- Amateur Radio (Ham Radio) Community

Call Search

New to Ham Radio?
My Profile

Friends Remembered
Survey Question

DX Cluster Spots

Ham Exams
Ham Links
List Archives
News Articles
Product Reviews
QSL Managers

Site Info
eHam Help (FAQ)
Support the site
The eHam Team
Advertising Info
Vision Statement

Reviews Categories | Ham Repeaters | Motorola MSF-5000 Help

Reviews Summary for Motorola MSF-5000
Motorola MSF-5000 Reviews: 5 Average rating: 5.0/5 MSRP: $15,995.00
Description: A modular high availability repeater from motorola
Product is in production.
More info: http://
Email Subscription
You are not subscribed to this review.

My Subscriptions
Subscriptions Help

You can write your own review of the Motorola MSF-5000.

W4MAA Rating: 5/5 Apr 22, 2012 16:31 Send this review to a friend
True 900mhz Repeater!  Time owned: more than 12 months
The MSF-5000 has been hit twice with lightning over the 4 years of use on 33cm/900mhz and it lives. After replacing the pre selector deck and control tray its still up and running. Built solid and the PA's hold up well and we run them at 100w all the time. True workhorse repeater. Heavy use of any of the MSF line is encouraged. Well built.
N0PWZ Rating: 5/5 Oct 21, 2009 21:06 Send this review to a friend
An Appliance Repeater  Time owned: more than 12 months
Seldom do I have a bit of equipment that is as reliable as this unit. For the last seven years it has operated 24/7 tucked away in the corner of the basement. It is quiet (no fans since it is passively cooled). As I said, it just sits and does the job. I think, that it is one of the underestimated repeaters. It was certainly not cheap when it was new, but it has never been a problem. It is tied in with a Linux box running IRLP. Together, these two boxes are equally reliable. The stability of Linux is legend, and were there more of these repeaters around, they would be as well.

I've a couple of Icom 221's set up as a portable repeater. They work well enough, but they certainly aren't the quality of the MSF-5000. Yes I'm enamored of the new Icom digital repeater (not Dstar), but it is hard to turn my back on this repeater, when it's done so well.
KA2AYR Rating: 5/5 Aug 15, 2008 21:15 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding Repeater  Time owned: more than 12 months
My KA2AYR 440 repeater is a realigned 451 MHz MSF. I also have several still in public safety use. It is solid and has the capability for heavy usage.

There are many configurations and things you should be aware of before you buy one, though. The older models (non-“digital capable” or stations that do not have an X as their middle letter) must be PROM programmed. When I got my station, I went to my local Motorola service shop and asked to burn a PROM to my frequency. This takes a Motorola R1800 suitcase programmer. They could not find theirs. Another shop had an R1800 and the oldest technician there could not remember how to use it. There are two people I know of who have an R1800 with the right modules and ICs installed, and can program these PROMs. I hope they stay healthy and that their R1800s continue to work!

The digital capable stations (with an X, i.e., 123CXB0123) are programmable by means of Motorola RSS. You must get a RIB box, the proper cable and you must get this software legally from Motorola. I bought the last revision for work. It was expensive. Some of the adjustments in the newer stations are EEPOTs. You can make adjustments through software or through the front panel of the station if you know how. A specific test set is also an advantage. These are available used and through on-line auction houses.

The on-board duplexers are also limiting. I broke out the leads with RG-142 and an angled SMA connector, then went to an outboard duplexer to get much better isolation. I also put a preamp between the receiver port and the repeater to make the system more of a noise-based operation (intentionally very sensitive - signals ride down to the noisefloor).

I did not use an outboard controller (I’m not into sound effects), but one may be added. and have more information on how.

In all, the only difficulty was finding someone to program it. The rest was pretty straightforward with the right set of component-level troubleshooting manuals. A search on MSF programming would take you to several people who can help. These stations are not narrowband compliant, so 2013 may bring even more of them to the used market.
N0PWZ Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2007 22:11 Send this review to a friend
Extremely Durable Unit  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really like electronic items that are so reliable you can walk away from for months or years at a time. The MSF5000 is one of those devices. I've operated one of these for five years and have never had a single problem. It just stays over in the corner and quietly (passive cooling) does the job. The prices on these units are in the sub $1000 range lately, which is a great price for units of this nature.
I have to give this unit a 5 since it's never given me a reason to to cuss it.
KC4FWC Rating: 5/5 Feb 14, 2007 04:22 Send this review to a friend
Sets the Standard  Time owned: more than 12 months
The Motorola MSF-5000 comes in several models, versions, etc. The "CLB" model takes a suitcase programmer, while the digital "CXB" is programmed with a PC and software.

They are made for either repeater or base stations, lowband, VHF/UHF and 800/900. They can be arranged in many power combinations, the standard is 110 watts.

The MSF-5000's are coming more and more available today as they are being taken out of service and replaced with newer Motorola equipment. The MSF is very heavy - one person can barely handle the unit without taking the power supply and power amp out.

I have several CXB 100 watt UHF models running as ham repeaters across NC. They work flawlessly. This is top of the line - as far as I know, there is no better choise. The GE Mastr II station is right up there at the top, but overall the MSF-5000 wins with loaded features and performance you can expect. If you or your club is serious about a repeater, this is best way to go. Contact a local two-way shop for an alignment manual, software, etc, to get it underway.

If you have any questions, problems, or suggestions about Reviews, please email your Reviews Manager.