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Midland, no thanks

RenoHuskerDu

Member
Joined
May 25, 2002
Messages
54
Location
Bertram TX
We tried the Midland GXT1000 line of GMRS handhelds. Net/net, I'd rather go upmarket or Baofeng.
I spotted this closed thread and it is informative Power questions about Midland .

Facts hidden. Midland could not try any harder to hide the power output. It's nowhere on their website that I can find, and the manual in the box also says only Low/Med/High with no explanation. But we noticed that its already-poor battery life is even worse if you run Med or High power. You can actually watch the battery meter dive when you trx. The post above says they now have only 2w max. But FCC allows higher with your license.

Poor battery life. The batteries supplied by Midland don't last a full 8h work day. And that's on low power. Mostly standing by, very little trx. My son had to carry two batteries and keep one charging in his pickup. It's a cruel hoax. We tried some rechargeable NiMh AAs in there and that nearly doubles the useful life. If you use the dualscan option to monitor two freqs, battery life is cut even more.

Button letters rub off. A few months after I gave one to my wife to wear on her belt, I asked her to try a different channel. She replied that she could not see the writing on the buttons. Indeed, they are rubbed entirely off. She wears it on her belt, and doesn't climb under pickups or do welding like I do. The printing is substandard on the buttons.

Nice feature set. The above faults are a shame, because otherwise the radios have a nice set of features. The Whisper mic setting works great. Range is fair, but within blisterpack limitations. Controls are clear to use (until the buttons get rubbed clean). They are a bit pricey for what are essentially Walmart radios in my opinion.

None have failed. We bought 5 and all are still working a year later. We can't say that for the Cobra MicroTalk blisterpacks we started with 3 years ago, which had a 30% failure rate.

So if power output or battery life don't matter much to you, consider the Midlands. Else, look upmarket or at Baofengs with type certification.
 
Last edited:

jaspence

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Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,266
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Michigan
Midland used to make good radios. I used one for 2 meters that out performed any ham 2 meter of the time. They faded out of sight, and the modern ones are just like some of the old radio names like Sylvania, RCA, or Emerson. Some of those names have been sold/leased to put on products that do not meet the standards of the original radios.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,812
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Facts hidden. Midland could not try any harder to hide the power output. It's nowhere on their website that I can find, and the manual in the box also says only Low/Med/High with no explanation. But we noticed that its already-poor battery life is even worse if you run Med or High power. You can actually watch the battery meter dive when you trx. The post above says they now have only 2w max. But FCC allows higher with your license.
Rated power output on these sorts of radios is sort of meaningless anyway. Often when it is shared, it's only as a marketing claim, or states the FCC limits.
What means more than power output is the ERP (Effective Radiated Power). That's transmitter ouput ± antenna gain. That's much more useful info, but to the average consumer it means nothing.
If you run the FCC ID off the back of the radio through this: FCC ID Search You can often find the actual ERP and real test results in the documents.

Poor battery life. The batteries supplied by Midland don't last a full 8h work day. And that's on low power. Mostly standing by, very little trx. My son had to carry two batteries and keep one charging in his pickup. It's a cruel hoax. We tried some rechargeable NiMh AAs in there and that nearly doubles the useful life. If you use the dualscan option to monitor two freqs, battery life is cut even more.
Yep. Again, consumer radios designed for consumer users. Size and styling take precedence over function. Consumer radios want small radios with cute little antennas. Making a consumer GMRS radio with a decent size battery pack would result in lower sales. And, as you discovered, more transmitter power means less battery life. This could be addressed with better/larger battery packs, or using an efficient antenna. But consumers don't want that.

So if power output or battery life don't matter much to you, consider the Midlands. Else, look upmarket or at Baofengs with type certification.
And there's better stuff out there than Baofengs. If you are serious about GMRS, skip the consumer/hobby grade stuff and get some decent radios. Before I was able to get my wife on amateur radio, we relied on GMRS. With commercial radios, proper antennas, repeaters and proper installs, we were able to get all the range we needed. Several times we ran close to 20 miles between mobiles in flat terrain. With repeater access, we could regularly talk 100 miles or more between radios.

If you are serious about GMRS, and are willing to invest in it, skip the consumer/hobby grade crap and get some decent radios.
 

WB9YBM

Active Member
Joined
May 6, 2019
Messages
561
Location
Niles, IL
Midland used to make good radios. I used one for 2 meters that out performed any ham 2 meter of the time. They faded out of sight, and the modern ones are just like some of the old radio names like Sylvania, RCA, or Emerson. Some of those names have been sold/leased to put on products that do not meet the standards of the original radios.
I agree; I've had both 2M & 220MHz Midland mobiles made back in the '70s and have had good luck with those (still use the 220 radio).
 

RenoHuskerDu

Member
Joined
May 25, 2002
Messages
54
Location
Bertram TX
SNIP
If you are serious about GMRS, and are willing to invest in it, skip the consumer/hobby grade crap and get some decent radios.
Yep. Sage advice.

Say, your location in your sig resolves to "regional telephone switch # SNCZCA01DS0 in the Santa Cruz area."
That's curious. Goolag maps can't resolve it either. I thought maybe it was a tinyurl link.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
13,812
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
regional telephone switch # SNCZCA01DS0 in the Santa Cruz area.
CLLI = Common Language Location Identifier. SNCZ = Santa Cruz. CA = California. 01 is the main wire center for Santa Cruz. DS0 = Pulling phone service off a 5ESS switch.

Not surprising Google Maps can't identify it.

I periodically change it depending where I am and what I'm doing. Last time I set it, that's where I was. I probably need to change it again.
 

bill4long

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Aug 6, 2012
Messages
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Indiana
We tried the Midland GXT1000 line of GMRS handhelds. Net/net, I'd rather go upmarket or Baofeng. I spotted this closed thread and it is informative Power questions about Midland
Well, here's my standard ham radio advertisment for Unsatisfied GMRS/FRS/MURS Users

Any possibility you and your wife would get a Tech class ham license?

Easy to get, and lots and lots of good radio options without spending a fortune. ™ Digital radios, high power if needed, vast antenna options, and usage of lots of repeaters (that are very often otherwise unused, depending on location)

Go ahead. Just do it. ;)
 

RenoHuskerDu

Member
Joined
May 25, 2002
Messages
54
Location
Bertram TX
Well, here's my standard ham radio advertisment for Unsatisfied GMRS/FRS/MURS Users

Any possibility you and your wife would get a Tech class ham license?

Easy to get, and lots and lots of good radio options without spending a fortune. ™ Digital radios, high power if needed, vast antenna options, and usage of lots of repeaters (that are very often otherwise unused, depending on location)

Go ahead. Just do it. ;)
K7CRL here. Tech since 2002. Wife is technically challenged. Sons will probably follow though.
 

RenoHuskerDu

Member
Joined
May 25, 2002
Messages
54
Location
Bertram TX
FYI, Midland replied promptly. But I doubt it's 2.8 watts as that would require a GMRS license. Maybe...
Sure about women in the work force, I am not... I took out her name for discretion.

"The out put power is 2.8 watts on high power, medium 1.5 watts, and .5 watts on low power.
Thanks,
Ms Hyphenated-Name"
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,006
FCC ID MMAGXT1050G

As with all Midland GMRS radios this is another narrowband radio like FRS. You won't have much deviation and therefore poor signal to noise ratio and increased difficulties accessing GMRS repeaters. GMRS is wideband 16K0F3E and 20K0F3E if you dont see either of those on the FCC Grant table you are getting a faux GMRS radio.
 

bill4long

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Premium Subscriber
Joined
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Messages
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Indiana
As I posted on another GMRS thread, a number of people use these BTechs and similar. I would stay away from the Midland radios because they only do narrow-band FM and their CTCSS (PL) doesn't work reliably with non-Midland radios. Those who don't care about strict legality, are using Part 90 radios, that is, radios intended for commerical and public safety, and some people just use "unlocked" ham radios. Kenwood made a GMRS mobile years ago, and they can still be found on Ebay from time to time.

https://www.amazon.com/BTECH-GMRS-50X1-Repeater-136-174-99MHz-400-520-99MHz/dp/B07RDM9LMM/ref=sr_1_8?dchild=1&keywords=gmrs+radio&qid=1606163677&s=electronics&sr=1-8
 
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