New Midland MXT275 (GMRS Mobile)

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TheBronze

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Picture this mounted on the roof, cowling or fender. I ran about thirty of these on fleet vehicles and they lasted for years going through car washes and getting generally beat up. They have 3db gain, which doesn't sound like much, but they are just right for simplex and repeater use. You can also put one on a NMO magmount if you want to be able to move it. They still work well and are much easer to deal with than the larger antennas. If you are using for ham dual band then that's a different story. But for dedicated UHF/GMRS they work great.
 

Desert Runner

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Just purchased this radio (MTX275) GMRS at the discount price, promo code, (overlandusa) $119, actual Midland web page. Price was to good to let go by. I have not seen any 3rd party vendors offering less than MSRP, with the exception of 1 with just $5.00 below.logo.pngOBLogo-Gold_Outlined_100x.png
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EDIT/UPDATE:

I just received a E-Mail from Midland. The 'Lantern" promo can not be combined with any other offer. So It was easy to choose the $30 discount for the radio vs the free $19.99 LED lantern.:grin:
 
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RainGoat

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They use an NMO mount and work best when they are mounted directly into the sheet metal of the body. On my last jeep I have one mounted on the cowl in front of the passenger. The metal creates a ground plan that makes the antenna perform really well. The idea of putting a 5/8 wave antenna on a hood or tail light mount won't likely give you the performance you want. Those antennas need a ground plan to function properly. A smaller antenna that is on a ground plan will out perform it every time. If you want to go with a hood, lip, tail light mount to avoid drilling holes then the antenna to look for is a 1/2 wave design. They aren't as dependent on the ground plan.
I would prefer to not drill through my sheet metal, would these other options work?
A) Ditch light mount attached to a hood hinge?
B) Metal clamp onto a steel full length expedition roof rack?
C) Direct drill through mount to a steel full front bumper?
Thanks!
 

Prerunner1982

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I would prefer to not drill through my sheet metal, would these other options work?
A) Ditch light mount attached to a hood hinge?
B) Metal clamp onto a steel full length expedition roof rack?
C) Direct drill through mount to a steel full front bumper?
Thanks!
A) This would work ok... A pillar/cab may block some of the signal.
B) This is the best as in VHF/UHF (GMRS is UHF) antenna height is king for communication distance. If you can get a 1/2 wave antenna it is not ground dependent so it won't matter as much if it's not well grounded to the rack.
C) too low.
 
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Desert Runner

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A) This would work ok... A pillar/cab may block some of the signal.
B) This is the best as in VHF/UHF (GMRS is UHF) antenna height is king for communication distance. If you can get a 1/2 wave antenna it is not ground dependent so it won't matter as much if it's not well grounded to the rack.
C) too low.
I'm getting the 6dB Midland MXTA11... GMRS antenna Monday. My plan is to replace the MURS antenna in the same NMO mount. It is located off the right front stake pocket of my Pickup truck . I have tied the bed, cab, and frame together with flat braided grounding straps to improve the ground plane. I did this after reading what F-350 owners did to help mitigate the Fords diesel Piezel ? type injector feedback. I believe it is about 28" tall, so it should peek above the trucks cab roof. This antenna gets good reviews as 'tuned' right out of the box, with few exceptions. Seems to average in the 1.1-1.3 range. I do have access to a meter, and will enlist my BIL to check the meter reading when all is said and done. It will also, in this position, be less vulnerable to overhead limbs/trees, something us living in desert areas have to drive to find. :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:1569005691826.png

This MURS antenna managed to reach out 10-12 miles from a elevated area down into the city. The Midland GMRS should do better than that. Hoping for at least 15-20 miles in similar conditions. It will be interesting to see what final range this combo (MTX275/MXTA11) will achieve.
 

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TheBronze

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Keep in mind there is a difference in a “ground” vs. a “ground plane”. One is electrical the other is electromagnetic. They are very different things. To get an antenna to match up and have a low SWR it does need a return path or “ground”. But the ground plane is a different story. So while you can get an antenna to work reasonably well with stand off mounts, stake mounts, mag-mounts etc. They won’t work as well as an antenna that is using a larger portion of flat metal for a ground plane, such as the car body. This shouldn’t suggest that NMO mounts through the body is the only way to do antennas. There is no such thing as a perfect antenna, only the “best” antenna for you and you’re situation

Compromised installs can work very well, especially at UHF frequencies. The much smaller wave lets you get away with installs that would never work with a CB radio. So don’t worry too much about it. Also, don’t feel you need a big antenna for the radio to work well. I use a 1/4 wave on my Jeep and it works great! I reliably get about five miles simplex range which is more than enough and I don’t have to deal with huge antennas hitting things. I’ve attached a couple of photos showing the 1/4 wave on my Jeep. Unless you’re looking for it you would probably never even see it.
 

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Desert Runner

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Keep in mind there is a difference in a “ground” vs. a “ground plane”. One is electrical the other is electromagnetic. They are very different things. To get an antenna to match up and have a love SWR it does need a return path or “ground”. But the ground plane is a different story. So while you can get an antenna to work reasonably well with stand off mounts, stake mounts, mag-mounts etc. They won’t work as well as an antenna that is using a larger portion of flat metal for a ground plane, such as the car body. This shouldn’t suggest that NMO mounts through the body is the only way to do antennas. There is no such thing as a perfect antenna, only the “best” antenna for you and you’re situation

Compromised installs can work very well, especially at UHF frequencies. The much smaller wave lets you get away with installs that would never work with a CB radio. So don’t worry too much about it. Also, don’t feel you need a big antenna for the radio to work well. I use a 1/4 wave on my Jeep and it works great! I reliably get about five miles simplex range which is more than enough and I don’t have to deal with huge antennas hitting things. I’ve attached a couple of photos showing the 1/4 wave on my Jeep. Unless you’re looking for it you would probably never even see it.
Good to know, as you said....compromise is the name of the game. Hope and get the best possible signal is always a goal. A antenna I didn't show is a magnetic one that I use at this time to help a Handheld scanner in the truck to pull in a stronger signal than the rubber shortie I have. I was told that it might work for a dual band HAM, but won't know until I get one to install.

That's 3 antennas, plus the factory radio. I also prepped a hood/fender mount for a future phone booster location, that was sidelined, when my long distance trips were curtailed.

YAH...... :grin: it's starting to look like a LEO vehicle. White truck, yup, that must be it.
 

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Desert Runner

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View attachment 116978

Picture this mounted on the roof, cowling or fender. I ran about thirty of these on fleet vehicles and they lasted for years going through car washes and getting generally beat up. They have 3db gain, which doesn't sound like much, but they are just right for simplex and repeater use. You can also put one on a NMO magmount if you want to be able to move it. They still work well and are much easer to deal with than the larger antennas. If you are using for ham dual band then that's a different story. But for dedicated UHF/GMRS they work great.
Looking at what Amazon offers for this type/style of GMRS antenna, I see that they are DEFINITELY not created equal. Some get surprisingly better reception than others, per reviews. This might be a good alternative if I get into wooded trail areas, where the possible damage to a taller whip antenna would risk damage.
 

Downs

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The smaller antenna installs are something I've used to try to entice people in the local Jeep club to move to GMRS radios from CB. Even as a HAM guy I find myself using UHF recently far more often than VHF when in the Jeep. There are plenty of UHF repeaters in my area and I can still talk 40+ miles to a Repeater.
 

Desert Runner

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So I received the radio Saturday, and I have to say this is a 'SMAll' unit when in your hand. The footprint of the Mic. is almost the size of the radio itself. It will easily fit between the seat and console with no problem. So even those who have limited space, could find a place for it to fit. The mic. is comfortable in your hand. The included mic holder while plastic, feels like quality abs. It has a sticky back mounting pad that can also be screwed in place, if desired.

It is very similar (size) to my compact Uniden 520XL CB, and will fit right next to it easily. I might have to rethink where I would mount a HAM mobile down the road, when the time comes. The plan had been to mount the MXT275 in the place of my MURS Radio Shack unit (Big- Cobra 29 size). Now I just might mount a mobile micro/small dual band there when the time comes.

EDIT:

One thing i'm doing, is the purchase and installation of some WIDE VELCRO strips to both the radio, and my console. I am doing this after a thief tried to take my comm gear in the front driveway of where I lived a couple of years ago. At the time I had them hard mounted (screwed) into the consoles panel. In their hurry he/they ripped them out and destroyed the console panels. Those replacement panels are now no longer available from GM. My Dealership was able to source it at the time, in the nationwide parts inventory. So if I go thru this again, maybe, just maybe, they won't destroy my trucks interior the next time. 'Note', they seem to have been scared off, as the radio was laying on the floorboard, still partially wired.

***** You can get the wide Velcro mounting strips at fabric shops or stereo outlets like Fries Electronics. They are able to hold and not shift, some fairly heavy gear. I got my newest roll thru Amazon****** It also works in keeping floor/cargo mats in place.
 
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TheBronze

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Those tiny remote mount radios are a genius move by Midland. I hope they continue and maybe some other manufactures will get a clue and do something similar. Uniden and Motorola come to mind. It's nice to see a radio being manufactured that actually works in a modern vehicle!

Desert Runner, when you get a chance let us know how well it's working for you. I'd love to hear about simplex range and what kind of antenna you're running. The more reports we get the more people will be convinced of their utility and pull the trigger on them.
 
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RoarinRow

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So I received the radio Saturday, and I have to say this is a 'SMAll' unit when in your hand. The footprint of the Mic. is almost the size of the radio itself. It will easily fit between the seat and console with no problem. So even those who have limited space, could find a place for it to fit. The mic. is comfortable in your hand. The included mic holder while plastic, feels like quality abs. It has a sticky back mounting pad that can also be screwed in place, if desired.

It is very similar (size) to my compact Uniden 520XL CB, and will fit right next to it easily. I might have to rethink where I would mount a HAM mobile down the road, when the time comes. The plan had been to mount the MXT275 in the place of my MURS Radio Shack unit (Big- Cobra 29 size). Now I just might mount a mobile micro/small dual band there when the time comes.

EDIT:

One thing i'm doing, is the purchase and installation of some WIDE VELCRO strips to both the radio, and my console. I am doing this after a thief tried to take my comm gear in the front driveway of where I lived a couple of years ago. At the time I had them hard mounted (screwed) into the consoles panel. In their hurry he/they ripped them out and destroyed the console panels. Those replacement panels are now no longer available from GM. My Dealership was able to source it at the time, in the nationwide parts inventory. So if I go thru this again, maybe, just maybe, they won't destroy my trucks interior the next time. 'Note', they seem to have been scared off, as the radio was laying on the floorboard, still partially wired.

***** You can get the wide Velcro mounting strips at fabric shops or stereo outlets like Fries Electronics. They are able to hold and not shift, some fairly heavy gear. I got my newest roll thru Amazon****** It also works in keeping floor/cargo mats in place.
I just remove my unit from the base when I'm not using it. My base is screwed to my dash so hopefully the 'ripping' won't happen to me (praying icon here).
 

Wile_Coyote

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So, I'm in the market to get a radio, but i'm a little confused about which type I should get. Back in my rock-crawling days, I used to have a CB mounted in my 4Runner, which was great for truck to truck communication. It appears, that these CB units are not so popular with the Overland crowd.....I dunno.

From my limited scope here, it appears that most folks are running with GMRS units in their vehicles, and HAM units at home. And for those that can spring for the higher end units, maybe GMRS/HAM in the vehicle.

What do you all suggest for the weekend warrior looking for a radio for this truck?
 

RoarinRow

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So, I'm in the market to get a radio, but i'm a little confused about which type I should get. Back in my rock-crawling days, I used to have a CB mounted in my 4Runner, which was great for truck to truck communication. It appears, that these CB units are not so popular with the Overland crowd.....I dunno.

From my limited scope here, it appears that most folks are running with GMRS units in their vehicles, and HAM units at home. And for those that can spring for the higher end units, maybe GMRS/HAM in the vehicle.

What do you all suggest for the weekend warrior looking for a radio for this truck?
I still have a CB in my truck because it is still used in my area by truckers and dispatchers, etc. I have the small GMRS unit that I used for the one Overland trip awhile back. Seemed to be the lowest common denominator in the group. Few of them had HAM. The way I see it HAM is good for overall communication because of its longer range capabilities. For me, I don't intend in going overlanding by myself and don't foresee myself being miles away from the person either in front or behind me.

The GMRS unit was clear and easy to use and I didn't have to study for the license, which I don't have time for. $70 GMRS license and done for 10 years and everyone in my family could use and I bought extra hand held units for them as well since my license covers them. To me, for a weekend warrior the GMRS is the way to go, but also depends on what your group/friends have as well. Just my .02.
 

Prerunner1982

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So, I'm in the market to get a radio, but i'm a little confused about which type I should get. Back in my rock-crawling days, I used to have a CB mounted in my 4Runner, which was great for truck to truck communication. It appears, that these CB units are not so popular with the Overland crowd.....I dunno.

From my limited scope here, it appears that most folks are running with GMRS units in their vehicles, and HAM units at home. And for those that can spring for the higher end units, maybe GMRS/HAM in the vehicle.

What do you all suggest for the weekend warrior looking for a radio for this truck?
I am working on a write up that discusses various radio services their pros/cons and such, but am waiting on some others to critique it before I post.
CB is still prevalent in the off road world but GMRS is creeping in in many places (just not where I live) and ham is becoming quite popular.
So the correct answer is all 3, unless you ALWAYS plan to go with the same group then run what they run or make a group decision on the radio service to run.

Some of the pros of GMRS over CB is the size of the antenna, it is much smaller, requires less ground plane, can be mounted in places a CB antenna can't or wouldn't work well, and doesn't need to be tuned.
GMRS also has more power and if FM (better audio quality). They can also communicate with the FRS handhelds so you can communicate with those without a GMRS license or throw one to a spotter.
 
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TheBronze

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Roarin, It's unfortunate that thieves would steal something that they likely don't even know what it is. One reason I leave my Jeep unlocked is to minimize the damage a thief will cause should they decide to break in. Sad!

Prerunner1982 said, "Some of the pros of GMRS over CB is the size of the antenna, it is much smaller, requires less ground plane, can be mounted in places a CB antenna can't or wouldn't work well, and doesn't need to be tuned.
GMRS also has more power and if FM (better audio quality). They can also communicate with the FRS handhelds so you can communicate with those without a GMRS license or throw one to a spotter.

These are all reasons I've been quietly pushing people toward GMRS for years. But the radios were always a little bit complicated and costly, until Midland came out with the MXT line. I've been involved in radio for more than thirty five years. In all that time I've seen bad decisions made by the FCC for political reasons and manufacturers more interested in making money than a real useful product. The CB was supposed to be a short distance (3-5 Mile) communication tool but the frequencies its on made that difficult or impossible. Instead of being able to hear the guy a mile away you hear the guy in Tennessee repeating himself over and over again for hours. GMRS is on a frequency band that won't skip and so even is some Yaahoo gets a radio that cranks out a bunch of power it really won't cause too much harm. A UHF radio putting out 15 watts to a reasonable antenna is good for 3-5 miles easily. The only downside to GMRS right now is that whole FRS vs GMRS power issue and the repeaters owners that get cranky. Personally, I'd love to see them structure GMRS more like the Australian UHF CB with about 80 channels available and relatively low power (15 watts). Keep everything simplex except for the already allocated 8 repeater pairs. Then we would probably see GMRS being used in a lot more places than it currently is.

Time will tell.
 
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