High-Tech Texan Holiday Gift Guide – Day 8

by | Dec 13, 2011 | Technology

MAG COVER6I’ve got a family of five and it seems one of the kids is always getting lost.  They each have cell phones but if we happen to be on vacation in the mountains, on the sea or somewhere out of cell service we have been relying on a new Midland Radio two-way radio to keep us all in touch.   Think of these babies like a high-tech walkie-talkie.  How high-tech?  How about waterproof and a range of 36 miles.

The Midland GXT-1000-VP4 packs a whopping 5 watts of power allowing for a range of up to 36 miles in optimal conditions, though typically much shorter in urban conditions.   These are full featured radios that includes rechargeable batteries, a desktop charger with AC wall and DC vehicle adapters, and a pair of headsets with microphones.   This is Midland’s only waterproof two-radio and it has proven to be durable – even after dropped in the snow for a few hours, thanks to my youngest son.

An advanced feature is “group mode” which comes in handy if you several people have a device.  Place the radios in “group mode” and assign a code to each radio.   You are then able to make direct calls from one radio to another. No need to have everyone hear a message that is intended for just one person.

This model is also a weather radio, supporting both the NOAA weather channels and NOAA weather alerts.  If severe weather is entering your area, the GXT-1000-VP4 can proactively alert you.  The hands-free operation comes in handy when your hands are occupied with things like skis or water bottles and the hands-free feature is made simpler by the included headsets.  Other features include a vibrating alert, selectable power modes, dual channel watch, and channel scan.Midland Radios

It supports a total of 50 channels – 22 standard GMRS/FRS channels and 28 extra channels – which means you have very little chance of other tapping in to your family’s conversations.

The value pack includes two headsets with boom microphones, a two pocket desktop charger, two rechargeable batteries, two belt clips, and both home and vehicle charging adapters.  Not a bad deal for $89.99.  If you actually want to keep in touch with your friends and family.