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Cobra Off-Road CB Kit Performance Review

The Cobra 75 WX ST is quite an upgrade when compared to the Uniden 510XL radio.  That is not to say the Uniden is not a good radio.....there is a marked difference in the cost of the two kits and the money spent for the Cobra nets you more radio.

Cobra uses a term called "Sound Tracker" technology that, as they say, "dramatically improves the quality of the transmission and reception of CB signals".  In a nutshell, the noise level is reduced in order to improve the signal-to-noise ratio and thus provide better overall reception.  The user manual doesn't actually state what in the transmitter is affected by the Sound Tracker technology.

The Cobra offers a function called Dual Watch.  It allows you to monitor two CB channels at the same time.  Channel 16 is automatically assigned as one of the channels and the user gets to select the 2nd channel.  A feature like this is great on the trail as you can listen on the official "trail run channel" while you shoot the breeze with a friend or two on a different channel....all the time being able to respond to the "more important" announcements/comments that occur on the trail run channel.  Ham radio operators have had this feature in their mobile FM radios for quite some time and it really is a nice feature.  Congrats to Cobra for making it available in this radio.

The Cobra also provides coverage of all ten NOAA weather channels.  These are VHF frequencies and you need to be within radio distance of a NOAA transmitter.  If your wheeling area falls within the coverage area of a NOAA transmitter, you are in luck and can monitor the weather 24 hours a day.

An "Instant Channel 19" feature is also programmed into the radio.  This allows you to immediately access Channel 19 with just a push of a the button.  You don't have to scroll through the channels with the up/down channel buttons in order to get there.  Channel 19 is heavily used on the highways by the big truck drivers.

Last, but not least, you can tell the Cobra to scan all 40 of the channels.  This works nicely if you are driving cross country and you are bored out of your mind and want to see if there is any activity on any of the CB channels.  Again, it beats the heck out of manually checking each and every channel using the up/down channel buttons.

The LCD displays keep you pretty well informed of what the radio is doing.  A reasonable signal strength meter display is available as are a handful of little indicators that tell you what the radio is doing (regarding the above various features).

The handheld unit (I hesitate to call it a microphone since it contains the entire radio) has the normal volume and squelch controls.  You can also "lock" the keys to prevent your accidentally bumping one of them and turning something on or off at an inopportune time.

All in all the firmware features programmed into the Cobra 75 are quite impressive.  If you are a gadget dude, you really do need to get your hands on one of these radios. 

I'll mention that you need to be a bit careful with the Cobra.  As I mentioned, the entire radio is built into what would be the microphone housing on any other radio.  As such, dropping the "mic" may have dire consequences.  Don't lay it up on the dash when you are done speaking, place it securely in the provided hanger.  Doing so will certainly prevent it from dropping onto the floor (or out the door) when you take that corner a bit too fast.

How does it work? 

As soon as we had power to the unit, Bob switched it over to 19 and we heard a conversation between two CBers.  So yes, it seemed to do quite well with the vehicle parked in Bob's warehouse.  NOAA came through loud and clear as well (we have a pretty good NOAA transmitter here in the Phoenix area).

We've not had it on the trail yet but I see no reason it won't perform much like the other Cobra 75 radios I've shared some trail time with.  They usually have a good clear signal as long as their antenna system is properly adjusted and all the connections are tight.

Bob said he will give me some trail updates when he gets a chance to try it out.  I'll post them here when I get them so check back every now and then to see if new info has been added to this page.

Stop by and check out Right Channel Radio's online CB Radio and Antenna Shop which carries a wide selection of radios, antennas and, of course, Jeep CB Kits.  You'll find this kit and other CB radios and accessories suitable for off-roading.  Lot's of good stuff for the Jeeper (and even those other brands too)! 

 

 

 

 

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