Midland GXT1000 Review
Power 5.33 Watts (ERP) GMRS
.42 watts (ERP) FRS
These ratings are identical to the 2008 Midland GXT900
An FCC license is required for use on all GMRS frequencies. No license is required
on FRS-only channels.
Features of the GXT 1000 include:
High, Medium and Low power settings for flexibility and battery life.
CTCSS and DCS for interference protection.
Group setting and Caller Identification for selective calling within a group.
NOAA weather radio.
“Whisper” mode for increased microphone sensitivity when talking quietly
Waterproof design. JIS standards for water resistance.
Increased communications capacity via CTCSS and frequency settings for 50 “virtual channels”
“Vibrate Mode” to allow for silent paging, or calling in noisy areas where you cannot hear.
Dual channel watch function.
End of transmission tone for ease of communication.
This model looks and feels like most of the recent models Midland has released over
the years. It has a hefty look and feel, yet is generally light in weight. It fits easily
in the hand and the controls are easily accessible and functional. The case is
attractive and functional looking. It is definitely not a children’s toy.
With all the functions, the radio is “menu driven”. This means channel selection and
all other functions require the use of the menu system. The “menu” button gives access to
all the FRS/GMRS functions. Weather radio functions are accessed via the same button by
holding down the menu button until the WX function appears.
The CTCSS and DCS tones are combined into one menu and setting, rather than
two separate classifications. This makes it more handy for those not familiar
with these type systems. These fall under the “group” mode settings which can further be
modified to call specific radios by assigning a unique ID for each radio, thus allowing one
radio out of a group to be called, rather than all radios.
You need to read and understand the manual to become familiar with the functions and how to use them.
This radio is a complex and flexible piece of equipment and requires proper study to use properly.
** Explaining the 50 “channels”:
These radios utilize the combined 22 frequencies of the Family Radio Service (FRS) and General
Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Regardless of channel selection, they are using only the 22 frequencies
authorized in these two services.
A system, known as Continuous Coded Squelch System (CTCSS), also incorrectly
referred to in some cases as “Privacy Codes”, allows these “extra channels”.
On most cases, a user must manually select a CTCSS tone. With the GXT 900/950 series,
these are “hard-coded” into the channel selection. You could be on channel 42, which
is actually the same exact frequency as channel 22. (this is an example only, I have NOT
analyzed the exact frequency/CTCSS tone combination.) The only difference is that the
channel selector automatically assigns a CTCSS tone. This is why you cannot manually assign
a “Privacy code” for any channel above 22. If you were to have the correct frequency/CTCSS tone
set on the first 22 channels, you could exactly match the “extra channels”.
All in all, this does simplify matters. You need not assign a CTCSS tone if the radio does it for you.
It does complicate matters if you only want to use license free FRS-only channels.
Transmit audio was robust. Whisper mode was interesting, as it really amplified
quiet “whispered”… Even using a normal voice, it wouldn’t overdrive the transmitter, as I feared.
Audio reproduction was good and accurate. Use of whisper mode with a headset dramatically
improved reception, as it increased microphone sensitivity as well as gain.
Receive Volume was good, except in the noisier areas, like one would expect. With a headset,
this problem is circumvented.
Mobile to mobile: Exceeded 1/2 mile on freeways. (may be more… test vehicles never exceeded this distance)
Indoor Use: Was able to communicate effectively in and out of
a 3 story hotel, moving in lobby, restaurant areas, etc, with ZERO noise.
House to car: .82 miles
Person to person ouitdoor: 1.25 miles
House to person outdors: 1.25 miles
These ranges were tested in suburban environment with houses, trees, etc.
Ranges may exceed test distance as I used familiar areas and set boundaries.
I was impressed with the ranges in our recent hotel visit. We had ZERO noise,
which is a first on vacations at this hotel. Last year’s Cobra couldn’t even do this.
Battery life: During trip I never had to recharge… During power on test, batteries exceeded
8 hours, which I benchmark as a typical “day of use”
Water resistance: Poolside and in humid areas indicated not problems. I do not want
to deliberately dunk a radio. I have too much respect for communications equipment.
What I liked:
The end of transmission tone (AKA Roger beep) is simple… no annoying tone, a comfortable
tone. It is used when the transmitting station unkeys also. Nice touch.
During our vacation, we never lost communication. This was VITAL, considering we had ZERO
cell service in the area. A lifesaver.
The radios are durable and well built. Not surprising, since Midland has some great commercial
Sound quility was very good. It was brought to my attention that there have been some issues in
that ares in the past. It appears Midland addressed these. This is important, as many “design flaws”
in consumer radios are ignored by many manufacturers.
From what I experienced, really just a little confusing at times on menus. Once you get
used to them, they are fine. Remember, a full-featured radio has to have some complications.
Recommended. They are very good radios.