POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Forum dedicated to discussion on EF Johnson Radio products

Moderator: willbartlett

You like yours EFJ 5100 Sereies radio?

Yes, absolutely!
37
67%
Yes, but Motorola is better :)
10
18%
Half-and-half.
4
7%
I have objective reasons to say No!
2
4%
Absolutely No! it's piece of scrap!
2
4%
 
Total votes: 55

User avatar
N3AAG
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: PLANO, TX

POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by N3AAG » Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:23 am

Hi all!

I suggest you to participate in this small poll. Just I want to find out your satisfaction from EFJ 5100 Series radios.

Please vote if you have experience with 5100 Series radios includes P25 operation.

willbartlett
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Location: Boston, MA

Re: POLL === You like your EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by willbartlett » Mon Jul 14, 2008 8:48 pm

Hey All. Made this Sticky, added the "POLL" to the subject so it was obvious what was going on.

I loves me my 5100, also like the 5300 so far. Excellent RF performance.

Will

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N3AAG
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:39 pm
Location: PLANO, TX

Re: POLL === You like your EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by N3AAG » Tue Jul 15, 2008 12:33 pm

willbartlett wrote:Hey All. Made this Sticky, added the "POLL" to the subject so it was obvious what was going on.

I loves me my 5100, also like the 5300 so far. Excellent RF performance.

Will
Thank you very much! :)

flat4turbo
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:06 am

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by flat4turbo » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:21 am

Here's my assesment vs the /\/\ XTS2.5k / XTS5k, since it seems that this poll wants to compare the two brands.

Motorola make great radios and have the $$ to invest creating their own proprietary comunication protocols. They have also set the bar for the standard in digital, trunking, portable radio. With this said, you just can't get a better bang for your buck than an EFJ. The EFJ/Transcrypt 5000s (Stealth) series are based on the XTS3k platform where the 5100s are more akin to the XTS5k in terms of memory, performance, features and encryption (AES) options. Although EFJ currently does not offer ADP, they offer DarkStar Encryption pioneered by its Transcrypt subsidiary.


5100 Build quality
-----------------
The EFJ's are well built radios and have intrinsically safe options. They are as durable and will last as long as any other portable radio on the market today.

5100 Accessories
-----------------
With the exception of an MVA, all of the other common and popular accessories for the XTS3/5ks are available from EFJ for the 5100s.

5100 Features / Options
-----------------------
Moto's have much more finite programming features in CPS: reverse tone bursts, per channel (mode) squelch adjustments, etc. However, PCConfigure is so much easier to use (not as complex) as the CPS, which tends to create flexibility thourgh excessive modularity. NOTE: The one thing PCC lacks is copy/move/insert/paste features in the channel (mode) programming area.

Also Moto fanboys feel they can't live without the features they can hack onto XTS radio like MODAT, MDC Data and QuickCall, etc that are proprietary to
/\/\icrosoft, I mean /\/\otorola, so are not available on EFJ 5100s (except for MDC ANI). Most of those features only have a place in older PubSafety/LMR motorola systems. But the age of APCO-25 is here and as such, EFJs do support P25 Data, ID & Signaling, Radio Modem/IP tethering and GPS protocols, which pretty much perform all of the afore mentioned proprietary Moto protocols of old.

5100 Interface
--------------
To the touch, the 5100 are sturdy, but the body is slightly thicker (read:deeper) than 2.5/5ks.

The 5100 has decent menus and menu features, but since the display area is smaller with less detail (no signal bars or clock) and less buttons are dedicated to menus, it is not as snazzy as the Moto.

The 5100 also can assign each and all buttons (except for the F1, F2 and up/down rocker switch, when menu mode is enabled) to perform a shortcut to a setting (usually toggling features on/off or jumping to a sub-menu).

5100 Performance
-----------------
The radio is very sensitive receiver and fast processor performance to perform scanlist scanning, data and trunking options with ease.

For P25 digital mode operation, the Moto seems to perform more processing on the IMBE and as a result, sounds smoother when receiving weak signals. Where the EFJ sounds choppier. However, the newer 5100 ES line, EFJ has made much improvement in the vocoder area and the resulting sound is silkier the older 5100s under weak signal conditions. Also, to me, the XTS sound too bassy where the 5100 seems to like floating at the midrange audio frequencies, so it's easier to make out vocal audio in noisy environments that the XTS.

5100 Availability
----------------
EFJs are found in small numbers in the wild, but since Moto has sold 100x more radios, there are definitely more /\/\s floating around the used market.


The 5100 are great radios that perform really well. I love my 5100s and 5300s. I've already gotten rid of my moto gear since I'm happy with my EFJs.

-f4t

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Intrinsically Safe
Posts: 344
Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2007 9:19 pm

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by Intrinsically Safe » Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:02 am

The one thing PCC lacks is copy/move/insert/paste features in the channel (mode) programming area.
I just need to clarify this a little bit. In reality there is copy/paste area for the channel settings. When you are in the Edit Zone function and have the channel listing in front of you, if you have a channel highlighted, adn double click in the area just after the check box, you will be prompted with a "Distribute Channel Data' box where you can copy the current channles data to multiple locations.

The other thing they have added in recent versions is the organize zones. If you click on Radio>Organize zones you can rearrange the order of the zones.

The rest of your comments are pretty much on the mark with few minor exceptions.

I.S
Sean Penn: Last year I went to Iraq. Before Team America showed up, it was a happy place. They had flowery meadows and rainbow skies, and rivers made of chocolate, where the children danced and laughed and played with gumdrop smiles.

flat4turbo
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:06 am

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by flat4turbo » Tue Jul 29, 2008 4:28 pm

Why did I get the feeling like I was going to be corrected? ;-)

Anyone else's input is welcome.

-f4t

KMB
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 9:12 am

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by KMB » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:13 am

Until now, how many organisations, such as Police, Fire Department, using EFJ 5100 series?
As I feel that most of them using /\/\ products.
:) :)

flat4turbo
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Dec 26, 2007 3:06 am

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by flat4turbo » Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:41 pm

KMB wrote:Until now, how many organisations, such as Police, Fire Department, using EFJ 5100 series?
As I feel that most of them using /\/\ products.
:) :)
You are absolutely right.

How many /\/\icrosoft products are out there on the desktop vs Linux or OSX? It does not negate the ligitimacy of two other powerful and effective operating systems.

There are more third-party (and knock-off) accessories out there for Moto than for any other company. Just like there are more apps written for Windows than any other. If your super-mega-company has a practical monopoly on the market that is the way things are going to be. The little guys are just going to have to fight for the remaining (anti-trust) market space.

-f4t

TonyAcabono
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 2:38 am

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by TonyAcabono » Sat Aug 30, 2008 8:41 am

My experience with EF Johnson has been very pleasurable. I picked up several 5100 and 51sl radios in a package deal with some other surplus radios.

First let me give some background. I worked for and agency that used XTS-3500R radios (one of the first agencies to buy these). The radios worked marginally well. We used them in analog mode and I found the audio to be less desirable than the Sabers they replaced. They also suffered from poor quality and poor design issues. We had an issue with micro cracks on the boards. Which would cause a very difficult intermittent condition. The knobs kept falling off the top, and we could never keep the decals on them. On the model III radios the lcd screens broke easily with the slightest bump.

My EF Johnson radios have none of these problems. I do concede that they are not used in the same public safety fashion. But the radios feel sturdier and I think the case is a superior design. I prefer the audio. I recently had the opportunity to work a Quantar P25 ham repeater and the range, and audio were awesome.

When I needed parts and accessories I called EF Johnson. They were eager to get my business. They set me up as a parts only dealer and I can order whatever I want except new radios. My only beef is that they immediately extended me credit. I prefer to pay for each order with a CC instead of receiving an invoice. Anything I order lands on my doorstep in a few days. They will sell programming cables and software to anyone. Big M has a completely opposite theology on this issue.

My calls to technical support have always been answered quickly. There are a few folks that really know the product. They have a great feature where they can give you a temporary password for their FTP site and you can download flash upgrades and the latest PC Configure.

I also had good luck with the repair depot. They fix the radios and send them back to you fairly quickly. Again here they prefer to invoice and extend credit rather than bill your CC.

They only option that I would like to get but cannot get access is the FPP feature. Apparently it is only available to certain government users.

High_Order1
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:21 pm

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by High_Order1 » Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:04 pm

My background: my first moto portable had crystals in it. I have owned radios from pretty much all of the major brands sold in the US.

The EFJ 5100 rocks. Plain and simple. It should have motorola worried, but they are too arrogant to care. Especially considering the newest (APN/Y? I forget) won't use the MTS/XTS accessories as far as I can tell, that's one more reason to migrate to Johnson.

Well worth the money, and I am saving pennies to buy a UHF to sister the VHF one I have now.


-Shawn

efj44astro44
no longer registered-violation of rules
Posts: 57
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Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by efj44astro44 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 5:12 pm

The EF Johnson 5100 Portables and Really the EF Johnson 5300 Mobiles are Very Stable Radios . There Both Grate Radios . And if you know what your doing with them you can make them Sing Very Nicely . I do have some Motorola Radios , the XTS-5000 R Portables are Nice also , But the EF Johnson 5100 are Very Much the Same as the XTS 5000 Portables . But the EF Johnson 5100's are Easy'er to Program over the Motorola XTS Radios .

Steven .

Medic_535
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:28 pm

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by Medic_535 » Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:19 am

I've grown quite fond of my big black johnson over the years.....

mancow
Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2002 8:00 pm

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by mancow » Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:58 am

I liked the performance of the one I had but I thought it was so damned ugly and bulky I couldn't stand it.

902
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:40 am

Re: POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by 902 » Sun May 27, 2012 8:04 am

Hi all,

I see a few familiar handles here, so might as well add my two cents.

Background -
Former fleet manager of primarily Motorola and Technisonic VHF equipment. Bought EFJ control stations on P25 and Telex Vega C-Soft consoles. Worked very briefly for EFJ just after the Transcrypt issues (1998). I think I'm objective. Evaluated a 5100 for use in my former Motorola fleet and also bought one for volunteer work I do. I use it in both analog and digital modes.

Pro -
I have a bunch of accessories that work with it. That could be a Con, too, because I don't like the XTS-3000/5000 form factor. It is configured for keypad programming, and it's not difficult to do. Works on a variety of frequencies.

Con -
Seems to reset on the first transmission I make after I turned it on. Takes a relatively long time to boot back up. Sometimes the radio transmits, but loses transmit CTCSS. It still receives. When someone calls, I return the call, but can't get any hang time back from the repeater. When the radio is in this condition, it also cannot transmit in P25 on modes where it's supposed to. It will correct with impact. I have not figured out where the intermittent is, but might need to reflow components under a hot air bonder, or might have a fractured component from the previous owner. Impact will make that worse. The speaker and microphone locations are weird. I used the radio in a noisy environment and found myself holding it upside down - speaker up to my ear, mic by my mouth, antenna sticking out from below. Frame seems lighter than M equipment - "pot metal." Weird bell shape case flair is awkward (not an issue if kept in a leather case). Same potentially loose battery issue as in XTS-3000 and XTS-5000. Squelching action is weird. Opens to CTCSS, but hangs open in carrier squelch (can't figure out how to get that to mute up with lost CTCSS - I want this to unsquelch at 0.15 uV and mute up within 250 mS of loss of CTCSS (or quicker) - right now it's a very high unsquelch threshold and hysteresis is in carrier squelch. NO!). Separate program to adjust squelch. High power seems to be adjusted to 3 W instead of 5 W. Also slightly microphonic at higher volume levels. Most of these relate to this one radio and I'm sure other radios don't have this laundry list of stuff.

Different -
The programming software takes a bit to get used to. I've heard people say M software is difficult, but I'm used to all 14 pages of it. I don't know what things do in the EFJ programming software and don't seem to be getting exactly the characteristics I want.

I want to like it, and I do when it's working. Most of these bugs are unique to this particular radio.

Jim1348
Posts: 44
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:06 pm

POLL === You like yours EFJ 5100 Series radio? ===

Post by Jim1348 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:39 pm

Okay guys, I know that I am resurrecting a somewaht dated post, but this seems like the most appropriate palce for this. Anyway, I sold my last genuine amateur radio last week. The Yaesu FT-8800R served me well, but it is time to move on. Anyway, it seems like every time I search Ebay for a Motorola XTS5000 I run across the listings for the EFJ 5100. Where is the best palce to come up to speed on these? Is there any forum or website that gives great detail on these? Also, I did see that there is no EFJ version of an XTVA available. I [u]assume[/u] that has not changed, but I figured I better double check on that. Also, is the scan list limited to 16 channels, just like the XTS5000 then? I think that is it for now and thank you in advance.

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