midland gxt1000 or moto mr355r + nat'l park question

Hi all-

Joined up after lurking here a while and reading, to pose this question.

I’m trying to decide which of these models to get for a hiking trip to Glacier National Park in Montana in Aug. (I realize both are new, and much remains to be seen.)

A key decision point for me is trying to understand if the repeater feature on the Motorola is one I can realistically benefit from.

Here is my novice understanding; please correct me where I’m wrong.

  1. buy repeater-enabled radio
  2. sign up for gmrs license
  3. find a repeater at Glacier NP (how?)
  4. benefit from vastly increased range/reception

Is step (3) as easy as blind trying the repeater channels on the moto mr355r, and hoping one works? If so, what are odds of success?

If (3) is something that is likely not to happen, then I’m likely to go with the Midland.

Thanks in advance for any advice. Cheers.

You have to remember. Repeaters are NOT public property or domain. You need permission to use one, or at least make sure the repeater you find is “open to all licensed users”. Some are “closed” repeaters and are not open to any users outside the owner’s specific group.

www.MyGMRS.com is a good site with listings of many repeaters.

Thanks for the reply speedypetey.

I should have noted that in my initial due diligence, I came across that site and others with specific mention of the region I’m visiting. Further, I read the site which explained the procedure to obtain permission.

However, as simply a learner-by-searching, who has no actual experience with these devices, the part I lack understanding about is:

Will the Motorola MR355R offer me the likely chance to extend range, at that national park, after going through all the required steps?

For example, are the MR355R’s available repeater channels tunable? (this statement alone should show my lack of real understanding, which is why I’ve posted a first attempt here before making a larger fool of myself on radioreference – after all, I’m just trying to figure out the pros/cons to two models of handhelds).


Just as an FYI the MR355 is now available @ BuyTwoWayRadios.com.

Bear in mind, a GMRS license is required for all gmrs radios amd frequencies, repeater capable or not.

Of the 3 responders to my post, only speedy has told me something I didn’t already know. But none have answered my core question.

The thing is you are not actually extending the range of the radio with a repeater. You are using the small hand held to access a larger base radio with a big antenna, and bouncing off that to utilize a much larger range.

Yes, in many areas it is simply as matter of finding a repeater pair that works. You can just keep trying different PL tones until you find an active repeater. Thing with this is you have no idea who’s repeater you are keying up and that can be considered discourteous.
The other problem side of the coin is that MANY repeaters are not listed, so finding one before hand can be difficult and randomly manually searching might be the only way.

There are several sites out there with repeater listings like the one I linked above. You can also try http://www.artscipub.com/repeaters/ and do a search for each GMRS repeater channel in the area you are going to. Or you can click on the state you are in and sort by frequency. Then you can scroll to the 462.xxx listings and check.

Thanks again speedypetey for the lucid response.

I’ve spent significant time delving into radio forums/websites in search of a repeater whose owner I can contact; but I have come up empty. The disconnect between people like me (wanting to follow the rules) and a reality where owners don’t list them, is disconcerting and ironic.

Given that the key unknown about the “usability for my purpose” of the MR355R repeater feature has not changed, I’ll have to look to other deciding elements.

Nevertheless, I do appreciate learning something else I didn’t know, from speedypetey.