How Laser Jammers Work
By Radartest Staff
Last updated: 2016
A laser jammer detects a police laser gun's beam, decodes the signal and transmits bursts of invisible light in reply. If this bogus return signal is at the correct frequency and the same pulse-repetition rate (PRF), it confuses the laser gun. No speed is displayed.
A typical laser jammer system has three components. The jammer transceiver, sometimes called a head, is a waterproof module containing the laser detection and transmitting electronics. A small box houses the jammer's microprocessor and often serves as a wiring interface as well—the jammers usually plug into it using telephone-style connectors. There's also an audible/visual alert system to warn of attacks.
To defeat a laser the front laser jammers must protect the headlights, license plate and surrounding reflective surfaces. In the rear, the license plate and tail lights are the primary targets. The center high-mounted stop light, backup lights and vertical, reflective surfaces are also targets. Even a tailgate-mounted spare tire/wheel assembly is fair game; we've targeted a Jeep Wrangler's aluminum spare wheel from 2,500 feet away.
A single jammer can't protect a vehicle much larger than a motorcycle; at close range the pinpoint laser beam can reflect from one part of a vehicle without touching a nearby jammer and setting it off.
Two front jammer transceivers are needed, more on larger vehicles. And that's if the laser jammer is a good one. With a poor system it won't matter how many jammers are installed—the laser will ignore them.
It's also important to note that a few laser guns are jam-proof. Their signals can't be detected, meaning there will be no warning and no defense. This increases the attractiveness of Veil which decreases the light reflected from a vehicle, limiting laser target range.
The size of a jammer is important; the larger the jammer, the more limited its mounting options. Today's aerodynamically-contoured vehicles offer scarce front-end real estate for aftermarket equipment. It's possible to hang a jammer in front of the grille, but aside from being an aesthetic disaster, this subjects the jammer to crash damage and announces its presence to all, curious cops included.
The situation is little better in back. With many jammer models there's no way to put a laser jammer head midway between the license plate and tail light on each side, at least without hacking holes in the bumper cover. Aside from performance, packaging dimensions are an important consideration when shopping for a laser jammer.
There's no cheap way to counter a laser and the price of admission starts at about six bills. But compared to the downside of a laser encounter, a good case can be made for one of the top laser jammers.