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  1. #1

    Default Talked to Whistler re: POP, Falses and more

    I got a chance to talk with Mike from Whistler about POP detection, POP falses, how other manufacturers implement POP and more. He was very informative and helpful. I thought I'd share it with you guys:


    We have a few questions about the Whistler Pro-58 and POP detection:

    How would a POP alert show up on the Pro-58?

    Would it show up as a Pulse “P” since it is a short burst of radar?

    Would it be a low signal strength (3/9) or a high signal strength (7/9)?

    We chose not to give a special warning for the POP as it would be confusing with the Pulse.

    Pulse happens when a level 9 is received suddenly.

    POP can be any value 1-8

    All alarms should be treated respectfully and at a minimum one should let off the gas.

    Too many times I have heard people ask “at what signal strength should I start to slow down”.

    My answer is “any alert should be treated as if it was radar”.

    It is never a good idea to play games with signal strength or band ID.

  2. #2



    Thanks for your reply.

    I was just curious on how strong POP would show up because 1/15th of a second is such a short burst of radar. Does it really depend on distance at that point?
    The quickness of the radar does not change the signal strength of the receiving unit. The POP radar however has a lower output power in the POP mode and as such the signal strength is lower than when it operated in the full mode.

    Our units will detect the POP signature consistently out to ¾ of a mile.

    The Bel units that offer POP will detect the POP signature out to 1 mile as they have a bit more sensitivity.

    The Cobra units have been shown to have POP trouble at all distances. The test results I have seen show them poor at distances of ¾ and ½ mile and even worse at ¼ mile.

  3. #3



    Thanks for taking the time to answer all my questions. I am very interested in radar detection and how everything works.

    There are a couple Radar Detector owners on the forums that think that having POP detection increases sensitivity and also increases false alerts. They say if you disable POP detection, it will cut down on these false alerts. Is that true?
    The answer is a bid different depending on the model and how they implemented the POP.

    The Bel models false to certain radar detector models when in POP is ON

    The Bel models will ignore some models when POP is ON but it has been known to POP alert to K band door openers.

    The Bel units will not respond to triggered radar between 200 and 400ms.

    It ignores them, thinking that it may be a radar detector

    The Bel units offer a Ka narrow band where it only accepts Ka from the known radar guns. The idea that if it ignores some of the Ka coverage not needed, it will be less susceptible to falsing from other radar detectors. I did not find it to lessen the falsing during my tests. Certainly it may have less susceptibility to certain radar detectors, but it did not seem to make much difference in my 30 minute drive test.

    The Cobra models work similar to the Bel in that it will not respond to radar between 200 and 400ms thinking it may be a radar detector.

    Cobra is to blame for all of this.

    Starting when they sold the 9 band series, Cobra did 2 very bad things.

    1) Cobra operated in the VSAT band and caused the FCC to condemn everyone and now we have to be tested by a TCB lab

    2) Cobra instituted a Sweep and Park method of operation for detection of radar and detection of radar detectors. They CW at 12.2 GHZ and 11.8 GHz. The 2nd harmonic of 12.2 is 24.4 and therefore at the edge of K band. The 3rd harmonic of the 11.8 is 35.5 and therefore in the Ka band

    This method causes CW radar to be interoperated as K and Ka unless you take the time to see if it goes away.

    Time is not a luxury when you are trying to determine if POP is used.

    Therefore Cobra and Bel and Escort look to see if the CW is 67ms. If so, they indicate POP

    If the CW is seen for greater than 67ms they choose to ignore the radar unless it is seen for at least 400ms.

    This was they can attempt to avoid falsing to their own crappy Cobra units.

    Cobra continues to operate a CW and swept frequency plan with the 10 and 11 band series but it is now at 11.350 GHz to 10.950 GHz with the 3rd harmonic of 11.350 at 34.050 in the Ka band area. When will they stop creating problems for everyone?

    It’s like causing a plague and saying you have a cure. No kidding Sherlock! You created the problem to begin with.

    PNI is the worst. They operate only 33% of the time in the POP OFF mode. You need to have CW X band for over 1/2 seconds before it will respond. K band also needs to be greater than ½ second to respond. Ka band requires 1 full second to respond otherwise it will ignore it. This is how they minimize falsing to radar detectors. In the POP ON, the unit had many falsed in a 30 minute drive. The unit was tested in my lab and found to only offer Ka band for the guns currently in use. THEY DO NOT OFFER FULL KA BAND!

    I developed a circuit and applied for a patent that triple checks the signal in the required time to determine if it was CW vs. a swept source. It works quite well as it reduces the chance of falsing to a swept radar detector quite efficiently. As for the CW from the Cobra product, the circuit reduces the sensitivity to this by 10db for the first 67ms then the sensitivity is restored to full for the remainder of the signal to help reduce falsing to the Cobras.

    The Cobra and Bel and Escort have also instituted a range of POP eligible areas in their sweep plan. That is, only 33.8 and K band are eligible for POP.

    PNI only offers POP Ka and does not respond to POP K.

    The Whistler has taken the lead to allow POP at X, K, and Ka band in the event future radar guns operate with POP type modes.

    It will be difficult for Cobra, Escort, and Bel and PNI to accommodate other frequencies without incurring additional falsing issues.


  4. #4


    Thanks for the great info. That is good reading and interesting about other companies.

    I did notice that when I drive near my friend, who has a Cobra 9300, I get falses from his detector but he does not get falses from mine.

    So with the Pro-58, none of the falses are due to POP being enabled? Can POP be disabled on the 58?
    If you turn on the Pro58 you will notice a P at the end of the self test.

    If you now hold the up and down volume buttons at the same time for 2 seconds, you will hear a beep.

    If you turn on the Pro58 you will notice the P is missing at the end of the self test indicating POP OFF.

    This will not help to avoid falsing from the Cobra. As I mentioned earlier in my email, I lowered the sensitivity about 10db to brief CW signals when in POP mode such as those created by the Cobra. Actually I lowered it 6db for K band and 10db for Ka.

    Taking your unit out of POP mode will actually increase your K and Ka sensitivity about 1-2db.

    Its ability to respond to POP radar will go from 100% to about 40% when in POP OFF mode.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Finland (North Europe)

    Default Big hand to ES13Raven

    Thank You for sharing this valuable information with us - great!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Ok, I do not understand they say the P stands for pulse and that is what my manual says as well.
    But if you turn off the "p" they say that turns off POP?
    But they say P is for pulse not pop, so what exactly are they saying they are turning off?

    I am getting ready to leave and I will push down on my volume buttons to see if this turns anything off.
    My owners manual says nothing about being able to turn pop off anywhere.

  7. #7


    The "P" in the power-on-self-test stands for POP apparently, and if you get a "P" as an alert - that means Pulse.

    Turning off POP is something only he would know how to do, and if you read the email - it will not benefit you in any way. :wink:

  8. #8
    Old Timer
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    Way to stake it to this guy

  9. #9
    Radar Fanatic
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    Some excelent info there, i'm sort of surprised at his knowledge.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005


    Well I was able to disable the "P" POP/Pulse setting like he said but the funny thing after I did that I got falses in places I never did before.

    I drive the same route everyday to and from work and in several spots I would get KA falses of all things.

    I would not recommend using this setting.

    His information was very helpful!!

    Good job on getting that information ES13Raven!!



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