Meddlesome Overspeed Alerts (iRadar App)
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Radar detector or a splash digital camera? How about each built-in into one unit? That’s the thought behind the Cobra Highway Scout, a two-in-one driving companion with a 1080p HD sprint digital camera and a radar detector. With the radar detector portion of the Highway Scout, you possibly can alter the sensitivity of the X and Ok bands, mute false alerts, and mark areas like pace traps and pink gentle cameras. In the meantime, the sprint digital camera gives a g-sensor and an emergency recording characteristic.
We just lately spent three weeks driving round metro Detroit with the Cobra Highway Scout. Sadly, my general opinion of this two-in-one combo is combined at greatest. Having a splash digital camera and a radar detector in a single unit is a lovely proposition, however so far as the Highway Scout is anxious, it’s a wonderful concept with below-average execution. On this evaluate, I’ll run by means of the Highway Scout’s “spec sheet” and elaborate on my expertise with the unit just a little additional.
Why Purchase a Radar Detector/Sprint Cam Combo?
Insurance coverage suppliers and cable firms are all the time speaking about the advantages of “bundling” your providers. And in so many phrases, Cobra Electronics has finished the identical factor with the Highway Scout. Choosing one thing just like the Highway Scout has three major advantages.
Relying on which radar detector and sprint digital camera you might be contemplating, shopping for a “bundle” just like the Highway Scout might prevent just a little cash. As an alternative of shopping for two separate items, you buy one and hopefully keep away from spending additional money. As of this writing, the Highway Scout retails for $400 on Cobra’s website and thru Amazon for the same price.
With a two-in-one combo just like the Cobra Highway Scout, you don’t have to mount each a radar detector and a splash digital camera to your windshield.
Don’t Have To Resolve
Once I take my twice-yearly 900-mile drive from Michigan to South Dakota to go to household, I could make a case for mounting a splash digital camera to my windshield. Likewise, I also can make a case for desirous to have the safety and options afforded by a high-quality radar detector. The Highway Scout provides you two fascinating objects in a single package deal – a radar detector and a splash digital camera – for a protracted journey like this.
Cobra Highway Scout In-Depth: What It Affords
The Highway Scout comes with a suction cup windshield mount (known as the “EZ Magazine Mount”), a 12-volt SmartCord USB energy twine (so you possibly can nonetheless cost your cellphone), and a 16GB SD card and micro USB cable for the sprint digital camera. A useful journey case and a fast reference information are additionally included.
Set up is simple with the windshield mount and USB adaptor twine. As soon as the Highway Scout has energy, each the radar detector and sprint digital camera are energetic. Regardless of having twin performance, the unit is surprisingly light-weight at simply eight ounces. The included mount simply secures the Highway Scout to the windshield. It stayed put the whole time throughout my three-week drive.
The Highway Scout is appropriate with Cobra’s iRadar app. With the app, you possibly can both report or obtain real-time alerts generated by a whole community of customers. iRadar alerts embody pink gentle and pace digital camera areas, pace traps, air patrols, photo-enforced areas, and different warning areas. Along with the iRadar app, the Highway Scout can connect with an in-vehicle Wi-Fi hotspot for software program and database updates.
The Cobra Highway Scout will provide you with a warning to X, Ok, and Ka radar bands and laser (LiDAR) weapons from the entrance and the rear.
Urgent the SEN button will will let you alter between three completely different sensitivity modes: Low, Excessive, and Auto. Throughout our three-week drive, we stayed in Auto more often than not, which is pace adjusted. As described by Cobra within the proprietor’s guide, at 50 mph and above, X and Ok bands default to the utmost vary whereas the Ka-band detection vary is all the time at its most, whatever the sensitivity setting. That’s probably as a result of Ka is the commonest band regulation enforcement makes use of immediately.
Cobra’s precise verbiage right here could appear unusual utilizing the phrase vary, however we consider they imply sensitivity primarily based on their descriptions of different radar detectors of their product lineup.
In different phrases, the Low and Excessive settings on the Highway Scout are just like Metropolis and Freeway on different radar detectors. Usually talking, you employ Metropolis mode (extra filtering) to scale back the sensitivity of X and Ok bands to mitigate false alerts, whereas Freeway will increase the sensitivity (much less filtering) to every radar band to provide the most response time on the open highway. Auto is the speed-dependant mode that mechanically switches between Metropolis and Freeway, or Low and Excessive within the Highway Scout’s case.
The sensitivity mode seems on the underside center portion of the Highway Scout’s show. The colourful show has a number of necessary “indicators” (as Cobra calls them). These indicators embody GPS, sign band and power, digital camera and microphone, a scanning bar, and pace alerts (when linked to the iRadar app). You possibly can swap the frequency show characteristic on through the settings menu in the event you like. In that case, the GHz measurement will seem beneath the sign band and power indicator.
To entry the menu, maintain the SEN and BRT buttons concurrently. BRT is brief for brightness, of which there are a number of settings.
One potential (if not vital) downside is the Highway Scout’s detection vary and response time. I acquired Ka alerts on two events solely to search out the patrol vehicles practically on high of us. The primary was a Michigan State Police automobile on M-10 by means of Southfield close to Telegraph Highway and the 696 interchange. The Highway Scout picked up the officer’s Ka band from the rear, however just a few automobile lengths again. The second alert was from a Wayne County Sheriff deputy on Telegraph Highway (additionally a Ka band). It was an identical scenario: the deputy’s Chevy Tahoe was solely a brief distance away. In each cases, the Cobra Highway Scout got here late to the get together.
It’s attainable each officers have been doing what is called “instant-on” radar, a well-liked tactic regulation enforcement makes use of to beat radar detectors. Nonetheless, we’ve got pushed these areas right here in Detroit many instances earlier than, particularly whereas evaluating and reviewing radar detectors. Extra just lately, we drove the identical areas with our Escort MAXcam 360c, one other two-in-one radar detector and sprint digital camera combo. In contrast, the MAXcam alerted a lot quicker and with a higher detection vary.
Sadly, the Highway Scout leaves rather a lot on the desk concerning long-range detection. We surmise that is partly due to the value vary of the Highway Scout ($400) versus one thing just like the MAXcam, which is double the value.
False Alert & IVT Filtering
Though detection vary is a matter, the Cobra Highway Scout makes up for it by providing a strong false alert filtering system. The IVT Filter (or in-vehicle know-how filter) prevents any potential false alerts that may very well be triggered by the superior security options on different automobiles round you. This consists of radar-sensor-dependant techniques like adaptive cruise management and blind-spot monitoring. Even in heavy Detroit site visitors, the IVT filter works flawlessly.
Most spectacular was how the Highway Scout is impervious to malls, buying plazas, grocery shops, and different comparable fastened location false alerts. In case you obtain a false alert, you possibly can silence it through the MUTE button on both the USB energy twine or the unit itself.
This characteristic by no means totally labored for me, and it turned probably the most irritating issues concerning the Cobra Highway Scout throughout my three-week drive round Detroit.
Within the proprietor’s guide, beneath the “GPS Filter” part on web page 11, Cobra says the characteristic allows you to retailer fastened location false alerts to the Highway Scout’s reminiscence. To retailer a false alert location, press MUTE thrice throughout mentioned alert, both on the unit itself or the USB energy twine. In case you are linked to the iRadar app, you may as well lock out these false alerts through your smartphone. Subsequent alerts to this sign will likely be muted and displayed in grey.
As of late, I’ve been making a every day journey to the Grosse Pointe space of Detroit. On my approach, I encounter a pocket of ongoing highway building on I-94 with digital pace restrict warning signage (the Highway Scout flags it as a Ok band alert). Irrespective of what number of instances I lock that false alert out, it by no means works. I’ve hit the MUTE button (thrice, because the proprietor’s guide says) on the USB twine and the unit itself. I additionally tried locking it out with my cellphone by means of the iRadar app. No luck.
The false alert turned grey, simply as Cobra says within the proprietor’s guide. Nonetheless, once I drove by means of the highway building zone once more, the Highway Scout alerts as typical as if nothing modified. For no matter cause, the lockouts don’t stick.
Primarily based on my expertise, the Cobra Highway Scout struggles with digital signage. The gallery beneath consists of three photographs of the John C. Lodge Service Drive in Detroit, a one-way road that runs north and south above the faster-moving M-10. The primary picture is an aerial shot from Google Maps, with the pink arrows representing the place two completely different digital pace restrict indicators are situated (roughly). The opposite two photographs, additionally from Google Maps, present the indicators up shut.
- The show turns grey when locking out a false alert. Nonetheless, I’ve but to get the lockouts to stay. A number of days later, the Cobra Highway Scout would challenge an alert in its commonplace blue when driving by means of the identical space with the identical digital signage. It’s prefer it “forgets” manually imputed lockouts.
On this specific space, you possibly can flip a perpetual circle on John C. Lodge in the event you drive as much as Forest Avenue, then again right down to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. By doing so, you’ll encounter each the digital pace restrict indicators within the picture gallery above.
I misplaced rely of what number of loops I did attempting to get the Cobra Highway Scout to lock out each of those indicators. I consider it took about 4 or 5 passes to get the northbound signal to lockout and practically 10 to lastly lock out the southbound signal. Every time, the alert would flip grey as I locked it out. Nonetheless, it might return on the subsequent go, lighting up in blue as if nothing occurred.
Finally, I used to be in a position to lock out each of the digital indicators within the gallery above. For extra context, I made the loop I’m speaking about on a Friday afternoon. I waited till Monday to drive the world once more to see if the lockouts caught. To my shock and disappointment, the Cobra Highway Scout alerted me to each indicators, regardless of my locking them out the earlier Friday.
The Cobra Highway Scout comes with a 16GB SD card to retailer footage as you drive. Through the settings menu, you possibly can change the size of the recording loop between one, three, or 5 minutes (three is the default). Transferring video information from the Highway Scout to your laptop computer is simple with the micro USB twine.
The sprint digital camera portion of the Cobra Highway Scout features a g-sensor with three completely different sensitivity ranges (degree two is the default setting). Throughout an accident, the Highway Scout makes use of the g-sensor to lock and retailer the recording mechanically. Holding the MARK button additionally initiates an Emergency Recording Mode.
With the Drive HD app, you possibly can see what you might be recording in actual time in your cellphone. In case you additionally wish to use the iRadar app, you possibly can swap forwards and backwards between that and the Drive HD app. On the Highway Scout, maintain BRT till both “CAMERA” or “iRADAR” seems. Nonetheless, it’s not essential to obtain the Drive HD app. Though you gained’t see it in real-time, the Cobra Highway Scout continues to be recording to the SD card so long as the unit is on.
Date/Time Stamp & Watermark
Because the Highway Scout information, it’ll embody a date and time stamp together with a Cobra brand watermark. You possibly can take away them through the settings menu.
Radar Band/Alert Integration
The sprint digital camera portion of the Cobra Highway Scout is actually separate from the radar detector, that means it doesn’t file or log any alerts to the SD card. Admittedly, I want to see this performance on a future model of the Highway Scout. It will be good to have the choice to show a characteristic like this on by means of the settings menu. It will be neat to see the radar band, frequency, and sign power displayed close to the date and time stamp on the video recording.
Ought to You Purchase The Cobra Highway Scout?
That is the place my opinion and viewpoint on the Cobra Highway Scout is combined. Primarily based on my expertise, my reply is between “presumably, perhaps” and a tough no. I don’t have a heavy proper foot, so the Highway Scout’s detection vary, brief although it could be, might be sufficient for me. And I like how the sprint digital camera is built-in into the unit for the two-in-one performance. Nonetheless, I’ve issue getting previous the dismal GPS lockout functionality of the Cobra Highway Scout.
On the finish of my three-week drive, I consider the sprint digital camera is greater than passable. Nonetheless, I’m not bought on the radar detector portion of the Cobra Highway Scout. For a retail value of practically $400, the restricted detection vary and lackluster GPS lockout efficiency depart me scratching my head. That’s some huge cash for a radar detector that doesn’t lower the mustard.
In case you don’t want a splash digital camera, then look elsewhere for a radar detector. Primarily based on my expertise, I might not rely solely on the Highway Scout for radar detection obligation. Different items in the marketplace do a greater job, and your cash is greatest spent there. Having the sprint digital camera is sweet, however not on the expense of a reliable radar detector. The Uniden R4 and Radenso DS1 are glorious choices inside the Highway Scout’s value vary, with higher detection vary and reliability.
Nonetheless, there are redeeming qualities to the Cobra Highway Scout, particularly with its compact and light-weight, two-in-one design. In case you are bought on the Highway Scout, you possibly can seize it on Cobra’s official website for $400 or through Amazon for a similar value.
Carl Anthony is the Managing Editor of Automoblog and the host of AutoVision Information Radio and AutoSens Insights. He’s a Midwest Automotive Media Affiliation member and on the board of administrators for the Ally Jolie Baldwin Basis. Like many Detroiters, Carl is holding out for a Lions Tremendous Bowl win.