How did Whistler Radar loose its way?

XDA

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I could have asked the exact same question. I had a Spectrum, it was a top unit in its day, I liked mine. A lot of good RD technology is off patent, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with something competitive.
 

Kennyc56

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Believe it or not, my Pro78 and then my 78SE saved my @ss hundreds of times against I/O 35.5 back in the day! Whistler is actually blistering fast even now with the CR95 and 97 against 34.7 and 35.5 Q/T and I/O, as long as it's on axis. We've also picked up 35.5 C/O at just under 4 miles with my CR97 and 95 during testing, once again on axis. Off axis the range drops like a rock! The Ka-K band mix-up is the real deal breaker however! If they would fix that nonsense and dial in some off axis the 95 and 97 would be damn good detectors in their price range! I guess either they're selling all of them that they want [or sold] or they just don't give a damn! @Bossdad71 and I tried every way we could to convince Mike B. to fix these issues but we just hit a brick wall! The other crazy thing about the CR95 and CR97 is their incredible performance against laser!
 
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RadarScout

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I would love for Whistler to come out with something resembling the performance of an R3. Like I said, they're easy to deal with and people will remember that. In my eyes, that's a trait of a good company.
 

Kennyc56

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I would love for Whistler to come out with something resembling the performance of an R3. Like I said, they're easy to deal with and people will remember that. In my eyes, that's a trait of a good company.
So would I! I keep looking over my shoulder waiting to see if they'll surprise me, but I'm not holding my breath!
 

VariableWave

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When the Superwide band world came out... the Whistler world falled with the the 1400 series and beyond on Ka world, like many others. I have the articles said, like the 1490se and 1580 (owned), 1785se (owned) , XTR690 (Owned), and and CR97 (Owned) and few others had or tested...
Only the recent the CR95/97 break the Ka beyond some good competitive numbers... its the BSMs that broke it. If the comeback, like Uniden, to the market, they have a big hurtle over others. Cobra units like the 480i is like the CR97 series.... bad at BSMs vs Real reporting testing.
 

Bossdad71

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So would I! I keep looking over my shoulder waiting to see if they'll surprise me, but I'm not holding my breath!
I'm sure there is someone on here telling him everything that's been said . Ummmm wonder who that could be :)
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I could have asked the exact same question. I had a Spectrum, it was a top unit in its day, I liked mine. A lot of good RD technology is off patent, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with something competitive.
Do you have a pic of that one
 
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Bossdad71

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I found a couple pics of the first two Whistlers when I was driving truck
 

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Radario

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Back in the 90s and early 2000s they made inexpensive yet great detectors in my opinion. You could find them at Walmart, Radio Shack and most electronics stores.

These days the company seems like it's dead. So what went wrong? Is there an inside story to this? Did their engineers leave? Did R&D money dry up? I'd like to hear your stories and opinions.

How did Whistler "loose" it's way?

They weren't "tight" enough.
 

Izzyrd

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My first 4 radar detectors before BSMs were a thing were were Whistlers. I guess that's mostly because of "radar roy's" endorsement and I guess I haven't found RDForum back then.
 

winterbrew

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The other crazy thing about the CR95 and CR97 is their incredible performance against laser!
Had a loaner Whistler PRO 93GXi for a while - it was pretty sharp on laser ;


Detection test of the Jenoptik TraffiStar S350 laser scanner installed in the black/white tower to the left of the road. Camera facing towards direction of travel, but enforcing both directions.

Approximate first detection distances;

200m (656') - Whistler PRO 93 GXi (latest firmware)

750m (2460') - ALP (5.5.8/8.7, detection only mode)

The other thing that impressed me was its ability to filter out the dual GM BSM with its Field Disturbance Sensor Rejection filter.

Apart from displaying the laser pps, you can also segment out falses by selecting pps range limits, and also lockout specific laser pps

  • "ALL NEW" FDSR (Field Disturbance Sensor Rejection) combats false alerts caused by collision avoidance and blindspot detection systems in newer vehicles
  • "ALL NEW" TFSR (Traffic Flow Signal Rejection) helps eliminate alerts from radar based traffic flow sensors
  • "ALL NEW" REVISED BLUE OLED TEXT DISPLAY provides clear and more distinct text display and alerts
  • RADAR SIGNATURE ID - RSID
  • LASER SIGNATURE ID - LSID
  • INTERNAL GPS locates and alerts to all red light and speed camera locations in Australia. Database is updatable via USB.
  • Ka NARROW MODES (34.0, 34.3 GHz) NB: Australian Use Only
  • DETECTS AUSTRALIAN / EUROPEAN LASER GUNS speed measurement equipment such as Vitronic Poliscan Speed, Pro Laser 3, LTi 20/20, Trucam, Traffipatrol XR, Riegl, Jenoptik, Laveg, Truspeed and more
  • ALERT PERISCOPES LEDs on top of the unit provide additional visual alert
  • POP® MODE DETECTION advanced speed detection capability responds to brief bursts of radar
  • 360° MAXX RADAR COVERAGE detects from front, sides, and rear
  • 3 CITY MODES(City, City 1, and City 2) reduce the annoyance of false alerts
  • SELECTABLE TONE ALERTS provide audible alerts for bands received
  • DIM / DARK reduces the illumination of the display. When in dark mode, the display is turned off during an alert then remains off for a further 20 seconds before returning to its dimmer setting.
  • QUIET / AUTO QUIET silences audio alerts
  • ALERT PRIORITY displays most important signal when more than one is detected
  • SETTING SAVER saves personalized settings when unit is turned off
  • VEHICLE BATTERY SAVER automatically shuts off your detector if you forget to turn it off (if selected)
 
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Bossdad71

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I think next to the v1 it has the best lidar detection. I still think in the k band days it was a good detector.
 

Transporter

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Back in the 90s and early 2000s they made inexpensive yet great detectors in my opinion. You could find them at Walmart, Radio Shack and most electronics stores.

These days the company seems like it's dead. So what went wrong? Is there an inside story to this? Did their engineers leave? Did R&D money dry up? I'd like to hear your stories and opinions.

Simple answer, Ka Band started being used heavily! In my opinion, they are only in it for the money now that VR, Uniden, and Escort upped the ante to be a top tier detector. They most likely sell plenty of detectors to drivers that don't know better plus most likely have assume margins.

.
 

Qui-Gon

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I think I owned 2 Whistlers, the last one being the 880 Wideband Triband (right around the time Stalkers were introduced). The I/O alert on it scared the crap out of me!
 

DevinR

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Pro78SE was amazing for the price back in its day.
 

mswlogo

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Whistler was a well respected brand in the 1970’s to the mid to late 1980’s. Once Ka band came around, I think they started to slip some. They were solid performers against X and K band.

My first radar detector was a Whistler Q1000. I also owned a Q2000, Spectrum, and Spectrum 2. They were great performers and comparable in performance to the original Escort and original Passport which I also owned.

Whistler used to be owned by Controlonics Corporation based in Massachusetts. Originally they made their detectors in the USA. At some point Whistler moved their headquarters to Bentonville, AR and shifted production to the Philippines.

I am not sure who owns the Whistler Group now or if they have any connection to Walmart since their move to Bentonville. I think Mike B that @Bossdad71 referenced above has been with them since their early days.

I think Whistler (Cobra) was absorbed by Escort a few years back.
 

milkman

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Whistler was a well respected brand in the 1970’s to the mid to late 1980’s. Once Ka band came around, I think they started to slip some. They were solid performers against X and K band.

My first radar detector was a Whistler Q1000. I also owned a Q2000, Spectrum, and Spectrum 2. They were great performers and comparable in performance to the original Escort and original Passport which I also owned.

Whistler used to be owned by Controlonics Corporation based in Massachusetts. Originally they made their detectors in the USA. At some point Whistler moved their headquarters to Bentonville, AR and shifted production to the Philippines.

I am not sure who owns the Whistler Group now or if they have any connection to Walmart since their move to Bentonville. I think Mike B that @Bossdad71 referenced above has been with them since their early days.
My first RD was also a Q1000.
 

bslaws

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I could have asked the exact same question. I had a Spectrum, it was a top unit in its day, I liked mine. A lot of good RD technology is off patent, it shouldn't be that hard to come up with something competitive.
My first detector was a Spectrum. Still have it in my collection. I also had a Whistler 2 which wasn't nearly as good a the Spectrum.
Whistler.jpg
 

OldtimeRadar

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Part of what I have noticed with all of the brands is that the hardware isn't the most complex part anymore. The software (and especially BSM rejection) has become the technology feature that sets radar detectors apart.

If the manufacturer isn't good at signal processing, then the hardware improvements are almost worthless - they pick up too many false alerts.

There is a famous engineering measurement called a ROC curve (receiver operating characteristic curve) that described how early radar units detected real signals versus false alerts. Turn up the gain and you get both more false alerts and sensitivity. Turn down the gain and you lose real signals.
 

NOTKTS

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True about good signal processing. Today its the chops of the programmer that improves receivers. 2 exact same FPGAs can do vastly different things and then software changes things again. With the Whistler CR97 and 95 it seems like the code for the FDSR feature needed more lines but they were at a price point for whatever processor is in there and it was truncated. Seems as if it was almost there if it had a better processor. Still fun to use. If I see the FDSR on the display I watch my speed realizing its seeing something.
 

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