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Motorola XTS5000


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How many people are actually using the XTS5000??

Besides the PRICE, is there any downside to the XTS5000?

Is there any reason to NOT get the available options when buying the radio? I have to assume if its even possible, it would cost more to upgrade the radio after the purchase?

Thanks

 

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Me, and most of the guys in my local GMRS-Dork group all use XTS5000s ...   Other than the price.. and the size, it is IMO, the best radio you can use as far as performance, durability and quality..

The biggest downside is probably getting your hands on the Motorola programming software and then learning how to use it.. it is NOT easy to learn and it is very ... "deep"...

IMHO, I would be sure to get a Model III which has the screen and all the buttons - the only other options that comes to mind is ADP and AES encryption.. ADP encryption is probably enough for 99.999% of people, and AES requires an expensive "keyloader" before you can use it.. but it doesn't hurt to have both options enabled.    Many upgrades are software based and you could do them yourself IF you get your hands on that software (different from the programming software) otherwise you might have to pay someone to do them.  IIRC, the only hardware based upgrade is AES encryption - but I could be remembering that wrong.

 

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1 hour ago, OffRoaderX said:

Me, and most of the guys in my local GMRS-Dork group all use XTS5000s ...   Other than the price.. and the size, it is, without a doubt, the best radio you can use as far as performance, durability and quality..

The biggest downside is probably getting your hands on the Motorola programming software and then learning how to use it.. it is NOT easy to learn and it is very ... "deep"...

IMHO, I would be sure to get a Model III which has the screen and all the buttons - the only other options that comes to mind is ADP and AES encryption.. ADP encryption is probably enough for 99.999% of people, and AES requires an expensive "keyloader" before you can use it.. but it doesn't hurt to have both options enabled.    Many upgrades are software based and you could do them yourself IF you get your hands on that software (different from the programming software) otherwise you might have to pay someone to do them.  IIRC, the only hardware based upgrade is AES encryption - but I could be remembering that wrong.

 

Thanks for the reply, there is an option for trunking abilities, didn't appear to change the price, otherwise yes the aes upgrade added some, and my thinking, was if I ever wanted to sell it, the aes would be an add I could use to justify a price. The cable is not cheap, and the impress charger and or battery was the most expensive upgrade. I haven't talked to anyone there, but I haven't seen any availability of the cps software at their place, I almost feel like I should wait to buy radios until after I source the software.

Have a Great Day

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I am currently running XTS2500's for HT's and am running an XTL1500 as my home base station.  You need to make sure you setup your radio right, mine was configured when I bought them, but after looking at the settings, with CPS, I found they got a lot of things wrong.  if you have any problems of questions, hit me up.

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I have a XTS5000 III, and its an ok radio. The XTS are EOL now, and not supported by Motorola. The software was difficult to track down, and Motorola won't sell it to you. If you are looking for analog only, it is way too large and heavy to be a good choice. I bought mine for P25 use only, but analog it works well. As far as "upgrades", those that have extra upgrade flashes sitting around aren't willing to get rid of them, and like the software, MOL says EOL no sale.

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48 minutes ago, tweiss3 said:

I have a XTS5000 III, and its an ok radio. The XTS are EOL now, and not supported by Motorola. The software was difficult to track down, and Motorola won't sell it to you. If you are looking for analog only, it is way too large and heavy to be a good choice. I bought mine for P25 use only, but analog it works well. As far as "upgrades", those that have extra upgrade flashes sitting around aren't willing to get rid of them, and like the software, MOL says EOL no sale.

I have a buddy who picked up one for 800MHz. Cost him $75 at a swap. The use was to monitor the local PD which was on a trunked system.  He managed to find the software for it and the one to generate a system key file he said was necessary to get it to monitor a trunked system. The software is out there. Might be sort of hard to find.

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Well, it just so happens..... I have BOTH the 5000's in 3 bands and the 2500's in 3 bands.

The one 5K is an 800 system radio and the equivalent 2500 is 900 and used for ham

Durability is about the same.  Price is similar.  I like my 5K's because I have an XTVA in my van which allows me to drop any of the three radios in and have a handheld control head and external speaker.  I have a multiband commercial antenna on it so it works with all three bands. 

Programming is no harder than setting up a CCR Baofeng, due to their almost hostile software.  The 5K's are a bit larger and heavier than the 2500's but I run a fire rig (shoulder strap and leather case) with a commander mike (has volume and channel control on the mike.  Not sure that the commander mike will work with the 2500's but I have never tried. 

If you are a system owner / operator on the network, the one nice thing with either of the radios is you can program 'phone numbers' into the radio.  Now actual phone numbers on GMRS with a phone patch is a no no... But setting up the node DTMF commands so you can connect and disconnect to the different main nodes is nice.   You just select the command you what and push the PTT.  The radio will send the command string and your node will do it's thing. 

Accessories is another thing that commercial radios have that the CCR's and ham stuff lack.  I have bank chargers that my radios set in.  I can charge 6 radios or batteries at a time.  Never seen that with a Baofeng. And the overall quality if so much better with the commercial stuff,  and the apex of that is the 5K's for their manufactured window of time.  Of course they have been phased out and replaced with the APX radios and those are a whole different animal.  But they are seriously expensive.  I have less invested in all my 2500's and 5000's than a single APX 7000 costs. 

The other thing with the programming is the files are portable.  You can read your radio, email me or someone with my skill set your 'codeplug' (programming file) and I can edit it and setup the radio how you ask for it to be done and then I email it back. This is helpful when learning to program and not knowing exactly what you are doing. 

Just some thoughts to consider.

 

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If you must have P25 then the XTS5000 is probably the best price/performance radio you can get, but be are aware that they are EOL as stated by others, and they are heavy and really BIG. I am sure being EOL the CPS might be possible to get for super cheap.

However, if you don't really need to have P25, and DMR would suffice, I would've recommend the XPR7550e over the XTS5000 if prices weren't so outrageously inflated... but given how things are, I think the XTS5000 is probably gonna be fine.

G.

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If the size and weight don't bother you, the 5000 is an excellent radio. Personally, I deeply dislike the XPR7550 having used one extensively for work. I had a lot of issues with inadvertent channel/volume changes and uncommanded shutdowns from bumping the radio against process machinery in cramped areas. The zone/menu structure is also illogical to me.

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Understood, but those issues could happen in any radio as well, inadvertently change the volume/channels that is... (2.10 and newer firmware has channel knob lock BTW) as for the shutdowns, I've never had any radio in my entire fleet shutdown on its own unless it was due to running out of battery. Also, there is an option to disable power-off, so the only way to shutdown the radio is by removing the battery. 

Again, I think both radios are good choices, but for me the weight/size was a deal breaker.

G.

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4 hours ago, gman1971 said:

Understood, but those issues could happen in any radio as well, inadvertently change the volume/channels that is... (2.10 and newer firmware has channel knob lock BTW) as for the shutdowns, I've never had any radio in my entire fleet shutdown on its own unless it was due to running out of battery. Also, there is an option to disable power-off, so the only way to shutdown the radio is by removing the battery. 

Again, I think both radios are good choices, but for me the weight/size was a deal breaker.

G.

The in-house radio shop that maintains the TRBO equipment concluded that channel selector lock was not possible; there was a long and frustrating email chain on the subject. I believe the radio in question is running 2.10.2 but I don't have it on me right now so don't take that as gospel!

The shutdown issue is caused by the volume knob getting snagged when the radio is carried on a belt clip. On my personal radios (EFJ 5100ES and VP600), I use soft power down and volume lock to solve this issue and it has worked perfectly. One of those had its volume knob bumped into the off position this past weekend but these settings kept it functioning normally. I'm inclined to think that this issue is only common in industrial and public safety applications.

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I used XTS5000's while in the military, which were great radios for P25, as for GMRS use, I want something smaller, lighter, and more recent. Mobile it is a combination of Motorola XPR5550e and CDM1550 LS+, and handheld it is XPR6550/7550e radios. That XTS5000 is just too big to be lugging around unless I am using it for something else as well. Still, the XTS5000/3000/2500/1500 proliferate my own collection, as that is what I have supported in a long career, both military and civilian, and they continue to be used as long as parts and batteries are available. As another posted before, it is nice to have the XTVA option, switching radios as needed and having a Hand Held Control Head and multiband antenna installed on the roof. +1 on buying Model 3's as well, you will want Front Panel Programming, and a display....I do this with XTS2500's and pretty much any radio I expect to use a lot. That display comes in handy for troubleshooting when you need to do so.

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On 5/7/2022 at 5:23 PM, DeoVindice said:

The in-house radio shop that maintains the TRBO equipment concluded that channel selector lock was not possible; there was a long and frustrating email chain on the subject. I believe the radio in question is running 2.10.2 but I don't have it on me right now so don't take that as gospel!

The shutdown issue is caused by the volume knob getting snagged when the radio is carried on a belt clip. On my personal radios (EFJ 5100ES and VP600), I use soft power down and volume lock to solve this issue and it has worked perfectly. One of those had its volume knob bumped into the off position this past weekend but these settings kept it functioning normally. I'm inclined to think that this issue is only common in industrial and public safety applications.

MotoTRBO fw 2.10+ definitively has the option to lock the channel knob from the CPS. CPS 2.0, however.

If you don't have/want 2.10 and the CPS 2 abomination, then there is a knob guard that you can 3d print, or buy from eBay... well, if it bothers you that much, that is. Accidental channel changing hasn't been a problem for me after I got a good belt holster.

CPS16 has a way to set the min volume on the volume knob, and a way to disable the On/Off switch as well... but I've been EDC my XPR7550e for ~2 years on my tactical belt, every day, and never had my radio shutdown on me. Ever.

If I was to pick an issue with the XPR7550e ergonomics it would be the large PTT button, which sometimes I tend to accidentally press when picking the radio up, especially if its dark.

G.

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There is something to be said for the massive battery. I use an XTS5000 at work for 10-12 hour shifts. It doesn't matter if I forget the charge it prior to the next shift as I have never gotten the low battery warning. The XTS2500s would give me 2 shifts and then would be beeping at me.

 

Personally, I am using Vertex VX-231s and EVX-534s for GMRS. They are much smaller. An extended battery lasts 36-48 hours on standby. The EVX can do encryption and digital if you wanted that as well. Definitely isn't an XTS5000 though.

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On 5/9/2022 at 9:22 PM, WRFP399 said:

There is something to be said for the massive battery. I use an XTS5000 at work for 10-12 hour shifts. It doesn't matter if I forget the charge it prior to the next shift as I have never gotten the low battery warning. The XTS2500s would give me 2 shifts and then would be beeping at me.

 

Personally, I am using Vertex VX-231s and EVX-534s for GMRS. They are much smaller. An extended battery lasts 36-48 hours on standby. The EVX can do encryption and digital if you wanted that as well. Definitely isn't an XTS5000 though.

Like you said, for GMRS there are a lot of LMR alternatives out there, and some Vertex radios might even be Part 95 too.

Still have a few leftover EVX-539s and I think they are indeed very nice radios, for the cost... and only when aligned properly (the ones purchased from eBay all came with the default tuning which was utter crap). Every time you hit that "Recover" option on the EVX53x CPS, the tuning partition gets wiped... and you lose A LOT of performance.

I've never used the Vertex VX-231, but I am more inclined to recommend that radio over the EVX-53x series due to cost and the alignment situation. JMO.

But, if you are going to go/use digital, then you might as well save some cash and get something decent that has audio enhancements and noise suppression built in, which makes a huge difference.

G.

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To the OP: As you can see, there’s a lot of fiddling around that accompanies repurposing something based on a high end commercial radio. That’s fine if that’s really how you want to spend your time.

But for many people a decent radio, built to be sold as a GMRS radio, such as a Wouxun 805, 905, or 935 will be more than good enough without concerns over software legality, tuning partitions, needing a knob guard, or any one of a number of “perfect except for qualifiers” listed above.

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  • 3 weeks later...
6 hours ago, gman1971 said:

 

As opposed to having shitty receivers on that Wouxun trash of yours, with simplex ranges measured in tenths of a mile... got it.

Weird.. My Wouxun KG805, KG-916, KG905, KG935G, KG-UV9G and KGUV9GX ALL transmit on simplex pretty much exactly as the same range as my Motorola XTS5000 - easily 3-15 miles, not "tenths of a mile" as proclaimed by you .. and my Wouxun KG-1000G transmits just as far as my Motorola XTL5000 when at the same power setting.

But you know what everyone says...  "some people" as they laugh in your face and shake their heads, knowing that you're FOS ..

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6 hours ago, gman1971 said:

@Sshannon

As opposed to having shitty receivers on that Wouxun trash of yours, with simplex ranges measured in tenths of a mile... got it.

 

Have you been under the weather?  The vitriol wasn’t flowing quite as strongly over the past three weeks and I was worried about you. 
I have heard your rants many times but frequently during our network checkins we hear someone really clearly from 30 miles away and it always makes me smile when the net operator asks what mobile they’re using and they report they only have a Baofeng UV5R with a stock antenna. 
As Randy pointed out you’re full of your own opinions. Not everyone needs a Motorola and those who don’t have one can get just as much use and enjoyment out of their radios. 
Good luck to you. Being miserable is its own punishment. 

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@OffroadX transmit and receive are different things. Everyone? I think you meant to say a handful of cheep and resentful guys around here who can't take someone who strongly disagrees with them. I've never given a flying foxtrot about what others, including you, thought of me; and certainly not going to start caring now because of you either. 

@Sshannon, well, worry no more, figured it was a good post to let all that vitriol out, because I missed the kind and warm responses from the "other people" too... so there you have it!!

G.

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4 minutes ago, OffRoaderX said:

It goes without saying that my "shitty" Wouxun receivers also receive just as well as the Motorola's. 

Well, yes, to a point.  And then not so much.  CCR receivers have the issue of being designed for DC to daylight with no band specific filtering.  That band specific filtering keeps stuff that's not in the band that the radio is designed to operate in out of the front end of the radio.  I can walk around a hamfest where every third person is transmitting and STILL receiver the guy's signal that's trying to talk to me.  I tried that once with a UV5R.  It failed miserably. 

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Indeed. I already brought up this personal anecdote, but it worth repeating. Three of us playing with with HTs on a parking lot. Two guys are testing their GMRS setup, the third is listening to a ham repeater on 2m with UV5R. The moment GMRS guys press PTT, the UV5R goes silent. The GMRS 65cm signal totally shuts UV5R that is receiving on 2m. Out of curiosity we tried this with another Baofeng UV-B5, FT1DR and TK-3170. Yaesu and Kenwood are unfazed, Baofengs give up.

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26 minutes ago, WRKC935 said:

Well, yes, to a point.  And then not so much.  CCR receivers have the issue of being designed for DC to daylight with no band specific filtering.  That band specific filtering keeps stuff that's not in the band that the radio is designed to operate in out of the front end of the radio.  I can walk around a hamfest where every third person is transmitting and STILL receiver the guy's signal that's trying to talk to me.  I tried that once with a UV5R.  It failed miserably. 

 

10 minutes ago, axorlov said:

Indeed. I already brought up this personal anecdote, but it worth repeating. Three of us playing with with HTs on a parking lot. Two guys are testing their GMRS setup, the third is listening to a ham repeater on 2m with UV5R. The moment GMRS guys press PTT, the UV5R goes silent. The GMRS 65cm signal totally shuts UV5R that is receiving on 2m. Out of curiosity we tried this with another Baofeng UV-B5, FT1DR and TK-3170. Yaesu and Kenwood are unfazed, Baofengs give up.

The original proclamation was about "shitty Wouxun" radios.. Not UV-5R radios.

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