Whistler 3500 User Manual

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13016 N. Walton Blvd.

Bentonville, AR 72712

TEL: 479.273.6012 FX: 479.273.2927


P/N 202803, © The Whistler Group, Inc. 2005


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



Monday - Friday • 8:00 am - 5:00 pm CT

or visit our website www.whistlergroup.com

Please keep the receipt in a safe place.

You may register your product online at www.whistlergroup.com. For warranty verification purposes, a copy of your dated store receipt must still accompany any unit sent in for warranty work. If the unit is returned without a dated store receipt, an out of warranty service charge applies.

Note: Your warranty period begins at the time of purchase. The warranty is validated only by the dated store receipt! 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,

With the change in time also comes the change in technology and customer's needs. Whistler introduces the 3500 to provide you convenience and "Technology for the Way You Live."

The Whistler 3500 is an easy to install, wireless laser-radardetector that features the new POP™ Mode Detection Capability, and aTri-Directionaldisplay. TheTri-DirectionalDisplay allows you the option to install the control panel in 3 different orientations: horizontal, vertical, or upside down.

The Whistler 3500 provides Total Band™ Protection, combined with the convenience of wireless technology, that allows the ultimate in performance and convenience. With POP™ Mode Detection Capability, the fully featured Whistler 3500 can react fast enough to detect new radar technology.

To fully utilize your unit to its potential, we recommend reading the entire manual or visit our FAQ page on our web site at www.whistlergroup.com.

Enjoy your new Whistler and please drive safely.


The Whistler Group, Inc.




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

3 - 4

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

5 - 14

• Power On And Self-Test


• Memory/Beep Confirmation


• Auto Level Adjustment


• Auto Quiet/Quiet Modes


• Temperature/Voltage Mode


• Engaging/Disengaging VG-2


• City Modes


• Dim/Dark/Temperature/Voltage Modes


• Horizontal/Vertical Viewing


• Stay Alert


• Integrated Real Voice Option


• Option Select Mode


• Teach/Tutorial Mode


• Voice Module Port


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

15 - 18

• Radar Alerts


• Pulse Protection®


• Safety Radar Audio/Visual Alerts


• Laser Audio/Visual Alerts


VG-2Audio/Visual Alerts


• Alert Priority


• Reset Features


• Care and Maintenance


Communication Breakdown ....................................................


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


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


• FCC Information


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

22 - 23

• Radar Facts


• POPMode


• Total Band Protection


• Laser Facts


• Other Speed Detection Systems


• Radar Detector Detectors


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

24 - 26




28 - 29


Whistler 3500

Power/Volume Button


(Optional) Voice Module

Dark Button


City Button

Quiet/Menu Button


Laser Module

Radar Antenna

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

Speaker – Provides distinct audio warnings for X, K, Ka band radar, safety radar, laser and VG-2.

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

Laser Module - High gain optical lens provides increased sensitivity and field of view for leading-edgelaser detection.

Note: Specifications and appearance may change without notice.



City/City 1/City 2 Mode – Reduces the annoyance of false alerts typically encountered in urban driving areas.

Quiet/Menu Button - Pressing QUIET before a signal is detected engages Auto Quiet Mode which automatically reduces the audio level after the initial warning to a low audio level setting. Pressing QUIET during a radar/laser encounter silences audio alerts, while allowing visual alerts to keep you informed. Pressing and holding QUIET for 2 seconds allows you to enter Option Select Mode (see page 13).

Power/Volume Control - Turnsuniton/offandadjustsaudiolevel.

Text Display - Provides distinct visual confirmation

of signals detected, signal strength, and indicates engaged modes of operation. The display can also be mounted 3 different ways (see page 11 for more information).

Dim/Dark Mode– Reduces the illumination of the display. Press and hold this button to momentarily display temperature/voltage.


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.

• Press P/V or apply Power. Display shows:




Memory/Beep Confirmation

All features selected (except Stay Alert and Quiet) are retained in memory. Each time a button; is pressed one beep confirms feature “on”, two beeps confirm feature “off”.

Audio Level Adjustment

The audio levels can be adjusted high to low, or low to high, in eight steps: (0) is no audio level, (7) the highest.

Press and hold P/V to increase audio level.

Press and hold P/V to decrease audio level.

As audio level is adjusted, beeps are provided and the display indicates volume level. For example:

Press and hold P/V and the volume will go to the max level (7), then proceed to lower the volume to level (0). Continuing to hold the P/V button will repeat the volume steps above.


Auto Quiet Mode

Auto Quiet reduces the selected audio level to level (1) approximately 5 seconds after a radar or safety radar signal is detected. The alert for any new signal within 20 seconds will resume at level (1). Auto Quiet does not affect VG-2or laser alerts.

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

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.

Note: When Auto Quiet engages, it cancels the audio to the optional Voice Module.

Quiet Mode

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

Press Quiet to cancel the audio.

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




Temperature/Voltage Mode

The unit can be programmed to display either the outside temperature or battery voltage along with Highway/City modes. See Option Select Mode. Display reads:

• Ice Warning Mode: When temperature drops to 32˚F display reads:

Unit then gives a unique warning tone. This will only happen once after the unit is first turned on. When either Hi T or Lo T is displayed, the limits of the temperature sensor have been reached.

Note: Temperature may rise while vehicle is stopped and idling, this is normal.

Engaging/Disengaging VG-2

See option select mode to turn this feature on/off.

Note: Selecting “POP OFF” turns VG-2ON.


City/City 1/City 2 Mode

Whistler’s Three Stage City Mode is designed to reduce the annoyance of automatic door openers, intrusion alarms and other devices which share frequencies with police radar. Generally X band is used for these devices.

• Press City to engage City. Display shows:


• Pressing City a second time engages City 1. Display shows:


• Pressing City a third time engages City 2. Display shows:


Pressing City a fourth time cancels City 2 Mode and returns the unit to Highway Mode. Display shows:


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. In City 1 Mode, only the X band sensitivity is lowered. City 1 & City 2 Modes operate the same as Highway Mode, but in City 1 Mode, only the X- band sensitivity is lowered. In City 2 Mode, X-bandis not detected.

CAUTION: When selecting this mode, some towns/small cities may still be using X band radar.

If Auto Quiet is engaged in City 1 or City2modesandtheunitreceives a strong radar signal, the unit performs the Auto Quiet feature.City Modes do not change the audio alert for laser or VG-2.




Dim/Dark/Temperature/Voltage Modes

Dim/Dark Mode reduces the illumination of the display.

• Press Dark to reduce illumination to a Dim setting. Display shows:

• Pressing Dark a second time engages Dark Mode. Display shows:

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.

The Dark Button will allow the display to momentarily indicate the outside temperature reading.

• Press and hold Dark for 2 seconds until unit beeps once then release. Display switches:


If Temperature or Battery Voltage is programmed (see Option Select Mode), pressing and holding Dark for 2 seconds will momentarily switch to the other reading. Example:



Horizontal/Vertical Viewing

The display can be mounted in 3 different orientations:


Upside Down


See Option Select Mode on page 13 to change display viewing.




Stay Alert™ Feature

The Stay Alert™ Feature is designed to test a driver’s alertness. To engage (when unit is not alarming):

• Press and hold City for 2 seconds. Display shows:

Within 30-60seconds two beeps are sounded; to show alertness, the driver must press either the Dark, City or Quiet button within3-5seconds. If the button is pressed within3-5seconds, the cycle is repeated.

If a button is not pressed within 3-5seconds, an alarm sounds and the display shows:

• Press P/V to exit.

WARNING!!! Stay Alert™ is NOT intended as a substitute for adequate rest. You should NOT operate a vehicle if you are drowsy. During extended periods of vehicle operation, you should take frequent breaks. Improper reliance on the Stay Alert™ feature may result in vehicle damage, personal injury or death. NEVER OPERATE A VEHICLE IF YOU ARE DROWSY.

Integrated Real Voice®

When selected and Optional Voice Module is connected, Real Voice® will be used to articulate the following:

1.Band Identification

2.Safety Warning System™ messages

NOTE: In certain cases, the voice message does not replicate the text message.

3. Feature Selection



Option Select Mode

Entering Option Select Mode allows you to customize options such as Tone Select, Real Voice®, Abbreviated Power Up Sequence test andVG-2Mode. When selecting options, Dark (D)=yes, City (C)=no, Quiet (Q)=next selection. Any one of these must be pressed within 20 seconds or option mode will automatically be exited. To enter:


Press Q:


To Change,












For 2 Seconds


D or C


Tone1, Tone 2










2nd time




X, K, Ka Audio tones





C = NO


1 beep during







Power Up



3rd time


D or C


Changes Temp










4th time




Temp ON





C = NO


Temp OFF










5th time




Battery Voltage ON





C = NO


Battery Voltage OFF



6th time




Turns POPMode ON





C = NO


Turns POPMode OFF










7th time


D = ON


Turns Safety Radar ON







Turns Safety Radar OFF



8th time


D = ON


Turns X Band ON







Turns X Band OFF



9th time


D = ON


Turns K Band ON







Turns K Band OFF









10th time


D = ON

Turns Ka Band ON




Turns Ka Band OFF





11th time

Laser ON

D = ON

Turns Laser ON




Turns Laser OFF

12th time

Voice OFF

D = ON

Real Voice® ON




Real Voice® OFF





13th time


D or C










*Factory settings.




Press and hold P/V to exit. NOTE: Turning POPMode off, turns onVG-2.

Teach/Tutorial Mode

Provides simulated alerts for each type of signal.

Press City and Quiet simultaneously and release. Display shows:

Press P/V to exit.

Voice Module Port

Allows you to use an optional Whistler Voice Module. (See accessory page for ordering and option mode for programming). Any other device may damage the unit and void your warranty. When mute or auto quiet modes are engaged, the audio will be cancelled to the voice port.


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:

1 = weak signal, 9 = strong signal

Pulse Protection®

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

After 3 seconds the standard alert pattern resumes.




Safety Warning System™ Text

Example: Poor Road Surface:

Note: Not all areas have Safety Warning System™ transmitters.

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 counter-like.

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

Note: You must turn POP feature OFF in option select mode before it will detect VG-2.

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. During aVG-2Alert X, K, and Ka band signals cannot be received. Having a laser/radar detector does not make you invisible or immune to laser/radar guns. As in the case with detectinginstant-onradar, there are some circumstances that theVG-2may detect you laser/radar detector before the laser/radar can detect theVG-2signal in time to hide. (Reference page 23 for Radar Detector Detector information.)

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 a VG-2signal is detected, theVG-2warning will override the X band alert.




Reset Features

All user features can be reset to factory settings.

Remove Power from unit.

Press and hold P/V and Quiet.

Apply power to the unit.

Wait for 2 beeps.

Release P/V and Quiet. Unit is now reset to the following features and settings.

1.Audio to level (5).

2.Display reads Highway.

3.Dim/Dark Mode to full illumination of display.

4.Auto Quiet Mode OFF.

5.VG-2Detection Mode OFF.

6.Voice OFF.

7.POPMode ON.

8.Safety Radar OFF.

9.Full Power Up sequence.

10.Default TONE 3.



13.Display to Normal orientation.

14.Unit ON or OFF.

Care And Maintenance

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.


Communication Breakdown

If a problem arises between the control panel and the outside antenna, the unit will give a unique audio tone. The display scrolls:

If a communication error occurs:

Press P/V to turn unit off.

Check power connections at the battery.

Perform “reset features.”

See dealer/installer.

If a T error occurs:

Press P/V to turn off unit.

Check temp probe installation for possible pinched wire.

See dealer/installer.

NOTE: The T error occurs only at Power Up.




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 power cable, replace if necessary.

Check fuse in fuse box, replace if necessary.

Make sure power cable is properly grounded.

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

Check conditions of vehicle’s electrical system, including battery and alternator.

Install a filter capacitor (470 mfd. 25 volt or larger capacitance value) where power connection is made.

PROBLEM: Audio alerts are not loud enough.

Cancel Auto Quiet Mode or City Mode.

Check audio level setting.

PROBLEM: Display shows communication error. Also see page 19.

Warning communicates “loss of link” between control panel and Radar antenna.

Check fuse in receiver’s power cord.

Check antenna connection at battery.

Relocate ground terminal to a different location.

Relocate power terminal to a different location.

Contact the factory if you suspect antenna is defective.

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


In Most States YES!

Laser-Radardetectors are completely legal in every state, (with the exception of Virginia and Washington, D.C., which have local regulations restricting the use of radar receivers in any vehicle), when used in automobiles or light trucks (under 10,000 lbs.). 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 Illinois in trucks over 26,000 lbs.


This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two conditions: (1) This device many not cause harmful interference, and (2) this device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.


FCC requirements state that changes or modifications not expressly approved by Whistler could void the user’s authority to operate the equipment.




Radar Facts

A radar gun operates by transmitting radio waves at certain frequencies which reflect off objects and are picked up by the radar gun’s receiving section. When a radar beam reflects off a moving target, a measurable frequency shift occurs. The radar unit converts this shift into miles per hour to determine your vehicle’s speed. Currently, the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) permits operation of traffic radar guns at X Band (10.500 - 10.550 GHz), K Band (24.050 - 24.250 GHz), and Ka Band (33.400 - 36.000 GHz).

NOTE: A radar detector will not alarm if an officer is not transmitting on any one of the above radar bands.


POPMode is a feature on some newer radar guns operating on K and Ka bands. When the gun is in POPMode and activated, a brief burst of energy, less that 1/15 of a second, is transmitted and the vehicle’s speed is quickly acquired. A detector without POPMode detection capability cannot respond to this brief transmission.

Total Band Protection

Complete Band Coverage that detects laser, radar, VG-2and safety radar bands.

Laser Facts

It’s well documented that many radar guns cannot reliably provide the speed of a targeted vehicle that is traveling in a group of vehicles. In contrast, a laser gun can target a specific vehicle out of a line of traffic and determine its speed. The advantage of laser over radar in terms of target identification is the result of the laser gun’s narrow beam. A radar gun’s transmission can cover


more than a four-lanehighway at a distance of 1,000 feet, compared with a laser transmission which covers about 3 feet at the same distance. For best protection, keep these points in mind:

Do not follow closely behind any vehicle you cannot see through. If you can’t see past a vehicle ahead of you, chances are your detector won’t either.

The receiving range of your laser detector will not be the same as a radar detector. Laser guns are most often used at short range.

Whistler Laser/Radar detectors receive all current laser guns which operate at a laser wavelength of 905 +/- 10mm.

• Pro Laser™ I II III

• LT1 20-20

• Ultra Lyte

Other Speed Detection Systems

Several techniques other than radar or laser are used to measure vehicle speeds. When these methods are being used, no detector can provide a warning. These techniques include:

Pacing - A patrol car drives behind you and matches your driving speed.

Vascar/Aircraft - The time it takes a vehicle to travel a known distance is measured.

Radar Detector Detectors: VG-2,Spectre

The Interceptor VG-2,or simplyVG-2,is one type of microwave receiver used by police to detect signals radiated by the local oscillator of a radar detector. Because its purpose is to identify persons driving with radar detectors, these devices are known as a “radar detector detector”(RDD).

An RDD is the primary tool used by the police to identify radar detector equipped vehicles. If caught in a state or country where detectors are illegal, (see page 21), drivers risk losing their




radar detector and receiving a fine. In addition, instant-onradar is almost always used in combination with a RDD, leaving unsuspecting motorists vulnerable to receiving two tickets — one potentially for speeding, the other for possession of a detector.

NOTE: Having a radar detector capable of detecting the VG-2may alert you to the presence of a speed trap. The newest tool Police have to detect radar detectors is called Spectre. As of this printing. Spectre can detect all undetectable(VG-2)laser/radar detectors on the market.

It is the responsibility of the individual radar detector owner to know and understand the laws in your area regarding the legality of the use of radar detectors.

Consumer Warranty

This Whistler detector is warranted to the original purchaser for a period of three years from the date of original purchase against all defects in materials and workmanship. This limited warrantyisvoidiftheunitisabused,modified, installed improperly, if the housing and/or serial numbers have been removed. There are no express warranties covering this product other than those set forth in this warranty. All express or implied warranties for this product are limited to the above time. Whistler is not liable for damages arising from the use, misuse, or operation of this product. NOTE: This warranty does not include installation or reinstallation charges.

Service Under Warranty

During the warranty period, defective units will be repaired without charge to the purchaser when returned with a dated store receipt to the address below. Units returned without a dated store receipt will be handled as described in section “Service Out Of Warranty.” Due to the specialized equipment necessary for testing a laser/radar receiver, there are no authorized service stations for Whistler brand detectors other than Whistler.


When returning a unit for service under warranty, please follow these instructions:

1. Ship both the control panel and antenna (CAUTION: DO NOT CUT WIRES when removing the antenna as this will void the warranty.) in the original carton or in a suitable sturdy equivalent, fully insured, with return receipt requested to:

Whistler Repair Dept.

1201 North Dixieland Rd

Rogers, AR. 72756

Please allow 3 weeks turnaround time. IMPORTANT: Whistler will not assume responsibility for loss or damage incurred in shipping. Therefore, please ship your unit insured with return receipt requested. COD’s will not be accepted.

2. Include with your unit the following information, clearly printed:

Your name and street address (for shipping via UPS), a daytime telephone number and e-mailaddress if applicable. (No P.O. Box please.)

A detailed description of the problem (e.g., “Unit per forms self-testbut does not respond to radar”).

A copy of your dated store receipt or bill of sale.

3.Be certain your unit is returned with its serial number. For reference, please write your unit’s serial number in the following space: Antenna S/N ________________________________________

Control Panel S/N ____________________________________

Laser Receiver S/N____________________________________.

Units without serial numbers are not covered under warranty.

IMPORTANT: To validate that your unit is within the warranty period, make sure you keep a copy of your dated store receipt. You may register your warranty online at www.whistlergroup.com, however, for warranty verification purposes, a copy of your dated store receipt must accompany any unit sent in for warranty work.




Service Out Of Warranty

Units will be repaired at “out of warranty” service rates when:

The unit’s original warranty has expired.

A dated store receipt is not supplied.

The unit has been returned without its serial number.

The unit has been abused, modified, installed improperly, or had its housing removed.

The minimum out of warranty service fee for your Whistler detector is $55.00 (U.S.). If you require out of warranty service, please return your unit as outlined in the section “Service Under Warranty” along with a certified check or money order for $55.00. Payment may also be made by MasterCard, VISA or American Express; personal checks are not accepted.

In the event repairs cannot be covered by the minimum $55.00 service fee, you will be contacted by a Whistler technical service specialist who will outline options available to you. If you elect not to have your unit repaired, it will be returned to you and your repair fee will be refunded. CODs will not be accepted! Therefore, please ship your unit insured with return receipt requested.

IMPORTANT: When returning your unit for service, be certain to include a daytime telephone number and an e-mailaddress (if applicable).

Customer Service

If you have questions concerning the operation of your Whistler detector, or require service during or after the warranty period, please call:

Customer Service at:


Representatives are available to answer your questions

Monday - Friday

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m (CT). or visit the FAQ’s at www.whistlergroup.com


• Dimensions: Antenna: 1.4"H x 4"W x3.6"L Control Panel: .8” L x 2.8” W x 2.3” H Laser Module: 1.9”H x .9”W x .7”L

• Weight: Antenna: 7.5 oz. Control Panel: 2 oz.

• Laser Wavelength:

905 ± 50 nanometers (nm)

Radar Frequencies:

10.500 - 10.550 GHz (X Band)

24.050 - 24.250 GHz (K Band )

33.400 - 36.000 GHz (Ka Superwideband)

Operating Temperature Range:

-20˚C to +80˚ C(-4˚F to +176˚ F)

• Power Requirements:

Operational 12 to 15 volts DC, 200mA nominal

One or more U.S. patents may apply: #5,146,227; #5,379,456; #5,666,120, and #5,990,821.

Specifications are subject to change without notice.




These, and other accessories, can be ordered directly from Whistler by calling 1-800-531-0004or visiting our online store at www.whistlergroup.com.








Voice Module





Shipping and handling (per order) $7.50

Prices are subject to change without notice.



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City: ________________ State: ______ Zip:________

Telephone Number: (______) ______________________

Order Code/Description


Total Price
















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Total Enclosed





Whistler CTS

PO Box 1844

Bentonville, AR 72712



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*For expedited shipping costs, contact Whistler Customer Service, 1-800-531-0004