Introduction: Radar Gun Hacked!

Picture of Radar Gun Hacked!
Turn a 'toy' radar gun into a more pratical, useful radar gun with better features! While this is a completely new and different design, my inspiration for this project came from an article I read by Ken Delahoussaye. Check out the video and see it in action!

Step 1: The Brains...

Picture of The Brains...

This is the Hot Wheels Radar Gun. They are available at toy store and the internet. Cost: Approx $25. This is a real radar gun that shoots doppler radar at 10.525GHz. It has a trigger you hold down and will adjust to 1:1 or 1:64 scale for shooting Hot Wheels cars in action. It also will display MPH or KPH. Time to hack it!

Step 2: Parts You Need...

Picture of Parts You Need...

1. Drill with various bit sizes.
2. Cheap plastic bottle at least 8" long X 3 1/2" in diameter. ($1.50)
3. Assorted screwdrivers
4. Dremel and hack saw
5. Soldering gun with solder
6. Assorted wire
7. DPDT Toggle switch Radio Shack #275-0663 ($4.99)
8. 4-AA Battery holder ($1.59)
9. 1/4 X 20 Coupler nut and bolt with washers. ($.85)
10. Altoids tin
11. JB Weld

Step 3: Dissasemble the Radar Gun.

Picture of Dissasemble the Radar Gun.

Using a drill, drill out the plastic filler caps that cover the screws holding the Radar Gun together. There are a dozen or so screws. After you open it up, remove the waveguide, LCD display, switch and battery compartment connector.

Step 4: Build It.

Picture of Build It.

Cut off one end of the drink bottle and drill 4 holes. 1 dead center on the other side. One off center. 1 on topat the back end and one at the bottom on the back end (See the video for exact locations but these need to be measured up based on your bottle)

Step 5: Prep the Waveguide...

Picture of Prep the Waveguide...

I JB Welded a bolt at the back of the waveguide to be used to fasten the waveguide to the drink bottle. Any size bolt will work as long as you have a matching nut.

Step 6: Wiring...

Picture of Wiring...

After making a note of where all the wiring is, unsolder all of the connections. You will end up with a waveguide, switch (not used), LCD diplay and battery compartment connector (not used). Solder new wire to the new toggle switch following the same pattern as the old one. Solder new wire to the waveguide.

Step 7: LCD Display Mount...

Picture of LCD Display Mount...

Cut a square in the Altoids tin bottom to match the size of the opening in the back of the LCD display and then mount the display on the tin using screws. I also used a little bit of hot glue to be sure. Drill two holes the top of the tin to match the holes drilled in the bottom of the drink bottle. Make sure things are lined up before you drill and hole!

Step 8: Assembly...

Picture of Assembly...

Install the tripod mount (coupler nut, bolt and washers). Install the toggle switch and route the wiring out the back. Install the waveguide, route the wiring through the hole in the Altoids tin, route the wiring from the waveguie through one hole in the tin and secure the waveguide with a nut over the other hole.

Step 9: Finish It Up!

Picture of Finish It Up!

Solder all of the wiring to the back of the LCD Display. Run two wires from the red and black power wires to the 4-AA battery holder. I hot glued and taped the connections so there would be no shorting going on inside the Altoids tin. I also secured the battery holder to the side of the new waveguide housing using heavy duty Velcro.

Step 10: Extra Touch...

Picture of Extra Touch...

for a little extra touch, I made a homemade hot shoe mount so it could be attached to a video camera. How come the poilce never thought of doing this? Maybe they have, but I have not seen it! Now, just a switch on to get your readings and increased life with the AA batteries instead ot he original AAA batteries. Have fun, Be safe!


rstaron (author)2013-09-11

Can this be used on cars, trucks and buses on a city street?

daveroy (author)2011-02-28

OK, you put it in a what?

TheHawkeye (author)daveroy2011-06-18

I have to agree, I don't see an obvious improvement. Could we have missed it? All I see is a different case...

psycosis (author)2008-08-27

I bought one of these off fleabay, but realised it was not very good so its sitting in the loft gathering dust. Do these changes actually make it work properly? I wanted to use it to measure someone bowling a cricket ball, but it won't even pick it up unless its bowled dead straight.

Karnivore (author)psycosis2008-09-25

If I get this right, I think it has to work before you mod it. Doesn't mean it's useless, probably just handicapped. -Karnivore

beerboyone (author)2007-09-12

how is this "more practical" or hacked? all you did was put it in a different case and used AA batteries instead of AAA. And what is the point of mounting it on a video camera? sure you'll have a video of what you were clocking but you don't have an onscreen display of the speed. I think the gun looked better stock.

joemonkey (author)beerboyone2007-09-12

i agree. i have one of these, and as a prank me an my friend are are going to get a police siren, i already have a spining beacon, and were goon stop speeder is my neighbor hood in the good ol town of amarillo texas.

orangesrhyme (author)joemonkey2008-07-09

impersonation of a police officer is illegal (think lots of jail time).

stevoIution (author)beerboyone2007-09-13

I concur.

Mario1 (author)2008-02-24

everybody knows that kipkay is the best producer of metacafe so as he says "This isn't the real world this is video" xD btw AWSOME VIDEO

Johnsons on fire (author)2007-10-01

Does this increase the speeds that it can detect?

Mr. Rig It (author)2007-09-12

OMG! I can use this at work!!!! It looks so SciFi Tech to boot! Even your narration was great. I cannot say enough about this project. On another note:Uthman was right if you could hack the camera display the speed it would be fantastic. However, an officer doesn't have to have the speed on the film of the camera. All the officer has to do is read the radar speed and Bam ticket. The film is just proof that the offender was at the scene. For this particular tool though I would use it just as a deterrent to slow speeders down and let them know they are being filmed. Then the job is done. Great job.

static (author)Mr. Rig It2007-09-17

AFIK the officers word is all that's needed to put an offender at the scene. No different than the court taking the officers word in regards to the radar display read out.

Mr. Rig It (author)static2007-09-20

That's true but being and Officer I have found that every little bit helps, so there is no shadow of doubt left.

miniopa1 (author)2007-09-18

does this hack make it work any better like becides batterie length? or is it just because like did the hotwheel thing work at greater speeds or what?

static (author)2007-09-17

The instructable was was well done, again. Your independent product review was the most valuable for me. Having no immediate use for a radar gun, it may be some time before I bought a unit new. I'd probably repackage it as well, but it would be in a different manner, for a different look.

jongscx (author)2007-09-12

now, is the signal generated by this the right frequency and strong enough to trigger a radar detector? I have one of those "radar/laser detector testers" and I keep it in my car... whenever I see some cocky teenager in their 16th bday present (or I'm bored while driving) I whip it out and point it at them... mostly, it's followed by screeching brakes and a scared look on their face as they look for the cop car...

leebryuk (author)jongscx2007-09-14

where did you get that useful "testing" device? I searched on google, etc but only came up with testing results, etc.

jongscx (author)leebryuk2007-09-14

okay, I couldn't find it either, which makes me really curious now... however, one possibility is that it's a microwave door opener... kinda like a garage door opener... aparently, big commercial doors work on the same frequency as police radars.

jongscx (author)leebryuk2007-09-14

...the flea-market... it was unboxed and all the stickers were worn off... I thought it was an LED flashlight (the the seller had NO idea what it was) so I was lucky and got it for $.50... turned out to be a good find though... I've seen them on the internet, I'll check to see if I could find it again.

SicVic426 (author)2007-09-12


jridley (author)2007-09-12

Yeah, looks to me like it was made less practical; it's now bigger and uglier. I was kind of hoping someone had come up with a replacement firmware that would go over 100 MPH or something (it uses a standard Atmel microcontroller and is reprogrammable). The only new feature here is always-on; you could replicate that hack with a rubber band. I guess tripod mount too, so use some duct tape as well.

Kipkay (author)jridley2007-09-12

It's not bigger. It's smaller and if you think it's ugly now, how would it look with rubber bands and duct tape? Imagine the heat I would have taken if I did that?

Uthman (author)2007-09-12

ROFL @ the pic of u throwing the baseball if you could somehow hack the video camera to display the speed, that would be sick

iKill (author)Uthman2007-09-12

i think it said 62 in the vid

Timmyd_2 (author)2007-09-12

There's no such thing as over the top. Nicely done.

esrun (author)2007-09-12

Well done on the effort you went to on documenting it but I think you went a little over the top for the results. I would have just attached a tripod system using some zip ties or similar..

balloondoggle (author)2007-09-12

I have to agree with beerboyone: you've just made it ugly. BTW, cops do have radar\laser guns with cameras, but there are enforcement issues with the unattended stations similar to the debate over redlight cameras.

About This Instructable




Bio: Tinkerer, hackster and prankster. Hit me up on Facebook: Thanks for checking out my Instructables!
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