Living in an area with constant hurricanes creates unique challenges. With hurricanes come power outages and nonexistent cell phone service. In the event of an evacuation, I’m not going by myself. Between family and friends, we’ll have quite the convoy. Do you know what a convoy needs? A set of radios.
Having comms is always critical and finding a good set of radios can be tricky. Luckily, we are here to make your life a bit easier. The Midland X-Talker Series of two-way radios might be the perfect option for emergency comms.
The Midland X-Talker series comes in both the unlicensed and free to use FRS bands and the more powerful, licensed GMRS bands. Don’t let the GMRS license scare you. The license costs 70 bucks and is good for 10 years. With GMRS you get a much more powerful radio that has clearer transmissions and a longer effective range. The GMRS handheld Midland X-Talker radios have an effective range of up to 40 miles.
Range and Radios Explained
I’m going to keep this simple because I’m a grunt and only understand simple things. With handheld radios, the signal is dependent on the number of obstructions between the broadcaster and the receiver. A clear line-of-sight gives the most effective range.
As the number of obstructions between the broadcaster and the receiver increases the radios’ effective range tanks. If you put forests, homes, and anything else between you and the radio, the range will be limited. Through a heavy jungle, a GMRS radio will give you about a mile of effective range. On the other hand, in a clear line-of-sight field its effective range is 40 miles.
The Midland X-Talker Series
I use the T-290VP4 series, as handheld radios, and a Midland Micro Mobile radio station.
The X-Talker series sports a plethora of features. You get 36 channels in total, and 14 come equipped with privacy codes for discreet communications. For my hurricane fears, they also have a built-in weather alert and weather scan mode.
The handheld radios come equipped with three power modes that can increase range and reception at the expense of battery power. Speaking of batteries, the rechargeable batteries are quite nice and last for a very long time. The extras are very affordable and it would be wise to keep extras.
The Midland Micro Mobile station is designed to be mounted in a vehicle. It gives you the same abilities as a relay station and increases your effective range. It is meant to act as your own dispatch center when things go south. This full 15-watt service has a 50-mile effective range and has eight repeater channels and 15 hi-power channels. It is also compact for those with limited space in their vehicle or office. The Micro Mobile Station also has a more powerful magnetic radio antenna to increase your range and clarity of communications.
That’s Not All Folks
The Midland X-Talker series has a lot to offer. Besides being solid radios with tons of options, they are also modular and allow the use of accessories for easier transmissions. The handheld radios come with silent options that work perfectly with the earpiece radio system. This allows for quiet and private communications and the earpieces themselves are quite comfortable.
Finally, no piece on the set requires a complicated installation and it can be done by a grunt like me with terrible radio skills.
The combination of handheld radio and car-mounted awesomeness would give you, your family, and your friends secure communications during any event. Relying on modern cell phones is silly because of their fragility, small battery life, and sensitivity to disruptions.
In conclusion, the Midland X-Talker series is an excellent handheld radio system that’s affordable and reliable. It is quite robust, but also compact and takes up minimal room in your pocket, your radio, or vehicle. Check the system out here.