Good Radio's Worth the Money, Excellent for Hunting
These radio's work very well after you get over the fact that no portable radio will work long range in an urban setting. The advertised 37 mile range is not realistic in most settings. No portable radio will work over about a mile unless there is an unobstructed line of sight to the other party such as over water (or maybe mountain top to mountain top). These are 5 Watt radios. The FCC limits the power output on GMRS Radios to 5 Watts maximum. Some brands are not even 5 watts, however these are.
I use these radio's at our hunting camp in Central Georgia. In the thick forest, the maximum range is about a mile. As indicated above,I have used all major brands with Midland the best and Motorola coming in second.
What I like:
Push to Talk (PTT) works very well, the switch is solidly built
The included headsets work well but are somewhat uncomfortable to wear
More features that you will ever need
The Value Pack with included accessories is a great value and better value than any other radio on the market.
Waterproof, ok to use in the rain
The OnlineShopDealer price is a real bargain for the radios and all the accessories that are included.
3 Year Warranty (as far as I now the others are only guaranteed a year)
The rechargeable batteries last a long time.
What I don't like:
The unit is somewhat bulky and slightly larger that most radios on the market. However they still fit in your shirt pocket or on your belt with the included belt clip.
If you want GMRS radios and accessories that work well at a bargain price, this is the one to buy.
Even Better Than I Expected!
In the past I have taken walkie talkies to the State Fair and they were unusable because of all the chattering going on. I brought the Midland GXT1000VP4 radios to the fair and randomly selected a channel and privacy setting. They worked perfectly. Not one other person broadcasted on the same channel (200,000 people in attendance). We could hear each other crystal clear. You either get a crystal clear signal or no signal at all with these radios; there is never any static. They lasted the whole day on one charge and the battery indicator still read full.
The only complaint that I have is when putting them on the charger, it takes a bit of menuvering to get the charge light to go on...and I have had it go off after about 15 minutes before. In that case I reseated the one radio again and the light stayed on for the whole charging period.
Great Deal on great Radios
The Midland GTX 1000VP4's work great and are easy to use. I have used them for many hours at a time. The low battery indicator comes on long before they quit working. The published range is very optimistic. But it is the best of this class I have used. I took back 2 different Cobras that didn't work well before buying the Midland radios.
I ordered these and received them in two days. Overnight shipping. I have used these every time I go hunting. In the woods, I'd say the reception was pretty good as long as your terrain is flat. Belt clip them to your bibs or pocket and use a headset instead of fumbling for them all the time. Get rid of the headset that comes with them (too bothersome and don't fit worth a darn). Get the avp4 (surveillance type) and you're set. Plenty of choices for channels to select and all the other features are a bonus. The animal alert calls are pretty cool too. If you use a headset, remember to run the wire under your shirt and clip your collar. If not, be ready for a tanglesome event. Will be using them every time in the woods.
Great HTs for the price
These midlands are pretty decent little HTs for what they cost. They are not indestructible, but they are relatively robust--much tougher than most blister pack radios. I've used these in urban environments and in the woods with good results. I got about 1.5-2mi with one RT inside a wood frame house and the other inside a vehicle in a relatively populous, yet wooded area...line of sight was gone after 100 yds and there were lots of trees and houses in between. That is about all I would expect from an MBITR or other military grade 5w TR in those conditions, so I am relatively pleased. In a hunting situation, these worked well, and range was good, although I didn't do an objective test in this environment. Battery life...used these for a 10 hour day on several occasions and the battery meter never dropped, although this was admittedly mostly in receive, with maybe a dozen transmissions over the course of the day. These are an upgrade to the old 950 series, and I wish they retained the scramble function. Although it limited range, it was a neat feature. The only thing that would make these radios better is a TNC or BNC connection for the antenna so you could swap out a more efficient design when required. I use these with the Midland security earpieces, which also work great...good audio, stays in your ear, and works under muff-style hearing protection.
Caveats: You have to charge the included batteries to full charge before attempting to use. Otherwise the pack will probably not work well for you. Read the directions, and you will be fine. They are a NiMH rechargeable pack, and not sure on the self-discharge rate, so you may want to charge fresh before heading out. I use Tenergy low self-discharge NiMH batts in mine and they work great.
GXT 1000 VP4
After careful research of all available GMRS radios on the market, I choose Midlands top of the line GXT series radios. Midland has always made some of the best products over the years and I had to give these a try. I recently moved to a rather remote rural area and felt the need to have some additional ways of communication. The truth is, all of the high end consumer radios no matter that the wattage, are limited in range given the terrain you happen to be in unfortunately. Just to prove this, I did some range testing: 1: Rural w/ trees and some houses from house standing outside to max range in car was 2 miles. 2: Outside hunting with partner, ear pieces, forest canvas, 2 miles with elevation changes, excellent reception with more range easily available if needed. 3: Top of small elevation to house inside was over 3 miles loud and clear, so is it possible to get longer range if there are limited trees and obstructions. All of these tests were on high power (5 watts) and high power channels with privacy codes set.
I will be testing some more this month with various conditions.
Overall, I was very happy with these radio's. They are extremely durable, reliable, and well made.
Positives: Durable, functional features, battery life (8+hours on high), car charger, home charger, ear pieces, tons of privacy options with the channel selection, whisper function really works, vibrate mode that works excellent.
Negatives: Range is always hard to find with obstructions ( as with any radio). Midland does not have repeater channels on these top of the line GXT radio's. These radio's would be the complete package if they did.
I highly recommend these radios for any adult.
FCC License# WQLD553
Well worth the money
I owned a pair from the leading competitor to midland and even at the same rating for range, could not receive or transmit through heavy urban obstruction from inside a vehicle for more than a mile. This Model was able to do both at 3 miles with the added problem of multiple Ham radio transmitters in line with my signal. In open country, The signal carried for a measured 12 miles, and that, because the radios were not farther apart. for $80. How can you go wrong when considering all the features and the performance.
i bought this radio to talk to my family when we are out in the wood. The fact it says it works upto 36 miles, that is only if you are in Desert with no blocking mountain or building. however, in the city this radio worked upto 3 miles.
I love the fact that you can use Alkaline batteries or rechargeable. You never need to buy battery. It comes with rechargeable stand which can even charge your AA recahargable batterries beside its own included battery. It has alot of futures. Over all it is nice collection for those who like to go outdoor activity. advertise 36 miles, where it should say 6 miles.
Handy To Own
My husband and I go gold panning in California when the snows melt. We are never in an area that has cell reception so we decided to invest in a two-way radio. We tend to wander away from each other so these have been very useful locating one another. Have only used them twice but are pleased with the reception, the hands free operation and the crystal clear signals.
I'm hoping we never have to use them in an emergency but at least we'll have them ... just in case.
update July 2010 : after further testing we mounted the charger in the race car and hard wired it to the 12v electrical system. Worked great. Tie wrapped the radio to the mount. No power issues now. now we are working on a more reliable headset for use in a race car with PTT and helmet. The standard motorcycle setup is useless. Made a hybrid setup. Worked great, but the wires are just too weak. Could not take the abuse that my drivers gave it. Now trying a tactical throat mic setup with MIL-spec cables.
I purchased these for our endurance race car team for an upcoming 24 Hour race at Nelson Ledges in Ohio in October (24 Hours of LeMons, Lamest Day). We were using the Midland motorcycle helmet speakers and mic setup that works with these radios. Initially in the pits while testing they worked great. But when you got on the track you could not hear each other. After speaking with other racers and Midland Tech Support we will be trying out the FBI style in-ear piece.
The radios worked well. Just remember that to use these radios on the non-FRS frequencies you will need an FCC license.
The range was good. But because these have the FRS frequencies, the antenna is not removable. It would have helped us if we could have mounted a roof antenna but can't due to FCC law. We had good coverage until the Carousel (turn 7-9) and picked up again just before turn 10. This kinda sucked under Yellow as the area is blind at speed. You were on your own.The trees are what caused the blackout, so it really was not the radios fault.
Now the batteries did well, but they did not last the full 24 hours like we expected. They lasted only about 14 hours. This really did suck as we were not allowed to swap out radios/batteries in the hot pits due to the rules. There is no facility on the radio to plug it into a 12v supply. Now the charger base that comes with the radios does have a 12v adapter, but this is not stable enough to use in a race car.
These are little issues that mainly concern fellow racers, but to use these as they were meant these radios would be awesome.
I did contact Midland customer service about some of the issues. But they were not very helpful. More like sales people that had to look up the facts before answering my questions, which really were never answered. And they were not willing to work with me on trying to figure out how to make these work in our conditions. The company we use for our in-car cameras, [...] and [...], bend over backwards for us as we try and help them make better products. I expected that from a company like Midland. If you are reading this Mr or Mrs. Midland, please contact me. We have some ideas that could add a whole new market to your radios.
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