Cobra fixed VHF

alancollins

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I need to update my VHF set and would like one with built-in GPS. Standard Horizon and Cobra both make this type of set, but the Cobra one is less than half the price. Does anyone have any experience of this unit and know of any snags?
 

Spi D

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Can't comment on that exact model but had a Cobra 55 on my previous boat. Not happy with it - emitted a constant high frq tone from some component and the dealer 'couldn't hear anything wrong'. :p

My current Icom pics up the GPS signal from the chart plotter so no need for the radio to do this.
 

mm42

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Can't comment on the Cobra but of the other two we've got a Standard Horizon GX1700E which has built in GPS, it feels well built and works well.
 

Hurricane

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You don't say which Cobra and which Standard Horizon you are comparing.

About 10 years ago, I bought a Cobra MR F55 for the base station radio for a race that we ran round the Isle of Wight.
It was only for use for 4 days and we installed it onto a tall ex military mast.
The result was fantastic - definitely did the job - we were able to communicate right across from Calshot to the south of the island.
It got put back in its box after that event.
A few years later, I fitted it to my dinghy where it still is - working fine.
So the Cobra should be perfectly good for the job.

Personally, though, I would buy the Standard Horizon - I'm a great fan of Standard Horizon - no connection with them - I just like the kit.

IMO, a more important consideration when buying a fixed VHF is to think where you will get the GPS input for the DSC.
If you don't have a NMEA feed from an external device, I would consider buying a set with a GPS already fitted inside.
For example this one needs an external GPS fed to it.
http://www.standardhorizon.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=178_173&products_id=100048
Whereas this one has an internal GPS receiver.
http://www.standardhorizon.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=178_173&products_id=100039

IMO, it is important to have GPS fed into DSC VHF sets - without it, the emergency button is next to useless.

The old Cobra MR F55's fist mic has two extra buttons other than the "Press to Transmit".
These change channels up and down and are very annoying.
It is very easy to change channel by mistake - I would avoid sets that don't disable these extra fist mic buttons.
For this reason, I will probably be buying the Standard Horizon cheapie (http://www.standardhorizon.co.uk/product_info.php?cPath=178_173&products_id=100048) when I kit out my new tender in a few months time.

I hope that helps.
 

BruceK

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I have a Cobra as backup to my iCom. Nothing wrong with the Cobra but beware of two issues. Their warranty and dealer support here imo is not as good, but more importantly beware of the model you buy. Some deals offering cheaper units found on Ebay etc are on American a.n.other channels. Make sure you have one for the EU or is at least interchangeable in the menu. I know of one chap that cannot call the water taxi on channel 37a / M1 for instance as that channel is ommited in some regions.
 

oldgit

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IMHO.
If you are skint or teribbly tightwaddish the Cobra will work...probably comes with the sort of guarantee to see you orf the premises and precious little more.

Just about anything else will be better quality
Wikipedia.
"There is scarcely anything in this world that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the buyers who consider price only are this man’s lawful prey” .
English author John Ruskin (1819-1900) has been credited with the line since at least 1926, but there is no evidence that he ever wrote it. :)
 
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Alpha22

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I had a Cobra which was fitted to a previous boat when I bought it.... after a season or three, the knobs melted from the UV. The build quality was obviously to a tight budget.

I now have a SH and it feels like you could drop it off a cliff..... rugged, solid and excellent audio. Although the squelch knob was very loose on it's shaft and fell of a few times.... a blob of hot glue sorted that though.
 

Hurricane

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I had a Cobra which was fitted to a previous boat when I bought it.... after a season or three, the knobs melted from the UV. The build quality was obviously to a tight budget.

I now have a SH and it feels like you could drop it off a cliff..... rugged, solid and excellent audio. Although the squelch knob was very loose on it's shaft and fell of a few times.... a blob of hot glue sorted that though.

A couple of years ago, our main Simrad fixed radio failed so I was down to a handheld.
It was then that I realised that it was my trusty Standard Horizon handheld that I bought more than 10 years ago - and still going fine.
As you say it is built like the proverbial brick ?hit house.
So for the beginning of last season, bought two more handhelds - yes they were Standard Horizon - the full DSC version.
I am very confident with the kit.
 
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