Motorola Talkabout MT350R Review

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Middle-aged man using walkie-talkie while standing beside car in shipping yard

Ham radios have become so popular today that almost every profession can hardly go without them. Buying the right two-way mobile requires prior knowledge. However, do not worry if you are a newbie, there are various walkie talkies for beginners that are packed with standard features to keep you in touch with your loved ones.

If you have not yet tried the Motorola Talk about MT350r, then you are missing a great experience. With its simple, yet exciting features, this Motorola two way radio will take your outdoor experience to the next level. Its versatile design helps the device to stand vigorous activities, drops, and throws. It is ideal for biking, hiking, mountain climbing, camping, among other hobbies; its bright orange colour makes it easy to spot if you accidentally drop it in the snow. The device comes with a splash and dust-free features and hence can survive extreme weather changes such as rain or snow. It also can float in water.

With the weather alert features and other capabilities, the MT350R is ideal for you if you are engaging in a long trip. The battery’s lifespan is incomparable when fully charged; it will last for three days under regular use. Most importantly, you can use three AA cells in case the rechargeable battery runs out.

Appearance and design

The device is about 8″ long, 3″ and 1.5 inches long, which makes it ideal for gloved hands, especially on winters and during activities like skiing and biking. The design gives your radio a firm grip so that it cannot slip off your hand when in use. With all the buttons on the front, controlling the communication is straightforward. The PTT button is located on the top left and below it is the flashlight button used to switch on the flashlight. Below the flashlight button is the USB charging port

The on/off button also functions as the volume button while the antenna is on the opposite side. In the middle is the emergency button, which you can use to send an SOS signal in case of an emergency. If you need to use your headset or mic, you can use the accessory ports. Most walkie talkies have these features and are mostly used alongside the VOXX feature while the scanner is attached to your belt so that you can still run other tasks while communicating on the radio

At the back of the scanner is the battery housing, which is opened by loosening the screws. Each pack comes with a wall adapter, two receivers, two belt clips, two NiMH rechargeable batteries, two mini-USB connectors, a Y cable and a user manual. With this dual power unit, you can use three AA batteries as a backup just in case you run out of power.

Overall Performance of the Motorola MT350R

For the first time, you require more time to charge the new radio, but after that, you only need around 6 hours charging it fully. When you switch it on, the display backlight switches on and turns the LED red. Then the device gives a beeping tone that indicates that the radio has turned on. The red backlight turns off after a few seconds and turns on again if you press any button.

Range – Whenever you think about hiking, camping or even emergency preparedness, Motorola ham radio is the way. The device transmits within a 35-mile range and has a dual watch, which helps monitor two channels. The PTT power boost extends the transmission range while the class D amplifier improves the sound clarity when using higher volumes.

Battery life – The rechargeable battery will serve you for around 9 hours while you can also use the AA batteries to complete your journey in case the power goes down

Transmission – It is easy to switch the transmission power setting using the PTT button. If the transmission and reception become an issue, you can switch to high power to boost the performance. However, it is worth noting that high power transmission drains the battery. You need to use low power settings to conserve the battery.

Other features

As I mentioned earlier, I would highly recommend this model for long hikes, skating, biking, and camping, among other activities. The device has NOAA weather alert features; the storm will never get you by surprise. Other features include an emergency LED flashlight. You may not realize the importance of some of these features until you find yourself in the middle of uncertainties when you wish you had them.

The VOX feature allows you to use the device in hands-free mode; you can transmit freely with the microphone with your hands engaged elsewhere. The vibracall gives a vibration rather than having a loud ringer, especially in situations where loud sound may be intrusive. The keypad lock avoids accidental dials and doubles as a child lock. The MON helps scan your channels to let you know if someone else is using the channels or security codes. This helps you to quickly find an empty channel or reach someone easily in case of a distress call.

The company promises a range of 35 miles under ideal conditions and reduces depending on factors such as terrain, electromagnetic interference, and weather conditions, among others. Nevertheless, generally speaking, the actual range is suitable for any reasonable use. I have personally used this great radio during a hiking expedition and could comfortably transmit over 12 miles away. The adjustable PTT buttons enable the device to operate on high low power transmissions. You can optimize the power usage by first operating on low power mode and use the high power mode when transmitting on long-range

Along with the PTT power settings, the device has exciting features, which makes it more power-efficient. The radio will go into idle mode whenever it detects two minutes of inactivity. The idle mode helps to save energy since the radio only consumes 0.5 watts. However, even when it is in constant use, the NiMH battery offers double the power of a standard battery so it should serve you for around 25 hours, which is great for any standard use.

Pros

  • It has an IP54 rating; hence, it is protected against splash, snow, and dust. You never have to worry about using the device in bad weather
  • The walkie talkie uses both FRS and GMRS. It has 22 channels and 121 security codes hence you can easily find an open channel when looking for private communication
  • The built-in flashlight is ideal for night operations
  • The NOAA channels come with weather updates and alerts
  • Ten different call tones and end of call alert tone.
  • Vibracall is essential in places where sound can be intrusive
  • The keypad lock function prevents accidental dials
  • Comes in sturdy design and is easy to use
  • Long-range transmission
  • PTT power boost helps improve performance
  • VOXX function for hands-free communication
  • Dual power

Cons

  • It’s quite expensive
  • It is uncomfortable for small hands

Comparing between Motorola ms350r vs mt350r

These can be two great options if you understand how you want to use them. With their great features, they will help you gain a lot of experience with ham radios if you still do not have enough knowledge about them. So let us have a look at the different features

Appearance and size

Both receivers have a similar physical appearance; they are both black and yellow, with a slight difference in the yellow colour. They also are similar in size with a negligible difference in weight. The ms350r weighs 6.4 ounces, but the mt350r weighs 5.4 ounces.

Performance

When buying Motorola 2 way radios, there are various things you should consider, the most important being the range. Both devices are rated at 35 miles range under ideal conditions with a clear line of communication. However, it is not easy to achieve these conditions, so you would expect the range to reduce depending on the underlying conditions. The range is dependent on factors such as walls, mountain, electromagnetic interference, weather change, and so on. Nevertheless, the range is usually the same on both machines

Channels

Both have the FRS and GMRS, and you will have 22 different channels and 121 privacy codes. This leaves you with many multiple channel options.

Weather preparedness, waterproof

Both come with an IP rating and can stand severe weather conditions such as dust and water. Mt350r is rated as IP54, while Ms350r is rated IP67. This is one of the notable differences between the two models. While Mt350r can withstand splashes, it cannot be submerged in water. While Mt350r is dustproof, it is not as dust-tight as Ms350r

Batteries

Both models have a great power output and can double-A batteries just in case the battery pack runs dry. They also come with a charger and a rechargeable battery pack.

Summary

After gathering more information about both models, I would say they are both great choices. The little differences in them make the choice harder for the buyer. Both models have significant similarities with great differences in waterproofing. Mt350r can handle water splashes while the ms350r can actually be submerged in water.

Conclusion

MT350R is quite recommendable to anyone looking for basic ham radio. The device is waterproof and is specially designed for long-range outdoor use. Its splash and dust resistant hence ideal for skiing or camping trips. Its great features make it easier for use while the battery life is unmatched. This

 

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