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How Midland's "Extra Channels" Work (Updated!)

When we first announced Midland's 2008 FRS/GMRS radios, we found it interesting that most new models were offering "extra channels" as a feature. Previously it was an industry standard that all dual service (FRS/GMRS) radios supported 22 channels, each channel representing one of the 22 FRS and/or GMRS frequencies. If they were to remain consistent, the new channels would use different frequencies than existing channels. Only 22 frequencies have been approved by the FCC for FRS/GMRS usage, however, and those 22 frequencies are already represented.

So how do these new channels work? It turns out that these new channels are not channels in the sense that we have been historically used to (where a channel represents a frequency). These "extra channels" use a frequency already used by a standard channel, but have a pre-set privacy code that cannot be changed. This provides the illusion of a new channel, but has some side effects that could cause confusion. For example, if you transmit on Midland channel 24 a typical radio left in scan mode would receive your transmission as if it were sent on channel 3.

While these "extra channels" may make it a little easier for a novice to find an interference free channel, I feel like this is more marketing hype than anything else. A standard 22 channel Motorola or Cobra radio is 100% compatible with every channel of a 42 channel Midland GXT900 (cross reference chart below). Midland makes great radios and there are plenty of reasons to buy their products, but "extra channels" shouldn't be one of them.

The following is a cross reference chart that lists Midland's "extra channels" and the standard channel / privacy code that it matches up with. We have now updated the chart to show all 42 of these channels.

Midland ChannelFrequencyActual ChannelCTCSSDCSCode
23462.56251250.3n/a38
24462.61253225.7n/a35
25462.66255203.5n/a32
26462.71257179.5n/a29
27462.550015162.2n/a26
28462.600017146.2n/a23
29462.650019131.8n/a20
30462.700021118.8n/a25
31462.58752n/a231
32462.63754n/a324
33462.68756n/a477
34467.56258n/a6510
35467.612510n/a7313
36467.662512n/a11516
37467.712514n/a13119
38462.575016n/a14322
39462.625018n/a15625
40462.675020n/a17228
41462.725022n/a22331
42462.56251107.2n/a14

With some radios such as the Motorola Talkabout you will need to add 38 to the code listed above. (Example: For channel 32, the code would be 4 + 38 = 42)

9 thoughts on “How Midland's "Extra Channels" Work (Updated!)”

  • Rick

    Are you sure the Midland model number is correct? In any case, one has 15 channels and the other has 22 channels, so if we are talking about two GMRS radios, it's likely they won't match up. Most FRS/GMRS combo models today have 22 channels, as shown in this FRS/GMRS channel and frequency guide. Usually channels 1-7 are shared FRS/GMRS, 8-14 are FRS only, and 15-22 are GMRS only. The Cobra PR900DX is intended for use as a GMRS radio. Channels 1-7 are shared FRS/GMRS and 8-15 are GMRS only. There are no FRS only channels.
    This means channels 1-7 will be the same on both radios, but 8-14 on the Midland are not used. You would need to skip to channels 15-22 to match the Midland with channels 8-15 on the Cobra. They may not be a perfect match, so you will need the user manuals for both radios to locate the channel and frequency tables to match them.

    Reply
  • Daniel Williams
    Daniel Williams August 27, 2016 at 11:10 am

    I have 4 radios, two cobra pr900dx 15ch and two midland 151a 22ch. They work great together on channels 1-7 but 8-15 will not work between brands cobra to midland midland to cobra.

    Reply
  • jeff

    is the PL/DPL tones for Repeater or private talk?
    THE THE EXTRA CHANNLES?

    Reply
  • Drew

    The Midland code for channel 30 in the above chart is incorrect. - the correct code is 17 for ctcs 118.8, please correct it. Code 25 is in the incorrect column to the right of 118.8 in a Midland manual.

    Reply
  • jimmy Cary

    your info for midland channel 32 is wrong, the Dcs code is actually 31

    Reply
  • DWIGHT CLARK

    TO ME, IT'S NIT ACTUALLY FAIR, NOT KNOWING ALL LEGALITIES, IN REFERENCE TO THE FRS/GMRS RADIOS.
    SOME DEALERS SAY U DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A LICENCE, FCC SAYS U DO, NOT, THERE ARE 8 MORE CHANNELS TOTHE ORIGINAL 42 CHANNEL RADIO,
    THAT'S GREAT I LOVE IT! MORE CHANNELS THAT THE REGULAR CB RADIO.
    HOWEVER, HOW MANY ARE GMRS, AND, HOW MANY ARE FRS?
    AND IF PART OF THE RADIO IS FRS, WHY NOT JUST HAV 50 CHANNELS
    FRS(LICENCE FREE), AND 50 CHANNELS, W/ A LICENSE REQUIREMENT?
    BETTER YET SOME OF THE FRS/GMRS RADIOS I'VE SEEN LATELY, COME OUT AS 5 WATT UNITS. WHY NOT MAKE'EM BOTH 5 WATTS, TO SAVE A HASSLE?
    ANOTHER THIING, INCLUDE A BOOK AS TO WHERE THE FRS/GMRS RADIOS ARE LEGAL IN OTHER COUNTRIES, WHETHER LICENSED/
    LICENCE FREE, AND, THE COUNTRY, NOT TO MAKE THE RADIOS THAT ARE
    ALREADY LICENSED RADIOS LEGAL IN THEIR COUNTRY(LETTING THEM USE THERE RADIOS UNDER USA LICENSE), OR THE LICENSE FREE, TOBE USED AS THE SAME IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES, BUT CITIZENS THAT HAVE'EM IN THEIR COUNTRY MUST AQUIRE A LICENSE AS THEIR COUNTRY REGULATES.
    DWIGHT, DELEON, TEXAS

    Reply
  • david

    I haveMidland LXT110 model with Nooperator manual How do I get one?

    Reply
  • TominEastLongmeadowMA February 23, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    Thanks for posting this information. It was very hard to find anywhere, even on the web.
    I'd wondered about the "extra" channels since I saw the radios in Staples. I don't use our two-ways as much as when the kids were younger, but they still come in handy when we're out and about.
    So now I know that I don't have to run out and get the new, latest and greatest offerings from Midland.

    Reply
  • Tom

    Intersting to note that there would be NO legal way to operate one of these radios on any of the "special" channels because they lack a way to check to see if the frequency is clear before transmitting.
    Of course, the fact that there is NO legal way to operate a radio has not stopped the FCC from approving even stillier designs in the past (for example, a remote controlled TRANSMIT-ONLY "FRS" radio that the maker markets as a remote alarm system - which the FCC technical staff have admitted is impossible to operate legally since it has absolutely no way to check to see that the frequency is clear - but the FCC administrative staff approved the radio because the manufacturer stated that it met all the technical specs for a transmitter.)

    Reply

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