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Radar detector Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are detectors legal?

Radar detectors are 100% legal to own and use in Western Australia. Radar detectors are currently legal to sell, purchase, own and use in Western Australia ONLY. Radar detectors are legal to own but not USE in Queensland and Tasmania. However, it makes little sense to purchase a radar detector from a supplier outside of Western Australia as test drives and other useful information and support is not available.

Where do I mount the detector?

A dash model can mount 3 ways; on the windshield, visor or dash. It is personal tastes or the vehicle's interior design that limits or forces a mounting location. The windshield mounting option is standard on every unit, where as the visor or dash mounting is generally optional.
Laser reception is one concern when choosing a mounting location. The lower the unit is mounted on the dash the better the laser detection as the laser gun is generally "shooting" at the license plate or headlights.

Why does the volume go low after a few alerts?

The majority of the newer Whistler models have a feature called "Auto Quiet". This feature reduces the volume to the lowest level or provides a low volume clicking, after several alarms. To enter or exit this mode, simply press the "Quiet" button when the unit is not alarming to any signals.

What is a false alert?

A number of transmitting devices are also allowed to operate on the same frequencies used by police radar. These are not considered false signals. For example, the automatic door openers commonly used by businesses are low powered X or K band transmitters. They produce signals that appear legitimate to a radar detector and cause it to alarm. Other sources produce "harmonics" signals, ghosts or look alike K or Ka band radar signals which make a radar detector give a false alert. A better radar detector reduces these types of false alarms.

Do laser detectors "false" like radar detectors?

Top selling detectors use sophisticated signal processing and optical filtering to almost totally eliminate laser falsing. Because of the design's incredible accuracy, assume any laser alert received as valid.

I saw the police car but the detector didn't go off. Why?

A detector can alert you of a police presence only when they are transmitting a signal. The officer may have a radar or laser gun in the car but the device may not have been turned on. No detector can alert you if no signal is transmitted!

What is “pacing”?

Pacing is the granddaddy of all speed measuring techniques. The officer typically drives up behind the target, accelerating until his speed matches the speed of the target vehicle. His calibrated speedometer then verifies the target vehicle's speed. Although pacing also works when the police cruiser is in front of the target vehicle, some courts consider this approach unreliable and won't allow it. Pacing is especially effective at night, but rarely works when the drivers maintain a close watch in their rear view mirror.

How are aircraft used to monitor speed?

Using white reference marks on the road, the airborne officer simply times the target between two of the marks to establish average speed. Most states use VASCAR (a few use stopwatches), first programming in the known distance between the marks, then operating the time switch to determine target speeds. Cruisers waiting below stop the violator and write the ticket. Contrary to popular belief, radar cannot be used from aircraft.

Can I use buy a detector overseas?

Yes and No! A word of warning to those planning on visiting the USA. While visiting, you may want to purchase a radar detector over there but be careful. Some retailers may mark an inexpensive unit and say that they are "Euro Ready" or "Retuned for European radar". Whistler does not sell Australian/European units in the USA, nor do they "retune" them for sale in the USA. They have international distributors who handle these types of models and sales. We are the official Whistler International Sales Agency for Australia. Detectors imported by us, and sold by us (or our authorized resellers) are covered by factory warranty, and are designed for Australian conditions. All other Whistler detectors, sold in the US, or locally, are not suitable for Australian conditions.  As most consumer advocates warn - "buyer beware".

What is Safety Radar?

This relatively new radar is not for speed detection at all, it is used to keep you informed of highway safety. Transmitters are installed and programmed (for example: in emergency vehicles) to make you aware of possible situations that may require your attention, such as: ambulance vehicles that are moving or stationary, road hazards ahead, road construction delays or detours, etc.

What is the factory reset and why do I need it?

Factory reset is only available with units that have Feature Memory capability. This reset allows you to set the unit's options back to original selections. This could be helpful if someone borrowed the unit and "played" with the settings. Following the factory reset procedure will reset the "played with" options.
Remove power to the unit
Press and hold the power and quiet (mute) buttons
Reapply power while still holding the power and quiet buttons
Wait for 2 beeps
Release the power and quiet buttons. Unit is now reset.

Why won’t my unit doesn't power up?

Does the unit work in another vehicle? If not, first thing to check is the fuse in the power cord. The adapter (part that plugs into the lighter socket) has a replaceable 2 amp 3 AG fuse inside it. The end of the adapter, which has the silver tip, unscrews to gain access to the fuse. CAREFUL: Unscrew slowly! The tip contains a spring which may fly out when disassembling. With use, the screw cap on the plug may loosen. Retighten occasionally

If the unit works in another vehicle, it could be the lighter socket fuse. Check vehicle owner's manual for fuse location and correct value. If the vehicle is old or the lighter is used often, the socket may be corroded or loose. Replacement of the lighter socket may be necessary.

What can I do to keep radar and laser detectors legal?

Fight for your rights. Specifically, watch for news stories about any legislation that seeks to ban the use or sale of detectors and let your elected representatives know your feelings. Don't ignore such legislation even if it targets only heavy trucks. A favoured tactic of the anti-detector forces  is to first go after truckers' rights to use detectors. If successful in banning detector use in trucks, you can bet their efforts will turn to banning in cars.