Cobra Radar Detector Codes – What You Have to Know

Radar detectors are very useful only if you install them properly and if you know how to read their codes. And if that isn’t the case, you will end up with a device that you don’t even know how to use. Cobra radar detector codes are similar to those used on other radar detectors.

They may seem complicated at first, but after about 10 minutes of reading the instructions, it will be easier to understand what they stand for and what it means to see them on your Cobra radar detector.

The codes are used to alert drivers with unique sequences that set apart one code from another. For newbies seeking to understand your Cobra gadget better, it’s crucial to get to know the different codes and the meanings behind your radar detector’s alerts.

Right before delving into radar codes and other alerts, let’s clarify what RADAR means first.

What Is A Radar?

RADAR directly means RAdio Detection And Ranging System. It makes use of a transmitter that uses radio waves or electromagnetic signals to determine the geographic location or speed of an object. The traffic enforcers usually use radar guns to check the speed of cars.

Radar detectors use the radio waves to the driver’s advantage, by detecting the radio waves from the radar guns first before they can determine your speed. This buys the driver time to take action before cops apprehension takes place.

What are cobra radar detector codes?

The Cobra radar detector codes are X, Ka, and K. They refer to cops gun frequencies, which are often the same codes that other radar detectors use as well. So if your radar detector is missing one or two of these codes, that means you should be concerned about its effectiveness as a radar detector.

When it comes to detecting law enforcements radars, you might want to have an as wide range of frequency as possible, to ensure that you would be covered and protected no matter what type of frequency is even shot in your direction.

cobra codes

X band

One of the oldest radar detector codes, the X band can still be picked up by Cobra radar detectors. (Note: Cobra detectors can detect only as old as X bands, no further than that.) While the X band isn’t commonly used nowadays because of its “age” and most radar guns have been upgraded, there are a few instances that some still use it.

Good thing, with your Cobra radar detector, you won’t be caught off-guard by this band. Especially when you’re in US States like New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio, you might still pick up X band signals from time to time. It’s worthy to note that the X band can send off a false signal, especially when there’s an automatic door opener nearby.

K band

As a product of more modern technology from just a few years ago, the K band is far ahead as compared to the X band. It’s is very common in the United States and many recent radar detectors wouldn’t have any problem picking up this specific signal.

The K band is still prone to false signals, but it wouldn’t compare to the false alerts of the X band. However, note that since 2018 and as modernization of traffic gadgets continues, this signal is used less and less.


Even newer than the K band is the Ka-band, the latest and most commonly used, especially because many radar detectors can’t detect it (read radar detector reviews). Radar guns used by traffic policemen often switch between X, K and Ka bands, yet they often stay longer with the Ka-band.

Since false alerts are rare in the case of Ka bands and alerts on it are slightly more delayed, make sure you slow down right away when you see or hear an alert detecting it.


The POP mode is completely different than other cobra radar detector codes because it is used for special radar guns that have the POP mode. This means that a radar gun doesn’t fire a steady signal of radio waves than short pulses.

Cobra radar detectors without POP mode are useless in this case because they treat these pulses as false alerts. But for Cobra radar detectors that have the POP code, they can detect this type of radar gun.

However, law enforcement forces rarely use POP mode because it isn’t very accurate. This gives you an option to turn off the POP mode, as it can reduce the strength of other frequencies.

V- Stealth mode

V is one of the cobra radar detector codes that is used to detect VG-2 devices. The VG-2 devices are used by law enforcement to determine which cars have radar detectors in them.

It is a kind of a radar detector detector, which cobra radar detectors can detect and hide from. Once your detector can pick up a V signal, you should act normally as to not raise suspicion, especially as the officers wouldn’t be able to detect your cobra radar detector.

When you should use these cobra radar detector codes?


Cobra radar detector codes’ use is maximized only if you can determine them properly and know useful information about them.

This means that you can increase the success of your radar detection, by knowing facts about usual detector codes.

For example, since X band is rarely used, there is no point in always using this band, especially when it is very prone to false alerts on cities and people-saturated areas.

However, make sure it is ON when you are driving on highways because you might chance upon a radar gun that switches to this band from time to time.

On the other hand, both K and Ka bands should be used all the time, because most cops radars use these relatively newer frequencies.

False alerts

Although it’s important to react quickly whenever your Cobra radar detector warns you of a specific signal, take note of how long the alerts last. Often, if you see radar detector codes alerts for just a brief period, there’s a good possibility that they are false alerts.

But remember, it’s always better to be extra careful, so a cautionary slowing down and staying within the speed limit would ensure that you’re not apprehended by officers.


This article is written by William Johnson, the founder of RRD. William is passionate about radar detectors. His interest in reviewing and testing radar detectors from different brands started nearly 10 years ago, when his own radar detector then (a cheap and brand-less detector he bought online) failed to detect and radar gun nearby.

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  1. Reply Adrian December 5, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Very informative. Thanks for the tip. Tq for giving us the “edge” againts the Authorities…!!! And yes, its not a device for licence to speed…

  2. Reply William Luckenbill April 7, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for the information it was very helpful.and there is a lot of people that uses these devices to speed and that’s not what they are for.everyone just slow down and relax.

  3. Reply Destanie Short May 13, 2017 at 11:21 am

    What does it mean when says ka 357

  4. Reply Anthony emery August 14, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Why did my Whistler radar detector read the LETTER S and go off?

  5. Reply Debbie Quinn-Magid December 20, 2017 at 3:09 am

    Thank you for the excellent information! !

  6. Reply Justin Matulevicz December 24, 2017 at 10:36 pm

    I detector beeps and blinks the XK code for a long time at random times. I’m not sure what it means?

  7. Reply anj January 25, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Cobra what is the reason being for KA alert to go off with no emergency call vehicles or Radar detection around

    • Reply Randy G January 12, 2019 at 7:48 pm

      It is most likely because of blind spot on newer vehicles

  8. Reply MURP March 3, 2018 at 3:46 am


  9. Reply Anthony October 20, 2018 at 4:07 am

    I’ve had my radar for 3 months and it has saved me humorous times I don’t know what I would do without it!

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