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Midland changes power options for the GXT2000

GXT1000-GXT2000-compare.jpgThe Midland GXT2000 is a very capable FRS/GMRS radio. It is based on the extremely popular GXT1000 with a few improvements, tweaks and upgrades. One important upgrade was the battery pack. The GXT1000 uses a BATT-5R Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack. The GXT2000 uses a BATT12Li Lithium Polymer (Li-Po) battery pack, boasting a faster recharge time of about two hours. In its initial launch, the GXT2000 Series, which included the GXT2000 and GXT2050, was designed to also accommodate four disposable AA alkaline batteries as an alternate power source. This was big news, as a dual Li-Po/Alkaline power option was considered a rare feat.

However, after the initial introduction of the GXT2000 Series, Midland made a change to this radio that was not widely advertised or reported, yet it was a very important modification that affected its overall versatility, particularly when it is used for some extended activities. The GXT2000 Series can no longer be powered by disposable alkaline batteries.

Soon after it was launched, users of the GXT2000 began to experience power problems related to the LiPo battery pack. The issues became so pervasive the radio was quickly pulled off the market. After some tweaking, the GXT2000 went back into production with assurance from Midland the problems were solved. Then something mysterious happened.

GXT1000-GXT2000-compare_02.pngOn re-launch, Midland changed the design of the battery chamber so the radios could no longer accept four AA alkalines, as the slot that previously held the fourth battery was now permanently blocked, and although the additional AA battery contacts were still there, they no longer functioned. The radio was reconfigured to accept the LiPo battery pack alone, and a sticker plastered inside the chamber confirmed this in large, silver print.

There was only one complication with this change. Apparently Midland didn't tell anyone about it. They certainly didn't tell us, an authorized Midland dealer. The change wasn't specifically noted in their marketing, either. Customers who purchased the new radios found out about the design change when they opened up the back of their radios for the first time. We found out when customers began to notify us. In fact, the online version of the GXT2000 Owner's Manual on Midland's own web site still claimed the radio would accept both Lithium Polymer and disposable alkaline batteries. To their credit, Midland did change the online manual to instruct users to only use the BATT12Li Lithium Polymer battery pack after we contacted them and requested an update.

At this time, we have received no official notification whatsoever from Midland that disposable AA alkaline batteries cannot be used in the original version of the GXT2000 Series radios that can accommodate them. If you have the original version of the GXT2000 or GXT2050 with the ability to accept all four alkalines in the battery chamber and your radio is working, swapping the BATT12Li battery pack with AA disposable alkaline batteries is solely at your risk and discretion.

However, if you have the newer version of the Midland GXT2000 or GXT2050 and it contains a sticker with the words Only use Midland BATT12Li Li-Polymer battery pack, your radio will not accommodate the alkalines and you should not attempt to use them with the radio.

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