Amazon review, Feb. 2010 through Jan., 2013. Midland XT511 emergency
and GMRS 4 watt radio.
AM, FM, WX radio with rechargeable battery, AA alkaline, AC,
DC 12 v. and hand crank power sources.
See latest at bottom.
of 396 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Wilfredo M. Viray "Wally"
(Los Angeles, CA) -
review is from:
Midland XT511 GMRS
Two-Way Emergency Crank Radio (Electronics)
If you are
looking for an Emergency 2 way radio, look no further.
1. AM/FM - These are not Bose speakers, but they are
clear. It works just like portable battery powered
radios. This is useful in emergencies when the TV and
cable are knocked down so you can get news from stations
that are still transmitting. I take it out with me on my
patio and just listen to music or news.
2. Multiple power source - Can run on Alkaline, included
Rechargeable battery pack, AC socket, DC through the
cigarette lighter, or just cranking to recharge the
batteries. With all those sources of energy, you will
never run out of power.
3. 5 Watt GMRS Radio - It truly is powerful. Just as
strong as my professional radios. Excellent as a base
station when traveling or trying to look for help in an
4. Portability - It comes with a strap so that you dont
have to hold it when moving about. It also has a handle
so you have a firm grip when carrying it.
5. LED flashlight - You will never be in the dark. I
have tried leaving it on the whole night and it still
had have charge. I just used the crank to fully charge
6. Weather-proof - I actually used it when there was a
one week heavy downpour here LA. It got wet in the rain,
but it did not fail.
7. VOX - It has 3 levels of sensitivity. At level 1, it
is so sensitive that it will transmit if someone in the
8. External Speaker Mic - It is very clear and is
functional. It uses the same connectors as my
Professional Icom handheld radio, so you can even
upgrade the Speaker mic if you wish.
1. Durability - As a base station, or if you don't drop
it it is perfectly fine. It is not built to withstand a
drop on a hard surface like Professional radios. This is
an emergency base station so, you aren't expected to
treat it like a walkie talkie. They never stated that it
is as durable as a professional radio, so I was not
expecting it. So it isn't such a big deal.
2. No carrying case - It would have made it more useful
if they included a small bag where you can put this and
the accessories, as well as some basic emergency
supplies. But, again, this was something I knew that was
not included so, it is just a nice to have.
It does everything it says it can do, and does it very
well. If you were caught after an earthquake, this is
the equipment you will need to have with you. It
delivers what it promises, and is better than the other
Midland Walkie talkies.
*****UPDATE APRIL 2, 2010********
I performed a distance and clarity test.
1. Midland XT511($65)
2. ICOM F21 4 WATT PROFESSIONAL RADIO($200)
3. ICOM F40GT 4 WATT PROFESSIONAL RADIO($500)
1. My wife standing on the balcony of my house. She has
both the Midland and the ICOM F40GT.
2. I will stop every 1 mile and get down from the car
and I will use the ICOM F21 to talk to her.
3. I will ask her to communicate first with the Midland,
then the ICOM.
1. Midland - I can hear her and understand her without
static or noise. The audio quality was a little muffled
and was not as loud as the ICOM.
2. ICOM - I can hear her and understand her without
static or noise. The audio was noticeably louder and
clearer than the Midland.
1. Midland - I can still talk to her. There is some
static and a little noise. The audio did not drop.
2. ICOM - Just as good as it was at 1 mile. No static or
1. Midland - Barely audible. Trails in and out.
2. ICOM - Noticeable static and noise, but I can still
communicate without drop of audio.
The ICOM can reach further and is clearer than the
Midland in transmit and receive, but it still does what
it was meant to do and it does do it well, standing up
to an ICOM. But keep in mind that the ICOM is just a
tranceiver, it does not have any of the many functions
of the Midland. I still give this 5 stars for function
and excellent value.
****UPDATE November 28,2011****
I am very happy to report that it still works fine and I
have had no problems with it. I use it as my mobile base
station when we go outdoors. Still doing a great job. do
not leave batteries inside if you intend to store it so
that the battery will not leak or cause corrosion.
****UPDATE October 26, 2012*****
Amazingly, both Emergency GMRS radios are alive and
still used daily. I have one under my car seat, and the
other one is supposed to be in my Bug Out Bag, but
instead of shelling out money, I used it as my patio
radio. I listen to my favorite Radio station, 104.3 FM
in LA. Of course I switch over to AM and NOAA just to be
sure there are no emergencies, or just to find out the
weather forecast. I also Kayak, so it helps to know if
the waves are high in the beach area.
All consumer radios have limited warranties, usually
lasting only a year. So please TEST YOUR RADIOS
extensively in the first year so that if there is a
problem with it, they will replace it. But, I am so
happy with how long these radios have lasted. $65 for 3
years of extensive use as an emergency radio,
flashlight, Patio entertainment and weather forecasts. I
only had to change the rechargeable battery and bought a
spare after 3 years.
Hope to catch you on the air.
****UPDATE January 16,2013*****
Coming up to 4 years and these radios are still working
great. The AC Adapter wire got cut because I
accidentally ran over it with the Vacuum cleaner(Genius,
I know). I called Midland now and told them, no
questions asked, they told me they were sending me a
brand new adapter for FREE! That is EXCELLENT customer
service right there! Kudos to Midland.
Anyway, I am using the Dual channel watch option now
since more of my neighbors also got into radio. I have 2
groups talking on different channels so that it does not
get crowded. I then use the Dual Channel Monitor feature
to monitor 2 channels simultaneously. We have our radios
always on so that we can call each other, and I am
acting as a repeater/operator since I have the XT511
Basecamp. We make sure to always have someone in the
neighborhood monitoring the radios. It does give us
peace of mind that we can call for help to the entire
neighborhood at a press of a button.