Throw my experience (Retired L.E.O.) and .02 in here.
For starters, Top, I think the Idaho Troop may have made it sound a little better than it really is. There are some tricks to running their radar that make it more effective, but even that depends on weather, other traffic, and vehicle size. The radar operator can actually turn off the antenna (what sends and receives the signal) until you are within range then turn it on instantly giving your speed. If they have an auto lock feature (they set the speed that anything traveling over will automatically lock in) and turn on the antenna, all your radar detector will tell you is to pull over cause you are caught. Rarely do the Troops use this because it is too labor intensive and as was stated earlier, there is always someone who isn't paying attention and will drive right into them. The antenna off setting is more effective at night on deserted highways.
The way the radar works is simple. The beam is transmitted from an antenna and travels away from the unit in a "V" or shower effect. The further away from the unit the wider and less strength the signal has. When a large moving object enters the beam the signal is bounced back to the antenna, giving the operator your speed. This original signal travels a lot further than a bounced signal, which is where your detector comes in. You will start hearing a warning far in advance (If you have a good detector like an Escort or Valentine), but the signal reaching you isn't strong enough to bounce all the way back to the unit. This is what I meant earlier about being in range. So if a Troop is running the unit either moving or stationary you should have plenty of warning.
If there is another vehicle between you and the radar unit your speed can not be monitored at all. This means you could be overtaking a car going 60 mph and you might be traveling 80 mph, but until you actually pass this vehicle the car in front is the only vehicle on the Troops monitor.
Hills and curves can lesson the amount of warning you have so if the Troop is on the down side of a hill and you are on the up, you may not get a good warning. I know my Escort tells me and I have learned to believe it when I only get a couple of chirps out in the middle of no where.
Radar's effective range is almost nill in the rain or fog, but your speed should be relative, so it doesn't matter. Some Troops run their radar just for effect, because the detector will still pick up the signal which causes you to slow down. And yes, size matters. Sorry guys, but it does, at least with radar. The larger object bounces a better signal than the smaller, however the operator will receive two audible tones telling them one of the vehicles is traveling faster than the other, even though the read out is showing the slower larger vehicle...for awhile. As you get closer to the unit the faster vehicle's signal becomes greater than the larger object's (unless it is a motorcycle next to an 18 wheeler). The Troop will know you are coming, you are traveling faster than the truck and if he is patient you will eventually pop onto his screen, and by this time you are well within range and his autolock has you. So, if your traveling beside another vehicle and your detector goes off, don't pass it. If you just passed an 18 wheeler and your detector goes off you may still have a chance if you are a little ways from the unit.
The manufacturers of radar detectors do not build the radar guns, however the people that design the technology for the radar gun also design and sell the technology for your detector. Normally both new technologies come out about the same time to increase their sales. So it isn't Passport making both, but the people that come up with the technology and sell it to Passport are also selling the technology for the radar to the manufacture of the radar guns. When they come up with a new mouse trap for the radar, you will see something new on the detectors. New bands mean new detector sales. Pretty good business idea if you ask me.
Now the laser comes along. This devise is "almost" fool proof. Your radar detector will pick up the signal which is actually a beam of intense light, but 98% of the time your speed is already locked in when you get the warning. Your detector is only receiving a broken or fragmented light beam and the front of your vehicle is usually what broke the beam up meaning by the time your detector went off your speed has already traveled back to the unit at the speed of...you guessed it. Unlike radar's shower effect, the laser is a small beam of light. The only time you have an advantage with a laser detector is if the light gets broken up on a vehicle near you and you receive some of the bounced light. When your laser detector goes off you have to be quick, because the Troop can switch from one vehicle to another just like you can look through a camera at one car and then another. The beam has to bounce off some metal and usually flat surface, so the Troops aim at the license plate on the front of a car. Our scoots have less target area, so you may get a warning of the beam as the Troop is trying to aim the beam at something metal. On the K-bike it doesn't take long for the radiator to become that target, but you may be able to get your speed back down under the autolock speed before he gets a bounce.
Thus ends today's lesson.