Midland GXT900VP4 waterproof?

Nope. Purchased a set of these yesterday for hunting and fishing use, specifically because they are advertised as waterproof, also because they came with a car charger and headset for vox. Unpack, tested, sounded great. Plugged in the car charger to the base and headed off. Radios worked great, especially since the last time I used two-way radio for personal reasons was a set of walkie-talkies in the early 80’s other than VHF in the ocean. Very satisfied with range, volume, etc.

30mins into the trip, one goes for a swim. Fell off my brother’s trout vest and into 4 inches of water. He immediately grabs it, thinking “no problem - these are waterproof.” Well, waterproof they ain’t. He tried to radio me - I can hear him but just barely, even at full volume. Reverse is true for him, he can hear me, but just slightly, even at full volume. Later on in the day, it seemed to work better and better, and this morning seems to be fully functional. I’m a little leery of problems down the road and will be returning them. These were advertised as “waterproof” in huge letters on the front of the package with a picture of a rafting trip as the background graphics and on the instruction manual cover. Now, I know you can’t produce 100% waterproof electronics for what we paid for these radios, let alone sell them for that, but their performance is unacceptable considering the way they are advertised. In tiny lettering on the back of the package they say it’s really only “splash-proof or light rain”.:mad:

My actual questions:

  1. Should I decide to keep these radios, will performance be degraded as a result of the dunking?
  2. Is their another model of FRS/GMRS in the same general price range ($80.00) that is reasonably waterproof? I don’t plan to scuba dive with it, I just need it to be able to go hunting/fishing within normal limits, and I consider the occasional dunk to be normal. I have a Hummingbird hand-held VHF which is waterproof, so I’m not looking for a marine radio.
  3. I just picked up a Cobra MR HH90 handheld VHF for $14.88 that is waterproof. Pros/Cons of using VHF in the woods?
  4. Academy Sports has a set of Midland LXT110’s for $19.99, should I just buy a set of these and consider them disposable?

Did you ask the retailer if you can return them given that the marketing material is akin to deceptive marketing?

The retailer took them back no questions asked. I would have fessed up to dropping one of them in water but they have a very liberal return policy and don’t seem to care or need a reason for return.

I spoke with a customer service rep for Midland, she told me they did not manufacture a submersible radio (they do, but it’s a marine radio). I mentioned my concerns about the advertising/packaging (specifically, the large word “waterproof” along with graphics of a rafting trip and water droplet graphics all over the package insert), she promised to “pass the information along”, and advised me to return the radio set. :rolleyes:

Anyway, the radios worked well and are feature rich, I’m just frustrated because I can’t find a consumer quality waterproof radio. I’m not going to go all Navy Seal on it or anything, I just need something that can withstand falling in the river while wading or a couple of inches of water in the bottom of a boat. Pretty much what I consider “normal” in sporting adventures. My only beef with Midland on these radios is the way they are marketed, it’s an excellent product but it is not waterproof and should not be sold as such.

I do understand the different standards of “waterproof”, and technically, the product meets the JIS4/CFR46 standard for being waterproof, which mostly means splash-proof. Soooo, the advertising is not incorrect, the product does meet a “waterproof” standard, just not what the vast majority of people reading the package think waterproof means. I think it’s a poor way of trying to sell more units while knowing that the vast majority of units sold won’t be submersed and; of the ones that are, most purchasers won’t try to return them.

[QUOTE=Dr. Strangelove;1615].
3. I just picked up a Cobra MR HH90 handheld VHF for $14.88 that is waterproof. Pros/Cons of using VHF in the woods?

FCC fines for using a Marine radio on land. A no-no. A definite CON.

Did the radio work after it dried out? I used to sell commercial 2-way radios. One specifically the, Icom F50 was waterproof, however it sounded terrible until the speaker dried out. A waterproof remote speaker mic solved the problem. Maybe the Midland just needed to dry out?

VHF normally works better in the outdoors because of the longer wave length (150 MHz compared to 460 MHz in FRS/GMRS). Vegetation has a tendency to absorb the shorter wave length, especially pine trees.

Did the radio work after it dried out? 

Yep, seemed to work fine. I’m guessing the speaker diaphragm just got wet and needed to dry out. The microphone was the same way.

I exchanged them for another set of the same because I didn’t want to have problems down the road with the one that had been wet, and I couldn’t find anything else more waterproof at a price I wanted to pay. They do seem to be a good product.