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Midland - MXT400 - Pros and Cons?

n1das

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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?
I've seen this before. One fuse on the positive lead for the pigtail wires to the DC power connector. Then there are 2 fuses at the vehicle battery end of the 16ft power cable. The best place to connect power to the radio is directly off the battery. The fuse on the negative side is to protect the radio and the car in case the main ground cable from the vehicle to the battery negative terminal were to become disconnected and someone tries to start the car through the radio's ground path. This is to handle cases of consumer stupidity and things that can go wrong.

In a couple of Volkswagen TDI (diesel) cars I owned years ago, this wasn't an issue because I used the 12V accessory outlet in the trunk area of the car. VW very thoughtfully wired the accessory outlet on its own dedicated 30A circuit with 10 gauge wire. It was just about as good connecting the radio directly to the battery. In this case only the single fuse on the positive lead on the radio's power wires was needed. No need to fuse the negative wire. There was no issue with alternator whine or other noise. There was zero ignition noise to worry about given that the car was diesel powered (TDI) which also made the car radio great for AM broadcast band DX too.
 

mmckenna

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I've seen this before. One fuse on the positive lead for the pigtail wires to the DC power connector. Then there are 2 fuses at the vehicle battery end of the 16ft power cable. The best place to connect power to the radio is directly off the battery. The fuse on the negative side is to protect the radio and the car in case the main ground cable from the vehicle to the battery negative terminal were to become disconnected and someone tries to start the car through the radio's ground path. This is to handle cases of consumer stupidity and things that can go wrong.
Yeah, that's what I figured. I've seen some amateur radio gear come like that.
I'd rather see the fuse holders come separately, that way it would (hopefully) encourage neophyte installers to think carefully about where/how they are running their feeds. I've seen people cut the fuses off the end and wire straight to the battery. I've seen others have a big wad of power cable bundled up under the dash.

In a couple of Volkswagen TDI (diesel) cars I owned years ago, this wasn't an issue because I used the 12V accessory outlet in the trunk area of the car. VW very thoughtfully wired the accessory outlet on its own dedicated 30A circuit with 10 gauge wire. It was just about as good connecting the radio directly to the battery. In this case only the single fuse on the positive lead on the radio's power wires was needed. No need to fuse the negative wire. There was no issue with alternator whine or other noise. There was zero ignition noise to worry about given that the car was diesel powered (TDI) which also made the car radio great for AM broadcast band DX too.
I did a few installs on some Chevy's that had the battery a battery in the trunk to support accessories during the engine start/stop function while sitting at idle. Made it nice to have a dedicated battery there in the trunk.
And then there's the police vehicles that some shops will actually install a separate isolated battery in the trunk/rear cargo area for the radios/lights.
 

O-B-1

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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?
There is the pigtail from the radio having a 15A fuse in the positive lead, leading to a male Molex two contact "T" connector. There is a another pigtail supplied to be spliced into the auto harness that has two 15A fuses, one in the positive and one in the negative lead between the Molex female connector and the wire ends that splice into the auto harness.

Probably overkill, yes. The female Molex portion that wires into the auto harness is probably a "universal" Molex pigtail to allow fusing of components not having their own fuse-holder in their built-in wire leads.
 

mmckenna

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Probably overkill, yes. The female Molex portion that wires into the auto harness is probably a "universal" Molex pigtail to allow fusing of components not having their own fuse-holder in their built-in wire leads.
"Consumer proofing"
 

n1das

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Does the radio have all 104 standard DCS/DPL codes or just Motorola's original set of 83 DPL codes?

Most FRS bubble packs advertise "121 codes", consisting of the standard 38 CTCSS/PL tones plus Motorola's original 83 DCS/DPL codes. A few FRS radios advertise "142 codes", consisting of the standard 38 CTCSS/PL tones plus the complete set of 104 DCS/DPL codes. Privacy codes, LOL.

I stick to using Motorola's original set of 83 DPL codes because they have been fully vetted and are known to work well and all manufacturers have them. Some of the extra codes that make up the set of 104 codes might not work as well but it's nice to have them to work with other radios that might not be using a DCS code from Motorola's original set of 83 DPL codes. D252N (D462I) is a code that I like that is not one of Motorola's original 83 DPL codes.

DCS/DPL information:
 
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O-B-1

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Yes it can. DBR1 cable from Midland is $15 and there is software available. It can be programmed for the 20kHz bandwidth the FCC allows. The split tones are also programmable. Although there is no front panel programming options for these two features.

I know, I should go get an old Part 90 radio and reprogram it, instead, because they are like $10 on E-Bay...

Major con: cannot do split tones or wideband.
 

O-B-1

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Major con: cannot do split tones or wideband.
This is a myth that is perpetuated by those who echo what someone that doesn't know better without checking the facts.
Let me help you out with REAL NEWS, and not FAKE NEWS from a ".. ya gotta buy an ole used Motorola Part 90 to do that!" fanatic.

Buy the cable, it's just $14.99 plus tax & shipping:
Cable to program Midland MXT400
Then download and install the software:
Midland MXT400 Programming Software
Then follow this guy's directions:
Directions for MXT400 Programming

I think you'll find this information quite refreshing!

...73!
O-B-1
 

SigIntel8600

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Incorrect... Do you want to stand to be corrected, or just sit down?
What is incorrect? I know all about the software that can mod WB and do split tones but for the average Joe who knows nothing about this, and would never use the software, Midland is the WORST possible choice for GMRS. I stand by my statement. Midland is junk, high priced bubble pack toys.
 

kb2ztx

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Midland is the WORST possible choice for GMRS.
Maybe but its all what the user wants. Trust me I wish they came out of the box the correct way but they dont. For any average joe who just wants a mobile radio to talk to his buddy its a good solution and sadly is selling. Alot of off road guys are installing them as are others. I know of many RV folks who have switched to GMRS instead of CB (parents being one of them) and they dont care its narrow, all they know is they can talk to me behind them instead of on the CB or some handheld.

I prefer my APX mobile but the Midlands will continue to be sold to the end users who dont care about wide band.
 

SigIntel8600

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Maybe but its all what the user wants. Trust me I wish they came out of the box the correct way but they dont. For any average joe who just wants a mobile radio to talk to his buddy its a good solution and sadly is selling. Alot of off road guys are installing them as are others. I know of many RV folks who have switched to GMRS instead of CB (parents being one of them) and they dont care its narrow, all they know is they can talk to me behind them instead of on the CB or some handheld.

I prefer my APX mobile but the Midlands will continue to be sold to the end users who dont care about wide band.
Very well said.
 

mmckenna

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Midland is junk, high priced bubble pack toys.
That may be. But at least they allow the use of an external antenna, which is way better than the 'bubble pack' hand held radios.

I was a GMRS user for a long time, well back into the 1990's. There's a few people on here that have been using it longer than that. Even back in the 90's, there were people begging for a simple/basic mobile GMRS radio that was pre-programmed and essentially ready to go out of the box.
We all know that GMRS users that really understand the capabilities of 50 watts on UHF will prefer to use a Part 95 commercial mobile that the end user can program the way they want.
But the people buying these Midland GMRS mobiles are not people that generally understand radio. They are people from other hobbies that just want reliable communications without listening to all the garbage on CB. Being able to buy a 40 watt GMRS mobile "off the shelf" and hook it up in the Jeep, RV, etc. are really happy with them. They fit their needs as an end user. Most of them are not using repeaters and probably could not even tell you what a repeater is or how it works. To them, narrow band FM sounds just like the cheap bubble pack radios they were using, except now they get better range.

I agree, you can certainly do better for GMRS -if- you know what you are doing and know how to set up a radio properly. But for the average American consumer that buys all their stuff from Wal*Mart, Amazon or similar sources, they are perfectly happy with these radios.
Same thing goes for CB. Most consumer CB users buy a cheap radio with a cigarette lighter plug and a mag mount antenna and think they have a perfect solution. People that understand radio more than the average consumer can find fault with that, but to the end user, it's good enough and meets the requirements.
 

SigIntel8600

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I agree, you can certainly do better for GMRS -if- you know what you are doing and know how to set up a radio properly. But for the average American consumer that buys all their stuff from Wal*Mart, Amazon or similar sources, they are perfectly happy with these radios. Same thing goes for CB. Most consumer CB users buy a cheap radio with a cigarette lighter plug and a mag mount antenna and think they have a perfect solution. People that understand radio more than the average consumer can find fault with that, but to the end user, it's good enough and meets the requirements.
Agreed 100%. The MXT series fills a niche for the novice and that's great if they are happy and satisfied with their purchase. I guess calling Midlands "Junk" was a little too harsh. I'll revise that to say that Midlands are the Fischer Price of GMRS radios.
 

mmckenna

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I'll revise that to say that Midlands are the Fischer Price of GMRS radios.
I'd agree with you there. Easy to do better, that's for sure.

I tried for years to get others in the family to get their ham tickets so we could use that on the trails. No luck. I pulled a GMRS license and migrated them from CB to some Icom UHF radios that had Part 95 approval. Replaced their Larsen NMO-27 CB antennas with some UHF 1/4 waves and that worked well. Even had access to a high level GMRS repeater with our own tone.

After a few years of that, they were interested in ham. They all go their tickets and the Icom UHF radios were replaced with VHF and a new 1/4 wave VHF on the roof. I've sold off all my GMRS gear and let my GMRS license lapse.
Can't say I miss CB, either, although I do pull it out for long road trips every now and then.

I'm glad to see more GMRS users. I just hope they are getting their GMRS licenses so the FCC sees it is actively being used.
 

SigIntel8600

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I'd agree with you there. Easy to do better, that's for sure.

I tried for years to get others in the family to get their ham tickets so we could use that on the trails. No luck. I pulled a GMRS license and migrated them from CB to some Icom UHF radios that had Part 95 approval. Replaced their Larsen NMO-27 CB antennas with some UHF 1/4 waves and that worked well. Even had access to a high level GMRS repeater with our own tone.

After a few years of that, they were interested in ham. They all go their tickets and the Icom UHF radios were replaced with VHF and a new 1/4 wave VHF on the roof. I've sold off all my GMRS gear and let my GMRS license lapse.
Can't say I miss CB, either, although I do pull it out for long road trips every now and then.

I'm glad to see more GMRS users. I just hope they are getting their GMRS licenses so the FCC sees it is actively being used.
I will always be first and foremost be a radio monitor, scanning HF/VHF/UHF for interesting frequencies. I started out transmitting on 11 meters SSB, the only thing I knew about ham was we ate one on Christmas Day. Once I found out that all those DX "upper" channels were not legal and could get you a $10K smack down by the FCC, I started investigating and found amateur radio. I got my tech and then studied 5 WPM Morse Code and passed to get my general. Did the whole DX thing for years but it got stale. Like you, I tried to get the family to go the tech ticket route. Zero interest. I got my GMRS license and at least could get the Mrs. to key up if we were hiking or camping. Amateur VHF/UHF and GMRS in my neck of the woods are very active. I do find myself on GMRS more today as the repeater group I belong to is more focused on public safety monitoring, and that works for me. Amateur repeaters can have some very interesting technical discussions but I find more often the conversations are mundane. Hearing a stranger babble on about his gout and hemorrhoids acting up.....LOL. If the MXT-400, gets more people licensed on GMRS, like you said, that IS a good thing.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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This is a myth that is perpetuated by those who echo what someone that doesn't know better without checking the facts.
Let me help you out with REAL NEWS, and not FAKE NEWS from a ".. ya gotta buy an ole used Motorola Part 90 to do that!" fanatic.

Buy the cable, it's just $14.99 plus tax & shipping:
Cable to program Midland MXT400
Then download and install the software:
Midland MXT400 Programming Software
Then follow this guy's directions:
Directions for MXT400 Programming

I think you'll find this information quite refreshing!

...73!
O-B-1
The MXT400 is not FCC certified for, nor even tested for, a wide band emission designator like 16K0F3E. It is a 10K5F3E - narrow FM. If this software actually opens up the deviation to "wide band" , it does so while invalidating the FCC certification.

One would be better off spending their money on a good Part 90 radio since they will be in-compliant either way. I am shocked, shocked that Midland would permit the radios to be field modified like this. Has anyone actually put one on a communications analyzer to see if flipping that bit does anything at all?

Think it is a myth? Check yourself: https://fccid.io/MMAMXT400



Frequency RangePower OutputToleranceEmission DesignatorRule PartsLine Entry
462.55-462.725 MHz
2-Way Radio Communication
5 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A1
462.55-462.725 MHz
2-Way Radio Communication
40 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A3
467.55-467.725 MHz5 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A2
467.55-467.725 MHz40 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A4
 
Last edited:

SigIntel8600

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The MXT400 is not FCC certified for, nor even tested for, a wide band emission designator like 16K0F3E. It is a 10K5F3E - narrow FM. If this software actually opens up the deviation to "wide band" , it does so while invalidating the FCC certification.

One would be better off spending their money on a good Part 90 radio since they will be in-compliant either way. I am shocked, shocked that Midland would permit the radios to be field modified like this. Has anyone actually put one on a communications analyzer to see if flipping that bit does anything at all?

Think it is a myth? Check yourself: https://fccid.io/MMAMXT400


Frequency RangePower OutputToleranceEmission DesignatorRule PartsLine Entry
462.55-462.725 MHz
2-Way Radio Communication
5 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A1
462.55-462.725 MHz
2-Way Radio Communication
40 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A3
467.55-467.725 MHz5 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A2
467.55-467.725 MHz40 Watts1.288ppm10K5F3E95A4
Outstanding post. No fake news here. I will await a response from the Midland apologists..................
 
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