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Cobra’s Marine VHF Radio HH600

September 18, 2018
By Bill Waugaman , Ohio Valley Outdoors

Being a first-time boat owner, I was fortunate since most of the required safety equipment was part of the deal with the prior owner. With plans on taking the boat to Lake Erie and Lake Ontario for some serious fishing, another piece of safety equipment is obviously needed a marine VHF radio.

There are quite a few manufacturers making marine VHF radios. These radios can range in price from under $100 to upwards of $1000. They can be handheld or fixed-mount, and have a variety of features to fit a boater's needs. After some research and determining which features were important, the handheld Cobra HH600 Marine VHF radio became an obvious choice.

Similar to many other handheld marine VHF radios, the Cobra HH600 has a laundry list of features

Article Photos

Cobra Marine VHF Radio HH600
Photo by Bill Waugaman

all three sets of UIC channels (US, International, Canada)

all 10 NOAA weather channels

instant access to channel 16 and channel 9 for emergencies

1, 3, and 6 watt VHF output for transmission (some radios only have 5 watt maximum)

Meets JIS8 (IPX8) standards for being submersible (30 minutes in 3+ feet of water)

it floats and is easily seen in the water with bright orange/white or orange/black coloration

backlit function keys and large LCD display

able to scan all channels or a programmed set of channels

What really sets the HH600 marine radio apart from others in a similar price range are the additional capabilities and features.

GPS Coordinates are shown on the screen using the WAAS navigation system. The coordinates are sent with any DSC (Digital Selective Calling) call made on the radio to improve response time in the event of an emergency or distress call. The GPS capabilities are also used for basic navigation features such as a digital compass, course, speed and waypoints.

Bluetooth The HH600 incorporates Class 2 Bluetooth Wireless Technology that gives you the ability to make and receive phone calls through your smart phone that is probably packed away so it will stay safe and dry. The HH600 is able to communicate up to 10 meters (approximately 32 feet) with your smart phone and has the capabilities for voice dialing and Caller ID.

Rewind-Say-Again - Have you ever been listening to a radio only to be distracted and miss part of the radio conversation? The HH600 has the ability to record the last VHF call so it can be replayed.

The Oops Factor Something falling overboard is going to happen sooner or later. If it's a person, there is a dedicated MOB (Man Over Board) key to mark the location. If it's the radio, Cobra added some extra features besides being waterproof. A built-in flashlight will start flashing automatically making it easier to find. If a person falls overboard with the radio, the flashing light can be switched to being a flashing light, or an S.O.S. signal. Plus, the radio can 'burp' water out of the speaker.

To power the radio, you get: a 2000mAh LiON polymer rechargeable battery, a desktop charging cradle that can charge the radio or just the battery, an AC Adapter (North American plug) and a 12v DC Accessory Plug. Plus, an alkaline battery tray for AA batteries is included that can power the HH600 as an option.

The HH600 has so many built-in features, understanding the screen display may seem a little daunting at first but it is actually well organized and cycles by pushing the 'MORE' button on the top right. After the initial set up, turning on the HH600 brings up the default screen giving access to MENU (general set up), WX (weather) and CALL (transmitting) functions. Press the 'MORE' button to see TW (tri-watch priority channels), H/M/L (high-medium-low power output) and SCAN (channel scanning) functions. Pressing the 'MORE' button again brings up the MEM (store specific channels for scanning), COMP (compass) and MARK (location marker) functions. A fourth press of the 'MORE' button brings up NAV (navigation), (bluetooth set up) and BURP (clears water from speaker).

MENU is were the DSC is set up, lamp brightness is adjusted, screen contrast is set, the key tone is turned off/on, the UIC bank of channels is selected, time is adjusted, priority channel is turned off/on, weather alert is turned off/on, and GPS parameters are set up.

Other buttons on the front are for up-down screen selections, easy access to mark man-overboard (MOB), squelch (SQL), Rewind-Say-Again, and to alternate between emergency channels 16 and 9 (16+). The light button on the left below the Press-To-Talk button also doubles as a key lock control. An easily accessible 'Distress' button is under a red protective flap is on the right side and is illuminated when the radio is on. A jack for connecting a speaker/mic is on the top beside the on/off/volume control.

Features, reliability, and my wallet are considered when making most purchases. Having a wide selection of marine VHF radios from which to choose at different prices and from different manufacturers, the Cobra HH600 Marine VHF radio has a lot to offer with a 3-year warranty and an MSRP of only $199.

For more information about the Cobra HH600 and their other marine radios, check out their website at: /



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