Midland GXT-1000 vs Older Midlands


I’ve been using some Midland GXT-400 series radios for quite a few years now, particularly when we head out for vacations in the high desert. They’re made good and work well and I like that they run on 4 AA cells, but at times their range is quite limiting and it’s easy to ‘lose’ the other party. I’m wondering if the newer GXT-1000 radios would be a significant upgrade or not? Even if I could get another 1/4 mile out of 'em, it might be worth it.

Thanks for any insight.


Hi David, the GXT-400 is a 4 Watt radio and the GXT1000 is 5 Watts, so you may have a little more coverage. The GXT-400 was discontinued several years ago and was essentially replaced with the GXT760, which is a 5 Watt radio as well. Both the GXT760 and GXT1000 use 4 AA batteries and rechargeable battery packs.

Rick, Thanks for your comments.

I went ahead and bought a pair of the GXT-1000’s to see if they are any better than the GXT-450’s I’ve had for several years now. Last night I ran my first quasi-scientific test on the FRS channels in and around my neighborhood. So I guess this will be my contribution to the product reviews here.

Here in Oregon, there are quite alot of trees. I’m in a moderately populated city, and there is continuous housing in almost any direction. But rather than just driving straight down the road within line of sight, I thought I’d choose a direction that would challenge the radios ability to make the trip, so I opted for a more diagonal approach, with plenty of obstacles between the transmit and receive radios.

I placed one of each model in my van, sitting on a box right next to the window. Since I often use my radios between vehicles, I chose a car-to-person scenario, as it seemed like a good compromise. Beside the radios, I placed a Zoom H2 audio recorder to record everything on the receive end.

On the transmitting side, I used recently charged Eneloop cells. I find these work better than alkaline on high drain devices. The voltage difference between Ni-Mh and alkaline becomes a moot point as alkalines suffer from severe voltage drop when drawing high current.

I set one pair to Channel 10 and the other to Channel 12. I then walked out to incremental distances to test for range.

Conclusion: A mixed bag. To my surprise, the old GXT-450’s had a little better sounding audio - particularly beyond the 1/4 mile point - though not necessarily better signal stability. Neither was very reliable much beyond 1/2 mile, though the GXT-1000’s did do better at that particular distance. Both radios were pretty noise-free up to about 0.3 miles, but started getting noisier after that. At about 0.4 miles the 1000’s were alot noisier with break-ups, while the 450’s maintained a very usable signal with only some added noise. At 0.5 miles, I had the reverse effect - both were still readable - the 450’s had quite a few break-ups but the 1000’s were quite stable (maybe some cars interfered around this time?) At 2/3 mile, the 1000’s signal was very noisy and about as far as I could go with usable understanding. The 450’s were also noisy and had break-ups but were slightly easier to understand. At about 3/4 mile, I could copy the 450’s pretty well when they came through, but that only happened 25 to 50% of the time. The 1000’s were mostly noise at this point with a discernable word or phrase here and there.

It seems that the performance of the Midland radios is really no better than it was about 7 years ago. Keep in mind this is only using the FRS channels at 1/2 watt, but still interesting. Now I just need to test the higher power modes.


The best consumer-grade Midland GMRS radio is the “Midland G-11” . It has 2 watt output but has a removable antenna. I replaced the short stock antenna and got a longer rubber whip. The range on these things puts even the newest 5-watt Midland GXT1000 to shame. If you can find a pair on eBay, grab it

Does Midland GXT 1000 pv4 work in Europe?

The GXT1000VP4 is a GMRS radio FCC type accepted for use in the US. The equivalent of GMRS in the EU is PMR446. The GXT1000 is not legal for use in the EU as a PMR446 radio.

1 watt TX output difference is not even a difference of any value range wise.

If you started with a 3W tx, and upgraded to a 6W, that would be a usable gain in potential for extending range, to the tune of 6dB gain before feeder and antenna loss (and if you’re using any below a dipole (unity gain aka 0db gain)., it’s a lossy antenna).

So upgrading the antenna to a dipole/half wave or a colinear will, combined with very good RG213 or better coax, will gain more dB of effective radiated power (EIRP on unbalanced antennas) than a 1-2 watt tx output improvement can ever deliver.

If the SNR and selectively of an ‘improved’ radio’s receiver notably improves on the previous model, that’s got more ‘range’ improvement potential than a 1 watt tx power improvement does on the send side.

Remember, one S-point improvement (as heard on radios with classic S-meter indication) equates to 6dB improvement in how strong the received signal is, so you need a minimum of 6dB improvement in ERP/EIRP at the send end to make any usable difference in practice.

There’s way too much snake oil in the industry over what makes an improvement.

You’re talking improving how much signal gets to air, refining and improving low noise and selectively factors of receivers, using antennas with actual passive gain and reducing feeder loss to a minimum before you’ll see any real difference. Then, all that said, if antenna siting is second rate poor, you’re chucking a lot of effective ERP potential for range away.