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“Having fallen foul of 3 cash cows in 3 years (cameras...”

Written on: 11/09/2009 by GOM (2 reviews written)

Having fallen foul of 3 cash cows in 3 years (cameras cynically deployed to generate revenue from ordinary motorists who wander over unrealistically low speed limits by a few mph) I decided to invest in some protection. The Inforad K1 interested me because it was (a) small, (b) cheap (£40 offer in Halfords - I wouldn't have paid full price!), and (c) camera updates were free for life.

The gismo comes with a multi-lingual instruction leaflet, small snap-in cradle you can stick to the dash, and car charger/adapter with standard cigarette lighter plug at the bottom and a USB slot at the top. You need a good 5" clearance above the lighter socket for a direct connection. The K1 can also be re-charged directly from a computer USB port. Battery life is meant to be in the region of 4 hours. Realistically, it's best to connect the unit to the charger in the car by USB cable (not supplied).

The database update involves a one-time software download onto your computer, and then using that program (not hugely intuitive and with clumsy English, presumably translated from German) as and when you deem necessary (weekly recommended). The application has a couple of useful/interesting features, particularly your trip details: departure, arrival, mean speed, top speed ... There is also the facility, using an online form, to update the database with new big brother sightings you may have made on your crawl across the landscape.

The warnings are by different combinations of lights and beeps which you just have to learn. Listen for 5 short and 2 long beeps; this means you need to take out the next camera with a rocket launcher: it's what the sun-roof was invented for (just kidding!).

Pros: as detailed - small, neat, cheap, and free updates. Has so far picked up most, if not all, cameras.

Cons: can take a long time to acquire GPSs; green LED scarcely visible in strong sunlight; imitates a demented canary if the signal keeps dropping; can cause reflex emergency stop on motorway if it picks up a 30 limit from an adjacent road or bridge (scary!).

I'd give this bit of kit 3-and-a-half stars overall but 3 if you're paying full whack or 4 if you get it cheap.

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