Has anyone tried the Midland 36 Channel GMRS 2 Way Radios?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by JackAysJake, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Chemechie

    Chemechie Member

    I haven't used those, however 36 channels seems odd. There are 14 FRS channels and 7 GMRS channels standard, so to get 36 they are probably using channels on halfway frequency or using extra privacy codes. I would suggest getting radios that use the standard channels to ensure compatibility with other radios you or others may get. Any FRS capable radio will max out at under 1/2 mile range, and in some conditions as little as 100 yards - ignore the hype about multiple mile ranges; you'll never see the specialized conditions needed for that.
    Another option is to use equipment on the much less used MURS band. I have 2 handhelds from Dakota Alert

  2. Bua nó Bás

    Bua nó Bás Member

    I've Midland ALR260's (quiet similar with claimed 22 mile range) but the range on any "2 way radio" or "walkie talkie" is severely limited and the ranges they claim are completely false. They're a good idea to communicate between family members within a 3 mile radius of one another, with only a few trees in the way.

    Personally, I would recommend the Motorola T9500XLR (25 mile range) from experience. They're specifically designed for emergency situations and preparedness and come with some cool features, including a LED flashlight built in and charging station.

    A CB radio wouldn't be a bad idea either, to facilitate communication between you, your family, and others using Citizens Band in the event of a disaster.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2009
  3. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    Bua, I 'm leaning toward Motorola myself, I've heard better things about them than Midland. As for CB's I love my 29LTD Classic, I've had it for years. It is also peaked and super tuned;)
  4. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

    I'll pile on and say I like the Motorola's better than most of the Midway or Cobra (hand-helds). If you get into the $100+ for a radio, you will start seeing the playing leveled amongst the 3 mfgrs. Another thing I like about the Motorola's is that accessories (headsets, external mics...) seem more readily available. These accessories can come in handy when you don't want the external speaker on the radio itself blaring.

    Although I haven't used them in several years, having a nice pile of CB radios may come in handy. I have a couple base units, some car units (Cobra 29 LTD's, Unidens, Cobra 25's...) as well as some hand-held types.
  5. Bua nó Bás

    Bua nó Bás Member

    I've heard a few bad things about Midland's walkie talkies, namely around reliability and range. The reviews I read on the Motorola was better, but also honest enough, as Motorola even came out and admitted the range limitations and when tested, the Motorola met with these limitations (eg: 2 mile radius range in down town Seattle).

    Obviously you can spend as little or as much as you like on walkie talkies, but all generally tend to do the same thing. In a few security jobs I've had experience with a lot of different radios, the professional Motorola GP series is one of my favourites but it wouldn't be worth the hassle setting it up as a private radio (licensing, tuning into your own channel, etc.) unless you were in highly populated areas where ordinary walkie talkie channels might be jammed with transmissions.

    A radio scanner might also be a good investment, to keep up with emergency services and their locations. Most can also pick up aircraft and CB frequencies.
  6. WinOregon

    WinOregon Member

    No experience with that specific model but have been using Midland GXT750s (5watts) for three years.

    I use them on the CERT team I work with so they get abused. They are water resistant which is a good thing because it rains a lot here in Oregon. They are very rugged (dropped them a couple of times).

    Just don't believe the hype about the range - all of these radios are line of sight and range varies with conditions. In my Midland manual its says the max range was determined over water with no obstacles - so near perfect conditions.

    I also see a lot of Motorola radios and they seem to hold up well. All of these companies make several grades of radios - you get what you pay for. Stay away from the cheaper models.
  7. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    A little off-topic here, but I have a question about the CERT that you are part of. There are many different CERT groups according to the wiki

    CERT: Correctional Emergency Response Team, a team of correction officers

    CERT: Computer Emergency Response Team, a team of computer engineers / technicians who respond to computer attacks

    CERT: Community Emergency Response Team, teams of volunteer emergency responders across the US

    .... which are you part of (or none of the above) and what got you into it?
  8. kyfarmer

    kyfarmer Well-Known Member

    I bought the more expensive set of midlands at Radioshack, 1st pair one would not turn off, sec pair one would not turn on. So i bought the cheap end Motorola and for close around the farm ok but sometimes its hard to under stand transmissions. Lower end talkies i would not recommend getting them. Bought the upper end and still got junk, guess its the radio lottery might get a good pair and maybe not. :D
  9. Bua nó Bás

    Bua nó Bás Member

    If you're seriously into communications and can afford to spent money and time on setting up your own network (especially useful on ranches or in rural areas), I suggest investing in professional VHF/UHF radios like those used by government agencies, and getting a license to operate using a specific frequency which is then yours.

    They cost around $100 per handset, but each have a definate range of up to 8-9 miles (this can be extended by use of repeaters) as they aren't subject to the same legal restriction on power that consumer FRS/GMRS. These radios are normally 5 watts and can usually be compatible with emergency service frequencies.

    The range can be extended by use of a repeater system, which is basically a device attached to an aerial which relays the signal to a further distance, so you can install a repeater 8 miles away, and that repeater can be set up in such a way that it will carry your transmission another 8 miles, and so fourth. If install on a vehicle that means you can be 8 miles away from your car (with the repeater on it) and it will transmit another 8 miles or to another repeater, and to infinity.

    This is how many European police forces can achieve almost nationwide range in each mobile unit, linked to dozens of repeaters.
  10. Hotpie

    Hotpie Member

    I like 2 meter myself, I think you have more range even w/o a repeater.