What is Pocket Radar?
Pocket Radar is a company that makes handheld radar devices that are as small or smaller than your cell phone. These devices are used (depending on version) for training athletes, neighborhood safety and even law enforcement. The classic edition of their radar device is used to measure an object in constant motion such as a runner, or a car.
Why should I get one?
There are a couple of reasons why I think this product is worth while. First off it’s simple. You point it in the direction of the object you want to measure and push the button. Feedback is given immediately. You could use this on any object in constant motion so it’s great for speed training or training animals like dogs or horses. It also puts a number on speeders going through the community.
You could get a photo of a license plate when the cars are speeding and the Classic and present it to your local police department so that they have evidence to go on and set up a radar.
The classic would also be a useful tool for injury prevention. Kids will push themselves to the limit to make their parents happy, but sometimes at the expense of their health. Using the classic you could detect drops in speed of a runner indicating fatigue and an increase in potential injuries.
It also is a great training device. Set a baseline for a sprint and after a couple of weeks working on speed and agility, remeasure and see how much has been improved which is great for sports like Track, and hockey.
As far as safety for the community, this device will give you some standard evidence to submit to local law enforcement. While the Pocket Radar Classic edition is not certified, it does allow you to present the police with a number. This number will help persuade the police to set up radar of their own to catch offenders.
Why Shouldn't I get one?
This is a great product that can do a variety of things, but the one thing you shouldn’t do is measure the speed of a ball.
Because of the ballistics of a ball and he technology in the classic, you will be unlikely to get an accurate reading on a ball. The explosion of energy at the beginning means that the ball is fastest at release of the hand, off the bat, club, or racket. The classic takes a moment in time and not an average so the accuracy of the ball would be dependent completely on when the button was pressed.
So how do you measure a ball then?
Refer to our review of their Ball Coach, which can be found here:
Pocket Radar Classic Setup
Setup is easy. Open Box, insert batteries, point, and press button. There are some things to note and it is worth reading the instructions to make sure you get it right. There are different modes that can be enabled and even storage of the most recent readings. To make sure that you get accurate data make sure you know where to stand, when to begin the measurement and how long to hold it. All of which makes a difference in the reading itself.
The reading itself occurs while you press the button and shows you a point in time reference of speed, like a normal radar. You can watch the speed accelerate or decelerate over time. The recall button allows you to go back through the last 10 readings. The Classic takes AAA batteries and it is recommended that rechargeable NiMH batteries are used for better performance (though the battery gauge shows less juice because of the chemical makeup and output).
I cannot tell you which one to get, but make the recommendations based on their use cases. In most cases, I see the Ball Coach as being the better device, but that is only because I play baseball. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Be sure to choose which one is best for you.