I felt it was important to take a look at the Midland 1001LWX. It’s a compact little device with weather alerts that many people keep around in case of an emergency. If you’re considering picking it up for this purpose, or even for use as a general CB radio in a truck/van/car then this review is ideal for you.
Plenty of people spend their day on the road, and having a CB radio is a huge assist when this is your day job. 2 way radios are absolutely invaluable for truckers etc. The midland 1001LWX CB radio is ideal for any profession that requires large amounts of time spent out on the road.
It has a much lower price point than some of the other CB radios on the market, but it has all of the functionality you could possibly require of one. If your only interested is having a radio the gets the bare essentials done (and done well) then I’d go for this one.
There are a handful of other CB radios that fulfil the same kind of role as the 1001LWX, focusing purely on the ability to communicate and not raising the cost price with fancy quality of life features.
Whilst it can be nice to have millions of channels and a luxurious cb radio that can be synced with bluetooth to your car speakers and all manner of other expensive innovations – there’s no point in pursuing something like this if your budget is limited. And especially if you don’t need any of it.
Let’s have a brief breakdown of why this radio is loved by so many truckers and on-road professionals worldwide.
The Midland 1001LWX CB Radio – Technical Info
The Midland 1001LWX weighs in at about 1.6lbs, it’s not particularly heavy, but it’s solid enough that you can securely mount it to a frame if necessary. At 4.5 inches across, it’s not particularly long either.
It comes provided with 2 AA batteries which should give you a reasonable amount of usage given that the devices power output is only about 4 watts. The speaker is built in and only puts out with a power of about 3 watts at around 8 ohms too.
It has 40 different channel presets, the default being 19. It also has NOAA weather alert functionality. The frequency range spans from about 26.965 right through to 27.405 Mhz.
When you first open up the packaging, you’re greeted with a single CB radio, mounting & installation equipment (including a guide) and of course the microphone for the CB radio.
As is normally the case, the microphone must be plugged in to the CB radio and isn’t hardwired. This is pretty good because it means you can easily swap the microphone around if you have a better one in mind.
Again, following standard procedure, this radio is not shipped with an antenna. It’s not really going to be an issue to find one though because this radio is compatible with basically any generic CB radio antenna you’re likely to find.
It’s also likely if you’re reading this to pick a radio for your profession that you already own an antenna as you may have previously owned a CB radio.
The installation/set up instruction guide is written in plain english and isn’t particularly difficult to follow. It has clear illustrations detailing the exact installation process. If you’re a repeat CB radio user you likely won’t need this manual as installing radios becomes second nature after so many installations.
If you’re worried about the installation process it boils down to this: mounting the bracket & attaching the radio to the bracket.
The only real issue you could potentially encounter is if you don’t have enough space in your truck to attach the mounting bracket. Luckily this radio is on the smaller end of the spectrum so your much less likely to encounter an issue like this than with a bigger radio.
It’s not so small that you’ll encounter any issues in actually using the device to its full extent, though.
We’ve already covered the fact that this radio is pretty compact. But it’s also fairly minimalistic. There’s nothing flashy about here, no fancy design philosophies have been implemented. It’s a radio, made of black hard plastic.
Time and effort has gone in to ensuring that all of the important information you need is easily accessible though.
All the buttons are placed on the front facing panel. They all have a key purpose and the design makes it clear where they’re set. The volume and RF gain knobs both have white circles to indicate where they’re dialed. There’s also the channel selection input, the CB/PA toggle and a knob for adjusting the Automatic Noise Limitation settings.
The LCD screen functions as a meter to inform you of the strength of incoming transmissions, as well as the channel they’re coming from.
The rear panel is pretty much bog standard. It has a generic SO-239 coax input, an audio jack for the speaker and a PAS. Along with an integrated power cable that can’t be swapped or changed.
The mounting bracket that is provided with this radio is U-shaped.
Channel Scan/Lock Functionality
As mentioned above, this device is provided with a capability of interfacing with 40 channels. The digital tuner is configured to facilitate this. There are some key upsides to having this functionality. Namely that it’s much quicker to dial in on an active channel and it’s easy to stay with a channel once you’ve identified it.
There’s a handful of weather alert channels too. They’ll keep you updated on any changes in the weather and can be immensely helpful on route planning if you’re making long distance hauls.
When you tell the device to scan for a weather channel, it’ll pick the one with the strongest signal in order to ensure you’re getting the most relevant information.
The device doesn’t have a dedicated emergency channel button, which is often just a button that redirects to channel 9. However, it’s not hard to switch to channel 9 manually and many enthusiasts find the implementation of such a button to be a bit of a marketing gimmick.
A really cool feature is the device booting straight into channel 19 when it’s powered up. This is because this is the most commonly used channel by CB radio users on the road. Many people applaud the attention to detail that went in to integrating such a minuscule feature in the device.
As far as CB radios go, especially ones on the lower end of the pricing spectrum, this device has a pretty great transmission range. 4 Watts of power output is enough to get you a few miles of coverage provided you have a decent antenna and the weather isn’t bad. Obstructions and RF interference can affect this too, but you’re unlikely to be in a situation where you have to communicate with someone more than a few roads away.
The fact you can’t swap your mic around with ease means that if you encounter any issues with the quality of the provided mic, you can just replace it. Luckily you probably won’t as the mic provided is more than adequate for the job.
The sound quality is ideal for road use purposes – on both sides of the transmission. The reasonable quality of modulation helps quite a bit in ensuring this.
As far as budget radios go, this is probably where the device excels. Unoccupied bands have barely any audible hiss/static when dialed in. This is due in part to the Automatic Noise limiter, which helps filter out noises which are clearly not coming from intentional transmissions.
The squelch control and of course the rf gain knobs will also help you in preventing hiss.
The ANL does a great job at getting rid of one of the most common complaints for roadside radios. It eliminates the horrible humming noise you get from the engine vibrating not far from the radio.
Obviously your radio may be slightly less loud, or struggle to pick up on really quiet transmissions – but all of this can be adjusted and accounted for with some time and patience. This isn’t an issue unique to this radio either, noise cancellation always has this downfall.
Squelch control may be a bit odd to come to terms with. You need a very powerful signal to actually activate it so if there’s generic noise operating under the trigger some of it may get through and interfere. Once it kicks in though, it seriously does the job.
Again, it should be reiterated that this issue is not unique to this radio. If you want to have squelch control you’ll have to deal with the disadvantages that come with it too.
If you plan to receive transmissions from a considerable distance – I wouldn’t bother with the RF gain. It’ll cut them out, although this is ideal if you’re actually looking to reduce interference from further away. Since it’s configurable you can always re-adjust when you need to if you plan on increasing your receiving range again.
At this point you probably get the gist – the 1001LWX is a solid piece of kit. It does everything it needs to do and the only real setbacks it encounter are the same ones that all radios actually encounter. Generic issues with noise/interference elimination methods have always existed, and likely always will.
In conclusion, this radio is more than likely to service all of your basic needs. It has a low price point, but still delivers absolutely everything you need it to do and more. It’s small, rugged and is effectively a case of “plug and play”. The audio quality is decent and surfing channels is easy. The default channel 19 on power up is a really nice touch too.
The only real downsides to this device are that it’s pretty basic – so if you’re looking for a super fancy radio with insane functionality, then it’s probably not the one for you. It also doesn’t have an integrated SWR meter so it must be calibrated manually, this is pretty common for a radio in this price point though.
This radio is definitely one that’s more orientated to those who are absolutely not looking for anything unexpected. It’s cheap, reliable, easy to use and it gets the job done. What more could you want?
The microphone and antenna can be swapped with ease – so it can actually be upgraded over time if you feel like you’re due an upgrade but you don’t feel like splashing out on a brand new radio.
It’s small and compact size make it ideal – you can even opt to have it as a back up radio and store it under your seat for emergencies.
With 40 channels to choose from, weather alerts, upgradability and a handful of quality of life features such as noise limitation – it’s really hard to justify NOT buying this radio if you’re currently shopping around for a new one.