Recommendation?

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Does anyone have any recent experience with the G5 and would you recommend it?
 

ButteredPopcorn

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I carry one daily. Anything specific you'd like to know?

As a scanner it's not one. As a P25 monitoring device it's great. Handles simulcast systems perfectly. Like carrying a smaller portable radio. I regularly recommend a G5 over any scanner nowadays as most folks in my circle don't need to scan things anyway. It's simple enough for me to program in for someone, hand it to them and they really can't mess anything up.

I have a list of grips but it's mainly firmware related. Battery isn't great and bluetooth never works for me.
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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I was considering picking one up to carry on my belt instead of my heavy APX7000. If I'm used to an APX will I be disappointed with the G5? I really need something small and lightweight.
 

ButteredPopcorn

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I definitely recommend it for that. I was in same boat, got tired of scanners not being reliable and then always needing to carry my portable. Reception is really good IMO even with that little stubby thing. I hacked a XTS antenna for it but didn't notice any better signal. Audio is good but it isn't the loudest. Even though it carries a high price tag there really isn't anything better right now. PPS is a little clunky but I'm sure you can figure it out.
 

PSEhub

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The unication are cheasy, lots of firmware bugs, mediocre RF, audio, and battery life, on the same level or worse than BK radios imo.

Icom F7000 series or APX900 are worth a serious look

For multiband, XL200 with slim/regular battery can't be beat.

APX 7000 and 8000 are very bulky and heavy

But if Taser could go from X26 to X2, I guess Motorola thinks they can supersize APX Next as well.

Between fat radios, body cameras, higher level body armour, narcan, and multi-cartidge tasers (and often spare(s), its amazing the load LEOs are expected to tote around.

Used to be no camera, no taser, medium radio. Then slowly the equipment just grows and grows and grows
 

sarguy1941

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I carry 2 in my truck at all times. (V/8 and U/8) Grab which ever one I need for the day. Both are dual band. VHF works ok for the system I monitor but it really is good on the 800 P25 systems I monitor. Same reason, got sick of carrying a 8K or 2 to listen to different systems. I don't think they are reliable enough for alerting but for a general receiver I've had no issues since purchase 2 years ago.
 

cyrus

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The unication are cheasy, lots of firmware bugs, mediocre RF, audio, and battery life, on the same level or worse than BK radios imo.

I’ll second this and add the software is a nightmare. There was beta firmware released a while ago which gave it more scanner like features but that seems to have been abandoned now.
 

Forts

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The software is weird, but I love mine. Much more discreet on the belt vs an APX and I find the reception and audio quality is great. Having V/7/8, Analog/P25/DMR all in one little package is super handy. Pair it with a bluetooth earpiece and away you go.
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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Clearly mixed reviews, which is what I had wanted to hear to help make a decision. I need VHF / 7-800 so it was sort of down to the G5 or continuing to have my pants fall down from the APX7000 on my belt.
 
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16b

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I have had a U/8 G5 for several years. Things I like:
  • Small and light. Doesn't require a heavy duty belt and doesn't attract a lot of attention.
  • Rugged. I've dropped mine several times with no issues.
  • P25 audio quality (while low) is excellent.
  • Perfect handling of P25 simulcast.
  • RF sensitivity is good. Seems to have a hot receiver.
  • Easy (ish) to use. As noted by others, the firmware is "quirky," but it is still 1000% easier to use than the recent scanners I've tried.
  • Bluetooth. I don't use this much, but it's nice to have.
Things I don't like:
  • Weak audio.
  • Belt clip latch (the part that connects the belt clip to the pager) is made of plastic, does not always latch securely, and is prone to breakage.
  • RF selectivity not good. Seems to get blasted by cell sites in urban areas. Still better than a scanner, but notably worse than a real radio.
  • Buggy/"quirky" firmware. Things like not being able to change zones when the pager is receiving a transmission are very annoying. Takes a long time to boot up and figure out what it's doing.
  • Programming software seems to have been designed by someone with no familiarity with radios. Or software, for that matter. On the other hand, I would still rank it ahead of APX CPS, and it's free.
I read somewhere that the secondary band (VHF or UHF) on the G5 uses an internal fixed antenna, and not the SMA on the top. Assuming this is true, it's worth noting if you are planning to make heavy use of the secondary band. I don't have much experience with real world performance because mine spends 99% of its time on 7/800. I have taken it on a couple of trips through West Virginia and it received the state's UHF P25 system about as well as I would expect from inside a car.
 

xpr8300

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We sell a ton of these things to the wrecker crowd in Houston. As others have said, the CPS is atrocious. I do like the way it roams over an NAS XTS/APX. It flat ignores the control channel adjacent list, so it only roams to towers you specify and ignores the rest. Battery life is good as well as simulcast performance is equal to or better than the SDS scanners. I hate that there are only 8 channels (knobs as they call them) per zone instead of the usual 16. It also seem slow to respond at times to inputs.

It can be programmed to alias towers and can even do full spectrum scan to discover new systems.

If you are looking for a phase II device that handles simulcast and you already know your TGs/Towers, then it will fit your bill. If you are looking for scanner type functionality to discover new stuff, this is not it. The fact that it also records calls is nice. You can also keyload the things and they support ADP/DES/AES. If you need to RX only ENC TGs and do not want to use a radio, this can be a huge plus.

GOTCHAS:
First time programming is a nightmare. I can send you an example file to look at to see how trunking and knob positions are laid out
Be VERY careful of the USB port. They love to break off the board. Sometimes Unication will warranty them for us, sometimes not.
I usually recommend the G4 over the G5 unless you absolutely need the second band. If you need UHF make damn sure you buy the right band split.. They will not allow the slightest OOB to be entered. Also the SMA antenna connector is ONLY for 700/800. It uses an internal antenna for V/U. Make sure your V/U signal is fairly strong. You will not be chasing DX on V/U with the little internal antenna. Also be very careful with moto antennas. I have had several customers break the center pin on the SMA trying to upgrade their antenna. The little antenna in the box works great on 7/8.
Boot up time is either instant or takes forever. When you disconnect it from the PC or change batteries, expect the delay. If you have not turned it on in a couple of days, its hit or miss if its instant on or forever.

I like mine, but its a very niche device. When I want a tiny Phase II encrypted RX device, its on my belt. Otherwise I carry my APX.
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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Excellent reviews guys. I decided to pull the trigger and get a VHF / 7-800 model. It’s not an APX but will meet my needs. I downloaded PPS and was able to figure it out fairly quickly.
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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I’m testing my new G5. Is this thing supposed to boot when it’s turned on after being off for several hours?
 

xpr8300

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yes... it seems after being off for a "while", that it restarts its boot process, which takes forever. I have no idea what the definition of "awhile" is, but yes, thats normal.
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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That’s annoying. I haven’t tested the time period but 6 hours is long enough to cause a power up boot.
 

xpr8300

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Yes, boot up times are abysmal. I dont know if its underpowered hardware or bloated firmware, but id settle for them to upgrade it to "horrible".
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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Another thing that I noticed is that if, for example, you have a list of 10 talk groups and delete a few, the list doesn’t re-sort after the deletion. 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Then the next TG added becomes 11 in the list. That’s annoying.
 

com501

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You should have a few departments that have 100s of these things, and almost everyone wants something different in the codeplugs. If you do a lot of editing, put a water cooler and Keurig in your office, you will need it...
 
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Number 6

Number 6

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What's the difference between a G5D66BE (which I received) and a G5E66BE (listed in the software as another model)?