Frequently Asked Questions for the Ball Coach Radar. Everything you need to know about what the product is, how it works and why you should own one. Scroll below for questions pertaining to accuracy, warranty, battery life, calibration (calibrate), trade up program and much more.
The Smart Coach Radar has been developed based on feedback by top MLB and college coaches on what else they would like to see added to the Ball Coach Radar. The same radar technology used for the Ball Coach Radar is used in the Smart Coach Radar but a lot more has been added. Both are specifically designed to track a ball in flight, automatically finding the fastest speed for you. This is true for the pitch velocity and the exit velocity off the bat, as well as other types of ball speeds. Both have up to 120 feet of range on a baseball and are great training and coaching tools for all types of ball sports.
The Smart Coach Radar adds connectivity via Bluetooth and USB to allow it to work with the Pocket Radar Companion App to provide a ton of extra features like speed embedded in video, remote display and remote control. It also allows you to track and export your data. The App enables multiple high-value training features as you can see in the comparison chart below. Using the USB connection, the Smart Coach Radar can be used with the Pocket Radar brand Smart Display for outdoor viewing in bright sunlight. The Smart Coach Radar can also be powered by an external USB power pack so that you can run it for many hours and not worry about battery life. Select this link to learn more about the Smart Coach Radar.
Measuring the speed of a ball in flight is a unique challenge because it will slow down significantly due to air resistance. To get the fastest speed of the ball right at the start of the flight, you need to make the measurement happen at the right time. For example: A baseball pitch that is 80 MPH at release from the pitcher’s hand, will only be about 72 MPH when it crosses the plate. A tennis ball can slow down by over 20 MPH from the strike of the racket to the bounce.
New technology was added to the Ball Coach, specifically designed to track a ball in flight, automatically finding the fastest speed for you. Simply hold the blue button down through the entire flight, or by putting it into constant-on / auto-trigger mode. It will also find a ball in the presence of other objects, like a swinging bat or racket. This feature allows you to use the Ball Coach radar to measure the Exit Velocity as it leaves the bat. This is the only direct measure of the power of a hit. With up to 120 feet of range on a baseball, the Ball Coach radar is a great training and coaching tool for all types of ball sports. This is ample range for use behind the backstop on most high school fields, but it is not intended for use as a long range scouting radar gun for sitting back in the stands.
The Classic model operates with a manual triggering only to make an instantaneous measurement. You need to time the trigger for when you want to make the measurement. The repeating mode will make a new measurement every ¾ of a second, which is great for objects in motion for several seconds or longer, like cars/vehicles and runners. Repeating mode does not work for a pitch because any baseball pitch over 60 MPH will only be in the air for less than ¾ of a second. Using the snapshot mode, tapping the red button like a spacebar on a computer, at the point where you want to make the measurement can be challenging. If the object is slowing down rapidly, like a ball in flight, getting the right trigger timing to always capture the fastest speed of the ball is difficult.
The Ball Coach radar is powered via two AAA batteries. How long they last is determined by their quality.
- Using standard alkaline batteries (included with the unit), the radar will give you >2,000 readings when triggered manually and >1 hour when using Constant-On mode.
- Using NiMH rechargeable batteries (not included with the unit), the radar will give you >4,000 readings when triggered manually and >2 hours when using Constant-On mode.
Manual Triggering: Hold the button down well before the ball is released. Release the button after the speed is displayed.
Constant-On/Auto-Trigger mode: Permits you to use the unit hands-free with a tripod.
The battery indicator on the LCD display will help you determine when to replace the batteries. The battery indicator is calibrated for 1.5 volt Alkaline batteries. If you choose to use 1.2 volt Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries the battery indicator may initially read slightly lower even though the batteries will run much longer.
It is very accurate (view the radar comparison video above). The Pocket Radar technology has been independently tested and certified to be accurate to +/- 1 MPH (+/- 2 KPH). Testing was performed by the police radar test lab sanctioned by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), which certifies all of the radar guns in the US and Canada for police use.
All radar guns only measure the relative speed of an object in the direction directly towards or away from the radar antenna. If you point a Pocket Radar (or any radar unit) at an object moving sideways instead of directly towards you or away from you, it will read a very slow speed – not the accurate speed. This is because an object moving at right angles to any radar only moves at a very slow relative speed towards or away from that radar.
In order to make the most accurate speed measurement, you need to point the Pocket Radar antenna at a moving object and be as close to in-line with the direction of motion of that object. Obviously, you need to stay safe when you use the product, NEVER put yourself or anyone else in a position to possibly be hit by a moving object.
2 Years. The Ball Coach radar is built to be very rugged. With proper care it will last a very long time.
The range of any radar depends on the size of the object being measured and how well it reflects radio waves. For an object the size of a baseball, the range is 120 feet away. For an object the size of a volleyball, the range is 200 feet away.
*Note: This is ample range for training and coaching applications or measuring the speed from right behind the backstop on most high school fields. It is not intended for long range baseball scouting from back in the stands.
Most handheld radar units are called radar guns because they are held like a large gun. They contain a radar transmitter that uses a large antenna called a horn. It is usually cone shaped and actually looks like a megaphone. It is long and the radar unit or gun has to be big to fit the horn antenna inside.
All of the Pocket Radar™ models use a much smaller, flat antenna array to create the same type of focused beam shape that the horn antenna creates. Because of this, and many other proprietary inventions, Pocket Radar products provide the key advantage of a much smaller size.
Pocket Radar products also use less power than the larger radar guns. Pocket Radar technology is designed to give you a very useful range for an affordable price in a very small size. It has shorter range than a few of the most expensive guns, but much longer range than the less expensive larger guns. The Pocket Radar Ball Coach™ model can report the release speed of a baseball from up to 120 feet away. This is range is sufficient for training and coaching applications or measuring the speed from right behind the backstop on most high school fields. It is not intended for long-range baseball scouting from back in the stands.
The Pocket Radar products will give you the same or better accuracy than the larger more expensive radar guns. However, they do not have quite as much range as the most expensive radar guns. The Ball Coach radar is intended for coaching and training in sports. If you absolutely need to capture the speed of a baseball right off the pitcher’s hand from a very long distance away or sitting back in the stands then maybe you need a much more expensive radar gun. For the vast majority of applications, the Pocket Radar products offer a very portable and economical solution that is much more convenient and very easy to use.
The Pocket Radar™ products are all based on much newer technologies than the large radar guns. It is very stable and holds the factory calibration. It does not need any further calibration. You can verify the calibration using a special Pocket Radar Calibrated Tuning Fork. This Tuning Fork is provided with the professional traffic engineering model, the Traffic Advisor™. If you would like to purchase a Calibrated Tuning Fork for use with another model of Pocket Radar™ please contact us at info@PocketRadar.com.
All radar guns operate on reflected radio waves. The beam will travel through objects that will allow radio waves to pass through like a glass windshield or a metal backstop fence with large openings in it but the range may go down slightly as a small amount of the signal is reflected off the metal fence and does not go through. The radio waves from a Pocket Radar™ product will not pass through solid metal objects or conductive walls. It will easily pass through a chain link fence that has openings in the mesh that are similar in size or larger than the radar lens on the back of the Pocket Radar.
The Ball Coach™ radar has a lot of technology specifically designed to pick up the speed of the ball as it leaves the bat. This gives you the only direct measure of the power of a hit. This is often referred to as Exit Velocity or sometimes referred to as Ball Exit Speed. The Ball Coach radar can measure the Exit Velocity in batting practice, from off a tee, from soft-toss, or with live pitching. If you are using it with live pitching from behind the batter you will get the speed of the incoming pitch and the Exit Velocity off the bat as long as it is a well hit ball with the Exit Speed faster than the incoming pitch.
All speed radar guns are susceptible to picking up interference that can sometimes cause unexplained or random readings that are often referred to as “ghost” readings. There are two main sources of these ghost readings, electrical interference and objects in motion. There are many sources of electrical interference including things like cell phones, computer monitors, fluorescent lights, neon signs, radios, etc. Any objects that vibrate, move or spin can also create a ghost reading. Things like motors, fans, propellers can often be unseen behind covers or other objects but still be picked up by your radar. If you are experiencing these types of random readings change your position to try and aim the radar unit away from the source of interference.
No, the Ball Coach radar does not have any interface to transfer data to another device. To view the previous measurements scroll through them by tapping the black “RECALL“ button. If you are interested in extracting data from a Pocket Radar™ device, please contact us to talk more about your application so we can consider it for future versions.
We are happy to work with educational organizations on a Purchase Order basis and invoicing with N30 day terms.
Create your quotation by starting an order and making a different selection at the end when it requests payment information.
• Begin at the Pocket Radar store https://www.pocketradar.com/collections/frontpage
• ADD TO CART the items you would like to purchase
• PROCEED TO CHECKOUT
• Complete the CONTACT INFORMATION (email and shipping address)
• CONTINUE TO SHIPPING METHOD – select the option best for your delivery needs
• CONTINUE TO PAYMENT METHOD - select "Purchase Order"
• Verify the BILLING ADDRESS is the same as the shipping or provide a different address
• Once you have completed this, you will receive an email for use as a quotation.
• Once the PO is issued you can choose your method to send us a copy of the PO:
- Email a copy to info@PocketRadar.com
- Fax a copy to 888-381-2672 or 707-775-6040
- Mail a copy to our address Pocket Radar, Inc, 3535 Industrial Drive, Suite A4, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
• When the official PO is received, we will ship out your order and mail a hard copy of the invoice to the address on your PO.
This link will provide you with all the details: https://www.pocketradar.com/pages/trade-up-program