I have owned my Midland Alan 48 Excel Multi for about a year now. It has been setup as a homebase radio attached to a Solarcon A99 (Antron 99). I work from home a lot and I like to have the CB radio on in the background while I work.
The initial setup of the radio was very simple. You don’t really need to look at the instructions to use the radio on the UK 40 right out of the box. Just unpack, plug in, and check SWR.
* Channel selection
* Volume (ON/OFF) INNER
* Squelch OUTER
* Mic Gain INNER
* RF Gain OUTER
* FUNC: Allows you to program and select the five memories.
* M1/EMG: Memory 1 and switches between channel 9 and 19.
* M2/DW: Memory 2 and allows you to monitor two channels for activity. The radio stops on whichever channel has activity on it.
* M3/SCAN: Memory 3 and allows you to scan the entire 40 channels you are set to. The radio stops on which ever channel it hears activity on (Its important to set the squelch level correctly, otherwise it stops on noisey channels)
* M4/LCR(AM/FM): Memory 4 and Last Channel Recall. This will switch you back to the last channel you keyed up on. Not the last channel you were listening to. If your radio is set to a country mode that allows AM, then this button switches you between FM and AM mode instead of acting as an LCR button.
* M5/LOCK: Memory 5 and the Lock button. Press this and the channel selector and buttons are locked untill you press it again.
* N.K (ESP II): Noise Killer. This little button is a major advantage of the current Midland radio’s. Press this button and you reduce the harshness of FM static.
* CB/PA: I cant really comment on this. It works, but I don’t use it much in a house.
The Signal Strength/Power Meter is an analogue (swinging needle) type, that works very well. I much prefer this type to the more “modern” digital LCD block type. I think it gives you a more accurate idea of incoming signal strength, and I find it easier to read.
The display shows either channel number, or if you hold in the FUNC button for three seconds it shows the actual frequency. This is a nice idea. No real use, but does look good.
The audio quality is superb, as good as any I have heard yet, and the addition of the ESP 2 Noise Killer feature makes it real winner. one let down is the standard fist mic that comes with it. It’s very small. It works well. I never had complaints about my audio quality, but it is very small. I guess this may be an advantage in a vehicle. I ended up buying a bigger “standard” Midland mic for the radio. I guess it comes down to personal preferences. I’m just used to bigger fist mic’s. Funnily enough, the bigger “standard” mic is of a lower build quality, but I prefer it!
I have seen in a lot of adverts for this radio that if you select the “UK SETTING” you get access to both the UK 40 and the CEPT 40. That’s 80 channels in total. This is not true (at least on my one). You have to switch the radio off. Hold down the N.K. (ESP II) button and switch it back on to go into Country setting select mode. You can then switch between UK or EC settings with the channel selector dial. Not a major deal, but something I haven’t seen mentioned in any adverts. Also, you can only scan (or DW: Dual Watch) which ever of the 40 channels you are in. You can’t, for instance: scan both UK 19 and CEPT 25 (both bands calling channels). That would have been a very useful feature.
The radio can be connected to either 12v or 24v without a dropper. Not something I have used, but I bet it must be useful if you want to move it from truck to truck and don’t want to carry a voltage dropper with you.
One year on. Do I still like my Midland Alan 48 Excel Multi? Yes. It is a superb radio, with all the functions I need. Highly recommended.