No. The radar will provide a True Average Speed for all incoming lanes of traffic. It cannot distinguish between individual incoming lanes. Note that the radar will reject all outgoing traffic in the speed and count calculation.
Is the True Average Speed available even if I require the raw Doppler speed (e.g. for local traffic calming display purposes)?
Yes. You may chose to output the raw Doppler speeds over one serial port and poll for real-time histograms or the True Average Speed value over the second serial port using our binary protocol and thus have access to both features simultaneously. Please note, that the Advanced In-radar traffic statistics option must be purchased for the True Average Speed calculation to be enabled.
Since the speed is measured via the Doppler shift, the accuracy is significantly better than 1mph or 1kph. Additionally, the radar is able to “know” when a vehicle passes it and takes into account the cosine error generated just as the vehicle is passing the radar automatically mitigating the error introduced due to the cosine effect.
No. Simply mount the radar at least 6 to 15 feet above or away from the road, pointing up-stream into traffic and it will track and measure the vehicle speeds on all incoming lanes. We recommend that you use this feature to monitor no more than 3 lanes of incoming traffic.
The Doppler speed available from a Doppler radar is simply a speed value of a single highest speed target or target with the strongest return signal. This speed will vary widely as vehicles are detected and their speed measured.
In True Average Speed mode, our radars internally track individual targets on the road simultaneously, accumulate vehicle counts over a user-specified time period (e.g. 30 seconds) and then update the average speed taking into account all the traffic on the road. This gives a much more accurate picture of the traffic pattern on the road.
Absolutely. The PNL10 is designed to operate from any DC source from 5.5VDC to 18VDC including traditional 12VDC nominal lead-acid batteries. To operate from AC mains, you need to provide an inexpensive 5 Watts or greater AC to DC converter. Many such converters are available in the market.
I would like to make a sign that blinks “SLOW DOWN” if vehicles are speeding. Can I do that with the PNL10?
The PNL10 can turn-on (and optionally blink) an external LED string (arranged to read a message of your choice) above a user-set speed. This requires a simple LED only board connected to the expansion connector on the back of the PNL10. We invite you to review appendix “B” in the User Manual for details and a suggested schematic.
The In-Radar Advanced Traffic Statistics collection option is available.
The design of the PNL10 allows it to be easily expanded to a 3rd (100’s place) digit by adding an LED only “1” digit board. All the drivers for this third digit are already present on the PNL10. Please contact us for more information.
We offer standard “MUTCD” Amber color LED’s or as an option for private locations, a very unique and eye-catching ultra white LED.
To complete a working sign you need to provide just a suitable enclosure and power source (AC to DC converter for AC powered signs or battery and charger for battery-powered signs.In fact, we will even suggest to you a suitable AC to DC converter (available for about $10) as well an advanced LiFePO4 battery, AC charger or maximum power point technology (MPPT) ultra-low standby power solar charger to use with your final product. To derive the maximum benefit from our ultra-low power usage PNL10, it is important for it to be matched up with similarly advanced components to complete the sign.
Absolutely. The “SLOW DOWN” kit incorporates our advanced digital SS400 directional Doppler radar. You may select the minimum speed above which the message will illuminate. Additionally, you may also select a “speed limit” threshold above which the message will blink. These limits can be changed via a PC, on-board rotary switch (on the back) or via the radar serial port from your attached controller if you chose to use one.
Absolutely. The “SLOW DOWN” kit is designed to operate from any DC source ~7.5VDC to 18VDC including traditional 12VDC nominal lead-acid batteries. To operate from AC mains, you need to provide and inexpensive 5 Watts or greater AC to DC converter. Many such converters are available in the market.
You can have a sign that also shows the vehicle speed and blinks “SLOW DOWN” if vehicles are speeding. Our PNL10 speed display kit measures and shows the vehicle speed. Additionally, you can trigger this “SLOW DOWN” message sign directly from it. In this configuration, the SLOW DOWN board is a very inexpensive option as it does not use a separate radar and is a simple string of LED’s.
The In-Radar Advanced Traffic Statistics collection is available as a normal cost option in the radar kit.
We offer standard “MUTCD” Amber color LED’s.
In addition to your kit, what else do I need to provide to complete a radar activated message product
To complete a working sign you need to provide just a suitable enclosure and power source (AC to DC converter for AC powered signs or battery and charger for battery-powered signs)In fact, we will even suggest to you a suitable AC to DC converter as well an advanced LiFePO4 battery, AC charger or maximum power point technology (MPPT) ultra-low standby power solar charger to use with your final product. To derive the maximum benefit from our ultra-low power usage radar message kit, it is important for it to be matched up with similarly advanced components to complete the sign.
We have been in business since 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 breakthrough 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.
Our Radars are sold all over the world. We currently have customers in over 55 countries. We are the largest OEM supplier of traffic calming Doppler speed radars 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.
Our radars are designed in Houston Texas, U.S.A. We developed and own the design of the radars. The radars are manufactured in Houston, Texas in an ISO 9000:2001 facility from US and European electronic components. For large OEM’s we build to a production schedule and can usually accommodate up to a 50% over ordering with short lead times.
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 with latest features.
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.
Yes. Our radar features 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 programmatically. We would be happy to provide you the protocol to do so if you would like to add it to your sign controller.
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). The range will be longer with larger trucks. The range may be affected by installation effects like curves, dips, etc.
However, the range has always been found to be more than sufficient by all our customers for traffic awareness applications even with large 18″ digits.
Our SS400 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.
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.
We offer a 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.
As we do traffic statistics inside the radar, the radar has the capability of detecting 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 proprietary algorithm that can 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.
Houston Radar offers “Advanced Statistics” is 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 gathering INSIDE the radar.
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 online calculator to estimate the savings from our radar.
Our DR series of radars uses next-generation DSP technology that allows it to operate with a low power consumption of only 0.1 Watts. Some other radars on the market use as much as 3 Watts of power.
Our NEW SS400 radar uses an unprecedented low 4.5 mill Amps of current (0.054 Watts which is 14X lower than our original DR500S radar and up to 40X lower than some other industry offerings). 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 DR600 or the SS400!
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.
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.
Yes. Our radars are specifically designed for the trailer and pole mounted traffic calming sign market.
You can use our radars 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.