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Cobra 18WXSTII & 19DXIII CB Radios

By Mike "TXJEEPER" Cohn

Cobra ElectronicsEnter the Cobra Radios
I've always been a fan of Cobra radios. My first radio was a Cobra and when they called up to ask if I'd play with some new models, I jumped at the chance. They sent me out an 18WXSTII and a 19DXIII. These are their two newest CB models.

The two radios fit two different user tastes and both are 40 channel units. The 18WXSTII is a "regular" sized radio, whereas the 19DXIII is a compact unit. The 19DXIII would be a wonderful choice for users that want a small, compact radio that can be tucked away under the dash, inside a center console or just about anywhere else. I guess I'm just fond of the big radios, so I chose to mount the 18WXSTII in the Project TJ.

NOAAProbably my most-liked feature of the 18WXSTII is that the speaker is mounted on the front of the radio, eliminating the need for an external speaker. You can mount the radio in front of you, under the dash, or over your head and you'll still be able to hear it. The speaker is quite loud, in fact, and can even be used at reasonable speeds, even with 35" mud tires. The 18WXSTII also has NOAA weather band, which comes in handy when you are trying to figure out if it's time to get off the trail in or not. A simple switch toggles you between CB and weather.

18WXSTII ControlsThe 18WXSTII features:

  • 40 CB channels with SCAN feature
  • 10 NOAA weather channels
  • Dual Watch monitoring
  • SoundTracker Noise Reduction System
  • Volume control
  • Squelch control
  • Channel Selector
  • CB/Weather switch
  • Receive (RX), Transmit (TX), and Weather (WX) indicator lights
  • Signal strength meter
  • Instant Channel 9/19 toggle switch
  • Heavy-Duty microphone with 9 foot cord
  • Mounting Bracket
18WXSTII Parts
The radio includes everything you need, including a basic mount, microphone, and wiring.
18WXSTII Speaker
The front-mounted speaker is a huge plus and can even be heard in an open Jeep at reasonable speeds.

Just like our old Uniden radio, the Cobra was mounted to the Turbo City bracket. Again, we removed the top and used self-tapping screws to fasten the radio to the bracket and then windshield frame. One thing you'll have to figure out is what to do with your wiring. For now, ours is tie-wrapped on top where most people can't see it. The Turbo City mount just really doesn't give you a whole lot of pretty options.

Operationally, the 18WXSTII works great and is ergonomically designed. The three main knobs (Channel, Volume, Squelch) are easy to get to and operate, even while driving. It's easy to use them without even looking.

18WXSTII Speaker 18WXSTII Parts

SoundTrackerThis radio features Cobra's exclusive SoundTracker Noise Reduction System, which helps to clarify and boost good signals, once you have the squelch set right. It's a great feature, but can, at times, make an already strong signal a little too in-your-face. Being able to switch it on and off via the switch is nice.

The Scan feature works nicely, as well. If you just want to sit back and find other users, hitting the button causes the radio to scan the channels incrementally, looking for a signal. Once it finds one, it stops.

Dual Watch is also a great feature. You can use this to toggle between two channels that you set using the same button. I find this feature good if, for example, you are a trail leader and your group is on, say, channel 4. Your club's other group is on channel 10. Using Dual Watch, you can toggle easily between 4 and 10 with the push of the button instead of changing channels using the knob. Nice touch.

Both the 18WXSTII and the 19DXIII have unusually large microphones. In our windshield-mounted application, the microphone does get in the way of our visor. In order to unlatch the soft top or put the visor down, we have to take the mic off of it's holder and then replace it once we're done. It's a minor inconvenience, but worth noting. Other mics are available and we could probably use our small one from our old Uniden, as the pins are the same.


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