Cobra MR F300, a marine Bluetooth cell mic!

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

7 Responses

  1. ibsailn says:

    Wish this wasn’t wired…..might be worth it if I could use it at either helm station and take it boat to boat.

  2. Thomas Petersen says:

    This is pretty neat. There is also a great gadget that uses bluetooth and cell phones now called a Dock-N-Talk. However, it only works with boats that are equiped with phone jacks.
    I installed this little box on my boat and it works great. The Dock-N-Talk plugs into a regular phone jack and receives the bluetooth signal from any cell phone. Thew cell signal is converted and sent through the phone lines to any regular telephone that is plugged into a jack. ANy regular phone phone can receive or send calls through this system. The unit can be hidden anywhere on the boat. When I board, I plug my cell into a power plug (cigerette plug) to charge the phone while aboard. The power plug is secured away from the water and open. The bluetooth signal then works like a charm through the regular phones on board.
    The mic version here looks great and useful for boats without telephone jacks or who want a single unit.

  3. ibsailn says:

    I have been looking at products like this:
    which come up on e-bay frequently. In operation you would take the sim card out of your phone (if you are gsm service) and put it in the gateway. The gateway antenna connector can then be attached to an amplifier and masthead antennae. The gateway then has a pstn (analog telephone) line that you can then connect to a wireless phone. We Already have a waterproof floating cordless phone onboard for the SAT phone (see for a pic of the uniden cordless. We also already have a gsm frequency amplifier and masthead antennae, but no longer have the cell phone that hooks into the docking station we have onboard (similar to dock-n-talk, but VERY limited phone selection unfortunately).
    What I really like about this particular model (and some of the others like it) is that it also has a pstn input line which we could connect to the sat phone output. This way both the cellular and SAT phone would ring the same waterproof handset, and a special key combination would allow outgoing phone calls to be placed via the cell or sat depending on reception. The advantage it has over the dock-n-talk is that it is easy to connect to the amplifier and masthead antennae. The downside is that you have to remember to move your sim card back and forth (bigger problem for weekend warrior than long term cruiser).
    I haven’t found a retail supplier of such gateways, so support will be limited, but they seem to be in steady supply on e-bay. My understanding is that these sort of things are far more popular in Europe where mobile to mobile calls are FAR cheaper than landline to mobile.

  4. Kees says:

    The Simrad WR-20 wireless remote can be used with a Bluetooth cellphone as well as a Simrad VHF and instruments.
    It was covered by Ben way back in 2006:
    Ben, did you actually get ’round to testing one? It looks very nice when looking thru the manual, but I haven’t actually tested one. I’m considering going Simrad on the next boat (IS-20 instruments + Simrad VHF + Simrad autopilot) so this would be a great addition.

  5. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Kees, I haven’t tested the WR-20 but did see it demoed during a Simrad SART trial in Biscayne Bay. It seemed a bit complicated, but that’s a very limited appraisal, and probably doesn’t apply to folks like you 😉

  6. Thomas Petersen says:

    The gateway suggestion is good, but does seem cumberson to swap out a chip each time you board the boat.
    I forgot to mention that with the Dock-N-Talk on my boat, I also have a Digital Antenna wireless amplifer which adds distance to cell calls. While not as effective as a wired version, As I walk on the boat at the dock, the bluetooth signals connect the cellphone and Dock-N-Talk automatically then I can use a regular telephone, through the Dock-N-Talk through my cell phone even on much of the backside of Santa Cruz Island!
    It does work relatively well!

  7. Dan (b393capt) says:

    Good stuff, can’t see buying this myself, but I enjoy reading about all these innovations. Way to go Ben !
    Could really see making this bluetooth based.
    Another idea for Cobra … how about coupling this baby with a cell phone jammer capability ? A very low db signal that causes the connected cell phone, and all the cellphones on the boat that they should connected to an imaginary tower. Throw a switch and the product goes from enhancing cell phone usage, to silencing them for a preset period … like an hour or two. It drives me nuts when people take phone calls in the middle of a racing manuvere. “hi honey, yes in fact we are racing right now, I am working the … wham … ouch that hurt”
    Also helpful to the cruising sailor or boater. Advertise this as a silence / sleep feature. Girls are sunning on the deck, guys have beers in their hands, and the silence of the cell phones keeps the mood going.

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