The wireless handset to transceiver combo that is the new 75 All Road, all-weather CB from Cobra offers new features in a small package. It's definitely outside the bounds of what over-the-road truckers have become accustomed to for CB technology through the years, and in the video at the top, Cobra parent company Cedar Electronics VP Mark Karnes walks us through the various features built into the dual-mode AM/FM and wireless-capable handset. Channel, volume, and settings adjustments are made right on the handset, and it also serves the traditional microphone function.
That is, unless the slim transceiver/handset combo is paired with a bluetooth headset. Cobra worked particularly closely on development of the bluetooth connection with the BlueParrott company. Paired with any of BlueParrott's push-to-talk multi-device-capable bluetooth headsets released over the last half decade and more, Karnes and BlueParrott's David Jaques emphasize, the unit creates a seamless pairing for over-the-air push-to-talk, with the ability to still take and receive calls through the phone.
Other bluetooth headsets can pair with the unit as well, with the addition of an optional push-to-talk button capable of mounting on the steering wheel or elsewhere within arm's reach. Built-in digital signal processing, furthermore, can be toggled off and on and adjusted for both incoming and outgoing signals to clean up the quality of the transmission, Karnes notes.
The 75 All Road retails at Cobra.com for $199.95, at participating TA and Petro Travel Centers as of early April this year, and in other travel center chains starting in July. The optional push-to-talk button and accessory antennas, mounts and other adds are also available for purchase online. Cobra's new CB radio also boasts classic features that owner-operators have come to expect from the brand, including an easy-to-view light-blue LCD display, VOX for voice-operated communication, instant channels 9/19, 10-channel NOAA Weather Alerts, and more.
Read this story at the release of the unit at the 2023 Mid-America Trucking Show for more.
Todd Dills: Hey guys, I'm Todd Dills here with Overdrive Magazine. We're at the Mid-America Trucking Show. We're at the Cobra booth where we're going to talk all about their brand new 75 All Road CB and their new partnership with BlueParrott for push to talk wireless.
Mark Karnes: It is a highly advanced dual-mode with digital signal processing transceiver. So it has literally a computer on board that can clean up and refine the signal of both transmit and receive, so that the audio capability is the best that you've ever experienced with CB radio. Now, you can put a DSP in an automatic mode where it does both transmit and receive for you, or you can say, "Hey, I only want digital signal processing when I'm transmitting or I only want it when I'm receiving because the other individual that I'm trying to receive is quite noisy." So on this handset, one, it's an IPX66-rated handset. So it is waterproof, weather resistant, shockproof. It'll take about 10 times more abuse than any normal CB microphone. You'll also see that it has advanced control capability, noise blanking, automatic noise limiter, local distance CB radio weather functions. It has an automatic squelch capability with four different adjustable levels.
This is a very, very smart CB. Most people are used to tweaking things for themselves, but the computer does all of that for you. Yeah, I've got this plugged in to a power station with a USB output. Imagine on your truck dash, you've got a USB output. You can plug this in. This is the transceiver. There is a USB power output in case you want to have this close to it in terms of the handset itself. However, this can be mounted conveniently close to where the antenna is located in the vehicle. You don't need to be operating it because all of your controls are right into your handset. However, one of the big problems our truck driver said is, "Please make sure that I can use my favorite Bluetooth headset to be able to operate it. And could you make it work in a push to talk mode?" And we were very fortunate to work with the BlueParrott people. And when you adopt the BlueParrott headset and their application, right here on the headset itself, you can do complete push to talk functionality remotely without actually having to touch the transceiver.
Dave Jaques: So some time ago, we introduced a feature on our products called the BlueParrott Button. And the BlueParrott Button was designed to allow people to program their headset to do particular tasks they do on a regular basis. There's a whole software development kit that underlies that, that allows companies to do integrations with that, and that's really where Cedar and Cobra have come in and leveraged that software development kit and that underlying technology to essentially allow our headset not only to provide the audio, but actually be able to configure and control that function of the CB right through the button press on here. And that's easily programmable right through our mobile application. So when you connect your headset to our mobile application, as you can see here, there's a basic dashboard that shows you all the things that you can do with your headset. So if you go into your BlueParrott Button configuration, as you can see here, I do have this set to Cobra.
So when you go through your available options, you just select that, select Cobra Push to Talk. That's now set. And as you can see here on the headset, that button here now just simply controls the TX on your CB channel. This is incredibly powerful because not only now do you have the ability to use your CB hands-free with simply just reaching up to press that button, but you also have access to your CB when you're in and around the area of the truck. So if you're back in the sleeper or if you're getting out and doing a safety inspection, if some transmission comes over the CB that's important to you, you receive it. It's not just something that gets lost. And most importantly, because all of our headsets are multipoint, which means they can connect the two devices at the same time, you can keep that connected to your work cell phone. So you're receiving calls, it's coming through the headset. Or if you're receiving transmissions from your CB, it's coming through the headset. It really creates a nexus point for all of your communications while you're driving.
Mark Karnes: Now, other people might think, "Hey, I have a different Bluetooth headset other than BlueParrott." No problem. We have a Bluetooth push to talk accessory. It allows you to take your ordinary Bluetooth headset --
Todd Dills: Turn it into push to talk.
Mark Karnes: Put this on your steering wheel, and just push to talk right there where it's convenient. That way, you've got the closest to a hands-free operating experience as you can possibly make.