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Differences Between Ka, K, and X Bands

Things to know about radar detectors

Do you know how fast you were going back there?

You actually don’t know how fast you were going because you didn’t even think about there being a police car lying in wait along the road. Now you have a ticket to pay for speeding. What if we told you that you could have avoided that entire situation?

So, what if you were driving down the road and your newly installed radar detector gives you the alert that you may be approaching a speed trap. You look down and notice that you are speeding and take your foot off the accelerator.

Your detector has alerted you to the presence of X band, K band, or Ka bands in the area. The crisis has been averted! You casually wave at the police officer sitting just off the roadway and go about your business.

What does a radar detector do?

Radar detectors are used to detect police radar guns that are in use in your vicinity so that you can slow down in time to avoid a speeding ticket.

Radar uses radio waves to “see” distant objects by bouncing the waves off an object and seeing how long it takes for the wave to return. The radio waves of the police radar gun put out different types of radar bands – X band, K band, or Ka bands. These bands can be compared to three different radio stations. That is why radar detectors are tuned to detecting these specific bands. When the detector detects these bands, it emanates a “beep” that alerts the user of radar presence.

When a radar detector detects a police officer’s radar gun, it alerts you with messages about X band, K band, or Ka bands. These are the bands that the police officer’s radar guns operate on.

Radar Detector Alerts

What is an X band?

X band alerts

If you are driving in the city, it is almost certainly not valid. In a rural area, it could be a false alert or a police radar.

X band radar is a type of radar wave that falls between 8.0GHz and 12GHz, with law enforcement radar guns operating around 10.5GHz.

X band is the oldest type of police radar frequency, but it is not used as frequently today as it used to be. Even though some people prefer to turn off the X band detection on their radar detectors, it is wise to leave it on as some older radar guns still operate on the X band.

What is a K band?

K band alerts

Slow down, but it may be a false alert.

K band radar are radar waves that fall between 18GHz and 27GHz, with most of the law enforcement radar guns operating at 24.125GHz and 24.15GHz.

Police radar began detecting with K band a few decades after X band was introduced. The biggest problem with the K band is that it leads to a lot of false alerts given.

What is a Ka band?

Ka band alerts

Slow down! It is almost certainly the police.

Ka band radar are radar waves between 33.4GHz and 36.0GHz.

These are the most recent and the best radar band frequencies that law enforcement can operate on. There are as many as five different frequencies that these waves can operate on. The Ka is the hardest frequency to detect, and only the best radar detectors can do so.

Shop Radar Detectors

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Escort's radar detectors allow drivers to drive smarter! Escort offers the Ticket-Free Guarantee, Lightning Fast Response, and False Alert Filtering. Let the technology help eliminate false alerts through an award-winning app.

Not sure if dash cams and radar detectors are legal in your area? We have an article on that, too! Learn about the laws and guidelines in your province and when crossing the border.