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Electronics Review


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

Ergonomics: I have to say that I actually prefer the shape of the Cobra MR HH400 XVP over the purely rectangular VHF radios on the market. The shape of the Cobra radio holds nicely in your hand, feeling secure and comfortable. While we tumbled around the deck of the boat on nasty ocean conditions with big swells and wind waves up to four feet, the HH400 held its place in our palms.

 

Cobra designed the MR HH400 XVP to nicely cradle in your hands

 

When fully loaded with six AA batteries the unit can be somewhat on the heavy side, but grasping the Cobra radio in your hand feels like holding a balanced rod and reel combo. The unit just cradles in your hand reducing the counterforce you need to hold it up and the button placements are smartly positioned to facilitate easy, one hand operation with the same hand that is grasping the radio.

 

Operating one-handed isn't a problem with this radio

 
Durability:
 
Durability is very important especially for a handheld VHF radio that will be used as a backup. We found the Cobra MR HH400 XVP to be one of the most durable units we’ve tested. The chassis is composed of rugged plastic that's impact resistance. To test this feature, we left the unit in a hard, metal container to bounce around while we pounded wave after relentless wave on a rugged twenty mile stretch in the ocean and when we reached the harbor we inspected the Cobra VHF for any cracks or other damage. Our unit performed admirably with no noticeable damage.

 

The rugged chassis keeps the interior components safe and sound

 

Aside from the armor-tough outer shell the electronics are well protected against intruding water by tight seals around the entire unit. We didn't notice any water damage even after we flushed the unit after each saltwater trip.

 

The HH400 VHF radio meets the JIS7 submersible standard

 

The stud antenna is also durable. It flexes and you won't have to worry about breaking it when mishandling the unit on the water, or when the unit rolls around in your ditch bag. The buttons and knobs are all well made, and we experienced zero problems after several months of testing.

  
Ratings:

Cobra MR HH400 XVP Ratings (?/10)

Construction/Quality A nice rugged design and well built with complimenting components 9
Performance Great performance in power and range, being waterproof, battery life, etc. The transmissions and receptions are clear 8.5
Price The price for this rugged handheld unit is right on with the others 8
Features Nice set of features such as the tri-watch, memory scanning, JIS7 submersible standard, and it comes with accessories 8.5
Design (Ergonomics) A durable construction usually means added weight, but it's not too bad because the shape of the chassis lays in your hand comfortably 8
Application A useful handheld unit that can be used on the water as your main unit or backup, and can also be used on land by outdoor adventurers 8

Total Score

8.33


Pluses and Minuses:

                 Plus                                    Minus

J Rugged design L Rugged but heavy
J Cradles comfortable in your hands  
J Good battery life  
J Useful features  


Conclusion:
Digital electronics make life easier – especially in the area of communications. Cobra Electronics has been designing electronic gear for decades and they leverage this expertise in bringing us the MR HH400 XVP VHF handheld radio. This VHF radio has good performance on the water and land, and is chock full of useful features that every angler and outdoorsman should not be without. Features such as Tri-Watch scanning can help you locate a fishing buddy that might be on a different channel, and the preset memory allows you to easily flip through your favorite channels when you're out on the water, trail, or on the road. Aside from this feature packed performance, the Cobra handheld comes with a convenient bundle of accessories like a belt clip, rechargeable batteries, and charger cradle that can be used in the vehicle or at home. The Cobra VHF handheld is a great communication device to have as your either main tool or as a backup in case of emergency or failure of your primary unit. Our ditch bag is never without one.

 

                                        

 

 

   

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