Expert Fitting Service

Escort Passport 8500 Radar/Laser Detector.

Escort Passport 8500
Above: Passport 8500

"The New Passport 8500 utilizes a totally new design, including a new wave guide antenna, state-of-the-art microwave receiver. The result is a remarkable increase in sensitivity", they say... but does it work that is all I want to know.

The Escort 8500 has programmable options that include the selection of individual bands (on/off), three meter display options, Mute and AutoMute, two levels of audio tones. Simply hold both top buttons to enter the Program Mode, and then scroll quickly to review or change settings. (Preferred settings are maintained in memory when Passport is turned off or unplugged.) (Power-On Indication, Power-On Sequence, Signal Strength Meter, AutoMute, Audio Tones, City Mode Sensitivity, Display Brightness, Dark Mode Radar / Laser Bands)

The Passport 8500 comes with a comprehensive owner's manual, quick-release windshield mount with extra suction cups, built-in earphone jack, a coiled Smart Cord, quick reference card, and an Escort travel case.

Speed measuring devices continue to improve through the use of new technology. Passport's innovative design allows the on-board microprocessor to be re-programmed to detect new radar and laser units. While other manufacturers' models become obsolete, the Passport 8500 can be upgraded to protect you against the latest threats they say, but Bel also say this and you try to get your 990 updated.

Operating Bands covered are X-band 10.525 GHz ± 25 MHz, K-band 24.150 GHz ± 100 MHz, Ka-band 34.700 GHz ± 1300 MHz, Laser 904nm.

The escort reminds me of a Bel unit, maybe that's because they are the same company. In use the Passport is easy to use, clear display, but with the US trademark a display that slants to the passenger side. This does not effect the reading of unit to much.

The display can give all sorts of info, it features an exclusive "Expert Meter" display, identifying band and relative signal strength on up to 8 signals simultaneously

or choose "Spec Display" and Passport will show you the actual frequency of the radar signal. It all however gets very confusing and reading the info when you are trying to drive is a bad move.

I place all my test units up by the rear view mirror to get the maximum range out of them, within 2 minutes of driving, I found one major problem. False alerts.. the first one scared the crap out of me, an instant on full alert on the K band. What I though is there a speedtrap on my close. It turns out that the mobile phone was giving the unit a hard time every time it changed cells. So for the rest of the test I turned off the phone. Not the best solution but it will do.

Above: The power cord has a innovative built-in
alert lamp, pilot light and convenient mute button.

The Passport gave good results in detecting a Gatso, almost as good as the Bel and Valentine one. It costs about £350.

I ran it through the standard tests and it did quite well.

So what tests did we do?

The most important one is the Gatso Test. We have a section of road that we use for all Gatso tests, it has one of the lowest radar scatter fields making it more of a challenge to Radar Detectors it also allows us to do the national speed limit if we want to. All the Radar detectors are tested in the same vehicles and in the same position on the windscreen.

The Escort Passport 8500 was subjected to three passes using a stopwatch to time the unit from the first beep to the point of passing the Gatso to establish an average warning time . Speed was 60mph. Please note warning times can vary subject to conditions.

Times for the Gatso Test. Roadside FIP

Approaching Back of Gatso Approaching Face of Gatso.
  • Average 6 seconds
  • Average 12 seconds

Times for the Gatso Test. M25 Gantry Gatso.

Important Note: The Gatso Used was a solo Gantry Gatso on the M25 Motorway. Speed was 80mph
We had the information confirmed by a contact in the Met that no other Gatso was working within 2 miles, this is important since another Gatso near the area can effect the results in a major way since they are mounted so high.

Approaching Back of Gatso Approaching Face of Gatso.
  • Average 14 seconds
  • Average 21 seconds

Laser Gun Test.

The Laser gun was used in two ways, the first test was directly at the car with the detector in it, although the detector worked and was instant on alarm, if the officer used the first reading you were in trouble. However they often take a few readings so you may have a chance to slow. The second test was to have two cars in front and the operator target the first car and see if there was enough scatter for the third car to get an alarm, it was not a problem for the Passport 8500 we had an alarm in all three runs.

In our opinion you could get a warning or you could get nicked when it come to the Laser alert mode.

False Alarm Test.

False alarms are low but its hates mobile phones.

Escort Passport 8500


Can we recommend it, YES, we can.
But make sure you don't use a mobile phone near it

What do we like. What don't we like.
  • It's performance
  • Clear Sounds
  • User functions
  • Multiple threat logging
  • Build Quality
  • Very informative Instructions
  • Good choice of mounts
  • Power Cord

  • Left-hand display (Not a big issue)
  • No soft Storage case, the fancy case
    you get is not pocket size
  • Price


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