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Midland - MXT400 - Pros and Cons?

Greg43545

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Joined
May 3, 2009
Messages
216
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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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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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
17
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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Oct 8, 2003
Messages
904
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
Joined
Nov 18, 2017
Messages
624
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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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

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Nov 18, 2017
Messages
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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!!
 

O-B-1

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Joined
Feb 4, 2020
Messages
17
The radio is fused for 15A... Research the wiring diagram for your auto, see if the fuse in the lighter socket is 15A or greater.
As for noise, you can buy a large capacitor (non electrolytic) and hook it across the power leads to filter any noise.
 

borderpolman

Borderpolman
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Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Messages
11
Location
Grand Bend, Ontario
It was a great radio until the firmware started to act up. I cannot get it to transmit on 15 to 22 without it shutting down and restarting. The radio is not a year old and Midland cannot help.
 

Hans13

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Messages
956
It was a great radio until the firmware started to act up. I cannot get it to transmit on 15 to 22 without it shutting down and restarting. The radio is not a year old and Midland cannot help.
If I thought it was the codeplug/firmware, I would give the non-sanctioned programming software a try and see if I could revive it to full working status. Sort of a Hail Mary but better than nothing.
 

chief21

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Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,366
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
I cannot get it to transmit on 15 to 22 without it shutting down and restarting. The radio is not a year old and Midland cannot help.
If channels 15-22 are the high-power channels, this could be a clue. Check your wiring for voltage drop under load. Voltage drop could be caused by one or more poor connections or even a high-resistance connection. In particular, be sure to check the fuse holders very carefully. This is a potential trouble spot, especially after the radio has been installed for a while, and any corrosion could be difficult or impossible to see easily.
 

O-B-1

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Feb 4, 2020
Messages
17
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.
I found it posted somewhere, can't remember precisely, at 8A nominal, 10A peak.
 

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,869
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
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.
Why do they have 3 15 amp fuses????

One on the positive lead should be sufficient. Sometimes manufacturers will put on on the negative lead to make up for consumer stupidity. Trying to figure out what the 3rd 15 amp fuse is for?
 
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