Which Midland GMRS radio, MXT400 or MXT275?

BajaDrifter

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In somewhat of a pickle in trying to decide which Midland GMRS mobile radio set to go with. I like the MXT400 as it has a stated 40 watts of power. The MXT275 rings my bell because it is so small it can be easily mounted almost anywhere and all the controls are on the mic, but it has an advertised 15 watts of power. Not being an expert on these small mobile units, I'm not sure how much of a difference 25 watts of power between the two will make. I have used CB radios on long car trips between vehicles before and found them to be very handy. I'm expecting a bit more trans/recv distance with the GMRS radios and would like to get the most I can out of them. Hoping someone with a lot more experience with these type of radios can tell me which will give me more bang for my buck. Tks.





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I have the MXT275. I like how compact it is and how all the controls are on the mic. I use it as a secondary radio however. My main radio is a ham ID-5100A which I have mounted. My MXT275 is stashed away until I need it. Again, nice, small and gets power from the 12V plug. Works for me. Obviously the MXT400 would have better range to hit repeaters. That is the advantage with the additional 25 watts. Otherwise, just tooling around with friends even a couple miles apart, the MXT275 does great. Its all what your expectations and use will be. I would highly recommend a better antenna for either unit. I use the Midland MXTA26.

Here's a decent video that may help you decide...

 
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BajaDrifter

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I have the MXT275. I like how compact it is and how all the controls are on the mic. I use it as a secondary radio however. My main radio is a ham ID-5100A which I have mounted. My MXT275 is stashed away until I need it. Again, nice, small and gets power from the 12V plug. Works for me. Obviously the MXT400 would have better range to hit repeaters. That is the advantage with the additional 25 watts. Otherwise, just tooling around with friends even a couple miles apart, the MXT275 does great. Its all what your expectations and use will be. I would highly recommend a better antenna for either unit. I use the Midland MXTA26.

Here's a decent video that may help you decide...

Thanks, good info. Saw this video and several others actually. Cleared up somethings and makes me question other things. I may be over thinking this . OK, if channels 15-22 are repeater channels and the only channels you can use high power on, since the other channels are restricted to 5 watts, then I am assuming high power (40w) would just be for repeater use. Can one use the repeater channels for normal comms between another party in a vehicle not running a repeater? Wouldn't this interfer with the repeater channel someone else set up?
 

midironman

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Can one use the repeater channels for normal comms between another party in a vehicle not running a repeater? Wouldn't this interfer with the repeater channel someone else set up?
Yes, as long as the person in the car can reach the repeater also. They may be able to hear, but if their radio doesn't have power to reach it, then they can't respond. As far as others using the repeater, you would have to share it.
 

kahuna357

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I have and used the MTX275 in my 02 TJ for over a year. The small footprint is great for mounting options. I thought about buying the MTX 400 for my JT but may just get another MTX 275. For trail rides with other vehicles the 275 is more than adequate. Depending on where you live and wheel you may not have repeaters available anywhere near you.
 

sarguy1941

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I have the MTX275 in both my JK and JT and love it. Granted the power settings are limited but have yet found an issue with it. I use it on repeaters and also on trails. I will say its mostly in the antenna. Dont buy the junk from midland, install a proper NMO mount and 1/4 wave and you will be happy.

As reference if i did need more power I'd switch on the APX...
 

sarguy1941

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Yes, as long as the person in the car can reach the repeater also. They may be able to hear, but if their radio doesn't have power to reach it, then they can't respond. As far as others using the repeater, you would have to share it.
Also remember to use the higher power frequencies you need a GMRS license. Not all repeaters are open for use also.
 
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Also remember to use the higher power frequencies you need a GMRS license. Not all repeaters are open for use also.
Just purchased the lic/fee from the FCC website. Easy enough, good for ten years and for the whole family. Just found out the MXT400 doesn't have the weather channels like the 275. Dang it. Still undecided which way to go.
 

sarguy1941

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That's why I went with the 275. My CB also has WX channel but like the idea of both having it. That way if im on CB I can flip WX on the 275 and the other way.

I also liked the small form factor for mounting. All you see is the mic on my jeep and if I needed to could unplug and throw in the center console. Also as reference if you do go with the 275 you can extend the Mic cable with standard CAT6 cable. I used shielded cable and union but non shielded will work.
 

prerunner1982

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Can one use the repeater channels for normal comms between another party in a vehicle not running a repeater? Wouldn't this interfer with the repeater channel someone else set up?
If I understand your question correctly... Yes you could use a repeater channel for vehicle to vehicle comms without interfering with the repeater. With the Midland radios you have to turn the repeater function on for that particular channel, if you don't have it on it won't broadcast on the repeater input frequency. You are only transmitting on the repeater output frequency. Now, you will still hear others using the repeater and if you are close enough to someone that monitors the repeater they may think you are on it when you aren't so it may cause some confusion.
 

CrazyCooter

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I wouldn't waste my money on the gmrs specific radio. I'd get a tyt dual band ham radio and program it with Rugged's channel list, GMRS/FRS, MURS, and anything else you want.

I've programmed mine with our state's Calcord, SAR, and CLEMARS freqs just in case I need to communicate with first responders for emergency purposes.

Takes 10x the power to double your signal or 3db. Better to do it with a more efficient antenna than brute power.
 
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BajaDrifter

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If I understand your question correctly... Yes you could use a repeater channel for vehicle to vehicle comms without interfering with the repeater. With the Midland radios you have to turn the repeater function on for that particular channel, if you don't have it on it won't broadcast on the repeater input frequency. You are only transmitting on the repeater output frequency. Now, you will still hear others using the repeater and if you are close enough to someone that monitors the repeater they may think you are on it when you aren't so it may cause some confusion.
Yes, exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you for clarifying. Sorry if I didn't quite put the question right, but you got it.

I believe I will be going with the MXT275 with most things considered. I like that the speaker and controls are in the microphone. I'm a little hard of hearing, so that will be a plus for me. It's small footprint and ease of mounting I like too. Most of all, I don't see myself using repeaters as I want this for vehicle to vehicle coms.
 

prerunner1982

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Yes, exactly what I wanted to know. Thank you for clarifying. Sorry if I didn't quite put the question right, but you got it.

I believe I will be going with the MXT275 with most things considered. I like that the speaker and controls are in the microphone. I'm a little hard of hearing, so that will be a plus for me. It's small footprint and ease of mounting I like too. Most of all, I don't see myself using repeaters as I want this for vehicle to vehicle coms.
The body of the radio also has a speaker in it and you can set it so that both speakers put out audio. Depending on where you have the radio body this may help you as well.
 

sarguy1941

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I wouldn't waste my money on the gmrs specific radio. I'd get a tyt dual band ham radio and program it with Rugged's channel list, GMRS/FRS, MURS, and anything else you want.

I've programmed mine with our state's Calcord, SAR, and CLEMARS freqs just in case I need to communicate with first responders for emergency purposes.

Takes 10x the power to double your signal or 3db. Better to do it with a more efficient antenna than brute power.
Except the radio is not certified for any of the stuff you claimed you put in it. Yes people do stuff all the time but doesn't mean its correct. Buy a correct radio, get your license and be compliant with the rules for each service. RR is one of the major issues with radio as they do not care its all about money for them.
 

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