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EF Johnson 5100, any opinions?


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I'm trying to get away from some of the moto stuff, I've settled on a custom XTS3000, and would like to play around with some other commercial grade radios. I'm not looking for the whole part 90 vs 95 debate, we are all having fun. I found some EF Johnson 5100's for about $80 online and would like to know if anyone has played around with them before. Solely looking to use it for gmrs and to scan some stuff. Any feedback? :)

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They use many of the same accessories as the XTS series, batteries included. I had a 900 MHz version, and it was pretty hard on batteries. I seem to hear it was private labeled for E F Johnson by Moto for a government contract. Of course, that may have been an urban radio myth....

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On 6/11/2022 at 4:28 AM, hfd376 said:

They use many of the same accessories as the XTS series, batteries included. I had a 900 MHz version, and it was pretty hard on batteries. I seem to hear it was private labeled for E F Johnson by Moto for a government contract. Of course, that may have been an urban radio myth....

As with many myths, there is a shred of truth in there. The original (V1) 5100s used XTS3000 RF decks. The V4 ("X-platform") and V6 ("ES-platform") 5100s introduced an all-new EFJ RF deck.

I strongly advise against buying a non-ES/V6 5100 as they are infamous for a variety of hardware and software problems. The 5100ES is a very good radio and I prefer them to the XTS5000 in many ways.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/16/2022 at 2:57 PM, DeoVindice said:

As with many myths, there is a shred of truth in there. The original (V1) 5100s used XTS3000 RF decks. The V4 ("X-platform") and V6 ("ES-platform") 5100s introduced an all-new EFJ RF deck.

I strongly advise against buying a non-ES/V6 5100 as they are infamous for a variety of hardware and software problems. The 5100ES is a very good radio and I prefer them to the XTS5000 in many ways.

Thanks for some good info! I went ahead and got myself a 1500ES with the latest firmware, and the CPS wasn't hard to find and get working on a win10 pc. So far I'm really enjoying it and is a nice radio to have. Thanks for the feedback guys

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On 6/11/2022 at 4:28 AM, hfd376 said:

They use many of the same accessories as the XTS series, batteries included. I had a 900 MHz version, and it was pretty hard on batteries. I seem to hear it was private labeled for E F Johnson by Moto for a government contract. Of course, that may have been an urban radio myth....

While in Iraq in 2008, there were conex boxes filled with EFJ 5100's. At that time, Kirkuk was being readied to become "basic training" and flight school for the Kurdish Air Force a.k.a. Iraq's "New" Air Force (pre-ISIS take over). All Motorola gear was being swapped out for older equipment, going back to Maxtracs, consolette's, and EFJ5100's being put into play instead of XTS series radios. A cheaper alternative and as mentioned earlier, used XTS accessories and batteries. Decent radios for what they were. The ones I dealt with were 800 MHz on a trunked 16 channel Quantar network. 

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