Lidatek Laser Echo LE-30 Review

Lidatek Laser Echo LE-30
“If you want to protect your car from laser scanners, the Lidatek LE-30 does an excellent job.”
Pros
  • Excellent at detecting laser guns; gives off a counter measure
Cons
  • Does not detect radar guns

Summary

The Lidatek Laser Echo LE-30 does one thing and it does it well. It will detect laser guns and give you enough time to check your speed and slow down while it does its counter measures. The LE-30 is completely ineffective against radar guns simply because it does not attempt to scan them. So if you want the best coverage available, it might be a good idea to pair the LE-30 up with a good radar detector like the Escort series or Valentine One.

We found installation to be very simple due to the systems compact size and use of minimal wires. We received no false alarms during our 2 month testing period, nor did we have any problems with it staying on the car. We like the idea that it is out of view so thieves or law enforcement will not see it. We would like to see Lidatek grow as a company and offer a more feature rich product that detects both radar and laser guns. If you want to protect your car from laser guns, the Lidatek LE-30 does an excellent job.

Introduction

 

We have intentionally tried to avoid covering car audio and component products on Designtechnica because there is just so much to cover. And the reality of it is that car audio is not easy to review. For starters you need a car to test with, and a halfway decent one if you want to test things correctly. When I first received a call from Lidatek’s Kit Xamonthiene, VP of marketing, I was extremely hesitant about putting their LE-30 laser detector in my brand new Mazda RX-8.  But because their product was so different from any other radar or laser detector on the market, I had to take the gamble. Lidatek’s LE-30 is their latest laser detector and the successor to their popular LE-20 model. The LE-30 has an MSRP of $399 dollars and is sold through car audio retailers rather than from the company directly.

Features

 

There is a big reason why I have stayed away from radar or laser detectors; they rarely work and create a lot of noise. Every time I would ride along with a friend who has a radar detector, I could not help but notice just how often it would go off. Since I was unfamiliar with them, I assumed they were picking up laser guns. But that just was not the case a lot of the times. Automated doors from grocery stores or other electrical devices can often set off a radar detector inadvertently and without warning. So how are you supposed to know which detection is legitimate?

When Kit stopped by the house to show me the LE-30, he made a couple things very clear. This is not a radar detector; it is only a laser detector. This meant that it would probably not give me a lot of protection in small towns or in areas that lack the latest laser scanning technology. However if you are driving on the interstate or the city, there is a very good chance that the LE-30 will be effective. When the LE-30 detects a laser gun or laser van, it will give the driver a signal for five seconds. First it emits a very loud 100dB audible alert while at the same time flashing the in-car LED light. During this time the LE-30 reacts by giving a countermeasure. The police officer scanning your car will not receive a speed reading during these 5 seconds. This should give you enough time to check your speed allowing you to slow down. Once the five seconds has passed, then the officer will be able to get an accurate reading while the LE-30 resets itself for the next 30 seconds.

Lidatek LE-30

The LE-30 hides nicely behind the car grill

Illustration provided by Lidatek

 

Lidatek LE-30

The LED in your car is small

Illustration provided by Lidatek

The Lidatek LE-30 uses an indium gallium arsenide laser diode which resembles the ones used in laser guns, and it transmits this laser signal back to the laser gun causing it to ignore its reflections and give an inaccurate reading. The biggest difference between the LE-30 and its predecessor the LE-20 is that the LE-30 has an increase in its sensitivity. I was also told that the LE-30 is easier to install and designed so it will not give any false alarms.

Setup and Use

 

Lidatek recommends that you have the dealer that sold you their system do the installing. I was fortunate enough to have Lidatek’s VP of Marketing do it for me himself. Installation time took about 20 minutes from start to finish, although I would expect a dealer to take a little longer. Kit was able to hide the main unit under the front grill of my car so that it was not viewable from the front. He then ran a cable to the inside of the cars cabin through the firewall. The first thing I was amazed with was how inconspicuous the installation was. There were no visible wires or drilling required. In fact he used only a couple tools including a Philips and flat head screw drivers, some zip ties and needle nose pliers.

Lidatel LE-30

The installation kit uses minimal parts

Kit explained to me that installing the LE-30 in the front of the car will only protect my vehicle from scans in the front, but if you wanted you could installed multiple units on your car to give you even more coverage.

I opted to have the LED and siren put under the dash. I did not want a hole drilled into my car for the LED; a 100dB siren was more than good enough for me. There is a switch that allows you to turn the LE-30 on and off. There was no calibration process for me to go through. He simply installed it and the system was ready to go. Since the dealer is doing the installation, there was no reason for Lidatek to package the LE-30 in a colorful box or with fancy consumer level instructions. An installation diagram served just fine.

I live in a pretty new area of town where I am confident the local law enforcement was using the latest laser guns. If they could afford new BMW motorcycles, I was pretty sure they could afford the newest laser guns.

After installation I went out to test it. When you turn on your vehicle, the LE-30 gives an audible chirp which will tell you it’s ready. I will have to admit that I thought the LE-30 was not working at first, and I actually forgot it was installed. It took me about 3 weeks before it finally went off, and sure enough there was a police officer hiding behind the bushes. The 100dB audible siren that the LE-30 gives off is loud. In fact it was so loud that the first time I heard it, I jumped in my seat. Having an RX-8, I was sure I would get scanned more than what I noticed in an 8 week period. Sure enough once I hit the interstate, the LE-30 went off plenty of times, and almost every incident revealed an officer to me. The LE-30 gives you a pretty solid feeling of safety while driving on the highway. I was still worried while driving in rural areas though where the chance for radar guns is higher.

Conclusion

 

The Lidatek Laser Echo LE-30 does one thing and it does it well. It will detect laser guns and give you enough time to check your speed and slow down while it does its counter measures. The LE-30 is completely ineffective against radar guns simply because it does not attempt to scan them. So if you want the best coverage available, it might be a good idea to pair the LE-30 up with a good radar detector like the Escort series or Valentine One.

We found installation to be very simple due to the systems compact size and use of minimal wires. We received no false alarms during our 2 month testing period, nor did we have any problems with it staying on the car. We like the idea that it is out of view so thieves or law enforcement will not see it. We would like to see Lidatek grow as a company and offer a more feature rich product that detects both radar and laser guns. If you want to protect your car from laser guns, the Lidatek LE-30 does an excellent job.

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