Differences between EFJ 5100 versions

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danplane
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:04 pm

Differences between EFJ 5100 versions

Post by danplane » Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:23 pm

In looking around for more 5100 (vhf) units, I see that there is a confusing array of firmware versions and model types ("ES" "Ascend" etc.)
If anyone can identify the differences between the model types and the differences between the firmware versions that would be very helpful.

The reason I ask is that I have heard that certain versions are better than others. For instance, I'm told that v. 2.18.xx is better than the v. 4.14.xx(that I already have) because the rf deck in the v. 4 radios is inferior to the Motorola made v.2 units. Are there noticeable differences in the various firmware versions? Thanks in advance for guidance.

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

Re: Differences between EFJ 5100 versions

Post by Intrinsically Safe » Tue Nov 18, 2014 2:23 pm

Version 1 2 and 3 are essentially the exact same units. The only difference is the encryption module. Version 1 used a software based encryption (not FIPS certified). Version 2 used a FIPS certified SEM chip and version 3 used the motorola UCM module (to support DES-XL)
All 3 of these version used the Motorola SABER RF deck in them.
Version 4 is where EFJ started using a different RF deck supplier. Although the RF specs on the version 4 (aka X platform) are better the radio in and of itself is not necessarily (in my opinion) an overall better design. There were a lot more software improvement on the X verses the previous version so you will see more flexibility there in what/how you can program the radio.
Version 6 is the most stable of this generation, all things being equal I would purchase a series 6 (ES) over any of the others 10 times out of 10.

When you talk about Ascend, that only means the radio supports Multinet (EFJ's proprietary analog trunking system), it is the same radio as the others depending on the series.

hope this helps!

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.

danplane
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2014 6:04 pm

Re: Differences between EFJ 5100 versions

Post by danplane » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:34 pm

IS,

Thanks for your insight. In a few sentences you have cleared up volumes of conjecture and nonsense. Two more questions, will configure 2.10.2 work for all 6.xx or do I need another version? Also, (assuming that this is a proper question for this forum) do you know of any sources for 6.xx radios?

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

Re: Differences between EFJ 5100 versions

Post by Intrinsically Safe » Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:10 am

A good rule of thumb for all ES Radios (Series 6 (mobile and portable)), Whatever the middle two numbers of the firmware version, the middle two numbers of PCConfigure should be 2 higher.
So if you have 6.14.xx firmware, your PCC version should be 2.16.xx
When it comes to X platform (Series 4) all bets are off, you need a secret decoder ring.
As for getting ES radios, now that the VP600/900 are out prices have dropped considerably on the ES. Even on EBay and other auction sites you can get some pretty cheap if you are diligent.

Hope this helps!

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.

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