. Since the release of the Spectre and Spectre Elite, competition really had to step-up their game to avoid getting caught.
For your curiosities pleasure, here’s a comprehensive list of different types of RDD’s and methods that were and are being used today:
- VG-2 RDD (Vehicle Gun 2): The VG-2 RDD was one of the earliest types of RDDs used by law enforcement. It can detect the emissions produced by radar detectors operating in the X, K, and Ka bands.
- VG-4 RDD (Vehicle Gun 4): The VG-4 RDD is an improvement over the VG-2, with enhanced sensitivity and the ability to detect radar detectors employing stealth or low-power emission techniques.
- Spectre RDDs: Spectre RDDs, such as the Spectre Elite, are designed to identify radar detectors that might use stealth technology to avoid detection. They often feature advanced signal analysis and directional antenna capabilities.
- Stalcar RDD: Stalcar is another brand of RDD used by law enforcement agencies. Like other RDDs, it detects the emissions produced by radar detectors in vehicles.
- LIDAR-based RDDs: Some RDDs use LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) technology to detect the presence of radar detectors. These RDDs emit pulses of light and measure the reflected light to identify radar detector emissions.
- Radar Signature Analysis RDDs: These RDDs analyze the radar signature emitted by radar detectors to differentiate them from legitimate police radar guns.
Which states and provinces (in North America) is an RDD used the most often?
The use of radar detectors is legal in the United States and is prevalent, from Texas to Arizona, from West Virginia to Florida, radar detectors can be commonly found on the windshields of some people’s cars.
Which US state ban their use?
Virginia and Washington D.C. are the only places where radar detectors are illegal from being used. Tickets ranging from 50 to 250 can be given, in addition to the confiscation of the device.
Which Canadian provinces/territories ban their use?
Moving up to Canada, it is illegal in all the territories and provinces, with the exception of British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. Similar fines, if not more severe, can be had up in Canada if a law enforcement officer catches you.
Can you be immune to radar detector detectors?
The short answer to the question is yes, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
There’s no question that there is a wide variety of choices on the market. Many are tempting deals because of either the price or performance. However, there’s only roughly half a dozen top-tier radar detectors that can truly help you avoid being detected by the latest and greatest, Spectre Elite RDD.
We wrote up a far more detailed guide on the top undetectable detectors to buy. But if you want to stay here, right now, the top three choices are the Valentine One (version 2), Uniden R3, R4, R7 and R8, and some of the latest Escort RedLine and Mac360c detectors (to name the popular ones).
Top 2 tips to avoid getting caught
There are things YOU can do to avoid getting caught with a radar detector IF, you intend to continue using yours dispite local laws.
Starting with tip #1: hide your detector behind a tint strip near the top of your windshield. When done properly, you will be blown away how stealthy it looks. To learn more about doing this properly, check out our step-by-step article on how to hide your detector.
The second thing you need to do, is get an undetectable unit. Brands such as Uniden, Valentine One and Escort are the most popular choices. You’ll spend more than 400 dollars on average, but in addition to having stealth, you’ll have great detection range against K and Ka bands.
BONUS TIP. If you are willing to spend some money to get a solid detector, consider getting a kit that installs in the front grill and the small display with buttons can be hardwired into your vehicle’s dash, giving it a very sleek look.
Now that you know WHAT a radar detector detector (RDD) is, get out there and start implementing these improvements to your vehicles and stop getting those tickets!