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Uniden PRO401HH Review – Handheld 40 Channel CB Radio

Uniden PRO401HH
  • Quality
  • Features
4

Summary

The Uniden PRO401HH is a great option for those who are looking for a quality handheld CB radio that won’t break the bank.

The PRO401HH is a powerful handheld CB radio with the full 40 channels and four watts output – let’s take a closer look.

Uniden PRO401HH Handheld CB Radio

Key Features

  • 40 channels
  • Maximum legal power output of 4 watts
  • high / low power output switch
  • External microphone jack
  • Automatic noise limiter (ANL)

Also in the box

Rubber duck antenna, wrist strap, DC power cable, belt clip, instruction manual

What’s Great

The first thing that strikes you about the PRO401HH is that it is well build and is likely to take some abuse (not that I treat my radios badly but accidents do happen).

It’s great that it offers the full 4 watts output that is legally allowed. Although high power output means shorter battery life I’d rather take all the power I can get when portable.

Having a full 40 channels available is also, for me, an essential feature. The last thing you need to happen is be at an event or gathering and find out that everyone is using a channel you don’t have.

What’s Not So Great

It takes 9 AA size batteries – trouble is which is a bit annoying as they often come in fours.

The PRO401HH absolutely kills batteries (as any powerful handheld would do) and will give you just a few hours if you are lucky. Much depends on how much you are actually transmitting. Remember too that as the battery power declines so does your power output. So, really a set of rechargeable batteries are recommended. You can use the 12v adapter connected to the external power jack if using it in your vehicle.

If you are using it for relatively close contact then it would be advisable to use the low power setting which sets the output to 1W and therefore increase the battery life somewhat.

There is no signal strength meter but that’s something that would also eat into battery life so I can understand its omission.

The supplied detachable antenna could be better which leads me on to the next point.

Range

Lack of range is probably the biggest complaint from people purchasing handheld CB radios. We are lucky we have full 4 watt handhelds

Some will quote figures like 1 mile per Watt of output power. However, it isn’t as simple as that. Like all radio communications it depends on various factors as a clear line of sight, the height you are transmitted from in relation to the receiving station. If you are out in the desert you will get a very different result to being in the city with lots of buildings around you. With a handheld unit it depends on the condition of the batteries. If they are beyond their peak then you will probably experience lower power output – further affecting your range.

To increase the radio’s range get to the top of a building or up a hill – even stepping outside your home and into the yard will make a difference.

Changing the stock antenna for a larger folding tactical one could well make a massive difference to your range so would be a worthy addition.

Verdict / Bottom Line

The PRO401HH is great for short range communication particularly if you are out with someone where there is no phone coverage and need a way to keep in touch.

As mentioned above, using an external mobile antenna would make a world of difference to this CB and make it perform much more like a mobile unit. This is definitely the preferred method if you were intending to use the handheld inside your vehicle. Range will be seriously reduced while transmitting inside a metal structure.

Do remember though, if you only end up using it in your vehicle then you are far better off buying a dedicated mobile unit.

All-in-all this is a well-build handheld that benefits from decent output and the full 40-channels, just don’t expect miracles with any portable CB.

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