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Midland - MXT400 - Pros and Cons?

Greg43545

Member
Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
202
Location
NW Ohio
I've been doing some research on the Midland - MXT400 GMRS radio, and have questions about it.

1) It claims to put out 40 watts of power some who have put a meter on it claims it only puts out 35 watts. Which is correct?

2) I know GMRS is line of sight, with that being said, used as a base unit with a 6dB Gain Antenna mounted on a 20 foot TV antenna tower what kind of range should one expect to a:

A) MicroMobile type radio ( IE: MXT-105, 115, or 400 )?
or
B) Handheld GMRS radios such as the GXT1000VP4 ?

3) Does it have NOAA Weather channels? ( I've read some reviews that say it does and some say it doesn't.)

4) What type of a external power supply unit would be recommended to use the 35/40 watts capability?
 

alcahuete

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Jul 24, 2015
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972
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Antelope Acres, California
1) 35, 40, you're never going to tell the difference on the receiving end. Not all watt meters are 100% accurate. Heck, even the Bird 43 watt meter is +-5% accuracy at full scale. It is listed as a 40w transceiver by Midland.

2) It just depends. Way too many factors to give any sort of determination on that. I would say reliably in an open space, 5 miles with the handhelds, maybe 10 with the mobile radios. Could be more, could be less.

3) I did see one radio store out there that says it has NOAA weather channels. According to Midland's product page and manual, it does not.

4) 10A should cover that radio without any issue.
 

KevinC

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Jan 7, 2001
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Somewhere other than home :(
I've been doing some research on the Midland - MXT400 GMRS radio, and have questions about it.

1) It claims to put out 40 watts of power some who have put a meter on it claims it only puts out 35 watts. Which is correct?
Are they compensating for the jumper loss? A jumper with just .5 dB loss will show you almost 5w less.
 

O-B-1

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Feb 4, 2020
Messages
1
Location
Vancouver, WA
The radio is fused with three 15A fuses in the supplied harness.
I would go with a 22A power supply, as I was taught designing in 150% of spec was a good engineering practice.
I ordered a 30A switching regulated power supply for my radio.
 

jimg

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Joined
Oct 8, 2003
Messages
877
Location
So. Middle TN
Does anyone know if you can use the car's cigarette lighter plug to supply power to the Midland MXT400? Thanks in advance for any help.
jimg
 

K7MFC

WRAA720
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Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
611
Location
Phx, AZ
Does anyone know if you can use the car's cigarette lighter plug to supply power to the Midland MXT400?
You could but I think most here would not recommend it. A̶ ̶4̶0̶ ̶w̶a̶t̶t̶s̶ ̶a̶t̶ ̶1̶3̶.̶8̶ ̶v̶o̶l̶t̶s̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶g̶o̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶d̶r̶a̶w̶ ̶a̶b̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶3̶ ̶a̶m̶p̶s̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶*̶s̶h̶o̶u̶l̶d̶*̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶i̶g̶a̶r̶e̶t̶t̶e̶ ̶l̶i̶g̶h̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶c̶i̶r̶c̶u̶i̶t̶.̶ But you may get a lot of noise and interference from other accessories also on this circuit. The wiring to these outlets is usually very thin gauge and in close proximity to other circuits and accessories. Your best bet is to run a dedicated circuit for radios, with a direct battery connection and good chassis ground. You can also add a relay connected to an accessory power circuit if you do not want to worry about forgetting to turn the radio off when our exit the vehicle.
 
Last edited:

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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Location
SNCZCA01DS0
You could but I think most here would not recommend it. A 40 watt radio at 13.8 volts is going to draw about 3 amps, which *should* be fine on the cigarette lighter circuit. But you may get a lot of noise and interference from other accessories also on this circuit. The wiring to these outlets is usually very small gauge and in close proximity to other circuits and accessories.

Your formula is off. While Ohms law is good, the radios RF power output for 40 watts ≠ 40 watts of 13.8vdc consumption. A 40 watt UHF radio is probably going to pull somewhere between 8-12 amps.

But, absolutely correct, pulling power for a radio off the cigarette lighter is a bad idea. The outlets are not very reliable for anything long term. After all, they were designed for lighting cigarettes, not powering radios. Poor lighter sockets/plugs can lead to arcing at the contacts. Some cars seem to vary on how much their plugs are fused for, some are 10, some are 20, so you'd need to be aware of that.
Also, the power wiring coming into the back of the lighter socket runs along in a bundle with all kinds of other vehicle systems, data/CAN bus, etc. That makes it a possible path to let RF noise into your radio.

Will it work? Maybe. But it's not a good reliable solution, and you may find your car generates a healthy amount of RF interference that will impact the radios performance.

Wiring directly to the battery for your positive lead is always your best solution.
 

K7MFC

WRAA720
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Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
611
Location
Phx, AZ
While Ohms law is good, the radios RF power output for 40 watts ≠ 40 watts of 13.8vdc consumption. A 40 watt UHF radio is probably going to pull somewhere between 8-12 amps.
Thanks for the clarification!!
 
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