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newbie Midland MXT275 antenna placement question


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#21 Hans

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 07:46 PM

Tones that are received by the repeater are normally stripped out (that is removed entirely) before being sent to the transmitter's modulation circuit.

 

As far as I am aware, none of the repeaters in my local and greater area strip tones out or they are set as tone in = tone out; with multiple input tones. When I first started using these repeaters, I made the mistake of setting tone squelch and encountered exactly what the Midland users are having. When we first encountered and discussed it at a meeting, I suggested that they program carrier squelch. It was then that they told me Midland did not have the option.



#22 Hans

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 07:56 PM

i wonder if or how Midland could ever address this, other than forcing people to purchase a new radio with that capability, if they ever release one. as far as i know, there's no way to program or upgrade the units, at least the mxt275, other than what's available in the menu. 

 

AFAIK, they will have to redo the firmware at the factory. It would be great if the firmware was flash upgradable but I'm guessing that it isn't the case on any of the Micromobile models. I would think that they are write once systems to cut costs. If Midland is ever going to address it, they need to start now (if they haven't already) so they get the modified firmware in the pipeline. Worst case scenario, people at Midland who make the decision haven't heard or don't see the problem (don't care). If that's the case, they will simply continue to produce a radio with this issue until the product line's end of life.

 

I believe I have done it in the past but this week I will try to contact Midland via multiple paths on the internet and see if word can't get moved up the chain there. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea for others to contact Midland as well and request the ability to set carrier squelch when using transmit tones.



#23 Jones

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:53 AM

All of these Midland Micromobiles have a "Monitor" function to defeat the tone squelch.  I am not familiar with these, and the user manuals are unclear about this, so perhaps someone here can tell me...

 

When you activate MON mode on a micromobile, does it also defeat the carrier squelch?  If so, that's stupid.  On my Midland XTR and Syntec-II commercial radios, you can activate MON mode to shut off the tone squelch, and the radio will still be quiet because MON doesn't deactivate the CSQ, just the tone decoder.  The commercial rigs will still transmit the programmed tone when in MON mode, but receive CSQ.

 

If the micros don't work this way, then Midland should re-think this.

 

My favorite radios for GMRS are Midland 70-1526b XTR series made by Hitachi. A real brick-house radio. 25 Watts.



#24 n4gix

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 11:11 AM

As far as I am aware, none of the repeaters in my local and greater area strip tones out or they are set as tone in = tone out; with multiple input tones. When I first started using these repeaters, I made the mistake of setting tone squelch and encountered exactly what the Midland users are having. When we first encountered and discussed it at a meeting, I suggested that they program carrier squelch. It was then that they told me Midland did not have the option.

The received tones are stripped out and the controller will then insert whatever tone the repeater owner has set. If the tones were "passed through" they would most likely be degraded to the point of uselessness.

The controller on my Bridgecom allows up to 32 separate input tones, and a similar number of output tones. They do not even have to be the same tones... :D

 

This allows me to set up separate tone pairs for each family unit, as well as an "all call" set of tones. For example, the "Gibson Family" might have Rx 188.2 Tx 88.5 as their unique pair. "All Call" tones are Rx 141.3 Tx 141.3.


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#25 Hans

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 02:38 PM

Thanks for the information. Still, most or all repeaters around here have multiple tones where the tone used to access the repeater is the tone transmitted. The net effect is the same. Midland users are negatively affected.



#26 jharv

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 06:29 PM

berkinet - thanks for your intense googling. i searched also, but didn't find anything.
 
Hans - i agree (to ask Midland for this). i've seen their post on their product site saying they're considering it... i'll try to contant them as well, at least to show there's more interest.
 
Jones - the monitor function on the mxt275 basically turns off squelch completely, outputting (very loud) static until someone transmits.

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#27 Jones

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 04:02 PM

 

Jones - the monitor function on the mxt275 basically turns off squelch completely, outputting (very loud) static until someone transmits.

 

 

Thank you for the clarification.  They really should do this like the commercial Midlands where MON defeats the RX tone, but keeps carrier squelch on.  That would solve everyone's problem.


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#28 PastorGary

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Posted 04 September 2018 - 04:07 PM

jharv - Any news for us on your final antenna mounting configuration, since that was the main topic of this thread?
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#29 jharv

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 04:49 PM

i do have an update on the antenna, but it's not a "final" configuration yet! i got my hands on a Laird no-ground plane antenna and did some comparison testing. in my opinion, it's slightly better than the Midland - but not by very much. i'll explain...

 
the midland is sold as "pre-tuned to 462 mhz". the laird is ufh 450-470 - it's tuned to 450, and to better tune to 462 i should cut it a bit shorter. i've been afraid to do that - fearing that if i cut too much off, i could make things worse. right now my SWR is exactly 1:1 - i'm assuming because the anteanna is slightly longer than ideal for this frequency. but before cuting / tuning, i wanted to test it as-is.
 
so i road tested the laird and compared to the midland. the first thing i noticed was the laird no-ground plane definitely had more "reach" than the midland, by a few blocks. maybe about half a mile to a mile farther. so i drove in and out of where i thought the range would end, and noted on a map where coverage was good, bad (meaning no receieve either direction), or staticy (receive but with static).
where the range ended wasn't a hard cut-off. i found spotty areas just a bit father away that worked pretty decent. but overall, i was happy with the no-ground plane antenna being that it might have little better "reach" plus the spotty areas.
i then retested with the midland anteanna, driving the same route. this time the midland performed better than my test a few weeks ago, and i also noticed more spotty areas where i had signal but didn't expect to. so the midland was better this time than last time, but still not as good as the no-ground plane. i think the different results with the midland were just more thorough testing and different topography / weather.
in my test results, there were some spots that the laird worked and the midland didn't, and others that the midland worked and the laird didn't... but overall it seemed the laird worked better. i probably need a few more days to know for sure... but i guess that indicates there's not a huge difference.
 
the mxt275 also came with a mag-mount antenna. i road-tested that one also, having it sit on the very top of my tire carrier (where i'm thinking to move my mount to). it performed better than i expected. within a mile it sounded crystal clear, but after about 1 - 1.25 miles it cut out pretty hard. really makes me wonder how a 1/4 wave would perform mounted at that point - one day i will try that, but might take a few weeks for me to find all the parts i need and to make sure i have enough coax.
 
i found something else interesting with the two midland (mxt275 versus handheld gxt1000).
if i configure a PL tone on a channel (which is applied to tx and rx) and run channel-scan, it stops at a channel that has signal, and operates as carrier squelch. if i change to that channel manually, with PL set, I don't hear anything. but as soon as i scan, it'll stop and that channel and i hear the transmission. i was surprised at this - and tested it again using my handheld with no PL configured. the mobile 275 stopped and i could hear it (only in scan, not when just sitting on that channel).
i did the same test using the handheld as the receiver, with a PL set on the handheld, using the mobile to transmit with no PL. when the handheld is in scan mode and i transmit with no tone, the handheld stops at that channel, but i still hear no audio. so it more "pauses" the scan until there's no signal, then it moves on.
i just thought that was odd, especially on the mobile.... but admittedly, i probably should check the manual, but it was more fun to just try it.

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#30 Elkhunter521

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Posted 05 September 2018 - 06:27 PM

Hi all, I just got off the phone with an engineer at Midland Radio. The 3 XMT radios (115, 275, 400 )cannot have a pl tone for transmit and NOT have the same tone for
recieve. I asked about Chirp programming to alter this. His response was it might work. Problem, the slightest change would revert it back to "stock". Channel change, even a volume change. Midland does not have a fix in the works for this at present. I pointed that Bao Feng radios could do this. His reply was that Midland was looking into this for future models.
It will a complete firmware revision to fix this.

Thanks for listening to me cry.

Keith T


Radio is just a power supply for an antenna.
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Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#31 jharv

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 04:49 AM

Keith - thanks for the update. i agree, that's very sad news.



#32 PastorGary

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 06:34 AM

Just an observation - Kenwood TK880-1 (25 watt) or TK880H-1 (40 watt) plus the TK863G (25 watt)  are available used from many sources, are Part 90 AND Part 95 Certified, have user friendly software and can be programmed to do most things that the current crop of Midland radios can not do.

 

I am not at all familiar with anything 'Motorola' but I suspect that they have good used equipment that will run circles around the Midland equipment as well.

 


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#33 berkinet

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 06:59 AM

Just an observation ...

... and another.  It seems people arrive at GMRS by three routes... Directly, having had no prior radio experience, via CB (10mHz), and Ham radio.  It seems those coming from CB tend to be brand oriented and tend to want to have certified equipment. On the other hand, hams tend to be more interested in function and less rule oriented. Those coming directly to GMRS, well, I haven't got a hypothesis for that.

 

So, While hams tend to be willing to look at used equipment and commercial equipment that can operate on the GMRS band (though, not always legally) CBers want a clean approved package want manufacturer support and are less willing to take the possible risk with used and non-type accepted gear.

 

So, what's the point of this comment?  Former CBers might benefit from moving a little out of their comfort zone and find not only some nice bargains, but some high quality equipment.  OTOH, this comment  could just be the result the late summer doldrums and an attempt to find a pattern where none exists. YMMV.


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#34 WRAA720

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 08:31 AM

The inability of Midland radios to do split tones is why I will never buy one :( At their current price point for the 40W mobile, they really ought to..
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#35 berkinet

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 09:13 AM

The inability of Midland radios to do split tones is why I will never buy one :( At their current price point for the 40W mobile, they really ought to..

 

The radio PastorGary noted is available;e for $45 on ebay.   And, here is a great little Motorola M1225 for $50. (Caveat, the software for the Motorola radios can be hard to find.  But, it is available.).


Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#36 WRAA720

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:29 AM

+1 for Kenwood radios - the

 

 (Caveat, the software for the Motorola radios can be hard to find.  But, it is available.).

 

It's not hard to find - I'm pretty sure Motorola will sell it to you.  There are quite a few RadioReference forum threads discussing the legal channels to procuring Motorola software.


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#37 berkinet

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 10:50 AM

...[Motorola software] is not hard to find - I'm pretty sure Motorola will sell it to you. 

Yes. Though, it is not easy to actually find the software on their site and then set up an account. But, the biggest stumbling block is the price. Usually anywhere from 3 to 10 times the cost of a used radio.  BTW, on RadioReference, requests for Motorola programming software are discouraged and rarely answered.

 

Regarding software, a good place to look for radio programming software is https://hamfiles.co.uk


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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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#38 WRAA720

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 11:52 AM

Requests for copied/pirated versions of Motorola software go unanswered on RadioReference, but there's plenty of discussion on how to purchase from Motorola.  As far as I understand, the long and short of it is you create an online account, you sign a license agreement, they approve it, and you will be able to download the software version(s) you have requested to purchase.  Expect to pay several hundred dollars.  I would think any proprietary software you find on hamfiles.co.uk (from Motorola or others) is likely going to be pirated, and that probably shouldn't be encouraged in this forum.  Chirp is excellent free software that supports an ever-growing number of radios from multiple manufacturers, including Kenwood.  This may be a better and legal option for the budget-minded shopper.


Matt Callahan | WRAA720 | K7MFC

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#39 n4gix

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 01:12 PM

Regarding software, a good place to look for radio programming software is https://hamfiles.co.uk

Unfortunately, the 12.1 (Build 245) I got from there about 2 years ago isn't available any longer... :(

#40 berkinet

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Posted 06 September 2018 - 01:16 PM

Unfortunately, the 12.1 (Build 245) I got from there about 2 years ago isn't available any longer... :(

For which radio?

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

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