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Midland 1001LWX CB Radio Installation & Review

With such a large variety of CB radios available on today's market, it is always good to find one that is equipped with the right amount of "bells and whistles".....enough to satisfy a handful of desired features but not so many that half of them would never honestly get used.  It seems that Midland's 1001LWX radio offers just that with a 40 channel AM radio and a 7 channel Weather Band receiver.  And the price....well, that won't break your project budget either. 

Midland is a consumer and commercial grade radio manufacturer that has 50 years of radio production behind them.  I've known a few 2-way technicians that have serviced some of the Midland commercial radios and have had good things to say about them.  So I looked forward to giving this one a try to see how it performed. 
 

I contacted the folks at Right Channel Radio and soon had the Midland 1001LWX in hand along with a 3' Wilson Flex 5/8 wavelength slim style antenna, a Firestik mount, and a length of Firestick coax to hook everything up.  I've dealt with RCR before and so I was not worried about what was going to show up.  When I opened the package, I knew everything would be there.  (and it was)
 

In today's vehicles, unused space is usually at a premium.  The smaller your 12 volt powered device is, the easier it is to find a temporary or permanent spot for it.  The carbon free footprint of this green radio (sorry, just had to throw that in as it seems to be all the craze these days) measures in at about 5"(W) x 6.5"(D) x 1.5"(H).  That isn't too bad for a CB radio.  Shrinking the size down much more than that can leave you squinting to see the tiny markings on the front panel and its display.  These aging eyes appreciate not having to put on my glasses just to read the labels over the controls. 

The 40 channel, 4 watt radio, comes with a coiled cord microphone, microphone hanger, power cable, and a mounting bracket.  The receiver provides a .8uV sensitivity at a 10db signal to noise radio.  Now .8 micro-volts isn't big news to write home about.....a good ham radio receiver will be down in the .1 something uV range.....but you won't be paying just $60 for it either.  Speaking of the price, I also noticed that Midland has a $10 rebate going on until the 9/30/2010....so now we're talking about a $50 radio.  That works no matter how you cut it!  

Front panel controls give you most everything you need:  Squelch, RF Gain (and it really does work), Audio volume, Automatic Noise Limiter (ANL) switch, Channel selector, CB/PA switch, and a CB/Weather mode switch.  The mic attaches to the front panel via a screw on multi-pin connector.  A sizable LCD meter shows signal strength (transmit and receiver), operating channel, and indicators for the other switches. The rear panel offers a standard SO-239 coax connector, power cable (not detachable), External speaker jack, and a Public address (PA) speaker jack.  A U-shaped mounting bracket secures the radio to the selected mounting surface.

So....enough about the radio for now...time to get it installed. 
 

This was the first time I used the Firestik FireRing coax with the mounting ring molded into the end of the cable.  It makes for a handy connection method since there is no exposed coax for moisture and such to cause problems.  The typical PL-259 RF connector that screws onto the SO-239 antenna mount is not waterproof.  Those can be made quite water resistant with two layers of rubber tape over wrapped with standard electrical tape.  I didn't have to do that with this setup so that was one less thing to do.  I know lots of folks don't take the extra couple of minutes to waterproof their coax connections....and they will fail on the trail, sure as Jeeps roll over when you least expect it. 
 

More Midland 1001LWX CB Radio

 

 

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