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June 18th, 2012, 05:37 PM #1Author of This ThreadMemberCommunicationsProfessional UpfitterEmergency Management
- Joined May 2010
Dumb question - anyone else color/darken their radar antenna?
Was over at another agency last weekend that uses a number of odd ball vehicles for traffic enforcement (which in itself is a can of worms I'd rather not get in to)... Anyways, noticed that they had a number of MPH Python radar units that they appear to have used Sharpie/black permanent marker on the white radome of the K band radar antennas to reduce their obvious appearance...
I can't find anything anywhere that says yay or nay to this approach other than painting fiberglass antennas on Batlabs specifically using a microwave oven on a test section of paint to see if it heats up (choosing paint that doesn't contain metals that would reflect RF/skew VSWR)...
I remember years back one of the manufacturers, maybe Kustom, that had a 2"x2" square black ABS Ka radar antenna that was incredibly stealthy... That same agency I think might have used panty hose over their radar antennas too...
Anyways, anybody ever run in to this? I'm certain there are plenty of folks on here in LE that can comment, a couple of which that might be certified in speed detection instruction?
June 19th, 2012, 05:53 AM #2
I would make a quick call to the manufacturer. I have called MPH in Owensboro, KY before and received great customer service. Personally, I wouldn't fool with it, and I don't see any real benefit.
June 19th, 2012, 12:28 PM #3
Sounds like a good reason for an attorney to get any tickets written by said unit tossed out......S. "Mater" Jackson,
June 19th, 2012, 12:36 PM #4
I don't think colouring in or placing some tights over the radar would effect its performance. Maybe its time someone did a comparison of the unit mounted inside and outside the vehicle.Jim - SireLite Thinking outside the box.
June 19th, 2012, 06:37 PM #5
My radar unit's antenna practically GLOWED it was soo bright white. So I did just what the OP mentioned - took a black sharpie and colored the dome. From 5 feet away, it looked factory, and really made it less obvious. I personally didn't notice any difference in range or sensitivity. YMMV.
Moot point now, though, I just turned it back in. I never did a lot of traffic enforcement anyway, and mostly used it for PC to stop. If I had a highway system running through the Parks, it'd be a different story, but any interdiction stops I make nowadays have nothing to do with speeding.Twitter.com/K9Carly
June 20th, 2012, 12:03 PM #6Junior MemberLaw EnforcementProfessional Upfitter
- Joined March 2012
My radar is still white.....but we have one car here that they used a black sharpie on the domes. Still works fine and is a lot harder to notice. I wouldn't do it to mine, just because I really don't want to have to explain it on the stand some day.
June 20th, 2012, 12:16 PM #7
One guy I worked with used panty hose on his, it worked fine and he has been to court often. Easy on and easy off too if it doesnt check okay.
June 21st, 2012, 12:22 AM #8VeteranFire/EMTCommunicationsCorrections Officer
Laclede County, MO1,061 Posts
- Joined January 2011
June 21st, 2012, 04:40 AM #9MemberLaw EnforcementProfessional Upfitter
- Joined May 2010
A Sharpie should be fine. I wouldn't paint it, and I wouldn't cover it, but a sharpie to the lens would probably be ok. Either way a simple call to the manufacturer should net an answer. A vague, non-committal answer if I had to guess, but an answer. I've seen radars mounted in so many ways, behind grilles, inside lightbars, behind glass, that I doubt a sharpie dye job will hurt. Worst case would be reduced range or how quick it can read the return signal, both of which would be in the motorist's favor. If it still checks accurate with the tuning forks, I doubt any attorney will have significant luck tearing it down in court. Besides, how many times are attorneys really challenging radars now days? And these challenges are usually answered by showing a calibration certificate, a maintenance log, a record of daily testing, and the officers testimony that the unit was working properly to the best of their knowledge. In court, an attorney would either have to be so radar savvy that he/she would know the radar antenna had been colored, or would have to ask under oath if the radar had been modified in any way. This is a different question/answer than, "was the radar unit working properly, to the best of your knowledge?" Further, radar readings, in and of themselves, are not a means to convict for speeding. The officer has to be able to testify that his observations of the vehicle were such that he independently concluded it was speeding, with the radar being used to affirm his independent judgement, usually within five MPH.
June 21st, 2012, 07:00 AM #10Beali Pasifici. Relentless pursuit!
Speak softly and carry a big stick...to stir the pot with!
August 19th, 2012, 08:36 PM #11Member
- Joined July 2010
For the past few years, Stalker antennas have come with black covers.
August 20th, 2012, 04:41 PM #12Junior MemberCommunicationsLaw Enforcement
Northwest Indiana29 Posts
- Joined April 2012
Re: Dumb question - anyone else color/darken their radar antenna?
The Bee III's we have been getting have had black antennas as well.
Would the spray window tint be an option? Works great on lenses in an unmarked squad too.