Midland Alan 42 Multi Review

I’ve owned this Midland Alan 42 Multi Hand Held for about six months now. I bought it to use on my motorbike (believe it or not). The radio comes in a kit: CB Radio, battery holder for 6 AA Alkaline (1.5V batteries), battery holder for 8 AA Rechargeable (1.2V batteries), cigarette lighter adaptor, carry case, a rubber duck style aerial, and a battery charger. I installed a cigarette lighter adaptor socket on the bike and a truck style wing mirror mount for a CB aerial on my rear pannier rack. I bought a motorcycle PTT microphone and earpice kit and voila – instant bike CB!

One big problem though – No way of changing channels on the move . . . maybe I should just give up and get a car . . .

This is another one of those “Multi Band” CB Radios. Switch it on while holding the SC and LCR buttons and use the Channel change buttons to select between the different Euro settings (UK,I,I2,D,D2,EU,EC,E,F,PL,PX,RU,SW). As usual, the PL,PX,RU,SW options are non-operational (No TX, No RX). However, you do get FM/AM options in the appropriate country settings.

Midland Alan42 handheld CBThe Dials

* Volume & On/Off
* Squelch

The Buttons

* DW: Dual Watch, allows you to monitor two channels.
* SC: Scan.
* ¤ (light): Screen backlight.
* EMG: Switched between Channel 9 & 19.
* LCR (A/F): Last Channel Recall or switches between AM and FM when in the appropriate country mode.
* H/L: High/Low Power setting (5W or 0.5W).
* Lock: Locks every button except the light button.
* Q.Up/Q.Down: These two buttons jump 10 channels (up or down) in one press.
* Channel Up/Down: These two buttons (on the side) change the channel up or down one channel per press..

The LCD display shows Signal Strength, channel number, country mode (ie. UK), FM or AM, Low or High Power, and RX or TX, DW, Lock, SC (scan). Pretty much all you need to know. The Signal Strength/Power Meter is a bar graph in the diplay window.

In use the radio proved to be very good. Even on a motorbike moving along at 50 mph with a helmet mic and earpice (It has a 3.5mm mono socket for audio out [speaker] and a 2.5mm mono socket for audio in [mic]), it was still possible to hear what was being said quite clearly. When used in hand held mode, it was still a good performer. Although the range falls through the floor when only using the rubber duck aerial.

I have used this radio connected up to my Solarcon A99 and plugged into a power supply at home, and the range is no different to my Midland Alan 48 Excel Multi (see other review). You could quite easily use this radio as an all purpose CB radio: Home, Mobile (in car or on bike!), and of course – Hand Held!

With the cigarette lighter attachment fitted instead of the battery pack, it looks like a big fist mike (you can remove the rubber duck aerial, as it has it’s own SO239 connector).

The radio comes with its own battery charger (but no batteries) that can be plugged into the rechargeable battery unit. It has a small LED to indicate when it’s charged.

This is a pretty good Hand Held, maybe not upto professional PMR radio standards (which tend to have impact resistant cases and die-cast alluminium construction and cost £200), but then this only costs £90. All in all, a damn fine hand held. The only thing that would make it better is if it was housed in a professional PMR style Walkie Talkie body, but then it would cost twice as much.

11 Comments

  1. Instructions don’t say, if charge light turns green when the batteries are full? I use 8 AA rechargable batteries with 2000mAh each and after 20 hours the light is still red. Probably I will just unplug it but you can still answer the question.

  2. I was just informed that charge light always blows red. You should check on the batteries how long thay should be charged.

  3. Hi d00d, Could you please elaborate a bit more about the PTT mechanism? What kind of cord are you using to operate this on the move? Is the two pin operation standard?

  4. Hi, Ive just bought this. I asked if this would work in Australia and the guy said yes, that it would… Ive just found out that Australia, especially the truckers( MAJORITY) all use UHF now… It doesn’t give the country code selection for Australia anyway..
    Can these be modified in anyway to add countries that are not pre-programmed into the device?? I am thinking of going to Australia in a year or so and was going to take the handheld with me!! Apparently there is still CB’s being used in Oz but not as much as UHF…

    Probably best to look into a UHF handset????? Any suggestions Please? I have been advised to buy a decent UHF from here in the UK because they are very expensive in Australia..
    Thank you 🙂

  5. hi does any 1 know were i can a charger for my 42 i have looked around and i carnt find one please e mail me

  6. Hi everyone I would like to what is the difference between Alen 42 multi and Midland 75-822? My friend has 75-822 can I contact with him ?

  7. I have a Midland 42 and a helmet kit from Albrecht in two packages; one is the mic and speakers for the helmet, the other is the leads to connect to the radio and with the PTT switch. I have 3 sets and 3 radio handsets and have tried swapping things around but have the same problem; so perhaps it’s not a fault, it’s something I’m missing in setting this up.

    Connect everything up; I can press the PTT switch and can transmit, this is heard on the other handsets. However I cannot hear a transmission coming in UNLESS I unplug the Mic plug from the handset. When everything is connected, the Midland 42 display shows a small “TX” in the display. If I unplug the mic, it shows “RX” as the others do when not transmitting. When I press the PTT switch on an unconnected headset, the “TX” is displayed along with the power transmission strength bar along the bottom. When I press the PTT switch on the Albrecht kit, the TX stays on and the power transmission strength bar shows and it does transmit. If I disconnect the helmet speaker/mic kit at the plug on the helmet, the TX on the connected handset goes back to the normal RX.

    I have tried this with different headset kits in the different radios and it’s the same for all of them. I cannot find anything in the Midland 42 manual nor in the Albrecht information.

    Can anyone advise on this? I’m planning a 2 week family off road trip to Morocco and want the car and 2 bikes to be able to communicate; I have a CB in the car, bought the Midlands and kits for the bikes.

    Thanks for any help.

    Regards, Steve.

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