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Cobra ESD 6050 Radar Detector

Cobra ESD 6050 Radar Detector

Author's Rating: Rating: 1/5 stars
8 Reviews from

By:   rainmayker
Sep 24, 2003
Cobra ESD 6050 Radar Detector

Utter Disappointment

Author's Rating: Rating: 1/5 stars

Pros: At least it can detect something-- even if too late for a driver to react

Cons: Abysmally poor detection range, faulty power cord jack

The Bottom Line: 
A toy. Any consumer who actually wants early warning to slow down a speeding vehicle should not shop for this detector.

Author's Review
Pardon me if I borrow a lot of text herein from the Whistler DE1655 review that I just wrote...

In the quest for a new radar detector to replace my fiance's aging Escort Passport 6800, I have developed a sort of fetish for test-driving these devices. I have been in law enforcement and thus not in need of a radar detector for several years, and now being someone who has "seen things from both sides of the radar gun" so to speak, I am intrigued by what I have learned about radar detection and the behavior of the average small town department's radar units.
I will keep this short but sweet. I borrowed a friend's Cobra 6050 for a couple days a week the last few weeks to see how it performs. It is a fairly modern unit purchased about two years ago at a local discount store and is still sold new at least online. It is compact and easy to mount using a suction-cup affair. The display consists of LEDs with nonilluminated labels for each LED printed on the detector body itself. The only audio warning available is tones and beeps, no voice alert.

All bells and whistles aside, I am mainly interested in the distance at which this detector could detect signals.
Anyone who compares this to other detectors on the market will be sadly disappointed. Out of the half dozen or so radar detectors I tried out, this one was certainly in last place. This device could only seem to detect any signal when the radar device was directly in front and in easy sight distance of the detector-- absolutely not ample time to decrease speed to avoid a citation, no matter what speed you maybe driving at. Even next to my seven-year-old Escort Passport 6800 (which I also reviewed on this site), this Cobra was not even beeping at all when the Escort was showing a 50% strength on the signal meter! The Cobra also falsed at many X band alarm sensors, though curiously did not false on K band near a local Wal-Mart that has K band door entry sensors that other detectors falsed on.

And to make matters worst, the Cobra was plagued by a problem that its owner said developed within 6 months of purchase. The power cord needs to be duct-taped in place at an odd angle so it will properly contact the detector's power cord jack so the darn thing can work. Removing the duct tape (being the electronics-oriented fellow I am), I could play with the cord and easily guess that the inside of the detector was cheaply soldered and the jack was very loose.

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