Whistler 1650 User Manual

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1650 Series



If you have questions concerning the operation of this Whistler product please call consumer relations:



Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm CST

Please keep the receipt in a safe place. If the unit is returned without a dated proof of purchase an out of warranty service charge applies. Note: Your warranty period begins at the time of purchase. The warranty is validated only by return of the Warranty Validation card.

Now is the time to record the serial number of the unit in the space provided in the warranty section of the manual.


Dear Whistler Owner,

For many of us, a vehicle is more than just transportation. It can be a mobile office, communications or entertainment center, or simply an expression of our personality. Whistler products are designed to make the time you spend in your vehicle more productive, more fulfilling, safer, or just simply more fun. Our mission is to provide products that improve your driving experience.

Your new Whistler 1650 Series laser/radar detector detects all radar, laser and safety radar systems. The comprehensive safety system detects all safety radar including the Safety Warning System™ keeping you informed of road hazards and adverse weather. Whistler’s 1650 Series also offers a digital display with safety messages to keep you informed while you drive.

To fully acquaint yourself with the operation of the Whistler 1650 Series and to better understand the differences between detecting radar, laser and safety radar signals, we recommend reading this entire manual.

Enjoy the Whistler 1650 Series and please drive safely.







Model Features Summary ....................................................

3 - 5

Installation .............................................................................

6 - 8

• Mounting Guidelines


• Dash/Visor/Windshield Mounting


• Power Connection And Fuse Replacement


Operation ............................................................................

9 - 12

• Power On And Self-Test


• Feature Engaged Confirmation


• Auto Quiet/Quiet Modes


• Highway Mode


• City Mode


• Dim/Dark Mode


• Engaging/Disengaging VG-2Detection


• Vehicle Battery Saver Mode


Radar, Laser And VG-2Alerts ..........................................

13 - 16

• Speed Radar Audio/Visual Alerts


• Pulse Protection®


• Safety Radar Audio/Visual Alerts


• Laser Audio/Visual Alerts


VG-2Audio/Visual Alerts


• Alert Priority


• Care and Maintenance


Troubleshooting Guide............................................................


Are Detectors Legal? ...............................................................


Speed Monitoring Technologies .....................................

19 - 20

• Radar Facts


• Laser Facts


• Other Speed Detection Systems


• Radar Detector Detectors


Warranty Information........................................................

21 - 23



Accessories ...............................................................................







Whistler 1650 Series













Whistler’s ergonomic and user-friendlydesign provides a new level of operating convenience. Special features include:

1.Bracket Release Button – Provides quick and easy release of the mounting bracket.

2.Power Jack – Provides connection for the power cord.

3.Power/Volume Control – Turns unit on/off and adjusts audio level.

4.High Visibility Display – Provides distinct visual confirmation of signals detected, signal strength, and indicates engaged modes of operation.

5.QUIET/Auto Quiet Button – Pressing QUIET before a signal is detected engages Auto Quiet Mode. Pressing QUIET during a radar/laser encounter silences audio alerts, while allowing visual alerts to keep you informed.



6.CITY Button – Reduces the annoyance of false alerts typically encountered in urban driving areas.

7.DARK/VG-2Button – Reduces illumination of display to “dim” or “dark” settings. Press and hold (for two seconds) to engage or disengageVG-2.

8.Laser Antenna (Rear) – An integrated optical waveguide provides superior detection of laser signals transmitted from behind.



9.Laser Antenna (Front) – High gain optical lens array provides increased sensitivity and field of view for leadingedge laser detection.

10.Radar Antenna – Compact, high-efficiencyantenna receives radar signals.

11.Mounting Bracket Location – Slot holds mounting bracket firmly.




Accessories included are highly functional and easy to use.

Power Cord - Connects to the unit’s power jack and your vehicle’s lighter socket.

Windshield Bracket - Allows installation of unit on your vehicle’s windshield.

Hook & Loop Fasteners - Designed to secure the unit on a level dashboard.

Certain 1650 Series radar detectors include additional accessories.



Mounting Guidelines

Mount the unit as low as possible near the center of the windshield.

Do not mount your unit behind wipers, ornaments, mirrored sunscreens, etc. These obstructions have metal surfaces which can affect radar and laser signals and reduce critical warning time. (Regular tinted glass does not affect reception.)

Some newer windshields have an Instaclearor Electriclear™ type coating, which affect radar signals. Consult your dealer or the owner’s manual supplied with your vehicle to determine if your windshield has this coating.

Avoid placing unit in direct contact with windshield.

To reduce the possibility of theft, conceal your unit when not in use.

Windshield Mounting

Install the two suction cups and rubber bumper onto the bracket by fitting them into their holes.

Press the suction cups onto the windshield at the location you have chosen. IMPORTANT: Some newer cars have a plastic safety coating on the inside of the windshield. The windshield bracket may leave permanent marks on this type of surface. To find out if your vehicle has this type of windshield, check the owner’s manual or ask your dealer. We recommend that you do not leave the suction cup bracket on the window in direct sunlight. If the detector is removed, this may cause blistering of the dash in some vehicles.

Slide the detector onto the bracket until it locks into place.

If necessary, the unit may be leveled by bending the wind-



shield bracket. Press the bracket release button and remove the detector before bending.

Dash Mounting

• Make sure have chosen is relatively level and is clean and dry. Clean with isopropyl alcohol if necessary to remove any waxes or polishes.

• Separate the fastener strips. Peel the paper backing off each strip and adhere one piece to the dash and the other piece to the bottom of the unit, taking care not to cover the serial number.

Be careful not to place the fastener strip over the unit’s serial number. If the fastener strip is removed, the serial number may be pulled off the unit. Units without serial numbers are not covered under warranty.



Visor Mounting (optional accessory)

Slide the visor bracket into the bracket mounting slot.

Clip the visor bracket onto the visor making sure it is relatively level and has a clear view of the road.

Slide on view

Insert into bracket mounting slot. Do not bend this section of bracket.

Power Connection

Plug the small end of the power cord into the unit’s power jack.

Plug the large end into the vehicle’s cigarette lighter.

Fuse Replacement

The lighter socket plug is equipped with a replaceable 2 amp 3AG fuse located behind the silver tip. To replace the fuse, carefully unscrew the tip of the plug. (IMPORTANT: Unscrew slowly. The tip contains a spring which may fly out when disassembling.) Insert the new fuse with the spring and screw on the tip. With use, screw cap on plug may loosen. Retighten occasionally.

Unscrew the tip of the lighter socket plug carefully when replacing the 2 amp fuse.



Power On And Self-Test

Each time your Whistler detector is turned on, an automatic self-testsequence confirms that the speaker and visual displays are functional.

• Turn Power/Volume control clockwise. Display reads:


X 9

K 9





Feature Engaged Confirmation

Each time a button is pressed one beep confirms feature “on”, two beeps confirm feature “off”.



Auto Quiet Mode

Auto Quiet shortens the tone for the selected audio approximately 3 seconds after a radar or safety radar signal is detected. The shorter tone will resume for any new signal within 20 seconds. Auto Quiet does not affect VG-2or laser alerts.

Press Quiet (before a signal is detected) to engage Auto Quiet. Display reads:



Once the Auto Quiet mode is engaged, you may cancel the audio alarm by pressing Quiet.

Press Quiet (when the unit is not alarming) to cancel Auto Quiet mode.

Quiet Mode

Quiet cancels audio during an alert and any new alert within 20 seconds. After 20 seconds, 2 beeps are provided on any new alert and the unit then remains quiet.

Press Quiet to cancel the audio.

Press Quiet a second time while unit is alarming to restore the standard audio alert pattern; or turn the unit off, then on.



City Mode

Whistler’s City Mode is designed to reduce the annoyance of automatic door openers, intrusion alarms and other devices which share frequencies with police radar.

• Press City to engage City. Display reads:


• Pressing City a second time cancels City. Display reads:


In City Mode, weak speed/safety radar signals give an initial alarm of two beeps, and then remains quiet unless the signal becomes very strong. When the signal strength increases, two additional beeps are provided.

Highway Mode

Highway mode provides full audio warnings any time radar (X, K, Ka, Safety) signals are detected, and is recommended for open road driving. Highway mode is automatically engaged after the unit is turned on and completes the self-test.

Dim/Dark Mode

Dim/Dark Mode reduces the illumination of the display.

Press Dark once to reduce illumination to a Dim setting. Display reads:


Pressing Dark a second time engages Dark Mode. Display reads:


Dim or dark can be engaged during an alert. In Dark Mode, the display goes dark for as long as a signal is being detected and for 20 seconds after, then the display returns to the dimmer setting.

• Pressing Dark a third time restores full illumination to the display.



Engaging VG-2

The Option Select Mode allows you to engage or disengage VG-2Detection.

• Press and hold Dark for two seconds. Display reads:


• Pressing Dark a second time disengages VG2. Display



VG-2must be engaged each time your detector is turned on.

Vehicle Battery Saver Mode

The Vehicle Battery Saver Mode automatically shuts off your detector within 3 hours if you forget to turn it off. The timer is reset if the detector is turned off, unplugged or any button is pressed before the 3 hours have expired. The detector will alert you with an audible and visual warning before it shuts off. Display reads:


During this warning you can momentarily reset the unit by pressing any button. This will reset the timer.

If the unit has automatically turned itself off, press any button to turn the unit back on. You can manually engage the Vehicle Battery Saver Mode by pressing and holding the City button until one beep is heard. The auto shutoff function will initiate after several seconds.



Speed Radar Audio/Visual Alerts

When X, K or Ka is detected the band ID and signal strength is displayed. The audio alert is continuous and has a geiger counter-likepattern. The faster the beep the closer or stronger the radar source. Example:

Ka Band




K 9 ramp1-9

1 = weak signal, 9 = strong signal

Pulse Protection®

When a pulse type signal (instant on strong signal) is detected an urgent 3 second audio warning is sounded and the display reads:


After 3 seconds standard alert pattern continues.



In communities where transmitters are located, the Safety Warning System displays over 60 text messages. When Safety Radar is detected the audio alert is geiger counterlike.

Safety Warning System Text

Example: Poor Road Surface:





Not all areas have Safety Warning System transmitters.



Laser Audio/Visual Alerts

When a laser signal is detected the word “Laser” and signal strength is displayed, the audio alert is continuous for a minimum of 3 seconds. Example:


The more “ “ the closer the laser source.

VG-2Audio/Visual Alerts

When a VG-2signal is detected, the detector “hides” its own radiated signal and becomes undetectable by theVG-2.


Text message confirms detection of VG-2.

Every 30 seconds, the detector checks for a VG-2signal. If aVG-2signal is still present, the unit continues to hide and repeats theVG-2alert. If no signal is detected, two beeps are provided, indicating an “all clear” condition. DuringVG-2Alert X, K, and Ka band signals cannot be received. Note:VG-2must be turned on to receiveVG-2alerts.

Alert Priority

When two or more signals are received at the same time, the alert priority is:



3.Speed Radar

4.Safety Radar


If X band is alerting, then suddenly VG-2is detected, theVG-2warning will override the X band alert.



Care And Maintenance

During the summer months, avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight by removing your unit from the dash when your vehicle is parked for an extended period of time.

Do not spray water, cleaners or polishes directly onto the unit. The spray may penetrate through the openings and damage the unit. Also, do not use any abrasive cleaners on the unit’s exterior.



Your Whistler detector is expertly engineered and designed to exacting quality standards to provide you with reliable, trouble-freeoperation. If your unit has been correctly installed following the guidelines in this manual, but is not operating optimally, please refer to the troubleshooting guide below.

PROBLEM: No display or audio.

Check fuse in Whistler plug; replace if necessary with a 2 amp 3AG type.

Check fuse for lighter socket; replace if necessary.

Make sure lighter socket is clean.

PROBLEM: Unit alarms when vehicle hits bumps.

Check for loose lighter socket; tighten and clean.

Check connections at both ends of power cord. Substitute another cord to determine if cord is defective. Return defective cord to the factory.

PROBLEM: Unit alarms when using vehicle equipment, electrical accessories (brakes, power mirrors/windows, directionals, horn, etc.), or when accelerating.

Vehicle’s electrical system, including battery and alternator, may have electrical noise. Install a filter capacitor (470mfd. 25 volt or larger capacitance value) on the back of the lighter socket.

PROBLEM: Audio alerts are not loud enough.

• Cancel Auto Quiet Mode or City Mode.

PROBLEM: Unit gives laser alert when accelerating.

Possible bad or low quality distributor cap. Replace with factory quality cap.

If difficulties occur which cannot be solved by information in this Troubleshooting Guide, please call Whistler Consumer Relations at 1-800-531-0004before returning your unit for service.17


In Most States YES!

Laser detectors are completely legal in every state when used in automobiles or light trucks (under 10,000 lbs.). Similarly, when used in automobiles or light trucks, radar detectors are legal in almost every state. Exceptions are Virginia and Washington, D.C., which have local regulations restricting the use of radar receivers in any vehicle.

Concerning trucks over 10,000 lbs., the Federal Highway Administration (FHwA) issued a regulation, effective January, 1994 which prohibits radar and laser detector use in these types of vehicles nationally.

Prior to the FHwA regulation, laws existed in the state of New York restricting the use of radar detectors in trucks over 18,000 lbs. and in the state of Illinois in trucks over 26,000 lbs.