Motorola EM1000R Review

Motorola EM1000R Review


Power output:
350 mW FRS

This Radio requires a GMRS license on ALL channels except channels 8-14. There is no

low power operation capacity on the shared FRS/GMRS channels.


22 channel FRS/GMRS operation
CTCSS and DCS coded squelch.
Weather channels with alert function.
QT interference protection
Built in LED flashlight
Emergency panic alert function.
Channel scan
USB charging capability.
VOX function.
Dual power. (Motorola Pack or AA cells)
Single-pin speaker mike jack

Motorola’s 2008 models incorporate the newest technology and innovations to their

consumer radios. It was a pleasure to put this model through its paces. I was not


Features I single out for comments:

Operation is easy and straightforward. I had no problem with navigation through the menus.

Everything was logically ordered and made sense.

The new flashlight function has a single, white LED. It is of sufficient brightness to illuminate

small areas, looking for keys, etc. Nice feature.

The USB charging function is nice, if you want to charge the battery pack off your computer.

No USB cable was included, but I have one each from my digital camera and Video Camera.

The charging stand and USB charger will only charge the Motorola battery packs. If you use

AA cells, these functions are not avaialble. The Motorola packs are decent. For better life,

you can use your own cells, a nice option. This doesn’t make you depend on proprietary

battery packs.

The Emergency alert function will sound a panic alarm, then open the transmitter to pick up

any sounds in the operator’s area. The emergency button must be pressed for a couple

seconds, so there is little chance of a false alarm.

The scan function allows you to lock out channels during scan. A vital feature, in case of

interference, either from annoying users or household electronic interference.

The QT interference protection, a feature in most Motorola models of late vintage is nice if

you will be in a crowded area. It will help weed out annoyances on the channels.

Operational performance:

Battery Life:
Average. Over a 5 hour scan period, the radios lost one bar. They were operational past this

time. Typically, a scan cycle is fairly power intensive. They should last during a typical day’s


Volume is sufficient for average use. In an noisy, crowded area, it may be best to use a

speaker mike. Received audio is okay. I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list, but it is


Communications Ranges:
House to car: .68 mile
Car to Car: about .5 mile
Person to person outdoors: 1.28 miles
House to person outside: 1.11 miles

Terrain is suburban, with houses, some commercial properties and a lot of trees. Your

experiences may differ.

I found these radios, as usual, a pleasure to review. I have a set of last year’s models and

they compare in many ways. Operation is identical in most respects. Oddly enough, with an

increase in power output over the 2007 models, I saw no significant improvement. I believe,

antenna design plays a factor in this. There were no visible changes in antenna design.

Again, terrain plays a factor though.

I recommend these radios. They work well, and will serve well.


A sincere word of thanks for the effort you are putting into your reviews which is very, very usefull !!! You are really covering all issues of interest and make it very easy for anyone to make up their mind on what radio to ‘invest’ in, based on their individual requirements . Great Job Well Done :wink: !!!

Just a few questions: 1) Is the comms range test for each radio done in exactly the same location/place? 2) if ordinary (e.g. duracell) AA batteries (with a inherent higher volage than rechargeables) are used, would there be any change in the comms range?

Thanks again, and keep up the excelent work!!

Best regards,


Testing is done for each radio in the same basic environment as others I’ve done. I use areas around my home for my tests. I always use a suburban environment, which presents an “average” environment. I always use the same route when driving, which provides consistency.

For power, I use the supplied battery packs. What comes in the package, I use. I do this to keep the tests as close to what the manufacturer has designed into the radios.

My tests and evaluations provide a “guide”. They don’t provide a “Gospel Truth”.

I’ve seen many a person come out with results quite different from mine at times. With UHF, it is so terribly difficult to get exact results under all conditions.

Hello there,

Thanks for the useful review. I bought this model at the end of August and I am having problems with it. Both handsets were working before but last night one of the handsets could not transmit, but can only receive.

Can anyone help me with suggestions on how to get it to work? Both have the same settings. Thank you.

Recheck your settings and make sure the batteries are charged, other than that, it is possible the radio is defective.

Try different channels without the “privacy codes” enabled.

OK thanks. Will do as suggested now and report back

I have changed the channel and turned off the privacy code as well, but it has not worked. The battery is fully charged.

sorry… looks like a bad unit

Just to add that there is no transmission sound at all from the handset - apart from the usual sound when I press and release PTT.

this site is really gud…

Hello, I just purchased EM1000 (3 radio family pack) from COSCO mainly in case of a future emergencies like earthquakes etc. I am bit confused about the FCC licensing requirements for using channels 15-22 & 1-7 (GMRS). I am a law abiding citizen but do I really really need to pay for FCC license when only time I might used the radio is on a rare family trips (camping, amusement parks etc.) maybe 6 days out of the year tops?:confused:

Yep… sorry. To use those channels you need a license. It doesn’t matter how often you use the radio.

can you please tell about VOX function, Is the performance acceptable without headset, as they claim?

Yes, it works without a headset.

Is this still a good radio? Or the Midland GXT740VP3 would be a good alternative?


The Motorola has a USB port for charging and a small flashlight, and the Midland has vibrate alert. Other than that both are rather similar in range/features. I like the Midland a bit more, I think it is more user friendly and more rugged. Also, we currently have the GXT740 for $39.99, $20 less than the Motorola. You might want to use our comparison tool: to help you decide. I hope that helps!

thanks a lot