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Among the higher-priced echelon of radar detectors, the Beltronics Pro RX65 includes solid features and easy user programming, along with demonstrated threat detection. Its interface choices range from a simple warning to a highly technical frequency display. While its simple three button interface is easy to use, its volume control leaves something to be desired.
Like your typical radar detector, the Beltronics Pro RX65 is a small box that clamps to your windshield. We like how the clamp, with two suction cups, slides and locks into the top of the detector, offering a slight amount of adjustment. And with portable GPS and satellite radio devices becoming more common, windshield-clamped devices don't attract the attention they used to.
The RX65 has a red LED information display on one end, which isn't particularly attractive, and a black plate on the other, for receiving radar signals. It also has a small pod on top that faces toward the back of the car, for detecting radar from behind.
Buttons across the top include power, brightness, and sensitivity. The brightness and sensitivity buttons do double duty as programming buttons when you enter the settings mode. We like this setup, as it is easy to use and keeps buttons on the device to a minimum.
A long volume button runs across the driver-facing end. While changing the sensitivity or brightness only requires a quick touch of their buttons to adjust the settings, you need to hold down the volume button as it runs down, and then back up. Holding down this button is inconvenient if you are driving, as you need to grip the RX65 with two fingers while it runs through the different volume settings. This button also serves as a quick mute button when the radar detector is beeping. A button on the 12-volt power adaptor, labeled mute, repeats the functionality of the volume button.
The RX65's default setting uses its simple display, showing the radar or laser band detected and a set of bars indicating the strength. It also sounds off with a series of beeps and a voice telling you the band detected. After about five beeps, the sound mutes automatically. The display and voice will inform you if the radar is K, Ka, or X band, or by saying Laser if it has detected laser.
The device defaults to a mode called Autoscan, where it adjusts its sensitivity dynamically based on the signals it receives. You can push the sensitivity button, labeled City, to cycle through Autoscan, City, and Highway modes. City mode reduces sensitivity to X band radar, as that band is most likely to get false alerts. In programming mode, which you enter by holding down the City and Brightness buttons, you can lower the X-band sensitivity of City mode, or have it not detect X-band at all, if you drive through areas prone to false alerts.
Where the RX65 gets interesting is its capability to break down different radar guns monitoring your car. In programming mode, you can change it from its simple display to Threat display, which shows if there are different radar bands detected and their relative strengths. To get even more down and dirty, the RX65 has a Tech display, which shows the strongest radar band and its frequency. While this display is cool, we're not sure of its actual utility.