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Electronics Review

Handy marine communication with the rugged Cobra MR HH400 XVP VHF radio

Date: 8/12/05
Tackle type: Electronics
Manufacturer: Cobra Electronics
Reviewer: JIP

Total Score: 8.33

On the water communications ability is key to a safe boating experience especially on those adventures taken out to sea. Cell phones are, at best, a decent backup, but given the many holes in today’s cellular network, the availability of a clear signal is not something upon which you can rely. Your best bet for reliable communications is to have a fixed VHF radio together with a reliable handheld unit. Cobra Electronics make various VHF handheld radios and we take a look at the MR HH400 XVP: a unit that is filled with useful features many of which are key for clear communication.

Cobra MR HH400 XVP Specifications

Waterproof Submersible to JIS7
Power Output 1 or 5 Watts
Memory 10 programmable
Scanning Modes Scan, memory scan, tri-watch
Channel Regions U.S., Canada, and International
Emergency Channels Instant button 16/9
Weather Channels 10 NOAA channels
Weather Alert Yes
Antenna Stud
Battery Requirements 6 AA
Weight 1.1 pounds (without batteries)
Dimensions 5.5" x 2.2" x 1.4"
Accessories Rechargeable 2100 mAh NiMH batteries, desktop charger, car charger, removable belt clip, wrist strap
Warranty 3 years
MSRP $169.95


About Cobra Electronics: Cobra Electronics has been a leading manufacturer of popular navigation and communication products for years. They began their expertise with two-way radios, radar detectors, and citizen band radios. Now, they’ve expanded their offerings to include GPS, mobile navigation, and marine electronics, and from all indications, they’ve been greeted with great success.


Cobra includes everything one needs to get the MR HH400 handheld VHF radio functioning straight out of the box

The Cobra MR HH400 XVP VHF (Very High Frequency) handheld radio is a dual power marine VHF transceiver loaded with features such as Tri-Watch, 10 NOAA weather channel, weather alert, and much more. Housing this one or five watt radio is not your standard rectangular chassis but a design that's much more rugged and a shape that ensures an easier, better grip, especially in rough rolling waters. The submersible handheld has eight controls for quick access to important features and a rugged stud antenna that can be taken off and stowed during transport.


Buttons are strategically chosen and placed for quick access to important features


The MR HH400 VHF radio comes loaded with accessories including six long-life 2100 mAh Nickel Metal Hydride rechargeable batteries. NiMH batteries are great because they can be recharged at any time without having to worry about battery "memory", a malady that afflicts many previous generation rechargeables resulting in shorter life spans. In addition, the package includes a desktop charger with both 120V AC adaptor and 12V vehicle/cigarette lighter plug, removable belt clip, and a wrist strap.


We field tested the Cobra VHF radio on land and on the water

Field Tests:
Marine VHF radios are widely used by saltwater sports fishermen but can and should be used by anyone who loves the outdoors. We field tested the Cobra handheld VHF radio on the ocean, lakes, hiking trails, and more. Before you set out, make sure to reference your manual for channels you can use safely without interrupting commercial or emergency channels.


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