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Reviews For: Yaesu FT-5100/5200

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Yaesu FT-5100/5200
Reviews: 26MSRP: Discontinued - Typical used pric
Description:
2M/440 dual band mobile transceiver. 50 watt VHF and 35 watt UHF.
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
00263.8
N2UJN Rating: 2018-02-09
Excellent 2m/440m FM rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned the Yaesu FT-5100 since 1992 when I bought it new, 26 years now. It is a great radio, produced at Yaesu's peak in quality/cost optimization.

Years ago I looked up the circuit diagram and found the pots that control Hi/Low Power output. I turned them both down to their minimum settings. Having done that, when I press the Lo button setting on the radio I get about 1.8 Watt out, and, when I press Hi setting I get about 17 Watts out. Reducing the power output completely solves the overheating of the PA issue, and, 17 Watt is more than enough power to hit the Toronto repeater from Rochester.

The FT-5100 was built before the cost down/software movement eliminated all buttons from the front of 2m/440 rigs. So, one can adjust the volume. squelch, and access many of the rig's functions from the front of the rig.

I did get a report of low audio one day, and, have replaced the C5 capacitor in the MH-27 microphone. I may not have needed to do this, but, it was an interesting repair to do.

Really, if you have one of these older radios, there is absolutely no need to purchase anything newer. To me, the newer rigs with zero ability to control any aspect of the rig's performance from the front of the rig seem cheap by comparison to this nice old rig.


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Earlier 5-star review posted by N2UJN on 2018-02-09

I bought my FT-5100 new in 1992. I have used it only as a base station.

The FT-5100 has been a great radio. Long ago I took the cover off and turned the power output pots for low and hi power settings down to minimum. With button on lo the radio outputs about 1.8 W and on hi about 17 W. Turning the pots for output power down completely solves the over-heating problem, and, for 100% of my contacts (all by repeater for this rig), way more than enough power.

I also set the lights on dim, and, they still work after 26 years of use.

The radio is fairly easy to program, transmits from 140 MHz to 150 Mhz and receives from 140 MHz to 174 Mhz. Not sure transmit width of 440 band.

The radio looks good, and, has buttons on the front from common controls unlike today's radios.

I did replace, with about 3 hours of work, the C5 capacitor for audio out on my MH-27 Microphone. I used a great vido on youtube (search MH-27 mic repair). I am not 100% sure the mic really needed it, but, the audio out was reported low on our repeater so I did it. Mic is fine now.

If I could buy another today I would.
N6MTS Rating: 2013-05-30
Outstanding Workhorse Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Time for a newer review. I've had my FT-5100 for nearly 17 years now and still love it. Of that time I've used it as my primary mobile for probably 15 years in several vehicles. I've extensively used it for a cross-band repeater for many hours on end (simply set to low power) with NO ill effects. However I have been careful to keep is well ventilated. On low power it get warm, you can always keep your hand on it. It is extremely easy to field program (all without a computer) and needs no complex menu system. I have never lost a single dial light or any power output modules. However, early-on I simply read the manual and learned how to turn down the dial light brightness to a dimmer level to "save" the bulbs. I have never had any memory problems and I have only replaced the memory battery one time, myself (it's not rocket science). The mic is not the most robust, but adequate if you don't leave it exposed to the daily sun. I also have a Yaesu FT-530 HT, which is almost the exact copy of this radio "but in a hand-held version" and it has also served me very well. As for Yaesu tech-support and repairs, they have their good days and their bad days (don't we all). I've caught them on both occasions, and their turn-around time varies a LOT. But hey, they generally have great products with only a few exceptions (like the sorry FT-90). I'll keep my FT-5100 till they pry it from my cold dead hands.
K8WRS Rating: 2011-02-06
Will cook output module Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
The FT-5100 will overheat the output module due to poor cooling. This will destroy the PA module.
This overheating problem has been well documented. Read the review about the heat compound and the fan, it may help?
The fan does not come on before the heat is well above safe levels.
I am going to try to re-mount the PA module as sugested but the design is very bad as the PA is not directly mounted to the back heat sink for proper cooling.
KI6JPE Rating: 2010-10-05
Excellent radio Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I owned one of these (the FT-5100) and I was so happy with the radio. As things often go, I was forced to sell it at one point, and I regretted ever doing so.

I've recently had a chance to buy another from a co-worker of mine and jumped on the chance. Even after all these years, the radio is still an excellent performer. I own an Icom IC-2200H also, and I put the two to the test. I received better audio reports from the Yaesu, while the Icom can go a little further on it's 65w output opposed to 50w (2m) for the 5100.

All in all I was pleased with my first 5100, and I'm just as pleased with it's replacement, and am sure to get years more service out of this radio.
KQ4KK Rating: 2009-03-29
Been good over the years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought a 5100 and a 5200 in 1993. At the time they were state of the art dual bands. Both have worked very well over the years. Had to replace the dial light bulbs in the 5200 a few years ago. Learned now to not keep them on bright. The mic. just went bad on the 5100. Here in eham I found the fix. N4NLQ has detailed instructions on replacing the Mic C5 DC block/audio pass cap. About 15min, and a trip to RS fixed the microphone. Back on the air with the 5100, sold the 5200. Newer rigs do much more however.
K5MRM Rating: 2009-01-23
nice radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I bought this radio new in 1993 and it's been in the vehicle more than it's been in the shack. It started developing an intermittent power problem last month so I think all in all this rig has served me well.
WA2QIC Rating: 2008-07-06
Swing and a miss Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My 5100, which I still have sitting in a junk box somewhere, was my worst mobile owned to date. With low hours the memory failed. It took a long time to get the battery replaced, which Yaesu didn't recommend as a DIY repair. After the battery was replaced, it became obvious that the battery wasn't the problem, because I still lost memory settings after the new battery was finally installed.

With very low hours the final amp section developed an intermittent audio cut out problem if the finals got too hot when using high power. Then, finally the mic up and died.

I estimate that I had a grand total of less than 20 hours of key down xmit time before I relegated the rig to the bin.

For those thinking about buying one of these rigs used - caveat emptor, this was not Yaesu's finest design hour.......

CT2FPE Rating: 2008-04-24
Lights Off Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
This was my worst Rig, the front panel is a piece of junk, the bulb lights always went off, the display had problems with the digits, the RF output colapsed, a real mess.
VA3MCT Rating: 2007-02-08
ideal simple dual bander Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I wasn't looking for this rig, but had considered new rigs at over 3 x the price of this one used.
This already had the features I was looking for, dual band / dual watch, good power output on both bands, data connector for 1200 baud (ideal for APRS), small size, CTCSS Encode, simple to use mobile.
Would however have preferred, the two separate vol/SQL controls on the newer rigs, but the system on the 5100 works fine.
K4SAR Rating: 2006-12-22
nice features, terrible execution and support Time Owned: more than 12 months.
The radio itself was great when working, aside from intermod susceptibility. But my FT-5200 went back to Yaesu four different times for repairs of various sorts, including (if memory serves) a bad switch, a CPU problem, a cooling fan failure, and a bad final output transistor. On the fourth trip back, for the failed final, after several weeks they contacted me with the repair estimate: $250. For a single final output transistor. I laughed, and told them to send it back as it was. (I then bought a new Alinco dual-bander for around $300). What annoyed me most, though, was Yaesu's snail's pace service (on one occasion they had the radio for over two months), poor attitude of the technical support phone staff, and thin customer communications. Contrast this with ICOM, to whom I recently sent a dual-band mobile for repair and actually got it back *four days* later with a bill for $40. I see no reason to buy another Yaesu product.