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TUCoPS :: Hardware Hacks :: speeding.txt

A Close Look at Speed Traps

  |                     A CLOSE LOOK AT SPEED TRAPS                       |
                         |Written by CYBER THIEF|


     Today we will be discussing various methods of vehicle speed detection.
Quite simply, these are methodologies utilized by the police to enforce 
traffic speed laws. If you've ever gotten a speeding ticket, you were
probably busted by one of these tricks. Long gone are the days when
cops assumed you were speeding based on observations of the normal flow of 
traffic. In those days, tickets were often disputed. Now that the piggies
have technology on their side, this almost never happens.

                      **SPEED DETECTION: SANS RADAR**

PACING - Perhaps one of the oldest techniques, the officer drives their
vehicle behind yours in an attempt to match your speed. They determine
your speed by looking at their speedometer. This old trick is most effective 
at night. Observant day time drivers will probably be able to correct their
speed before the officer can match it.

VASCAR (Visual Average Speed Computer And Recorder) - VASCAR consists of a
combined stopwatch and measuring device. A section of road is measured by
the officer. The stop watch is started when a vehicle enters the targeted
section of road, and stopped upon it's exit. A simple mathematic equation 
performed by a computer will indicate the vehicle's speed over the targeted
section of road.

AERIAL DETECTION - A section of road is measured and marked by two strips 
placed several yards apart. Police helicopters using VASCAR computers 
can determine a vehicle's speed as it passes between the two points.
The helicopter operator then radios to officers on the ground if a vehicle
is traveling above the speed limit.

RUBBER HOSES - Two rubber hoses are placed on the road a known distance
apart. The hoses connect to a measuring device that times how long it
takes your vehicle to pass both points. The speed is then indicated on a
receiver in the officer's car. 

ORBIS - Based on the Greek word meaning "eye", ORBIS is a permanently 
installed speed censor on the road side. It is essentially a rollover censor
that will trigger a camera to take photographs of cars traveling faster
than a preset speed. The photograph includes the vehicle license plate,
and speed, as well as a time and date stamp. The traffic citation is
sent to the offender through the mail. Fortunately, this is an obsolete 
method, as most states have enacted laws proclaiming the offense must be 
witnessed by an officer before legal action can be taken.


     Radar is an acronym for Radio Detecting And Ranging. Traffic radar 
works by bouncing a radio signal off of a moving object. The radar gun
receives the bounced signal and compares it to the original. The frequency 
difference is converted to a speed, which is indicated to the user on an 
LCD display. It is important to remember that radar signals can only travel
in straight lines until they hit an object that either absorbs, reflects, or
refracts that signal. In other words, radar guns can not "see" around hills,
curves or other obstructions. The vehicle must be in the gun's line of sight
before an accurate measurement can be taken. Speaking of accuracy, just how
accurate are traffic radar guns? Assuming the equipment is functioning
properly, and is used correctly, the speed can be accurate to within 1/10th
of a mile per hour. The signals emitted span all lanes of traffic, both 
incoming and outgoing. The gun tends to pick up the strongest signals first.
Certain vehicles will bounce back stronger signals than others. For 
instance, a large truck will bounce back a stronger signal than a small
car or motorcycle. That being the case, it is often possible to receive
false detections on vehicles other than the one intended to be checked by
the radar gun operator.

     There are currently several types of radar transmitting systems being 
used by law enforcement for the purposes of speed detection.

CONTINUOUS WAVE SYSTEMS - These systems constantly transmit radio signals.
With a decent radar detector, it is possible to detect them several miles
away from the point of origin.

CONTINUOUS WAVE LOW POWER SYSTEMS - This is identical to the Continuous
Wave System outlined above, with the exception of lower power levels that
are more difficult to detect in advance.

TRIGGERED CONTINUOUS WAVE STATIONARY - This is sometimes referred to as 
"Instant-On" Radar. Radio signals are transmitted in "bursts" and require
less than a second for speed determination. In other words, the signals are
only present when the radar gun operator presses the trigger. These signals
are the most difficult to detect.

TRIGGERED CONTINUOUS WAVE MOVING - Officers don't have to be parked on the
side of the roadways to determine your speed with this method. Pulses are
used to determine the speed of the moving police car, and a separate signal
reflects off of oncoming traffic.

PHOTO RADAR - This is a fairly new system that operates much like ORBIS
(outlined above). Signals are emitted at an extremely low power, making 
Photo Radar much more difficult to detect than any other radar methodology
currently in use. Like ORBIS, a photograph is taken, and the offender 
is mailed a ticket, as opposed to being pulled over. However, because the 
Photo Radar equipment is operated manually, it is not plagued by the legal 
problems that hinder the ORBIS technology. 

     All of the above mentioned systems transmit radar signals on one of 
three different bands outlined below.

X-BAND - First used for traffic radar in the sixties, the X-Band frequency 
is approximately 10.525Ghz. Recently, devices such as automatic door
openers, and some alarm systems have been using similar frequencies.

K-BAND - K-Band was approved for use in traffic radar in the mid seventies.
Such units operate on much lower power, and are more difficult to detect. 
The frequency currently allotted by the FCC for K-Band is 24.15Ghz 
respectively. Like X-Band, K-Band frequencies are used by other devices
as well.

KA-Band - Introduced in 1987, the KA Band was very limited, with only a 
small number of frequencies that could be used for traffic radar purposes.
Thus, Wide band KA was introduced in 1990 to cover 34.2Ghz through 35.2Ghz.
In addition, Super Wide band KA has permitted traffic devices to operate on
any frequency between 33.4Ghz and 36.0Ghz.

NOTE: Misaligned radar equipment may transmit on frequencies outside those
allotted by the FCC.


     The newest addition to the speed detection racket is Laser Infrared 
Detection And Ranging (LIDAR). A single laser beam of invisible infrared 
light is bounced off of any flat surface on the moving vehicle. The LIDAR
equipment times how long it takes the light pulse to travel from the gun,
to the vehicle, and back. The LIDAR can use this information to determine
the distance between the gun, and the vehicle. This data is compared with
recorded measurements much like those used by the VASCAR technology. 
These combined factors make LIDAR the most accurate method of determining 
speed currently available. The maximum range for LIDAR is about 2,000 feet.
Much like radar, LIDAR can not see around buildings, hills, or other 
obstructions, and detection range is reduced in foggy or rainy conditions. 
LIDAR systems are similar to the "Instant-On" radar, in that the laser beam
is not present until the operator presses the trigger. As a result, these 
signals can be difficult to detect in advance. Even laser detectors will 
not offer a timely warning. 

                      **RADAR DETECTOR DETECTION**

     Believe it or not, there really is such a thing as a radar detector 
detector. No, that's not a typo. Radar detectors are not considered legal
in many states. In those places, cops are often equipped with a nasty gadget
called the VG2. The VG2 is a highly sensitive receiver that is tuned to a
frequency commonly utilized by radar detectors. If you are caught up in such
a situation, you can expect a hefty fine. Fortunately, many new detectors
have an extra feature called "Ghost Technology", "Stealth Technology", or 
"VG2 Guard". Such devices are nearly impossible to detect because they do
not generate the frequency VG2 relies on.


     Now that you know what the common detection methods are, you can avoid
them by purchasing a radar detector/jammer, or simply by following the
speed limit. The choice is entirely yours. Whatever your decision, please
drive safely, and always remember to wear your seat belt.

     This text document is intended solely for entertainment and educational
use only. The author does not condone illegal or unethical activities, and
will not accept any responsibility for damages which may arise from the 
misuse of the information provided.

Distributed by:
     Cyber Thief's Zone -

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