Midland X-tra Talk 20 Mile GMRS Radio - 2 Pack

$22 from buy.com.
Price fine but not hot.

So if I buy this, am I technically in for 2? =P



Bought the next model up (27 mile) at newegg a week ago for 25 with shipping. Not too much of a deal but still 20 bucks for a good long range 2 way.

I always wonder how they come up with those “20 mile” range figures.

Let’s have a scoop of reality. Even if you obtain an FCC license and legally operate it at GMRS frequencies, you’ll be really lucky to get a mile or two in real life. The so-called ideal conditions 20 miles would be in perfect weather, with direct line of sight, and one party standing on top of a tall mountain, while the other in a valley. Then they’ll be able to get some sort of signal from one another. I doubt they would actually be able to carry on a conversation…

That said - these little radios can be a life saver when you have to separate with your party in a resort, theme park, or elsewhere. We’ve used a similar set (different, and frankly better known brand) in said settings, such as a distant resort with no usable cellular signal, and were able to communicate throughout the resort area on FRS (no license needed) frequencies. I’d say with no direct line of sight and fresh batteries, about half a mile (with trees and buildings in between)…

If you use it in a more densely populated area though, be prepared that other families would be using similar devices and you’d be hearing their conversations too (and they will hear yours). And in this case, by the way - shorter range is a good thing! So that you won’t have to deal with other radio users miles away from you!

I could be wrong, but don’t you need an FCC license to operate radios this strong? I personally hope not (as it seems silly to me), but the last time I got radios like this from woot (years ago), to operate it in the full 20-mile range uses a radio band that normally requires a license to operate in.

Can someone else deny/confirm?

Would these hold up with my 4 year old? Is this something I should get a 4 year old?

Yes you are supposed to have an FCC license to operate on GMRS frequencies at higher power. This will get you longer range, but as said previously, not 20 miles except under the best of circumstances.

For more info on GMRS license: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mobile_Radio_Service

$85, 5 years, and valid for your family.

FRS is the license free service. Most GMRS radios can also operate on these frequencies at lower power. There are FRS only frequencies, frequencies shared between both services, and GMRS only frequencies.


These radios use both FRS and GMRS frequencies. You DO NOT NEED a license for FRS, but do need a license for GMRS. It is stated in the description, by the way.

I believe these channels are the same for all radios, but particularly on one I own channels 1-7 and 15-22 are GMRS and require a license, leaving you with only channels 8-14 (and that’s 7 out of 22 advertised) for license free use in FRS range.

Did you even read… “GMRS requires FCC license”

Yes - often the fine print will tell you that the max range can be achieved “on the beach.”

I can think of a few scenarios (e.g. involving younger children) where this might help in situations such as the one at the resort that you described, but of course, we do have cell phones now!

In my experience, 4-year-olds are masters at losing things. That would keep me from doing it, before I even considered other factors. 7 or 8 years old (at least) seems more like it.

Yes, we do have cell phones! But not all areas have cell towers… This summer we stayed in a resort that had cellular service only if you walked to a specific spot and turned just the right way… Not too useful for “hey, get your butts off the beach, dinner’s ready” calls… So we had to run to nearby big box store (without mentioning it’s name, but it starts with Wal, and ends with Mart) and buy the only pair of similar radios they had left (for about double the price of the current offering)… They worked pretty good for us though! Will definitely take them again, when we go for a vacation in a distant spot not yet touched by 21st century technological advancement!

It costs $85 for the FCC license required to use the GMRS functions of this radio.

One parent getting licensed covers the whole family if you get these for family use.

But then if you think about it - if you really need the range and the power, and willing to cough up $85 for a license, do you really want a cheap pair of radios, that even if advertised at 20 miles will doubtfully be able to get you anywhere near? I’d consider a much bigger, well known brand, such as Motorola with those huge antennas (and possibly external antennas if need be, which by the way are allowed on GMRS radios, unlike FRS, but I don’t see an external antenna plug on these guys)… Then you may be able to get 4-5 miles out of them in real world…

Great Info folks…THANKS!

All of it lead to think I’ll take a pass on these.

So what happens if you don’t have a license and you use GMRS? How will anybody know? Is the violation detectable?

What if you do have a license? Are there any enforcement checks?

What happens if you operate it in the GMRS range without the license? and how would they know you are operating without a license?

When you purchase a license, you get a call sign, which you should be able to produce upon request. But of course the chances of getting caught are slim, yet if you do get caught - the penalty is quite severe, if I am not mistaken it’s in 4 digit range…

Here’s a fun part though. If I am not wrong - TRANSMITTING at high power is what requires a license. If you just want to tune your radio to one of those channels and never hit a transmit button, you can perfectly legally eavesdrop on communications of all legal (and illegal for that matter) users of the similar radios within 20(you wish!) miles range… Not saying it’s morally acceptable, just saying there’s nothing wrong with it legally for as long as you are not doing it with intent to commit a crime…