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Midland Radio Review, by Chas Carmichael

loggerchas

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Location
Colorado
#3
It's nice to have options that everybody can use. The GMRS licensing fee is a bit out of line compared to amateur radio licensing, but with no study/testing requirement they are easy to get since all you have to do is fill out the paperwork. Mine took less than 2 days to receive though a modification to my license is taking much longer (typo on license).

For those who get a license (which GCC requires), be SURE to keep track of your FCC FRN and password. It is king of a pain to reset and research if you misplace those. (FRN = federal registration number) If you already have a FRN from an amateur license then the process takes about 5 minutes and when you receive the license it is just one less thing an LEO could hassle you about.

I write my GMRS license call sign on the face of my radio battery so I always have it available to reference should I ever need it.
 

loggerchas

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Location
Colorado
#5
For me, the crossing of price per unit and durability function per ounce is what tipped the scales. Any $50 amateur radio is way low in the ruggedness department (drop a Baofeng on a rock and watch the parts scatter - I had that accident) and the Midland units are light and very battery efficient. I love that accessories interchange with common pinouts/components in the industry and interchange among the base and portables.

And looking deeper, there are limited repeaters available also for longer distance options. Here are some in Washington:

 

Piscatory_4

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2014
#6
I've had a set of these for about 3-4 years, used intermittently with decent results. My cousin has had a set and uses them more often than I since he hunts with his wife while I'm typically alone. Talking with him this year during season and he said he has ruined a couple sets of them where they will not transmit, he suspects from water intrusion. We hunt coastal Washington state where yes it rains a bit more than most other places. He has gone to a more serious waterproof radio this year. I've had mine out in the weather some and not had any trouble. He can receive, just not transmit. Just sharing that since a longer soak in water may render them pretty much useless.
 

loggerchas

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2017
Location
Colorado
#7
Transmit failure could be water intrusion but may also be antenna related or failure of the PTT circuit. When I decided to test "waterproof" I read the instruction manual (crazy, I know) and found the "waterproof rating" and then researched it. In layman's terms, it means splashproof from any angle. It is important to note that if using any accessories in wet weather, while the pinouts/spacing on the side of the radio are common to several radio brands, only the Midland accessory plug fits the opening well enough to maintain weather protection.

Water intrusion typically shows initially as fog in the screen of a radio, from my experience. Constant high humidity can also promote "greenies" growing in any electronics due to dissimilar metals. Even with the splash protection, when I go canoeing this summer I plan to use a true waterproof cover (several manufacturers make these in various levels of durability, example: https://www.amazon.com/Zerone-Transparent-Waterproof-Electronic-Protection/dp/B07DB2H4T4/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1546966333&sr=8-5&keywords=waterproof+walkie+talkie+cover
 
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