Have any of you ever dealt with the issue of radar jammers. My understanding is they are illegal under FCC rules because they interfere with legal radar emissions (i.e., police officer radar guns). But there is no mention of them in Texas law. One of our troopers asked about them as possible criminal instruments since their sole purpose is to allow a person to speed and not get caught. 16.01 requires a criminal instrument not be otherwise illegal which I suppose they are not under Texas law.
If radar jamming is not an offense, I do not think the radar jammer would qualify as a criminal instrument since it would not be used to commit a criminal offense as required by the definition of criminal instrument in PC Sec. 16.01(b).
I have actually dealt with this issue before. Jamming of RADAR is illegal, while jamming of laser is okay. So the DPS guys you talked to need to understand the difference. One uses RF energy to interfer, while the other simply uses light. While the Govt. controls the RF spectrum, it does not, and cannot, control simple light.
Active radar jammers work on the principle of interfering with or overwhelming the doppler shift that occurs from the reflected radar beam that police RADAR guns require to obtain a vehicles speed.
Unlike police laser (at least in most states), police RADAR can not be legally jammed, in fact, any attempt to do so (whether one is successful or not, most active jammers are not) is a federal offense and violates FCC regulations. Late in 1997, the FCC also ruled that so-called passive-reflector type "radar scramblers" are also illegal to operate whether they are effective or not (they're not) because the FCC considers any attempt as "malicious interference" and as such can not be licensed by the FCC (radar detectors are also subject to FCC licensing requirements since they too emit RF).
While active radar jammers are most certainly illegal (unlike laser jammers), they are mostly ineffective, especially against the latest digital RADAR guns.
Older analogue radar jammers did have some jamming effect on older analogue X-band and K-band RADAR but were often bulky, cumbersome to operate, and ran continously - setting off every radar detector in the immediate vacinity. This ended up having the effect of having vehicles in front of you hit the brakes and slow down which presented problems for drivers equipped with these kinds of jammers.
Furthermore, analogue radar jammers tend to lose their calibration and eventually go out of tune - further diminishing their jamming effectiveness over time.
Today, advanced police radar guns can inform the officer that someone is interfering with it with a radar jammer. It does so easily by monitoring the return RADAR frequency of the jammer during the time that the police radar gun doesn't transmit - a dead giveaway to the user of an active jammer.
In some cases, a radar jammer may inadvertently produce a higher indicated speed on the officer's radar gun! Can you picture trying to explain to a police officer how his 95mph reading of you was introduced by your jammer and not by your actual speed?
At any rate, police RADAR has progressed today to be primarily digital, which makes them more accurate, less prone to error, and much more difficult to jam effectively. This is especially true with the most popular form selling today - digital (DSP) KA band radar.
Don't even think about attempting to use a "passive jammer" or to passively disable or "scramble" police RADAR as your vehicle's own reflections will most certainly overwhelm any "passive jammer/reflector" by several orders of magnitude. These devices don't even make a good radar detector.
License plate covers to defeat photo radar and photo laser may be the only effective "passive" solution to defeat automated traffic photo radar cameras. But they are also illegal in Texas.
Drew, that would be more on the order of a passive radar scatter device. Unless it was eguipped with a HARM.
I'm an armature radio operator, and familiar with RF and such things. To actually JAM a radar signal, you would need to emit 1500Watts or so to be effective.
This would be an FCC violation, and would also probably be a criminal offense as the amount of radiation would probably injure the person operating the radar.
"Radar jammers" available on the market, are Bull-hocky, in my opinion, as it's not possible for them to emit the power required to JAM a radar signal from a patrol vehicle's radar antenna.
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