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FAQs

 

Are your radars FCC approved for license free operation?

A: All our radars are fully FCC part 15 approved for license free operation. Additionally, since we also supply to the world wide market, many of our products also carry the CE mark.

The approval ID of each product is listed in the products' detail page.

Q. Can I use your radar for traffic calming applications?

A. Yes. Our radar was specifically designed for the trailer and pole mounted traffic calming sign market.

You can use our radar for any speed or motion detection (above 3 mph). They can also be used for bicycle detection in crossing lights application where a bicycle trail crosses a road.

Q. Can I use your radars for long range motion detection?

A. Most likely. You can use our radars for vehicle motion detection up to 2000+ feet (depending on the product type). However, the minimum speed is limited to about 2mph (3kph) and we recommend a minimum speed of about 5 mph (8 kph).

The radar features a "contact closure" type output (contact us for electrical details) that can be tripped when incoming motion is detected above any set threshold.

Thus the radars can easily be used for "speed violation detection" as far as 2000 feet (600m) away.

Q: Are your radars designed for low power usage?

A: Our DR series of radars uses next generation DSP technology that allows it to operate with a low power consumption of only 0.69 Watts. Some other radars on the market use as much as 3 Watts of power.

Our NEW SS300 radar uses an unprecedented low 9 mill Amps of current (only 0.1 Watts). This is the lowest power commercially available radar in the world that we know of.

Some of the competition has redesigned their product for lower power usage. These new product still use more than 2 Watts of power. In fact, there is NO OTHER radar in the market that we know of that comes even close to the ultra low power usage of the Houston Radar DR500 or the SS300!

Q. How will my trailer/sign benefit from the radar's low power usage?

A. The display is usually the most power hungry component in the sign. However, most displays shut off to a very low nominal power usage when they are not displaying any speed. The radar is the only part of the trailer/sign that is "ON" continuously- even when no traffic is present.

In many suburban roads it is not unusual for the sign to experience an average of 10-20% "dutycycle" on the display. This means that the display is ON only 10 to 20% of the total ON time of the sign. However, the radar is ON 100% of the time. So in effect, the power savings from the radar are magnified 5X to 10X when this is taken into account. In one test done by one customer in one location, swapping to our DR500 radar doubled the run time of their sign! This is just one example and actual results will depend on the power usage of your display panels, and display panel total ON time.

In any case, the power usage of the radar antenna plays a huge part in the run time achieved by your sign. The other benefit of lower total power usage is you can achieve the same run time in your sign with smaller solar panels and batteries. This can have a huge cost and size impact on your display or end product.

Contact us to get an evaluation unit to see how our radar can help your product achieve longer run times.

Alternatively use the simple on-line calculator to estimate the savings from our radar.

Q: Do you offer a traffic Statistics Package?

A: The Houston Radar DR500 radar offers "Advanced Statistics" available as an option inside the radar. We have been offering this option since early 2006 and were the first company in the industry to offer statistics INSIDE the radar.

Q: Why are your statistics called "Advanced Statistics"?

A: As we do traffic statistics inside the radar, the radar has the capability of "seeing" multiple vehicles simultaneously. Even when multiple vehicles are present on the road, all traffic calming radars send out either the fastest or strongest signal. Any statistics done outside the radar (either in a dongle or in the display panels) will never "see" these other vehicles.

In fact, our tests have shown that our Advanced Statistics is up to 2X better in traffic counts than statistics done outside the radar.

Our Advanced Statistics features a trade secret algorithm that can even detect and count individual vehicles traveling one behind the other at the same speed. Can your current radar do that? The other advantage of our Advanced Statistics done inside the radar is it does not increase the power usage of the radar. Any statistics that uses an external "dongle" to calculate and store the statistics includes additional electronics and will increase the power usage of the entire package. This additional power usage must be accounted when comparing the power usage of our radar vs. the competition.

Q: Do you offer a traffic statistics analysis package?

A: We offer a very advanced statistics analysis package if you purchase our traffic stats in the radar. This package allows a user to read the collected statistics from the radar, trim the data, view reports including the 85th percentile speeds, vehicle counts etc.

The user can also plot the data on interactive charts which allow them to zoom in/out, change the start/end date etc.

Q: Do you sell traffic calming trailers or signs?

A: We do not sell final traffic calming products. We are an OEM supplier of K-Band Doppler speed radars. Many leading manufacturers of traffic calming trailers and signs use our OEM radar in their products.

Q: Do I need to modify my display software to use your radars?

A: In most cases you can simply swap out our radar in your product without any software changes. Our radar has many configuration options to set different baud rates, output modes etc. In the case where our radar does not support a particular output protocol, we will be happy to add it for you.

In most cases we can add a new serial port protocol in a few days to a week.

Q. What is the detection range of your radars?

A. Our DR series of radars feature typical detection range of about 1200 to over 2000 feet (from about 1/4 mile or 400 meters to almost 1/2 mile or about 600 meters) depending on model type. This value is tested on an open level road with the radar mounted about 5 feet off the ground detecting a compact vehicle approaching at 85 Mph (except SS300 which is tested at about 50mph). Range will be longer with larger trucks. Range may be affected by installation effects like curves, dips etc.

However, range has always been found to be more than sufficient by all our customers for traffic awareness applications even with large 18" digits.

Our SS300 radar features a 300+ feet (90+ meters) of detection range. It is designed for slower 25 Mph (40 Kph) roads (e.g. highway exits, road curves, school zones, traffic crossings, pedestrian and bicycle paths etc.) and not meant to replace the DR series of radars.

Q. Can I change the distance the radar detects vehicles in the field?

A. Yes. Our radar features an Infrared Remote Control. Using this optional IR remote you can easily change the radar's detection distance as a percentage of the maximum range from 10% to 100%.

Alternatively, this sensitivity setting can also be modified programatically via the serial port. We would be happy to provide you the protocol to do so if you would like to add it to your sign controller.

Q. Do you offer Bluetooth wireless to download Statistics from the radar?

A. Yes! If you use our Display panels or use the RS485 port in the radar or use a display controller that only required the TX line from the radar (most controllers are like this!), the RS232 port can be used to hookup a Bluetooth to RS232 dongle to retrieve the stats from the radar from a Bluetooth enabled Windows notebook computer. See the Downloads section for a detailed guide on how to hookup a Bluetooth adapter to the radar or contact us for more details.

Q. Can your radar software be upgraded after I purchase it from you?

A. Yes. All our radars feature a "boot loader" that can accept new software via the serial port and program it in the radar without even opening the box. This gives you peace of mind that your radars can always be upgraded to any latest feature that we add.

Q. Where are your Radars designed and manufactured?

A. Our radars are designed in Houston Texas, U.S.A. We developed and own the design of the radars. The radars are themselves manufactured in Houston, Texas in an ISO 9000:2001 facility from US and European electronic components. You only deal with us in Houston and we normally ship from stock for small orders. For large OEM's we build to a production schedule and can usually accommodate up to a 50% over ordering with short lead times.

Q. Where all do you sell your products?

A. Our Radars are sold all over the world. We currently have customers in over 15 countries. We are the largest OEM supplier of traffic calming Doppler speed radas in North America (including Canada) and are now increasing our sales in other parts of the world. We welcome inquiries from all over the world.

Q. How long have you been in business?

A. We have been in business for over six years (we started in 2004). We have many thousands of radars working reliably in the field over the last few years and are now ramped and are shipping at the rate of thousands of radars per year. The advanced ultra low power design of the radar is such a technological break though that when we are compared against the competition, we always come out ahead.

Additionally, we do not compete with our customers. Other radar manufacturers in this business also have their own sign and trailer business. So when you buy a radar from them and sell your sign or trailer in the market, you are already at a disadvantage when your radar supplier competes with you.