Recommend GMRS radio with external antenna and DC power

I am looking for a decent 5watt GMRS radio with an external antenna jack and DC input for use in a car. We will be using them as budget racing radios for endurance racing at road race tracks (ie. Watkins Glen, Lime Rock, etc). We currently have a pair of Midland GXT1000VP4 GMRS radios. We were going to use these with the Midland helmet headsets with PTT.
However since this is endurance racing (up to 10-24 hours straight) we would prefer a radio that has an DC input so we do not have to change batteries during pit stops as well as an external antenna for better range and clarity.

Does anyone know of a GMRS radio that has these features and is compatible with the GTX1000 radios (and helmet headset)? Under $100?


You would need commercial equipment to do this . Nothing consumer-grade fits this. Many commercial radio have GMRS Approval; but none are under $100

Huh. I keep seeing posts about modifying current bubble box GMRS radios to add an external antenna, and everyone says that (besides being illegal) that it would be easier to just spend a few bucks more and get a better radio that has an external antenna jack. Which radios are they referring too?


There are no consumer-grade GMRS radios currently on the market with an external antenna provision. There have been some in the past.

This one, by Icom, the F-21GM:

Would be a good choice - IF you can find one. Excellent radio, removable antenna with a socket that could easily accept a properly wired external antenna cable.

I wish I could find one myself. Good luck to you.

With my GXT1050 radios i got a car charger with the package. Could you not just charge the radios continously in the car, in the desktop charger?

The two faults I can see to this option, are 1) you’d have a couple of wires hanging around and 2) you would have to buy another charger stand!


the following consumer grade radios have removable antennas:

  • Midland G-11 / G-15
  • Cobra PR-1000 / PR-2000WX

good luck finding them on eBay. if you do, expect to pay a premium as they don’t make radios like these anymore. i bought as many as i could find when they were being regularly posted on eBay. these are great radios

I think Cobra HH425LI can count as a good HT since it both have GMRS and VHF band. Replaceable antenna, water proof ,can charge the battery external, have Alkaline adapter. All good points make this one worth to buy.

I bought an used one recently hoping it works with my GXT1000 but nothing happen. May be the unit broken or Cobra GMRS not compatible with Midland GMRS.

Returned the unit and intend to get a brand new one. If anyone have any information about comparability of this HH425LI Cobra unit, please let me know.

Cobra and Midland GMRS radios should be able to talk with each other because the GMRS frequencies are standard and are pre-programmed to the same channels on both radios. The only exception is that channels 8-14 are not available on the HH425LI because those are FRS only frequencies which the FCC limits to to .5 watt and the Cobra HH425LI only transmits on 1, 3 or 5 watts.

When testing these radios you need to be sure they are all on the same shared FRS/GMRS channel as GMRS (1-7) or the same GMRS only channel (15-22). They will not talk to each other on FRS only channels (8-14) because the Cobra HH425LI VHF Marine/GMRS combo radio does not operate on FRS only frequencies.

I recall that you checked these channels from another thread but I posted this for general information.

Icom IC-F4001 should work perfectly. I believe it is right around $100. It does not have a power plug due to its water resistance certification. Likely they have a car charger you can let it rest in though. I have two. They work beautifully!

What brands are you talking about “Commercial Equipment for GMRS” Thank You Ketinkrad?

I’ve been out of GMRS for a while now; but serveral manufacturers of commercial equipment offer models that are both approved for commercial use AND GMRS use… kenwood, motorola, Icom, etc all have equipment that can be legally used on GMRS.