Meddlesome Overspeed Alerts (iRadar App)
Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Affiliate, Automoblog earns from qualifying purchases, together with the objects featured beneath. Cobra Electronics, an affiliate companion, provided the Highway Scout seen right here. Automoblog is a member of the Radar Detector and Countermeasures Forum to make sure fact and accountability when overlaying radar detectors.
Radar detector or a touch digicam? 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 digicam and a radar detector. With the radar detector portion of the Highway Scout, you’ll be able to modify the sensitivity of the X and Ok bands, mute false alerts, and mark places like pace traps and pink gentle cameras. In the meantime, the sprint digicam provides a g-sensor and an emergency recording characteristic.
We 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 finest. Having a touch digicam and a radar detector in a single unit is a lovely proposition, however so far as the Highway Scout is anxious, it’s a superb thought with below-average execution. On this assessment, I’ll run by means of the Highway Scout’s “spec sheet” and elaborate on my expertise with the unit a bit of additional.
Why Purchase a Radar Detector/Sprint Cam Combo?
Insurance coverage suppliers and cable corporations are at all times speaking about the advantages of “bundling” your providers. And in so many phrases, Cobra Electronics has completed the identical factor with the Highway Scout. Choosing one thing just like the Highway Scout has three most important advantages.
Relying on which radar detector and sprint digicam you might be contemplating, shopping for a “bundle” just like the Highway Scout could prevent a bit of cash. As a substitute of shopping for two separate models, 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 touch digicam to your windshield.
Don’t Have To Determine
After 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 touch digicam to my windshield. Likewise, I can even make a case for eager 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 touch digicam – for an extended journey like this.
Cobra Highway Scout In-Depth: What It Provides
The Highway Scout comes with a suction cup windshield mount (referred to as the “EZ Magazine Mount”), a 12-volt SmartCord USB energy wire (so you’ll be able to nonetheless cost your cellphone), and a 16GB SD card and micro USB cable for the sprint digicam. A useful journey case and a fast reference information are additionally included.
Set up is simple with the windshield mount and USB adaptor wire. As soon as the Highway Scout has energy, each the radar detector and sprint digicam are lively. 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 all the time throughout my three-week drive.
The Highway Scout is suitable with Cobra’s iRadar app. With the app, you’ll be able to both report or obtain real-time alerts generated by a whole community of customers. iRadar alerts embody pink gentle and pace digicam places, pace traps, air patrols, photo-enforced places, 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 warn you 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 modify 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 at all times at its most, whatever the sensitivity setting. That’s probably as a result of Ka is the commonest band regulation enforcement makes use of at the moment.
Cobra’s actual verbiage right here could seem unusual utilizing the phrase vary, however we imagine 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 much like Metropolis and Freeway on different radar detectors. Typically talking, you utilize Metropolis mode (extra filtering) to cut 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 street. 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 vital “indicators” (as Cobra calls them). These indicators embody GPS, sign band and energy, digicam 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 when you like. In that case, the GHz measurement will seem beneath the sign band and energy 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 important) disadvantage is the Highway Scout’s detection vary and response time. I obtained Ka alerts on two events solely to search out the patrol vehicles practically on high of us. The primary was a Michigan State Police automotive 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 automotive lengths again. The second alert was from a Wayne County Sheriff deputy on Telegraph Highway (additionally a Ka band). It was an analogous state of affairs: the deputy’s Chevy Tahoe was solely a brief distance away. In each situations, the Cobra Highway Scout got here late to the get together.
It’s attainable each officers had been doing what is named “instant-on” radar, a preferred tactic regulation enforcement makes use of to beat radar detectors. Nonetheless, we’ve pushed these areas right here in Detroit many instances earlier than, particularly whereas evaluating and reviewing radar detectors. Extra lately, we drove the identical areas with our Escort MAXcam 360c, one other two-in-one radar detector and sprint digicam combo. Against this, the MAXcam alerted a lot sooner and with a larger detection vary.
Sadly, the Highway Scout leaves quite a bit 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 stable false alert filtering system. The IVT Filter (or in-vehicle expertise filter) prevents any potential false alerts that may very well be triggered by the superior security options on different automobiles round you. This contains radar-sensor-dependant programs 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, purchasing plazas, grocery shops, and different related mounted location false alerts. For those who obtain a false alert, you’ll be able to silence it through the MUTE button on both the USB energy wire or the unit itself.
This characteristic by no means completely labored for me, and it grew to become one of the crucial irritating issues in regards to the Cobra Highway Scout throughout my three-week drive round Detroit.
Within the proprietor’s guide, below the “GPS Filter” part on web page 11, Cobra says the characteristic lets you retailer mounted location false alerts to the Highway Scout’s reminiscence. To retailer a false alert location, press MUTE 3 times throughout mentioned alert, both on the unit itself or the USB energy wire. If you’re linked to the iRadar app, you can even lock out these false alerts through your smartphone. Subsequent alerts to this sign can be muted and displayed in grey.
As of late, I’ve been making a day by day journey to the Grosse Pointe space of Detroit. On my approach, I encounter a pocket of ongoing street 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 (3 times, because the proprietor’s guide says) on the USB wire 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, after I drove by means of the street building zone once more, the Highway Scout alerts as traditional as if nothing modified. For no matter motive, the lockouts don’t stick.
Based mostly on my expertise, the Cobra Highway Scout struggles with digital signage. The gallery beneath contains three images 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 images, 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. Just a few days later, the Cobra Highway Scout would challenge an alert in its normal blue when driving by means of the identical space with the identical digital signage. It’s prefer it “forgets” manually imputed lockouts.
On this explicit space, you’ll be able to flip a perpetual circle on John C. Lodge when 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 imagine 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 following move, lighting up in blue as if nothing occurred.
Finally, I used to be capable of lock out each of the digital indicators within the gallery above. For added context, I made the loop I’m speaking about on a Friday afternoon. I waited till Monday to drive the realm 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. By way of the settings menu, you’ll be able to change the size of the recording loop between one, three, or 5 minutes (three is the default). Transferring video recordsdata from the Highway Scout to your laptop computer is simple with the micro USB wire.
The sprint digicam portion of the Cobra Highway Scout features a g-sensor with three completely different sensitivity ranges (stage 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’ll be able to see what you might be recording in actual time in your cellphone. For those who additionally wish to use the iRadar app, you’ll be able to swap backwards and forwards 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’s going to 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 digicam portion of the Cobra Highway Scout is really separate from the radar detector, that means it doesn’t report or log any alerts to the SD card. Admittedly, I wish to see this performance on a future model of the Highway Scout. It might be good to have the choice to show a characteristic like this on by means of the settings menu. It might be neat to see the radar band, frequency, and sign energy 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. Based mostly on my expertise, my reply is between “presumably, possibly” 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 digicam is built-in into the unit for the two-in-one performance. Nonetheless, I’ve problem getting previous the dismal GPS lockout functionality of the Cobra Highway Scout.
On the finish of my three-week drive, I imagine the sprint digicam is greater than passable. Nonetheless, I’m not offered on the radar detector portion of the Cobra Highway Scout. For a retail worth of practically $400, the restricted detection vary and lackluster GPS lockout efficiency go away me scratching my head. That’s some huge cash for a radar detector that doesn’t lower the mustard.
For those who don’t want a touch digicam, then look elsewhere for a radar detector. Based mostly on my expertise, I’d not rely solely on the Highway Scout for radar detection responsibility. Different models in the marketplace do a greater job, and your cash is finest spent there. Having the sprint digicam is good, however not on the expense of a reliable radar detector. The Uniden R4 and Radenso DS1 are wonderful choices inside the Highway Scout’s worth 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. If you’re offered on the Highway Scout, you’ll be able to seize it on Cobra’s official website for $400 or through Amazon for a similar worth.
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.