Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT Handheld Floating VHF Radio
The future of driver awareness is being advanced by Cobra with the use of cutting-edge technologies. By pursuing exceptional product design and continually creating best-in-class vehicle technology, we seek to lead market sectors. Our 50 years of invention have allowed us to provide the technology you require for a contemporary driving experience, from mending televisions in a small garage to becoming a global leader in consumer electronics.
Thank you for purchasing a CobraMarine® VHF radio. Properly used, this Cobra® product will give you many years of reliable service.
How Your CobraMarine VHF Radio Works
This radio is a battery-powered portable transceiver for use afloat. It gives you two-way vessel-to-vessel and vessel-to-shore station communications, primarily for safety and secondarily for navigation and operational purposes. With it, you can call for help, get information from other boaters, talk to lock or bridge tenders, and make radiotelephone calls anywhere in the world through a marine operator. Besides two-way communications, the radio can provide quick access to all the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) weather channels and alert you to weather emergencies with a tone on a weather channel you can tune in for your area
Should you encounter any problems with this product, or not understand its many features, please refer to this owner’s manual. If you require further assistance after reading this manual, Cobra Electronics offers the following customer assistance services:
For Assistance in the U.S.A.
- Automated Help Desk English only. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week 773-889-3087 (phone).
- Customer Assistance Operators in English and Spanish. 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Central Time Mon. through Fri. (except holidays) 773-889-3087 (phone).
- Questions in English and Spanish. Faxes can be received at 773-622-2269.
- Technical Assistance English only www.cobra.com/support/faqs/marine-radios
Radio Controls and Indicators
- Power Settings Selectable power settings produce 1, 3, or 6 watts of output power for near or distant calling.
- USA/International/Canada Channels Allows operation on any of the three (3) different channel maps established for these areas.
- All NOAA Weather Channels Instant access to all National Weather Channels, 24 hours a day.
- Submersible to JIS7 Standards Waterproof to 3.3 ft (1 m) of water for 30 minutes.
- Button/Key Lock Prevents accidental setting changes when button lock is set.
- Channel Scan/Memory Scan Use to scan through unlimited channels or memory locations to find conversations in progress.
- Matrix Display The display at the bottom of the LCD screen displays text letting the user know the current radio mode, function, or operation.
- AA Battery Compatible Good for emergency backup. Includes AA battery tray (P/N CM 110-024).
- Instant Channel 16/9 Provides instant access to priority Channel 16 and calling Channel 9.
- Tri-Watch Use to monitor three (3) channels at once — Channel 16 and two (2) programmable channels.
- Floating This radio will float if dropped overboard. It has an orange stripe so it’s easy to retrieve. Must use included battery to float.
- 120V/12V Charger Included Use to charge battery pack, at home, in a car, or a boat.
- MicroBlueTMBluetooth® Wireless Technology in a unique noise canceling design. Widely compatible with all mobile phones with Bluetooth® wireless technology.
- Rewind-Say-Again® Replays missed VHF calls.
- Locking Desktop Charger Holds the radio or battery in place while charging. Vertical or horizontal mounting.
- Call Tones (Selectable) 10 selectable call tones
- Emergency Weather Alert Receive NOAA alerts when threatening weather is nearby.
- Speaker/Mic Jack Allows connecting optional Cobra Lapel Speaker/Mic and other Cobra accessories.
- Unlimited Memory Channels Allow programming of unlimited VHF memory channels.
- Signal Strength Meter Shows the strength of incoming or outgoing signals.
- Easy Redial Operation Redial of last phone number dialed.
- Voice Dialing Supports standard mobile phone voice dialing when paired to a compatible mobile phone.
- Noise Canceling Microphone Reduces the effect of environmental noise when speaking.
- Illuminated Buttons Allow high visibility of all function buttons.
- Roger Beep Tone (Selectable) Confirmation tone indicates the completion of the user’s transmission Left blank intentionally for your notes and signals to others it is clear to talk. On or Off selectable.
- BURP The Cobra exclusive BURP feature expels water from the speaker grill if the unit is dropped in the water or is subjected to extreme rain and weather.
Important Safety Information
Before using your CobraMarine VHF radio, please read these general precautions and warnings.
Warning and Notice Statements
To make the most of this radio, it must be used properly. Please read the installation and operating instructions carefully before using the radio. Special attention must be paid to the WARNING and NOTICE statements in this manual.
Safety Training Information
This CobraMarine VHF radio complies with the following guidelines and standards regarding RF energy and electromagnetic energy levels as well as the evaluation of those levels for human exposure:
- FCC OET Bulletin 65 Edition 97-01 Supplement C, Evaluating Compliance with FCC Guidelines for Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields.
- American National Standards Institute (C95.1-1992), IEEE Standard for Safety Levels concerning Human Exposure to Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz.
- American National Standards Institute (C95.3-1992), IEEE Recommended Practice for the Measurement of Potentially Hazardous Electromagnetic Fields — RF and Microwave.
- Industry Canada RSS-102-Radio Frequency (RF) Exposure Compliance of Radiocommunication Apparatus (All Frequency bands).
- The following WARNINGS and NOTICE information will make you aware of RF exposure hazards and how to ensure you operate the radio within the FCC RF exposure limits established for the radio.
- Your radio generates electromagnetic RF (radio frequency) energy when it is transmitted. To ensure that you and those around you are not exposed to excessive amounts of that energy, DO NOT touch the antenna when transmitting. KEEP the radio at least two (2) inches (5 cm) away from yourself and others when transmitting.
- DO NOT operate with more than a duty cycle of 5% transmit, 5% receive, and 90% standby. The radio is transmitting when the Talk button is pressed and the transmit information shows on the LCD screen. ALWAYS use only Cobra-authorized accessories.
- DO NOT operate the radio in an explosive atmosphere, near blasting sites, or in any area where signs are posted prohibiting radio transmissions.
- NEVER place the transceiver where it might interfere with the operation of your vessel or cause injury.
- DO NOT allow children or anyone unfamiliar with proper procedures to operate the radio without supervision.
- Failure to observe any of these warnings may cause you to exceed FCC RF exposure limits or create other dangerous conditions.
Industry Canada Antenna Notice
Under Industry Canada regulations, this radio transmitter may only operate using an antenna of a type and maximum (or lesser) gain approved for the transmitter by Industry Canada. To reduce potential radio interference to other users, the antenna type and its gain should be so chosen that the equivalent isotropically radiated power (e.i.r.p.) is not more than that necessary for successful communication.
This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules. Operation is subject to the following two (2) conditions:
- This device may not cause harmful interference, and
- This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.
FCC Licensing Information
CobraMarine VHF radios comply with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) requirements that regulate the Maritime Radio Service.
The radio operates on all currently allocated marine channels and is switchable for use according to U.S.A., International, or Canadian regulations. It features instant access to emergency Channel 16 and calling Channel 9 as well as NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) All Hazards Radio with Alert.
An FCC ship station license is no longer required for any vessel traveling in the U.S.A. waters that uses a VHF marine radio, RADAR, or EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), and which is not required to carry radio equipment. However, any vessel required to carry a marine radio on an international voyage, carrying an HF single sideband radiotelephone, or carrying a marine satellite terminal must obtain a station license.
FCC license forms and applications for ship and land stations can be downloaded through the Internet at www.fcc.gov. Forms can also be obtained by calling the FCC at 888-225-5322.
FCC Warnings: Replacement or substitution of transistors, regular diodes, or other parts of a unique nature, with parts other than those recommended by Cobra, may cause a violation of the technical regulations of part 80 of the FCC Rules, or violation of type acceptance requirements of part 2 of the rules.
Included in this package
You should find all of the following items in the package with your CobraMarineVHF radio:
- To install the antenna turn the antenna into the radio clockwise to tighten. Do not over-tighten.
- To remove the antenna turn the antenna counterclockwise.
This radio transmitter IC: 906A-MRHH600 has been approved by Industry Canada to operate with the supplied antenna. Other antennas are strictly prohibited for use with this device.
Batteries and Charger
- The radio is shipped with a sealed rechargeable lithium-ion LiON Battery Pack (LiON) battery pack (P/N CM 110-026).
The charger provided for this radio is only to be used to charge the battery pack provided. Do not charge any other type of battery in the charger as fire, explosion, or battery damage may occur. Avoiding extreme temperatures will also help prolong the life of the battery pack for the radio. The device’s operating voltage is DC 6.29V – DC 8.40V.
When your rechargeable batteries begin to discharge too quickly, it is time to install a new battery pack. Your radio will also operate with five (5) high-quality AA alkaline batteries, using the included alkaline battery tray.
Installing the Battery Pack
- Position the battery pack over the back of the radio.
- Engage the battery pack into the radio until the battery pack is fully seated into the radio housing.
- Tighten the screws using a coin or flat object to secure the battery pack to the radio. Do not over-tighten.
Wrist Strap and Belt Clip
Use the spring-loaded belt clip to carry the radio on your person.
- Slide the belt clip into the guide channel on the back of the radio until it is locked in place.
- To attach the wrist strap, insert it through the hole at the top of the belt clip, feed it through the looped end, and pull tight to secure it to the belt clip.
- Press open the belt clip, slide it over the belt, and release the clip.
- To remove the belt clip from the radio press the tab on the belt clip, which unlocks the clip, and slide it out.
The Cobra-provided LiON battery pack may be charged at home, in a car, or in a boat using the appropriate 12V or 120V power cord with the charger.
- Insert one (1) of the power cords into the back of the drop-in charger.
- Insert the other end of the power cord into the appropriate 12V or 120V power source.
- Remove the battery pack spacer from the charger and insert the entire radio/battery into the charger. The metal charge contacts on the battery will contact the mating prongs in the charger to transfer the charging current.
- The red light on the front of the charger will glow to indicate that the battery pack is properly seated and the charger is operating.
- Allow the batteries to charge for five (5) to six (6) hours before use. The charge light will turn off when the battery is fully charged.
To Remove the Battery Pack from the Radio
- Loosen the screws on the back of the battery pack.
- Lift the bottom of the battery pack slightly to remove it from the radio housing.
- Pull the battery pack out of the radio housing.
The alkaline battery tray acts as a backup or “Emergency” power source should the battery pack run low on power and need to be recharged. The radio will transmit at full power when using five (5) new AA alkaline batteries
Maintaining the Battery Charge
As you use your radio, the battery power icon will show the battery power remaining. When the battery icon begins to flash, the battery is empty and needs to be recharged. The radio will beep three (3) times and flash “Low Battery” every 10 minutes until the radio turns off.
NOTE The radio will continue to receive signals when blinking but cannot transmit.
Standby/Receive and Transmit
Marine Standby and Receive (Rx) Mode
Marine Standby mode is the default mode for the radio whenever it is turned on. From this mode, you can change default settings by becoming familiar with the different key functions in Marine Standby mode. While in Marine Standby mode, the user will be able to transmit by pressing the Push to Talk (Talk) button. Signals in Receive (Rx) mode will be received on the selected channel(s), and WX alerts broadcasted by NOAA will be received on the corresponding NOAA weather channels in your area.
Transmit (Tx) Mode
Transmit (Tx) mode gives you the ability to interact with safety services, other vessels, and shore stations. When you use this capability, be sure to follow the procedures and observe the courtesies that govern its use so everyone benefits. See the Appendix to help you select the proper channels.
To Transmit a Message:
- Check to see that your radio is set to a proper channel for the type of message you plan to send.
- Select the desired Low, Med, or High Power setting.
- With the microphone about 2 in. [51 mm] From your mouth, press and hold the Talk button and speak into the microphone. The Transmit icon will appear on the LCD.
- Release the Talk button when you are finished speaking. Your radio can only operate in either Transmit (Tx) or Receive (Rx) mode at any given time. You will not hear the response to your message unless the Talk button is released.
General Bluetooth Operation and Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Industry Standard Range for Bluetooth® Wireless Technology? The industry standard range for Bluetooth wireless technology is 30 feet (10 meters). The radio will lose its pairing with the mobile phone if the mobile phone and the radio are separated farther than this. The radio will automatically reconnect with the mobile phone when the user comes back into range.
- How many phones can the radio pair with?
The radio can only be paired to one mobile phone at a time. This is the standard operation for any Bluetooth headset or in-car Bluetooth system.
- Do I need to have my mobile phone with me?
Yes, the phone call is completed through your mobile phone and your mobile phone operator/carrier. The mobile phone must be within the 30 feet (10 meters) range of the radio. The radio does not increase the offshore range of your mobile phone.
- Can I use a standard Bluetooth® headset with this radio?
No, the radio uses the headset profile of the Bluetooth specification to pair with your mobile phone. It cannot pair with another Bluetooth headset.
- Can I use this unit as a speakerphone or hands-free device?
Turning on VOX allows you to use the radio without pressing the PTT (Push to Talk) button. The radio will still need to be operated in a face-held position with the microphone close to the mouth. This radio uses a noise-canceling microphone, and it will not operate well from the belt clip or another hands-free position.
- Please make sure to note your VOX setting.
If VOX is set to On, then the receiving caller might hear conversation and noise in your background. This setting is retained in memory. If switched On, then it will be On the next time the radio is switched On and connected.
- Can I use my mobile phone for emergency use?
No, Cobra does not endorse cellular telephones as a substitute for marine radios. They generally cannot communicate with rescue vessels and, if you make a distress call on your cellular telephone, only the party you call will be able to hear you. Additionally, cellular telephones may have limited coverage over water. If you do not know where you are, the Coast Guard will have difficulty finding you if you are using your cellular telephone. However, cellular telephones can have a place onboard where cellular coverage is available – to allow social conversations and keep the marine frequencies uncluttered and available for their intended use.
Cobra’s Burp feature allows the operator to expel water from inside the speaker grill. This is especially useful if the radio is dropped overboard or during extreme foul weather conditions. In these conditions, water can become trapped in the speaker grill and muffle the audio.
To Activate Burp:
- Press and release the 16/9 and SCAN keys at the same time.
- The Burp tone(s) at maximum level will sound from the internal speaker for eight seconds.
- During this time, the matrix will display BURP!
- Hold the radio with the speaker grill down to help the water drain out.
- After an 8-second interval, the radio will return to standby.
This radio is designed to float if dropped overboard. The flashing light at the bottom of the radio will activate as soon as it makes contact with water and the orange center makes it visible and easy to retrieve. This rugged radio is also designed to meet JIS7 ((IPX7) specifications. This means it’s designed to operate properly after being submerged in more than one-meter deep water for 30 plus minutes.
- NOTE The radio must be turned on for the strobe light to operate.
- NOTE Do not leave the radio floating in water permanently. This could cause premature corrosion of the battery contacts and other damage.
- NOTE The radio is only designed to float with its included Lithium-ion battery. Using other approved batteries might cause the radio to sink. This includes the optional AA battery tray.
Very little maintenance is required to keep your CobraMarine VHF radio in good operating condition:
- Keep the radio and charger clean by wiping with a soft cloth and mild detergent. Do not use solvents, or harsh or abrasive cleaners, which could damage the case or scratch the LCD screen.
- If the radio is exposed to salt water, wipe with a soft, moist cloth at least once a day to prevent the buildup of salt deposits, which could interfere with button operation.
- If the radio will be stored for a long period, such as over the winter, remove the batteries from the battery tray and store them in a separate package. This is especially important if you are using alkaline batteries.
VHF Marine Radio Procedures
- Maintain Your Watch Whenever your boat is underway, the radio must be turned On and be tuned to Channel 16 except when being used for messages.
- Power Try 1 watt first if the station being called is within a few miles. If there is no answer, switch to 3 watts and call again. You can go up to 6 watts of output power to increase your calling distance. Remember, the lower wattage outputs will conserve your battery and minimize interference to other users.
- Calling Coast Stations Call a coast station on its assigned channel. You may use Channel 16 when you do not know the assigned channel.
- Calling Other Vessels Call other vessels on Channel 16 or on Channel 9. (Channel 9 is preferred for recreational vessel use.) You may also call on ship-to-ship channels when you know that the vessel is listening on a ship-to-ship channel.
- Initial Calling on Channel 16 or 9 The use of Channel 16 is permitted for making initial contact (hailing) with another vessel. The limits on calling must be followed. Be reminded, Channel 16’s most important function is for Emergency Messages. If for some reason, Channel 16 is congested, the use of Channel 9, especially in U.S. waters, may be used as the initial contact (hailing) channel for nonemergency communication.
- Limits on Calling You must not call the same station for more than 30 seconds at a time. If you do not get a reply, wait at least two (2) minutes before calling again. After three (3) calling periods, wait at least 15 minutes before calling again.
- Change Channels After contacting another station on a calling channel, change immediately to a channel that is available for the type of message you want to send.
- Station Identification Identify, in English, your station by your FCC call sign (if available), vessel name, and the state registration number, at both the beginning and the end of the message.
Your Cobra radio has several optional accessories available to enhance the use of the radio. Some are listed below:
Alkaline Battery Tray
- A special alkaline battery tray (P/N CM 110-024) is available as an optional accessory to have as an emergency backup. By using five (5) high-quality AA alkaline batteries, you can have a spare battery backup source for your radio.
Alkaline batteries are not rechargeable.
- A speaker/microphone that attaches to your lapel. Part number CM 330-001. T his unique accessory allows you to wear the radio on your belt while still being able to communicate with other vessels. A small Push to Talk (PTT) button on the lapel speaker/microphone allows you to answer an incoming call.
- Lion replacement battery ((P/N CM 110-026).
- Replacement Antenna P/N CM 300-002.
- Replacement Belt Clip P/N CM 240-003
- Replacement AC Charger P/N CM 120-005
- Replacement DC Charger P/N CM 130-005
Drop-In Battery Charger
- Replacement Drop-In Charger P/N CM 110-032
Limited 3-Year Warranty
For Products Purchased In The U.S.A.
- Cobra Electronics Corporation warrants that its CobraMarine VHF radio, and the parts thereof, will be free of defects in workmanship and materials for three (3) years from the date of the first consumer purchase. This warranty may be enforced by the first consumer purchaser, provided that the product is utilized within the U.S.A.
- Cobra will, without charge, repair or replace, at its option, defective radios, products, or parts upon delivery to the Cobra Factory Service department, accompanied by proof of the date of first consumer purchase, such as a duplicated copy of a sales receipt.
- You must pay any initial shipping charges required to ship the product for warranty service, but the return charges will be at Cobra’s expense if the product is repaired or replaced under warranty. This warranty gives you specific legal rights, and you may also have other rights which may vary from state to state.
Exclusions: This limited warranty does not apply:
- To any product damaged by accident.
- In the event of misuse or abuse of the product, or as a result of unauthorized alterations or repairs.
- If the serial number has been altered, defaced, or removed.
- If the owner of the product resides outside the U.S.A.
All implied warranties, including warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, are limited in duration to the length of this warranty. Cobra shall not be liable for any incidental, consequential, or other damages; including, without limitation, damages resulting from loss of use or cost of installation. Some states do not allow limitations on how long an implied warranty lasts and/or do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations may not apply to you.
For Products Purchased Outside The U.S.A.
Please contact your local dealer for warranty information.
- Cobra®, CobraMarine®, MicroBlue®, Nothing Comes Close to a Cobra®, Rewind-Say-Again® and the snake design are registered trademarks of Cobra Electronics Corporation, USA.
- Cobra Electronics Corporation™ is a trademark of Cobra Electronics Corporation, USA. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cobra Electronics Corporation is under license.
- Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.
If you have any questions about operating or installing your new CobraMarine VHF product or if you are missing parts…
Please call Cobra first! DO NOT RETURN THIS PRODUCT TO THE STORE!
See customer assistance on page A1.
If your product should require factory service, please call Cobra first before sending your radio. This will ensure the fastest turnaround time on your repair. You may be asked to send your radio to the Cobra factory. It will be necessary to furnish the following to have the product serviced and returned:
- For warranty repair, include some form of proof of purchase, such as a photocopy of a sales receipt. If you send the original receipt, it cannot be returned.
- Send the entire product.
- Enclose a description of what is happening with the radio. Include a typed or printed name and address of where the radio is to be returned.
- Pack the radio securely to prevent damage in transit. If possible, use the original packing material.
- Ship prepaid and insured by way of a traceable carrier such as United Parcel Service (UPS) or Priority Mail to avoid loss in transit to CobraFactory Service, Cobra Electronics Corporation, 6500 West Cortland Street, Chicago, Illinois 60707 U.S.A.
- If the radio is under warranty, upon receipt of your radio, it will either be repaired or exchanged depending on the model. Please allow approximately three (3) to four (4) weeks before contacting Cobra for status. If the radio is out of warranty, a letter will automatically be sent informing you of the repair charge or replacement charge.
- If your radio is returned for factory repair, it will be returned to you with default settings restored.
FAQS About Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT Handheld Floating VHF Radio
Is the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT a waterproof device?
Yes, the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT is designed to be waterproof and can even float, making it suitable for marine use.
What is the range of the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT Handheld VHF Radio?
The range of the radio can vary depending on environmental factors, but it typically has a range of several miles, especially in open water conditions.
Does the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT have Bluetooth capability?
Yes, the radio features Bluetooth technology, allowing for wireless communication with compatible devices.
How long does the battery last on the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT?
The battery life varies based on usage, but on average, it provides several hours of operation. It’s advisable to check and recharge the battery regularly.
Is the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT suitable for use in emergency situations?
Yes, the radio is equipped with emergency features, including a built-in NOAA weather radio, which can provide important weather alerts.
Can the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT be submerged in water?
While it is designed to be waterproof and can float, it is not recommended to intentionally submerge the radio underwater.
Does the radio have GPS capabilities?
The Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT does not have built-in GPS, but it can be used with external GPS devices for enhanced navigation.
Is the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT easy to use for beginners?
Yes, the radio is designed with user-friendly features, and the interface is intuitive, making it suitable for both experienced users and beginners.
What accessories come with the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT?
Typically, the package includes the handheld radio, a rechargeable battery pack, a charging cradle, an AC adapter, and a belt clip. The exact accessories may vary.
Can the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT be used for communication with other VHF radios from different brands?
Yes, the Cobra MR HH500 FLT BT is designed to operate on standard VHF frequencies, allowing communication with other VHF radios that are compatible with the same frequency range.
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