Radenso Theia: An SDR Based Police Radar Detector

Radenso is a company that sells radar detectors. These are used to help motorists avoid speeding fines from Police using radar speed detectors in their cruisers. Their latest upcoming product is called the "Radenso Theia" and is a software defined radio based solution.

In one of their latest YouTube videos they explain how SDR is used in the Theia, noting that the SDR ADC chip they are using is an AD9248. The use of an SDR allows them to more easily apply advanced digital signal processing algorithms to the radar detection task. In particular they note that they can now apply deep learning artificial intelligence filtering which helps to classify different radar gun FFT signatures and avoid false positives from other radar sources such as automatic doors.

While the Theia is designed to be a radar detector, they note that the device could also be used by hardware hackers as a standalone software defined radio. They have thought about this use case and have added a separate uFL connector that can be enabled by soldering a zero ohm connector, and this allows users to connect any antenna to it.

What is a software defined radio and why does it matter for Radenso Theia?

20 comments

  1. Michael Valentine

    I don’t know, I don’t trust radar detectors. I drive by air ports every day and they use radar yet my Rocky Mountain Radar Detector stays silent. So what’s the point?

    • Travis

      What sort of radar are you referring to the airports as using? If they aren’t vehicle speed detectors, your radar is designed to not go off. There is (thankfully) very sensitive filtering on the better models that block out any errant signals.

      That aside, there’s definitely great variation in performance between different detectors. It sounds like you aren’t referring to vehicle speed-sensing radar signals, though.

      • Rolltide

        I’ve been told that escort makes the best detectors on earth. It’s the first company to provide true powerful artificial intelligence that is used to filter signal. The on board processor is equal to Nvidia 2080ti gpu, it sometimes runs to hot and might lockup though.

        Escort lidar detectors also block all lidar making the driver immune. Many ladies love to be an escort customer.

        • Travis

          1) “escort makes the best detectors on earth.”
          —It was once one of the more favored brands, but latest models haven’t had the best reviews. Each company has great ones and some less good ones (Valentine, Uniden, Radenso are probably the most favored right now.)

          2) “first company to provide true powerful artificial intelligence that is used to filter signal.”
          —Not remotely true. No true AI in current generation of radar detectors at all (Valentine claims to, but they have a rather loose definition of AI.) This upcoming Radenso advertises that it actually will, though.

          3) “The on board processor is equal to Nvidia 2080ti”
          —Just…No. Most all radar detectors (including Escorts) use relatively low-powered microprocessors (they’re powered by RJ-11 phone jacks, for gossamer.) The Radenso in this article will have an actual ARM chip, though, with power on-par with modern smartphones.

          4) “Escort lidar detectors also block all lidar making the driver immune”
          —No. Like most other *detectors*, they *detect* LIDAR, but have no means to block it. However, Escort is one of a handful of companies that sell LIDAR jammers. These systems require professional installation of several receivers & transmitters in the grill and/or bumpers, along with a compatible detector/controller in the vehicle cabin, and range in price from $800-$2000. They do work, though.

          5) “Many ladies love to be an escort customer.”
          —Potentially true, though I feel like men probably buy more radar detectors than women. Similarly for the lowercase-e escort you may be referring to, men probably hire them more often than women do. However, the women they hire probably enjoy their time together less than the customer.

    • Ken Park

      Every time I drive by a radio or TV station, it doesn’t come in on my radio or TV, because they are allocated on different frequencies. Plus, you don’t want cops crashing aircraft by running speed traps on Perimeter road.

    • Jasmine

      Michael, Michael, the Rocky Mountain detector is too smart to be fooled, or tracked, by just any old radar. Its augmented threat detection processing and enhanced threat vector analysis system only respond when a police radar is pointed directly at you and might be capable of reading your speed. It automatically filters out those other radars, understanding that they are not able to see your vehicle because the detector has deployed its Radar Cross Section reduction sub-system, this module rendering your vehicle untrackable by those radars.

      Basically, the Rocky Mountain Detector, with its advanced AI system and extensive countermeasures suite, understands that it should only present you an alert when there is a threat that might read your speed. As long as the detector is not alerting then you are 100% protected and immune to radar tracking. You can take that to the bank.

  2. none

    Well…
    a) That is illegal in many Country to have such a Device in your Car
    b) and mostly Lasere get used this Days and intercept is also illegal.

    • Travis

      Legal in the United States, as are laser jammers. I’ve got a last generation Radenso, and will definitely pick up one of these, given the hackability (not to mention that processing capability will make its intended use case a total game-changer). That’s super cool that they’re keeping hardware hackers in mind.

      • Travis

        (Forgot to mention that, at least in the US, most police are still using radar, though laser is slowly becoming more common, primarily with interstate Highway Patrol. Luckily, the jammers are incredibly effective, albeit expensive.)

        • none

          In Europe “Radar” stationary Box are common since the licence plate owner is capable of the Car (in the most country I would say). In many Country the dont need a Picture of the Driver just of the Licence Plate.
          Even APPs on the Smartphone who have a Database of that fixed one are highly illegal if the Police see that on a Traffic Stop it can be a fine for.

          • Travis

            It’s unfortunate that the courts have upheld the legality of not having a picture of the driver, since I assume it’s legal to allow somebody else to drive your vehicle?

            It seems like the smartphone apps would be hard to enforce. Do you mind me asking which country you’re in? I know that in the UK, before smartphones were common, many map producers included camera locations, but of course many countries in mainland Europe are more restrictive. Switzerland, in particular, comes to mind, as a country that is very restrictive on drivers.

  3. anonymous

    Considering their most promoted product line ranges in $250-$4000 dollars you can expect that this won’t come cheap, but it is still nice they are offering an sdk and easier hackability.

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