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Thread: New EFJohnson Viking VP900 Dual-band Portable

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    Default New EFJohnson Viking VP900 Dual-band Portable

    Within the last 4-6 weeks, EFJ has officially released their new dual-band P25 VP900 portable radio. This is part of their Viking product family, and it's proudly MADE IN THE USA.

    It's now available in VHF/7-800 MHz. Other bandsplits are coming soon.

    I had a chance to play with the VP600 (single-band) back in May; I was very impressed with the loudness of audio (same as APX, and no noticeable distortion at full volume), build-quality was as good as or better than the APX and the price is considerably lower than the APX. Turn-on time is just as quick as the APX.

    This radio is nothing like the 15-20-year-old legacy (5100) products which were problematic. New engineers/team worked on the Viking family and it's worthy of consideration.

    It supports APCO Project-25 Digital Trunking (Phase I and II), Motorola SmartZone Omnilink 4.1 (APCO-16) and Smartnet trunking, conventional and has the AMBE+2 1.6 vocoder.

    Full FPP is available. It comes standard with single-key DES-OFB. Multikey and AES-256 are order options. MDC/GE-Star, OTAP, 2048 channels, OTAR, Text Messaging, etc. (Where is my QCII?!?! Waaah!) Fully firmware upgradable.

    Product sheet attached.

    For more info, visit the VP900 product page.
    Attached Files Attached Files


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    It's too bad I don't see anything about UHF! This model is 7/800 and VHF only, I hope they intend to make a dual U/V or a U/7-800 model, but otherwise it looks very nice, feature-wise. It also looks nice and small, and it looks like it will use the legacy XTS batteries like the 5100's did, or so it looked from the pictures.

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    Batteries are not compatible with the 5100. Different interface connector/contacts. That's what I recall from the VP600 anyway. I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong.

    EFJ is coming out with more bandsplits ASAP. The APX was limited to specific splits when it first came out, too.

    I want a VHF/UHF1. The VHF/7-800 is useful for the paging/TRS we currently have in my province. And EFJ just had their Viking radios certified for use on the SmartZone Omnilink 4.1 system we have. Yes, we're still running steam/coal-powered systems way up north

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    Battery terminals are completely different so they will not work on the 5100s.

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    Just wanted to update this thread and state EFJ is now a paid advertiser on our forum. I am not biased for/against the Viking line, but I will say I did play with the VP600 in May and was VERY impressed with it. I liked it more than my APX, which is why I decided to sell earlier in the summer.

    If you're reading this, and are a system manager or user looking for an alternative (to Motorola) P25 product, please check out the Viking series kit. It is very decent. Watch the audio demonstration, here: http://efjohnson.boingnet.com/P25Blog_Home

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    Superlative noise cancellation.

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    The battery reminds me more of the old MTS2000 battery. The VP600 looks like an upgraded XTS5000. I enjoyed playing with the VP600, but should be getting the VP900 to play with this week. So far very impressed for the money.

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    It looked like the skinny med-cap Li-Ion XTS battery to me, that's why I thought/was hoping it was compatible with the XTS batteries, but oh, well.

    All in all though, yes it does look like a a nice dual radio but in the classic XTS5000 form-factor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack_the_ripper View Post
    wonder how much will run ?
    A Rescue group near here recently purchased the VP900's for $2800 ea. I'm not sure what options they had.

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    I see it supports wideband too which is awesome for hambone use

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    Did you happen to notice this in the specs?

    Note 1: 25 kHz mode is not available in US FCC frequencies in 700 MHz, UHF or VHF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by radiotech View Post
    Did you happen to notice this in the specs?

    Note 1: 25 kHz mode is not available in US FCC frequencies in 700 MHz, UHF or VHF.
    I'm sure qualified users/buyers (hams or export customers in Canada) can get that restriction removed via software or feature update. I am going to contact EFJ and have them clarify this, as it's a VERY important item for those of us who are authorized for 5 KHz deviation. Stand by.

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    Default New EFJohnson Viking VP900 Dual-band Portable

    Correct. Wideband disable is a software option. Qualified customers can have 25k reenabled on VHF and UHF. All 700mhz is narrowband only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    Just wanted to update this thread and state EFJ is now a paid advertiser on our forum. Visitors will see their banner ad in threads with more than one post. I am not biased for/against the Viking line, but I will say I did play with the VP600 in May and was VERY impressed with it. I liked it more than my APX, which is why I decided to sell earlier in the summer.

    If you're reading this, and are a system manager or user looking for an alternative (to Motorola) P25 product, please check out the Viking series kit. It is very decent. Watch the audio demonstration, here: http://efjohnson.boingnet.com/P25Blog_Home
    That audio demonstration is absolutely amazing. Hopefully it becomes the norm for radios in the future/present.

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    The Motorola radios (5K and 7K) can be made to sound better than what's demonstrated in the EFJ video. But, the fact is, they don't come working like that out of the box. And many persons involved with radio programming are NOT QUALIFIED TO BE DOING SUCH A THING and do not optimize or configure the subscriber equipment so it will work properly in a given user environment. The local morons here have given defaulted XTS2500s to aero-medical crews to use in a helicopter. They are inaudible, but rely on this for their dispatch communications.

    If the EFJ product sounds as great as what's demonstrated in the video, without any special programming configuration, then the EFJ radios will sound better in the field in a majority of implementations.

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    What type of microphone connector do they have? Will any existing EFJ or Moto mikes work on them?
    I'm the guy standing in background shaking his head when people show a complete lack of common sense....

    "The very nature of public safety work causes Charles Darwin to spin in his grave."

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    It uses the Jedi/Cosmo series connector. Moto mics work fine.

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    Is there a a software syskey option or do you have to use their Hardware Dongle?

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    It can use either or be programmed to require the hardware key.

    It also programs via Armada, no more pcconfigure! Yay!!

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    Thats good news. Will it work with the Motorola Legacy software key?

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    No, for security it has its own key format.

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    Good question about the legacy Motorola key, but I have my doubts, the current EFJ radios do not use the Motorola software keys.
    I like the form factor of the VP900 versus the APX. I am not a fan of the two sided radio design. No bias here, I don't own any EFJ radios, but one city in my county bought 51SL's in 2008 and are using them on our county's Motorola Astro 25 system, and they sound WAAAY better than the XTS/XTL radios on the very same system.

    I would buy one of these, and made in 'Murica..gotta love that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS2000DES View Post
    Good question about the legacy Motorola key, but I have my doubts, the current EFJ radios do not use the Motorola software keys.
    Maybe I'm misunderstanding your remark, but if you're questioning whether or not the Viking radios will function with the Motorola Legacy (software) system key file format, it's a 100% confirmed NO. EFJ has their own special keygen for this product, and it's not in the wild whatsoever. This is another PLUS for EFJ, in terms of TRS system security.

    Any answers visitors see XPR8300 giving on EFJ products can be taken as absolute truth as he's very close to the brand and aware of technical/operational characteristics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mars View Post
    The Motorola radios (5K and 7K) can be made to sound better than what's demonstrated in the EFJ video.If the EFJ product sounds as great as what's demonstrated in the video, without any special programming configuration, then the EFJ radios will sound better in the field in a majority of implementations.
    I agree I can make an APX sound much better than that.

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    Safe to say the APX radio had old firmware. I think our results were that the APX sounded better than in the original video. I still say the vp will hold its own against the APX for noise canceling and audio.