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Monthly Archives: April 2008

  • Midland's 2008 FRS/GMRS Radio Lineup


    Buy Two Way Radios is pleased to announce the 2008 lineup of Midland two way radios. Midland made tremendous gains in 2007 by improving their range and voice clarity across the board. Their flagship product, the GXT800VP4, has been extremely popular due to its performance, IP4 waterproofing, and group mode functionality. With so much success in 2007, we were excited to see what 2008 would bring! Their new models have enhancements that are interesting, to say the least.

    More Channels (?)
    Five of the eight new models have what Midland is calling "extra channels". The specific number of extra channels range from 6 with mid range models up to 20 with the new GXT900. Since the FCC only has 22 frequencies allocated to the FRS and GMRS services, we were quite curious to find out how these new channels are going to work. Midland wouldn't reveal much at this time, only saying that the "extra channels" would be fully compliant with GMRS.

    One thing that I find particularly interesting about these new "channels" is the way it is being marketed. Instead of saying the GXT900 has 42 channels, the marketing materials say that it has "22 channels plus 20 extra channels". I also found it interesting that the manual leaves the frequencies for these "channels" blank. I guess that until the new products are actually available, we can only speculate as to how this will work.

    More Power (?)
    The most exciting (potential) enhancement is the power improvement in the higher end models. According to the FCC grant, the GXT950 has an output power of 5.33 watts (ERP). This would be a tremendous advance. Last year, the GXT850 was the most powerful radio in this class at 1.63 watts. I would normally take an FCC document at face value, but this is such a major difference that I am going to remain skeptical until we can validate this improvement with an actual performance test. Stay tuned!

    Marketing Hype
    As usual, the fantastic range claims continue to expand. This year, we're up to "30 miles range" on the high end models. In the meantime, we will continue to educate our customers as to the actual range that they can expect from their radios.

    Certified Lead Free
    Recently the public as soured toward Chinese imports due to high lead content being found in some toys. Midland has responded to this by removing lead from their products, and having them certified as Lead Free. They will be the only manufacturer in this class advertising lead free products, so that should win them some customers.

    New Model Specifics
    Here is a look at the highlights of each new model. Pricing information is not yet finalized. LXT models will be available in May, GXT models in June.

    GXT950VP4 - Camouflage; 42 "channels"; Voice scrambling; NOAA channels/alerts; Group mode; Direct call; Vibrate alert; VOX; IP4 waterproof; 142 privacy codes; DC adapter; Headsets.
    GXT900VP4 - 42 "channels"; Voice scrambling; NOAA channels/alerts; Group mode; Direct call; Vibrate alert; VOX; IP4 waterproof; 142 privacy codes; DC adapter; Headsets.
    GXT775VP3 - Camouflage; 36 "channels"; NOAA channels/alerts; Vibrate alert; VOX.
    GXT720VP3 - 36 "channels"; NOAA channels/alerts; Vibrate alert; VOX.
    LXT460VP3 - 28 "channels"; NOAA channels/alerts; Vibrate alert.
    LXT345VP3 - Camouflage; Low end model.
    LXT340VP3 - Low end model.
    LXT110 - Basic model, no charger, low power.

    We look forward to providing you with more information once these models become available.

  • Motorola's 2008 Consumer Radio Lineup

    Most of Motorola's new 2008 consumer (FRS/GMRS) radios are now in stock and ready to ship! There are a couple of unique innovations within this series that I think will win Motorola quite a few new customers this year. Let's take a closer look at the two biggest advances.

    Emergency Kit Radios
    The biggest innovation is the Motorola EM1000R and EM1000 radios. These radios have features designed specifically to be of use during an emergency. When held for 3 seconds, an Emergency Alert Button will send an 8 second distress alarm alert to all other radios within range. If there are other EM1000 radios within range, they will increase their volume level to the maximum upon receiving a distress call. The radio will then automatically go into hands-free transmit mode for 22 seconds.

    The EM1000 also has an LED flashlight built-in. The LED for the flashlight is on the bottom of the radio with the button to turn on the light located under the push-to-talk (PTT) button.

    This model supports NOAA weather channels and weather alerts, as well.

    With these features the EM1000 or EM1000R will definitely become the logical choice for those putting together an emergency kit. They will also be a consideration for anyone looking for radios for a typical use, such as a cruise or a road trip, but want to keep the radios handy in case of emergencies after their primary use is over.

    USB Charging Port
    Except for the very low end FV300 and FV300R, all of the new Motorola radios are equipped with a mini-USB port that can be used for charging the radio. There are over 100 million USB cables in use now, and most everyone has on charging a cell phone, MP3 player or some other small device. This same cable can be used to charge your new Motorola two way radio! This is a definite convenience, but it also gives people who need to keep both radios in a different location a charging option. A single two pocket charger doesn't help much when you need to keep one radio upstairs and another down! A cheap USB cable now solves this problem.

    New Models
    Here is a list of all of the new models, with the top features of each.

    T9650RCAMO - Value pack that will include two T9650 radios (similar to T9550), two earpieces with boom mic's, and vehicle charger. Available in May.
    T9680R-SAME - Top of the line model. Replaces the T9580R-SAME but adds the USB charging port. Supports advanced S.A.M.E. weather alerts. Available in June.
    EM1000R - Emergency alert button, flashlight, USB charging port, VOX hands-free use, NOAA weather channels and alerts.
    EM1000 - Identical to the EM1000R, but doesn't include rechargeable batteries/charger. Each radio requires 3 AA batteries.
    SX900R - NOAA weather channels and alerts, VOX hands-free use, USB charging port.
    SX600R - VOX hands-free use, USB charging port. The packaging claims this model has less power than the SX900R, but this does not appear to be the case.
    FV300R - Small and lightweight. Includes pig-tail charging adapter (no charging cradle).
    FV300 - Small, low cost radio. No charger is included. Each radio requires 3 AAA batteries.

    Discontinued Models
    As new models are brought in, old ones are phased out. The following models are no longer being produced by Motorola: T9580R-SAME, SX800R, FV800R, T5000R, T5500AA, FV200.

    Congratulations to Giant International, manufacturer of Motorola consumer radios, for some great innovations in this 2008 lineup!

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