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Cobra SPX 5500 Important Information Manual

Made by: Cobra
Type: Important Information
Category: Radar Detector
Pages: 15
Size: 2.28 MB

 

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Important Information and  

Customer Assistance

Introduction

A1 English

Important Information 

Federal Laws Governing the Use of Radar Detectors 

It is not against federal law to receive radar transmissions with your Cobra radar/ 

laser detector. The Communications Act of 1924 guarantees your right to receive  

radio transmissions on any frequency. Local laws that contravene this Act, while  

illegal, may be enforced by your local law enforcement officials until and unless  

they are prohibited from doing so by federal court action.

Safety Alert

Use of this product is not intended to, and does not, ensure that motorists or 

passengers will not be involved in traffic accidents. It is only intended to alert  

the motorist that an emergency vehicle equipped with a Cobra Safety Alert  

transmitter is within range as defined by that product. Please call local fire  

and police departments to learn if coverage exists in your area.

Safe Driving 

Motorists, as well as operators of emergency or service vehicles, are expected to 

exercise all due caution while using this product, and to obey all applicable traffic laws.

Security of Your Vehicle 

Before leaving your vehicle, always remember to conceal your radar detector  

in order to reduce the possibility of break-in and theft.
 

Customer Assistance 

Should you encounter any problems with this product, or not understand its many features, 

please refer to this owner’s manual. If you require further assistance after reading this 

manual, Cobra Electronics offers the following customer assistance services:

For Assistance in the U.S.A. 

Automated Help Desk English only.

 

24 hours a day, 7 days a week 773-889-3087 (phone).

Customer Assistance Operators English and Spanish. 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time  

Mon. through Fri. (except holidays) 773-889-3087 (phone).
Questions English and Spanish. Faxes can be received at 773-622-2269 (fax).
Technical Assistance

 

English only. www.cobra.com (on-line: Frequently Asked 

Questions). English and Spanish. productinfo@cobra.com (e-mail).

For Assistance Outside the U.S.A. 

Contact Your Local Dealer

©2012 Cobra Electronics Corporation 

6500 West Cortland Street 

Chicago, Illinois 60707 USA

www.cobra.com

Customer Assistance

SPX 5500

14 BAND

  

ULTRA-HIGH PERFORMANCE 

DIGITAL RADAR/LASER DETECTOR

Nothing Comes Close to a Cobra

® 

English

Operating Instructions 

Printed in China  

Part No. 480-839-P

Version A

Nothing Comes Close to a Cobra

® 

English

For more information or to  

order any of our products,  

please visit our website:

www.cobra.com

The Cobra line of quality products includes:

CB Radios
microTALK

®

 Radios

Radar/Laser Detectors
Safety Alert

®

 Traffic Warning Systems

Truck-Specific Navigation Systems
HighGear

®

 Accessories

CobraMarine VHF Radios
Power Inverters
LED Lights
Jumpstarters
Accessories

SPX5500_MANL.indd   1-1

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Important Information and  

Customer Assistance

Introduction

Accessories Order Info and

Trademark Acknowledgement

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

25

Customer Assistance

Display and Product Features

Introduction

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

A3

Xtreme Range  

Superheterodyne

®

 Technology

With super-fast sweep circuitry,  

provides extra detection range  

and the best possible advance warning  

to even the fastest radar guns
Detection and Separate Alerts For: 

Radar signals (X, K,Ka and Ku bands,  

with signal strength indicated),  

Laser signals, Safety Alert signals,  

Spectre I & IV+ signals, VG-2 signals
LaserEye

®

   

For 360° detection of laser signals
Instant-On Ready 

Detects radar guns with “instant-on”  

(very fast) speed monitoring capabilities
Pop Detection

Detects the latest super-fast instant-on 

single pulse radar guns
Tone Alert or Voice Alert

®

 

With adjustable volume
City or Highway 

Modes to reduce false alerts

DigiView

®

 Data Display 

With easy-to-read alpha/numeric dot  

matrix text readout
Alert Programming

Easy setting of radar bands to be monitored
Safety Alert

®

Traffic warning system distinguishes 

important safety alerts from other  

K band signals
Manual Mute or Auto Mute 

A mute function of audio alerts
IntelliMute

®

 

A mute function which automatically  

reduces false audio alerts by sensing  

engine RPMs
IntelliMute

®

 Pro

Prevents detection by radar detector 

detectors (RDDs) when traveling at  

slower speeds
Mounting 

Mounts easily on windshield  

or dashboard

Product Features 

Congratulations! You’ve made a smart choice by purchasing a ultra-high 

performance radar/laser detector from Cobra. Just look at some of  

the sophisticated features and capabilities your new unit includes:

Display  

This booklet describes the simple steps for mounting and setting up your detector. It also provides helpful 

information about how radar and laser guns are used and how you can interpret the alerts you receive.

Alpha/Numeric Dot Matrix Text Display

See pages 6 – 18 for more information about 

display features.

Controls, Indicators  

and Connections

Introduction

A2 English

Controls, Indicators and Connections 

*  Press and hold for four seconds to 

access these functions.

WARNING

Modifications or parts substitutions not approved  
by Cobra Electronics Corporation may violate  
FCC Rules and void your authority to operate  
this equipment.

Ordering From U.S.A.

Call 773-889-3087 for pricing or visit www.cobra.com.
For Credit Card Orders  

Call 773-889-3087 [Press one from the main menu] 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time, 

Monday through Friday.
Make Check or Money Order Payable To  

Cobra Electronics, Attn: Accessories Dept.,  

6500 West Cortland Street, Chicago, IL 60707 U.S.A.
To Order Online 

Please visit our website: www.cobra.com

Trademark Acknowledgement 

Cobra

®

, DigiView

®

, EasySet

®

, Extra Sensory Detection

®

, IntelliMute

®

, IntelliMute

®

 Pro, 

IntelliShield

®

, LaserEye

®

, Nothing Comes Close to a Cobra

®

, Safety Alert

®

 Traffic Warning System, 

Strobe Alert

®

, VG-2 Alert

®

, Xtreme Range Superheterodyne

®

 and the snake design  

are registered trademarks of Cobra Electronics Corporation, USA.
Cobra Electronics Corporation™, 14 Band™, 15 Band™, Extreme Bright DataGrafix™, 

IntelliLink™, Revolution™ Series, SmartPower™, Spectre Alert™, Super-Xtreme Range 

Superheterodyne™, S-XRS™, UltraBright™, and Voice Alert™ are trademarks of Cobra 

Electronics Corporation, USA.
Opticom™ is a trademark of 3M Corporation. Instaclear

®

 for Ford is a registered trademark of Ford 

Motor Company, Inc. Electriclear

®

 for GM is a registered trademark of General Motors Corporation. 

LTI Laser™ and LTI 20-20™ are trademarks of Laser Technology, Inc. Kustom Laser™, Kustom 

Laser 340™ and ProLaser II™ are trademarks of Kustom Signals, Inc. SpeedLaser™ is a trademark 

of Laser Atlanta. Bee III™ and Pop™ are a trademarks of MPH Industries. Stalker™ LIDAR is a 

trademark of Applied Concepts, Inc. Spectre I™ and Spectre IV™ are trademarks of Stealth Micro 

Systems Pty. Ltd. Interceptor VG-2™ is a trademark of TechniSonic Industries LTD. Tomar

®

 is a 

registered trademark of TOMAR Electronics, Inc.

12V DC 

Power Jack

On-Off/Volume Control

Allows you to adjust the 

volume of the tone alerts.

Dim Button 

Allows you to adjust the UltraBright 

Data Display brightness for easy 

reading. (Also turns VG-2 and 

Spectre I & IV+ alerts On and Off.*)

LaserEye 

For 360° detection  

of laser signals.

Windshield Bracket  

Release Button

IntelliMute Button

Engine RPM sensing mute function 

which reduces false alerts. Button 

turns IntelliMute On and Off. (Also 

enters IntelliMute setting mode.*)

Mute Button

For manual mute or auto  

mute of audio alerts. (Also  

turns Voice Alert On and Off.*) 

Speaker

City Button 

For City or Highway 

modes to reduce false 

alerts. (Also turns Ku 

alerts On and Off.*)

Audio Jack

Windshield  

Bracket  

Mount

 

Item#                 Description

  420-030-N-001 

Straight 12V Power Cord

  420-026-N-001 

Coiled 12V Power Cord

  545-159-N-001 

Windshield Mounting Bracket

  CLP-2B 

Dual Port Power Adapter

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Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

1

Contents

Introduction

Introduction

Important Information ...............................................................................  A1

Customer Assistance .................................................................................  A1

Controls, Indicators and Connections ........................................................  A2

Display .......................................................................................................  A3

Product Features ........................................................................................  A3

Your Detector

Installation .................................................................................................... 2

Getting Started .............................................................................................. 5

    Auxiliary Audio Jack .................................................................................. 5

Settings ......................................................................................................... 6

    Highway/City Mode .................................................................................... 6 

DigiView Data Display Brightness .............................................................. 7 

Muting an Alert .......................................................................................... 8 

Auto Mute Mode ........................................................................................ 8 

IntelliMute .................................................................................................. 9 

IntelliMute Pro ........................................................................................  12 

Voice/Tone Setting .................................................................................. 13 

VG-2 and Spectre I & IV+ Alert Settings  ................................................ 14 

Radar Alert Settings..................................................................................14 

Pop Alert ...................................................................................................15

Detection ..................................................................................................... 16

    Signals Detected ...................................................................................... 16 

Audio Alerts ............................................................................................. 16 

Visual Display .......................................................................................... 16 

Instant-On Detection ................................................................................ 19 

Responding to Alerts ............................................................................... 19

Understanding Radar and Laser ................................................................. 20

Maintenance ................................................................................................ 21

Specifications .............................................................................................. 22

Warranty

Limited 1-Year Warranty ............................................................................. 22

Customer Assistance

Product Service .......................................................................................... 23

Optional Accessories .................................................................................. 24

Accessories Order Info ............................................................................... 25

Trademark Acknowledgement ..................................................................... 25

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Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

Installation

Your Detector

3

Installation

Your Detector

2 English

Installation 

Where to Mount Your Unit

You will get optimum performance from your detector if you Mount it at  

a point approximately in the center of the vehicle, as low as possible on  

the front windshield without obstructing the unit’s view of the road either  

to the front or rear. Make sure the unit is level with the road. You can also  

mount it directly on the dashboard. 

The unit’s lens must not be blocked and the LaserEye should have a clear 

view out the back window to allow 360° detection.

Radar and laser signals pass through glass but not through other materials 

and objects. Objects that can block or weaken incoming signals include: 
  

g

  Windshield wiper blades

  

g

  Mirrored sun screens

  

g

  Dark tinting at the top of the windshield

  

g

   Heated windshields currently available on some vehicles  

(Instaclear for Ford, Electriclear for GM.) Consult your dealer  

to see if you have this option.

 

1.

  Attach the rubber  

cups to the bracket.

2.  Make sure the rubber cups and your windshield are clean.
3.  Push the bracket firmly 

onto the windshield.

4.  Attach the detector to  

the bracket. Check the  

angle of the unit.

5.  To adjust the angle if 

necessary, gently push or 

pull on the bracket to bend 

it. DO NOT use the detector 

to bend the bracket.

6.  Plug the power cord  

into the detector.

7.  Plug the cigarette lighter 

adapter on the power  

cord into your vehicle’s 

cigarette lighter.

8.  You can temporarily remove the detector whenever you  

wish by pressing the bracket release button and sliding  

it off the bracket.

Windshield Mounting

The LaserEye Should Have a Clear View

Windshield Mounting

Dashboard Mounting

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Getting Started 

Getting Started and  

Auxiliary Audio Jack

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

5

Installation

Your Detector

4 English

 

1.

  Place the detector on the dashboard to find a location  

where the unit has a clear, level view of the road.  

The angle can NOT be adjusted after mounting.

2.   Remove the paper backing 

from one side of the hook-

and-loop fastener.

3.  Attach the pad to the 

dashboard at your chosen 

location and remove the  

other paper backing.

4.  Attach the detector to the 

hook-and-loop fastener.  

You can remove and 

reattach the unit as  

often as you like.

5.  Plug the power cord  

into the detector.

6.  Plug the cigarette lighter 

adapter on the power  

cord into your vehicle’s 

cigarette lighter.

Dashboard Mounting

System Ready

Power On

Testing

To Turn On the Unit and Adjust the Audio Volume

Rotate the On-Off/ 

Volume control  

clockwise (away  

from you).

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Three beeps

Testing, then  

three beeps 
System Ready

The display will 

cycle through and 

show the user 

modes

Start-up is complete when the display continuously  

shows the letters indicating the current user settings  

(

c

 = City mode, 

h

 = Highway mode, 

i

 = IntelliMute On)

Start-Up Complete

         

     h

Auxiliary Audio Jack 

The Auxiliary Audio Jack can be used to connect external speakers in 

environments with high ambient noise levels. The internal speaker will  

be disconnected. (This uses a mini stereo audio connector.)

 NOTE 

In some vehicles, power is supplied to the cigarette lighter even while the ignition  

is Off. If this is the case with your vehicle, you should turn Off or unplug your 

detector when parking for lengthy periods.

On-Off/

Volume Control 

Rotate clockwise  

(away from you)

Auxiliary

Audio Jack 

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Settings

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

7

Settings

Your Detector

6 English

Highway/City Mode

Setting your detector to City mode delays all X band audio alerts until the 

signal strength reaches Level 3. (A single beep will sound when the signal is 

first detected.) This will reduce false alerts while you are driving in, or near, 

urban areas where there are many sources for conflicting X band signals such 

as microwave towers and automatic door openers. 
To change settings, follow the procedure listed below, which indicates what 

you will see and hear (either in Voice Alert or Tone Alert mode) as you 

complete each step. The factory setting is Highway mode.

City Mode

To Change From Highway Mode to City Mode

Press and release  

the City button.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

City

City blinks, then appears  

in the display

To Change From City Mode Back to Highway Mode

Press and release  

the City button again.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Two beeps

Highway

Highway blinks, then 

appears in the display

Highway Mode

         h

          c

DigiView Data Display Brightness

 You can choose from four (4) settings for Brightness of the display. You can 

cycle through the settings by repeatedly pushing the Dim button. The factory  

setting is Bright.

To Change the Brightness to Dim

Press and release 

the Dim button 

once.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

Dim

Dim blinks, then  

display dims

To Change the Brightness to Dimmer

Press and release 

the Dim button 

again.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

Dimmer

Dimmer blinks, then display 

dims further

To Change the Brightness to Dark

Press and release  

the Dim button  

a third time.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

Dark

Dark blinks, then display 

goes dark (no visual alerts 

will be seen)

To Change the Brightness to Bright

Press and release  

the Dim button a  

fourth time.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Two beeps

Bright

Bright blinks, then display 

returns to full brightness

Dark Indicator

.

City Button

Press and  

release

Settings  

When changing the Settings on your detector, please keep in mind:
  

g

   Buttons can have multiple functions.

  

g

   Depending on your choice of Voice Alert or Tone Alert mode, you will  

hear either voice messages or tones confirming changes in settings. 

  

g

   All settings will be stored in memory when the power is  

turned Off and recalled when the power is turned back On.

Dim Button

Press and  

release

Press and 

release  

Dim

 button

Bright

Dark

Dim

Dimmer

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To Turn IntelliMute On

Press and release  

the IntelliMute  

button.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Two beeps

IntelliMute 
On

IntelliMute On blinks, then 
appears in the display

To Turn IntelliMute Off

Press and release  

the IntelliMute  

button again.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

IntelliMute 
Off

None, after  

IntelliMute Off blinks

Settings

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

9

Settings

Your Detector

8 English

Muting an Alert

Your detector allows you to quickly turn Off an audio Alert by momentarily 

pressing the Mute button. If you press the Mute button a second time  

during the Alert, the audio Alert will be turned back On.

Auto Mute Mode

Auto Mute will automatically reduce the audio volume of all alerts  

after four seconds for as long as the signal is detected. The factory  

setting is Auto Mute On.

IntelliMute

IntelliMute is a unique feature that allows you to avoid alerts you don’t 

need to hear because you are stopped or moving slowly. By sensing the 

“revs”(RPMs) of your engine, IntelliMute knows when you are at low  

speed and automatically mutes alerts.
 Before IntelliMute will work, you must set an activation point for your 

engine’s revs (see page 10). Whenever the revs are below that point, 

IntelliMute will begin muting. The activation point will be stored in  

memory and recalled each time the power is turned On. The factory  

setting is IntelliMute Off.

 NOTE 

IntelliMute may not work with some vehicles because it cannot sense the 

engine’s revs. In such cases, you can reduce unwanted audio alerts by 

using Auto Mute and City mode when appropriate.

To Turn Auto Mute Off

Press and release  

the Mute button  

while no alert  

is occurring.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

Auto Mute 
Off

None, after  

Auto Mute Off blinks

To Turn Auto Mute On

 Press and release  

the Mute button  

again while no  

alert is occurring.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Two beeps

Auto Mute 
On

None, after  

Auto Mute On blinks

IntelliMute On

       i  h

Mute Button

Press and release

IntelliMute Button

Press and release

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To Set the IntelliMute Activation Point

Press and hold  

the IntelliMute 

button for two  

seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Two beeps

Set Engine Revs

Press IntelliMute  

button again at  

desired RPMs

Rev your engine to 

the level you wish  

to set (recommend 

slightly above idle) 

and hold revs steady 

for two seconds. 

None

None

None

At the desired  

rev level, press  

and release the 

IntelliMute button.

Three beeps

IntelliMute Set 

IntelliMute Set!

Settings

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

11

Settings

Your Detector

10 English

What to Remember While Using IntelliMute
IntelliMute
 works with both City and Auto Mute modes.
Whenever engine revs are below the activation point, an arrow  

pointing down will appear in the display. Above the activation point,  

an arrow pointing up will appear.

If, for any reason, the unit stops sensing your engine’s revs,  

IntelliMute will indicate an error and automatically turn Off.
The rev point you set will be stored in the unit’s memory when  

power is turned Off and recalled each time the power is turned On.

 NOTE  

The rev point must be reset if you use your detector in a different vehicle.

NOTE  

When initially choosing your IntelliMute activation point, a setting  

of approximately 300 to 600 RPMs above idle is recommended.  

You can reset the activation point at any time to fit your individual 

preferences and driving style.

Setting the IntelliMute Activation Point
Your detector must be installed in your vehicle.

   CAUTION 

Do not attempt to set the rev point while driving.  

Your vehicle should be parked and idling. 

IntelliMute must be turned On before setting the activation point. Depending 

on whether the unit is in Tone Alert or Voice Alert mode, you will hear a series 

of beeps or voice messages as you follow the steps on the next page.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Four beeps

IntelliMute Not 

Set, Please Try 

Again followed by

IntelliMute not set
Please try again

One beep

IntelliMute Off

IntelliMute Off

 NOTE 

If the unit is unable to sense usable pulses within three 

seconds or if you do not set a rev point within 20 seconds  

of beginning these steps, IntelliMute will indicate an error 

and automatically turn Off.

Below Activation Point

       i  h

Above Activation Point

       i  h

  Press Int...

  button ag...

  desired RPMs

Hold IntelliMute Button

  Intelli

  Mute

  Set!

Rev Level Set

  IntelliMu...

  Please tr...

IntelliMute 

Not Set

  Intelli

  Mute

  Off

IntelliMute Off

IntelliMute Button

Press and hold for  

two seconds

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Settings

Your Detector

Settings

Your Detector

IntelliMute Pro

IntelliMute Pro prevents detection by radar detector detectors (RDDs) such 

as VG-2, Spectre I and Spectre IV+ when traveling at slower speeds. It is 

intended for use by experienced users only.  
When IntelliMute Pro is turned On, and engine RPMs are below the IntelliMute 

activation point, your detector’s radar detection circuits are turned Off to 

prevent detection by RDDs. 
Before IntelliMute Pro can be turned On, you must have turned On and Set  

the IntelliMute activation point. (See pages 9 through 11.) 

To Turn IntelliMute Pro On

While no signal  

is being detected, 

press and hold both 

the IntelliMute and 

City buttons for four 

seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Two beeps

IntelliMute Pro On

blinks continuously 

in the display after 
IntelliMute Pro On 
blinks

To Turn IntelliMute Pro Off

Press and hold both 

the IntelliMute and 

City buttons for four 

seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

IntelliMute Pro Off None, after 

IntelliMute Pro Off 

blinks

CAUTION 

When IntelliMute Pro is On, NO radar signals will be detected and  

NO alerts will be given at RPMs below the IntelliMute activation point.

 

NOTE 

The arrow up or down will continue  

to show that engine RPMs are  

above or below the user-set value.

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

13

12 English

Voice/Tone Setting

You can set your detector to sound alerts with either a Voice or a Tone.  

You can change settings by using the Mute button. 
In Voice Alert mode, you will first hear several tones, then a voice message 

announcing the type of signal detected, followed by more tones. In Tone Alert 

mode, you will hear the tones only. The factory setting is Voice Alert mode.

Mute Button

Press and hold for 

two seconds

To Change From Voice Alert to Tone Alert

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold  

the Mute button  

for two seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

One beep

Tone Alert

None, after 

Tone blinks in  

the display 

To Change From Tone Alert Back to Voice Alert

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold  

the Mute button  

for two seconds 

again.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

None

Voice Alert

None, after 

Voice blinks in  

the display 

IntelliMute Pro On

       i  h

IntelliMute Button

City Button

Press and hold both  

buttons simultaneously

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 Radar Alert Settings 

(continued)

Settings

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

15

Settings

Your Detector

14 English

Dim Button

Press and hold for four seconds

Spectre I & IV+  

and VG-2 On

  Spectre

  & VG2

  On

Spectre I & IV+  

and VG-2 Off

  Spectre

  & VG2

  Off

To Turn VG-2 and Spectre I & IV+ Alerts On and Off

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold the 

Dim button for  

four seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

On = Two Beeps

Spectre VG-2 

On

Spectre & VG2 On blinks  

in the display

Spectre VG-2 

Off

Spectre & VG2 Off blinks 

in the display

Off = One Beep

To Turn K Band On and Off

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold both 

the Mute and City 

buttons for  

four seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

K On = Two beeps

 

K On

K On blinks in the display

To Turn Ku Band* On and Off

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold the  

City button for  

four seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Ku On = Two beeps

Ku On

Ku On blinks in the display

K Off blinks in the display

K Off = One beep

K Off

Ku Off

Ku Off blinks in the display

Ku Off = One beep

VG-2 and Spectre I & IV+ Alert Settings

Police use radar detector detectors (RDDs) to spot users of radar detectors.  

Your detector is able to identify signals from VG-2Spectre I and Spectre IV+ 

RDDs and can provide alerts when any of these or similar devices are in use  

near your vehicle. 
Your detector can be spotted by Spectre IV+ RDDs, but is invisible to VG-2 and 

Spectre I RDDs. You can choose whether you want to be alerted to VG-2 and 

Spectre I & IV+ RDD signals. The factory setting for VG-2 and Spectre I & IV+ 

alerts is Off.

Pop Alert

The Pop Mode Radar Gun is a single-pulse Doppler radar that is a feature  

of a K and Ka (Bee III Ka radar gun) band Instant-On radar gun. It uses  

a single, short-time pulse to measure the target vehicle’s speed.
The Pop mode receiver senses Pop singles beyond the effective range of 

Pop radar guns. As the Pop mode receiver is so sensitive, you should limit 

the use of Pop Detect mode to highway and rural driving.
Pop Alert will alert you to Pop radar signals. During the alert, the unit   

continues to detect other signals. The factory setting is Pop Detect Off.

To Turn Pop Alert On and Off

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold both 

the Dim and City 

buttons for  

four seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

Pop On = Two beeps

Pop On

Pop On blinks in the display

Pop Off

Pop Off blinks in the display

Pop Off = One beep

 Radar Alert Settings 

 

The detector allows you to choose whether it will show alerts on the XK

  and Ku Bands. The factory settings are: X Band and K Band On; Ku Band Off.

To Turn X Band On and Off

While no signal  

is being detected,  

press and hold both 

the Dim and Mute 

buttons for  

four seconds.

Tone

Voice

Visual Display

X On = Two beeps

X On

X On blinks in the display

X Off

X Off blinks in the display

X Off = One beep

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Detection

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

17

Detection

Your Detector

16 English

Radar Signals, Voice and Visual Displays

Type of Signal 

Voice 

Visual Display

X Band Radar 

X Alert 

X and Signal Strength

K Band Radar 

K Alert 

K and Signal Strength

Ka Band Radar 

Ka Alert 

Ka and Signal Strength

Ku Band Radar 

Ku Alert 

Ku and Signal Strength

Pop Radar 

Pop Alert 

POP

 NOTE 

Beep rate changes with different laser alerts.

Detection  

Signals Detected

The tables on the following pages show you the types of Signals your detector 

will detect, as well as the voice and visual alerts it provides for each of them.

Audio Alerts

In Voice Alert mode you will first hear several tones, then a voice message 

announcing the type of signal detected, followed by more tones. In Tone Alert 

mode, you will hear the tones only.
In both Voice Alert and Tone Alert modes, a distinctly different alert tone is 

used for each type of signal detected (including separate tones for each laser 

signal). For X, K, Ka and Ku band radar signals, the tones will repeat faster as  

you approach the signal source. The repeat rate of the tones gives you useful 

information about the signal detected. (See responding to alerts on page 19.)

Visual Display

An indication of the type of signal detected will appear in the DigiView Data 

Display. During X, K, Ka and Ku alerts, you will also see from 1 to 5 vertical 

bars, indicating the strength of the signal detected.

LTI 20-20

  Laser

 2 0 / 2 0

LTI Laser

  LTI

  Laser

Kustom Signals  

Laser 340

  Kustom

  Laser 340

Kustom Signals Laser 

  Kustom

  Laser 

Stalker LIDAR

  Stalker

 Lidar

Laser Atlanta – Speedlaser

Kustom Signals-ProLaser II

  Speedlaser

  ProLaser II

Pop Signal Detected

 POP

Signal  
Strength 
Chart

Signal Strength = 1 

(Weakest Signal)

Signal Strength = 2

Signal Strength = 3

Signal Strength = 4

Signal Strength = 5 (Strongest Signal)

  –  

  – –

  –

  – –  –

  –  – 

   – 

 

– –  –  –  –

  –  –  –  –

   –  –  –

     –  –

       –

  – –  –  –

  –  –  –  

    –  –  

     –  

 

X Signal Detected

K Signal Detected

Ka Signal Detected

Ku Signal Detected

 

K            3

  – –  –

  –  – 

   – 

 

X            2

  – –  

  –  

 

K a         5

  – –  –  –  –

  –  –  –  –

   –  –  –

     –  –

         

– 

 

K u         4

  – –  –  –

  –  –  –

   –  –

     –

         

Laser Signals, Voice and Visual Displays

Type of Signal

Voice

Visual Display

LTI 20-20*

Laser

LTI 20-20

LTI Laser*

Laser

LTI Laser

Kustom Signals Laser 340*

Laser

Kustom Laser 340

Kustom Signals Laser*

Laser

Kustom Laser

Stalker LIDAR*

Laser

Stalker Lidar

Laser Atlanta SpeedLaser/Kustom Signals-ProLaser II*

Laser

SpeedLaser...ProLaser II

* Your detector provides 360° detection of these signals.

1

2

3

4

5

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Description

Interpretation

Recommended 

Response

Tone repeats slowly at 

first, then speeds up 

rapidly.

Probably police radar.

FULL ALERT

Tone sounds one   

time only.

Probably a false alarm,  

but possibly pulsed radar,  

Spectre I or IV+ or VG-2 

nearby.

Exercise caution

Tone instantly begins  

repeating rapidly.

Radar, Spectre I or IV+  

or VG-2 nearby has been 

activated suddenly.

FULL ALERT

Tone repeats slowly as you 

approach a hill or bridge, 

then speeds up sharply as 

you reach it.

Probably police  

radar beyond the  

hill or bridge.

FULL ALERT

Tone repeats slowly  

for a short period.

Probably a false alarm.

Exercise caution

Any type of laser alert. 

Laser alerts are  

never false alarms.

FULL ALERT

Any Safety Alert.

You are nearing an 

emergency vehicle, railroad 

crossing  

or road hazard 

(construction,  

accident, etc.).

Exercise caution

Detection and Responding to Alerts

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

19

Detection

Your Detector

18 English

Instant-On Detection

Your detector is designed to detect Instant-On speed monitoring signals, 

which can suddenly appear at full strength.

 NOTE 

You should take appropriate action  

immediately whenever an instant-on alert is given.

Responding to Alerts

Safety Alert Signals, Voice and Visual Displays

Type of Signal 

Voice 

Visual Display

Emergency Vehicles 

Emergency Vehicle Approaching  Emergency Vehicle

Road Hazards 

Road Hazard Ahead 

Road Hazard

Trains 

Train Approaching 

Train

* Your detector provides 360˚ detection of this signal.

 NOTE 

There are different tones for each  

for each radar detector detector alert.

VG-2 Alert Signal, Voice and Visual Display

Type of Signal 

Voice 

Visual Display

Interceptor VG-2 

VG-2 Alert 

VG-2

VG-2 Alert Signal 

Detected

VG-2

Spectre I & IV+ Alert Signal, Voice and Visual Display

Type of Signal 

Voice 

Visual Display

Spectre I 

Spectre Alert 

Spectre1

Spectre IV+ 

Spectre Alert 

Spectre4

Spectre I Alert Signal 

Detected

Spectre1

Spectre IV+ Alert Signal 

Detected

  Spectre4

Road Hazard Alert 

Signal Detected

  Road

  Hazard

Train Alert Signal 

Detected

  Train

Emergency Alert 

Signal Detected

Emergency...

 

NOTE 

There are different tones 

for each Safety Alert.

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Understanding Radar and Laser  

and Maintenance

Your Detector

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

21

Understanding Radar and Laser

Your Detector

20 English

Understanding Radar and Laser 

Radar Speed Monitoring Systems

Three band frequencies have been approved by the Federal Communications 

Commission (FCC) for use by speed monitoring radar equipment: 

X band 

10.525 GHz

K band 

24.150 GHz 

Ka band 

33.400 – 36.00 GHz

Your detector detects signals in all three radar bands, plus Ku band (13.435 GHz), 

which is an approved frequency used in parts of Europe and Asia.

VG-2 and Spectre I & IV+ 

VG-2 and Spectre I & IV+ are radar detector detectors (RDDs) that work by 

detecting low-level signals emitted by most radar detectors. Your detector 

does not emit signals that can be spotted by VG-2 and Spectre I RDDs. 

However, your detector can be spotted by Spectre IV+ RDDs. Your unit 

detects signals from these or similar devices and will alert you when such  

a device is in use near your vehicle.

Safety Alert Traffic Warning System

FCC-approved Safety Alert transmitters emit microwave radar signals that 

indicate the presence of a safety-related concern. Depending on the frequency 

of the signal emitted, it can indicate a speeding emergency vehicle or train,  

or a stationary road hazard. 
Because these microwave signals are within the K band frequency, most 

conventional radar detectors will detect Safety Alert signals as standard  

K band radar. Your detector, however, is designed to differentiate between 

standard K band and Safety Alert signals, and give separate alerts for each.
Safety Alert technology is relatively new. Safety Alert transmitters can  

be found in limited numbers in all 50 states, but the number is growing. 

Depending on your location, you may not receive these alerts regularly  

and may often encounter emergency vehicles, trains and road hazards  

without being alerted. As the number of transmitters increases,  

these alerts will become more common. 
When you receive such an alert, please watch for emergency vehicles ahead  

of you, on cross streets and behind you. If you see an emergency vehicle 

approaching, please pull over to the right side of the road and allow it to pass.

LIDAR (Laser)

The correct name for the technology that most people refer to as laser is 

actually LIDAR, which stands for Light Detection and Ranging.
LIDAR operates much like radar. Its signal spreads out like a radar signal, though 

not as widely. Unlike radar, LIDAR must have a clear line of sight to its target 

vehicle throughout the entire measurement interval. Obstructions such as sign 

posts, utility poles, tree branches, etc., will prevent valid speed measurement.
Some common questions about LIDAR include:
  

g

   Does weather have any affect on LIDAR? 

 Yes. Rain, snow, smoke, fog or airborne dust particles will reduce the  

effective range of LIDAR and can, if dense enough, prevent its operation.

  

g

   Can LIDAR operate through glass? 

Yes. Newer LIDAR guns can obtain readings through most types of glass. 

However, the laser pulse also can be received through glass to trigger  

an alarm by your detector.

  

g

   Can LIDAR operate while in motion? 

No. Because LIDAR operates by line of sight, the person using it cannot 

drive the vehicle, aim and operate the gun all at the same time.

  

g

   Is LIDAR legal to use? 

Yes. It is legal in all 50 states.

Maintenance 

Maintenance of Your Radar Detector

Your detector is designed and built to give you years of trouble-free performance 

without the need for service. No routine Maintenance is required.
If your unit does not appear to be operating properly, please follow these 

troubleshooting steps:
  

g

   Make sure the power cord is properly connected.

  

g

    Make sure the socket of your vehicle’s cigarette lighter is clean and  

free of corrosion.

  

g

   Make sure the power cord’s cigarette lighter adapter is firmly seated  

in your cigarette lighter.

  

g

   Check the power cord fuse. (Unscrew the ribbed end cap of the cigarette 

lighter adapter and examine the fuse. If required, replace it with a 2-amp 

fuse only.)

SPX5500_MANL.indd   20-21

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Warranty and Product Service

Nothing 

Comes Close to a Cobra

®

23

Specifications and Warranty

22 English

Warranty

Your Detector

Warranty

 

(continued)

Cobra will, without charge, repair or replace, at its option, de fec tive  

Radar/Laser Detectors, products or com po nent parts upon de liv ery to the 

Cobra Factory Service Department, ac com pa nied by proof of the date of first 

consumer pur chase, such as a du pli cat ed copy of a sales receipt.
You must pay any initial shipping charges required to ship the product for 

warranty service, but the return charges will be at Cobra’s expense, if the 

product is repaired or replaced under warranty.
This warranty gives you specific rights, and you may also have other rights  

which vary from state to state.
Exclusions: This limited warranty does not apply:  
1.  To any product dam aged by accident.  
2.  In the event of misuse or abuse of the product or as a result  

of un au tho rized alterations or repairs.  

3.  If the serial number has been altered, defaced or re moved. 
4.  If the owner of the product resides outside the U.S.A. 
All implied warranties, including war ran ties of mer chant abil i ty and fitness for  

a par tic u lar purpose are limited in duration to the length of this warranty.
Cobra shall not be liable for any incidental, con se quen tial or oth er dam ag es; 

including, without lim i ta tion, damages re sult ing from loss of use or cost of  

in stal la tion.
Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts 

and/or do not allow the ex clu sion or limitation of incidental or con se quen tial 

dam ag es, so the above lim itations may not apply to you.

Limited 1-Year Warranty 

For Products Purchased in the U.S.A.

Cobra Electronics Corporation warrants that its Cobra Radar/Laser  

Detectors, and the com po nent parts thereof, will be free of defects in 

workmanship and materials for a period of one year from the date of first 

consumer purchase. This war ran ty may be enforced by the first consumer 

pur chas er, pro vid ed that the product is utilized within the U.S.A.

Product Service 

For any questions about operating or installing this new Cobra product, or if 

parts are missing…

PLEASE CALL COBRA FIRST…

do not return this 

product to the store. See customer assistance on page A1.
If this product should require factory service, please call Cobra first at  

773-889-3087 BEFORE sending the product. This will ensure the fastest 

turnaround time on any repair. 

continued on page 24

Specifications

Band and Frequencies

 

Band 

Frequencies

X Band 

10.525 

± 0.050 

GHz

K Band 

24.125 

± 0.125 

GHz

Ka Band

34.700 

± 1.300 

GHz

Ku Band 

13.435 

± 0.035 

GHz

VG-2 

11.500 

± 0.250 

GHz

Laser 

910 ± 50nm 

100

PPS 

 

910 ± 50nm 

125

PPS 

 

910 ± 50nm 

130

PPS 

 

910 ± 50nm 

200

PPS 

 

910 ± 50nm 

238

PPS 

 

910 ± 50nm 

340

PPS

Spectre I 

13.300 

± 0.200 

GHz

Spectre IV/IV+ 

Not Disclosed

Safety Alert 

24.070 

± 0.010 

GHz

Traffic Warning 

24.110 

± 0.010 

GHz

System 

24.190 

± 0.010 

GHz

 

24.230 

± 0.010 

GHz

This radar detector is covered by one or more of the following U.S. patents: 

5,497,148; 5,594,432; 5,612,685; 6,078,279; 6,094,148. Additional patents 

may be listed inside the product or pending. 

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Product Service and  

Optional Accessories

24 English

Customer Assistance

Product Service

 

(continued) 

If Cobra asks that the product be sent to its factory, the following must be 

furnished to have the product serviced and returned:
1.  Send the complete unit, including power cord. (It is not necessary  

to include the mounting bracket.)

2.  For warranty repair, enclose some form of proof-of-purchase, such as 

a photocopy or carbon copy of a sales receipt. If you send the original 

receipt, it cannot be returned.

3.  Enclose a typed or clearly written description of the problem you are having 

with your unit, plus the name and address where you want the unit returned.

4.  Pack the unit securely to prevent damage during transit. If possible,  

use the original packing materials.

5.  Ship prepaid and insured using a traceable carrier such as United 

Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express or Insured Priority mail with 

delivery confirmation. Ship to: Cobra Factory Service, Cobra Electronics 

Corporation, 6500 West Cortland Street, Chicago, IL 60707 U.S.A.

6.  Please allow three to four weeks before contacting us about the status  

of your service. Call 773-889-3087 for assistance. If your unit is under 

warranty, it will either be repaired or replaced upon receipt, depending  

on the model. If your unit is out of warranty, you will receive a letter 

informing you of the repair or replacement charge.

Optional Accessories 

You can find quality Cobra products and accessories at your local Cobra 

dealer, or in the U.S.A., you can order directly from Cobra. See ordering 

info on page 25.

Windshield  

Mounting Bracket

Includes suction cups 
Item # 545-159-N-001

Straight 12V DC  

Power Cord

Includes plug  

and fuse  
Item # 420-030-N-001

Coiled 12V DC  

Power Cord

Includes plug  

and fuse
Item # 420-026-N-001

Dual Port  

Power Adapter

Includes adjustable  

plug (up to 90˚)  

and fuse 
Item # CLP-2B

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