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334 of 337 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Test Results: MS350R vs MT352R
Just to give you some background, I have been an Amateur radio enthusiast for about 3 decades now. I collect radios and I am a member of a Disaster volunteer radio group. I have 2 Base Stations and dozens of professional and consumer radios of all brands spanning 3 decades.

Before I get to the radio review, I would first like to explain the advertised distances...
Published 19 months ago by Dr. Wilfredo M. Viray

versus
54 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Performance
Normally men don't read the manuals, we just wing it. Not the case this time. This radio has so many features, I was inclined to get the details. Being that I like to go camping, I was compelled to buy this radio as it's "waterproof" and has a "35 mile" range (as stated on the packaging). I charged these up and took them on their first camping trip. I configured them to...
Published on September 26, 2011 by TX Geek


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334 of 337 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Test Results: MS350R vs MT352R, December 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
Just to give you some background, I have been an Amateur radio enthusiast for about 3 decades now. I collect radios and I am a member of a Disaster volunteer radio group. I have 2 Base Stations and dozens of professional and consumer radios of all brands spanning 3 decades.

Before I get to the radio review, I would first like to explain the advertised distances of any 2 way radio. In the packaging, it actually explains the estimated distances under optimal conditions where it is Mountain to valley, medium in a lake, and short distance of 2 miles in the city. Using this radio, I can reach the nearest repeater to me which is 36.8 miles away. They can hear me load and clear. In the city, my neighbor's son, to help with my testing, biked from our house and found a hill 2.9 miles away and I was able to speak to him when he stood at a specific spot.

The testing I did below was the same test I conduct every time and always following the same path so that it is constant for an accurate comparison. It does not mean you will get the same distance as I got below. You may get less, or you may get more, it really depends on the environmental factors. You should be happy when you can reliably get more than 0.5 miles in the city.

I cannot get more distance than these with any of my professional radios like Kenwood, Yaesu and ICOM. Unless of course I remove the antenna of those radios and mount an external antenna. I should know because I have an ICOM HT with me and I always use it to verify first before conducting each stage of the test.

Anyway, I really wanted to give you a very detailed comparison of these 2 radios, the Motorola MS350R and the MT352R. These radios are about the same size and are both the new radios from Motorola. So when I did my field test I was expecting the same performance out of both radios in terms of distance and clarity.

Here is my side by side comparison between them:

1. Menu Features - They have very similar features. The difference is MS350R has the Repeater Channels in the menu and the MT352R has the Dual channel monitor menu option. Otherwise almost identical.

2. Repeater functionality - The MS350 has the repeater function. I was able to communicate with 2 distant repeaters and they were able to hear me. I had to speak up a little but otherwise they said I sounded great.

3. Size - They are about the same size. The antenna of the MS350R is slightly longer though.

4. Weather resistant - The MT352R says that it is Weather resistant. It has an IP-54 rating. The "5" is the dust resistance and the "4" is the Water resistance. This just says it can withstand a dusty or rainy environment. Ingress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the satisfactory operation of the equipment; complete protection against contact. Water splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect. The MS350R has a higher water resistance than the MT352R because it has an IP-67 rating.

5. Emergency Features - They have identical emergency features. Emergency Alert, Flashlight and Weather stations.

6. Distance - see test below

******Range Comparison: MS350 vs MT352R********

Scenario: I had my daughter stand in the front of my house and she had an MS350 and a MT352R. I walked away from the house and would radio in every .1 miles. I also had an MS350 and a MT352R. I would transmit first on the MS350 which she will only use her MS350 to receive and transmit. Then we would try to transmit with the MT352R. I live in an LA neighborhood so there are many houses and trees. I believe this would be a typical scenario for most. We were also transmitting on a GMRS Channel pressing the High Power PTT button. I do have a GMRS license.

Test: 0.1 Mile
1. MS350 - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends. Louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends. Clearer than the MS350R.

Test: 0.2 Miles
1. MS350 - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.3 Miles
1. MS350 - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.4 Miles
1. MS350 - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.5 Miles
1. MS350 - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.6 Miles
1. MS350 - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends. The MS350 was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.7 Miles
1. MS350 - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends. The MS350 was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.8 Miles
1. MS350 - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends. The MS350 was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.9 Miles
1. MS350 - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends. The MS350 was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 1 Mile
1. MS350 - There was more noise in the background but we can still communicate. The MS350 was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was more noise in the background but we can still communicate.

Test: 1.2 Miles
1. MS350R - Her transmission was choppy. The transmission was very noisy. It was choppy on both sides. We both had to repeat ourselves several times in order to understand. I had to repeat myself fewer times with the MS350R.
2. MT352R - Her transmission was choppy. The transmission was very noisy. It was choppy on both sides. We both had to repeat ourselves several times in order to understand.

COMPARATIVE SUMMARY:
They are both the same size and the features are almost identical. The MS350R is louder than the MT352R but the MT352R is slightly clearer. I believe it has to do with the fact that the MS350R is sealed because it is supposedly waterproof. I like the fact that MT352R has the power switch on the volume knob on top of the radio. It is easier to turn on and off. It is really difficult to choose between the two since they are so similar. So if you need the Repeater and waterproof features, then I would suggest the MS350R.

NEXT TEST: Waterproof Testing

1. I took off the battery of the MS350R and applied Petroleum jelly to the seal on the battery case back and all the rubber seals. I usually do this on anything that has a gasket that I intend to immerse in water. I pushed the back down with my hand as I tightened the locking screw.

2. I got a pail of water and dropped the MS350R into the bucket and left it there for exactly one minute. I took it out and wiped it dry, and used compressed air to be sure there is no water. I opened the case back and I did not find any water or dampness. I blew the back with compressed air and then re-inserted the battery after 30 minutes(of course I was scared that something might have gotten in).

3. After 30 minutes, I turned on the radio and tested it. It powered on OK. Menus worked fine and I was able to send and receive without any problems.

What I did find that when I reinserted the battery is that if you do not push hard on the case back as you are tightening the locking screw, it will not have a watertight seal as I could see a very tiny gap on the side of the case back. That could cause water to seep in and damage the radio. I strongly recommend using some for of sealant or some petroleum jelly to make it water tight. I do that for my underwater flashlights as well.

Also, I noticed that if I use Alkaline Batteries instead of the Battery Pack, there is less outward pressure on the Case back. The Battery pack seems thicker than an Energizer so it pushes outward on the case back more. So, if I ever go fishing or kayaking, I will use Energizers just to be sure.

Well, I hope my testing and experiments has helped you. Please read my reviews of the MR350R and the MT352R as well since there have been lots of past cases throughout the years. Just like the MT352R, I highly recommend this radio. I will continue to update this review so that you will see the reliability of these radios.

I do hope you get into 2 way radios, whatever you decide to buy. These are emergency radios and they are a must have for any Emergency kit or Bug-out-bag.
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75 of 87 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moto MS350r, October 19, 2011
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
I purchased these for fishing with the guys. To this point we have been using Midland lxt110 radios (I believe thats their number). I didn't mind using them in the water becasue I paid $8 per set. In real world use I feel we got a quarter mile from them and not always clear. One was dropped in the water and even after drying out did not work. They are very small which was nice.

I saw these MS350s on sale and figured I like gagets and it makes our outings more fun. I purchased 2 sets. I have performed a couple test situations so far but have not used them as I intend to. My tests had one in the garage, upright, with a voice recorder aimed at it. I drove with the other and listed off distances as I went comparing the high and low settings. I also did this with my old radios, making sure to pair it with the other old one.

For a base line, the old ones (lxt110) made it a half mile and were pretty shotty. The new ones (MS350r) made it a good mile and a half (they did go farther but you lose a lot of quality). I did not notice any significant difference between high and low power except for slightly less static. When it was out of range it was out of range. That particular run was up hill with about one-third tree cover. My other tests were in different directions from my house. Going south you quickly put a small hill (solid ground) between the units. This limited their usable range to roughly .75 to 1 mile with no tree cover. As I kept driving I did hear a blip from 2 miles away, but past that .75 to 1 mile mark it was so shotty you could not rely on it. I did not test my old ones, I figured they wouldnt keep up very well. On that note, the other day the midlands barely made it from the north to south side of our house (out side walls). I do hear wires and the steel of the car and house etc do have an impact.

I measured on a map where we fish and at most we would be .5 miles a way in dense forest so I have no concerns about these on range.

I had concerns whether I was buying the right radios for a few main reasons you may want to concider. First, you could buy 6 MR350s for the price of 4 MS350s, so even if you drop one in the water who cares. I have to assume they are the same radio in a different shell. I decided I liked the build of the MS350 better(though they are large and chunky but not heavy) and the fact they had the loop for a neckstrap (VERY nice feature). Plus you wouldnt want one to stop working when you are out in the woods. Second, I had concerns if the range of the midland 1050s would be worth it as they are advertised as 5 watt. From my research, that is not much to go on. 5 watts could be "peak" and not "the average". Also, as my tests show, the build of the radio seems to have more impact than the power (both my old midlands and MS350s on low put out the .5 watt or whatever). This could be from how effective the ant radiates etc. As another review pointed out, compare to the output of a cell phone. Again on this one, the power didnt change the range but only the clarity so I would not expect much different with the midland. The ease of use is also a big selling point as is the Ivox and obviously the TRUE waterproofness.

Yes they are expensive but since I dont buy these things much its ok with me. I am sure they will drop in price but once in a while its nice to have the newest product out.

Take home points

Pros:
adiquate/expected range - .75-1.5 miles solid and clear communication with some trees and terrain (does work farther just not very well)
ring for a neck strap
waterproof
build quality
easy to use

cons:
large (but not heavy - concider that this is 3AA betteries and the Midland 1050 is 4AAs)
no body should expect the listed range but still less static would be nice. (A hill or curve of the earth will block most any radio- terrain is important. thats why they have cell phone TOWERS)
cost

Update -
I did some checking on the FCC website for some facts and figures. Although I cant remember the numbers perfectly, this radio can pump out roughly 1.92 watts erp (this I believe is about .5 more than the MR250r). THe Midland does radiate about 5 watts.

Most will say 1-2 watts is as much as is realistic as the terrain will become the limiting factor before you need more than that much power. Another thing to point out is that radios rated very close to the same wattage will have different ranges. This is in part due to better circuits and antennas as price increases. These are very important!! also pay mind to how sensitive the squelch is if you are stricktly going for distance.

I had concerns in the first week of using these radios as one would turn off when I tried using the high power mode, low power still worked fine. I WAS USING OLD BATTERIES AND KNEW IT. I figured I better try and put new batteries in and run them down before it was too late to return. Long story short, I have been trying to run these down using the weather reports, scan, standby, and transmitting for some time now and I am getting "frusterated" waiting for the batteries to die! I figure if its taken me this long to kill them, even if they work funny with low batteries, I am sure to get a lot of usable time out of them.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars They work out well, June 28, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
I have been doing many car show caravans, and being able to communicate between at least some of the cars is extremely beneficial when traveling with 20 to 30 cars. At one point, as the tail car, I must have been about 3/4mile behind the lead car, and he could still communicate with me. We were using the GMRS channel because I could up the output with the "high" power PTT (push to talk). As we started getting further stretched out, I lost comm with the lead car. I don't know if it was because he was using an older model with no high power PTT and I just could not hear him, or if he couldn't hear me to begin with. We never figured that out.

I also did a preliminary test with my co-workers who went walking during lunch. I was sitting in my lab, surrounded by high voltage equipment, in a typical metal frame building, inside metal framed walls (I do have a window wall as well). They were walking around the office park. I was able to still communicate with them clearly and they were about 1/2mile away.

I have not tried the same thing with my daughter going down to her friend's house yet.

The supplied NiMH batteries, at least fresh and new, can last for a long time. With minimal communications use, for an hour or so, with the weather alert mode enabled (but not actively listening to anything - the radio is quiet) the unit lasted 10, maybe 15hours on the first charge. With heavy use for 3hours on the way to the car show, the batteries did not drain for a total of 8 total hours.

The units are also quite rugged. I dropped both of them from hip height, and they both still work fine, although one of them did complete reset itself.

I purchased this particular brand because they are both waterproof (not many two ways are), and they have the weather alert mode, which will really come in handy during camping / hiking trips. They can also work in the GMRS channels with the higher powered output. Repeater access is clever, but keep in mind, using any repeaters not only requires the FCC license, but even if you wanted to use them, your unit must be able to _transmit_ successfully to the repeater, which means it would need to likely be within that 1mile or so radius (I don't know if repeaters can pick up weaker signals better; I suppose if the tower is tall enough?), so even though the units can work with repeaters, I don't know if it really matters. The flashlight is cute, but probably completely unnecessary. And remember 35mile range is under absolute ideal conditions...I would suspect this is calculated if use in outer space, LOL. I'm happy with 1/2mile on the road.

I'm surprised that there are not more reviews for this model, given that they've been out for at least 2 years now?
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Repeater Function Works!, October 24, 2012
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
When I bought this at first, I liked the waterproof feature and high visibility yellow, but did not give much credit to the 35 mile range claim. But later on, as I learned more about the repeater function, and tested this with my friends, I found out how much range I could get out of this radio beyond the line of sight. To compare, while I am in the city, transmitting and receiving range while using the simplex (radio to radio over regular channel) is effective up to 1/2 mile. However, when I used the repeater function (which requires some programming, and access to a repeater station) and on duplex mode (radio to repeater to radio over repeater channel), I have been able to reach a repeater that is 7 miles away, and bounce the signal off to up to 12 miles to my friend, who was able to hear me. That is roughly 19 miles round-trip, in the New York metro area with tall buildings. Granted, it was a clear day. A similar test did not work as well on a cloudy day, so your mileage may vary.
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54 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed Performance, September 26, 2011
By 
TX Geek (Dallas, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
Normally men don't read the manuals, we just wing it. Not the case this time. This radio has so many features, I was inclined to get the details. Being that I like to go camping, I was compelled to buy this radio as it's "waterproof" and has a "35 mile" range (as stated on the packaging). I charged these up and took them on their first camping trip. I configured them to both use FRMS as it's got more signal boost and logically more range. I handed my buddy a walkie and off he drove. Shortly after I hear "hello hello" and then silence. When I got home from camping, I re-verified my settings and tested locally. I managed to get about 2 blocks before I was out of range. That's right.. I said 2 blocks, not miles. This was in the suburbs, not a wooded forest. I promptly packed it all up and took it back for a refund.

Pros:
* Waterproof
* Built in flashlight
* Lots of features

Cons:
* More expensive than other GMRS/FRS radios
* Range disappointing
* Belt clips cheap. Broke one just clipping on.

NOTE: I told everyone using the radios to hold them straight up/down to get the best reception. Doesn't seem to have helped. In case you're wondering, I had it set to Channel 2, code 1 with the "quiet" (squelch?) feature enabled. Everything else was off. More hassle than I'd anticipated. :(
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great walkie talkies, July 21, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
I bought these to keep track of my son around the neighborhood. This the second set of Motorola walkie talkies I bought because the first set was not waterproof and one ended up in water. So far, these walkie talkies are working great. The rating of 35 miles is completely unrealistic though and this is why I gave 4 stars instead of 5. I realize that 35 miles is a completely clear desert rating and anything in between decreases distance. This being said, in a neighborhood with houses, trees, and cars the true distance is about 3/4 of a mile. They are very rugged and have survived the past couple months being played with and dropped by every boy in the neighborhood, left out in the rain one night and found the next morning thanks to the bright yellow color, are clear and easy to operate, and the peace of mind in knowing where my son is at anytime is priceless. I would recommend these to parents looking to give a little bit of freedom to a child not ready for a cell phone but ready to explore the neighborhood.
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28 of 37 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage - Died on first use....twice!, June 24, 2012
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
I bought these radios to use while kayaking off the central coast figuring the "waterproof" claim would be highly useful. The first set I got worked great until my radio got wet while I was beaching my kayak. I heard a squealing noise and had to pull the battery just to get the radio to stop making noise. I immediately returned them and got another set, figuring it was just a defect. Next weekend I went out into some choppy surf and had a wave come over the edge and splashed the radio, instantly dead again. This time it wouldn't stop vibrating till I pulled the battery. I even waited till it dried out and it still didn't work. I got my money back. The same defect shouldn't happen twice so easily, terrible product.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for kayaking until you flip., July 17, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
Loved these radios while using them for calm ponds/lakes. Finally during a trip to the ocean, both of us flipped over in the jetty. Treading water for 20 minutes apparently, is too much for these "waterproof" radios...only 1 radio works now. The other is completely dead.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not waterproof!, December 19, 2013
By 
David Copley (Angola, New York, US) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
This is the third set of these I have returned.
Do not believe the "waterproof" part.
Try using these on jet ski's in salt water. They get wet and stop working!
I tried with three sets and everyone failed.
I'm returning the third set and giving up on Motorola.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Product, October 16, 2011
This review is from: Motorola MS350R 35-Mile Talkabout Waterproof 2-Way Radio (Pair) (Electronics)
I could talk to my wife in almost all magic kingdon (from spacemountain to splashmountain ok). But this +30 miles is just insane.

The product is "waterproof" for 30 min and less than 1 meter deep.

And the worst part is the belt clips. I can't believe that motorola could delivery such cheap clips.
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