• Last modified 984 days ago (Oct. 14, 2021)


Radar works better if plugged in

Technical problems plague machine used by Marion police

Staff writer

A radar trailer, moved near Billings and Main Sts. three weeks ago to slow people coming into town, shut down last week.

Marion police chief Clinton Jeffrey said the seven-year-old trailer, obtained with a grant, had either a broken solar panel or a broken battery.

“It only charges when it’s on, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense,” he said.

The trailer had similar issues last year, but Marion police were able to plug it into an outlet to keep it running. There are no outlets at its current spot.

“The hardest part is finding a good place where it’s out of the way but still visible,” he said. “And then that’s the worst part — there are no receptacles.”

Taking out the battery to charge it is a two-person job so Jeffrey wanted to find a technical solution instead of removing and recharging the battery every few days.

When beginning to install a new solar panel, a city worker noticed loose wires on the back of the original solar panel. After they were reattached, the radar appeared to charge correctly.

Jeffrey said they would test it for a few days, and if the problem has been fixed, they will send the new solar panel back.

“It’s a nice tool to have,” he said.

Last modified Oct. 14, 2021