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Baofeng / Pofung
 BF-888S
 
aka  BF-666S, BF-777S
Pofung T88, GT1    Retevis H-777
 
FAQs Page
 
             
 
1.
   
Newest Radio and Firmware
1.1   Newest Radio
1.2   Part 90 Certification
1.3   Firmware
 
2.
   
Transmitter and Receiver
  2.1   I can't hear my local repeater, fire dept, etc  (CTCSS)
  2.2   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
  2.3   Aircraft / NOAA Weather frequencies
  2.4   Scrambler / Speech Inverter
 
3.
   
Scanning
  3.1   Channel Scanning
 
4.
   
Tone Access  (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
  4.1   CTCSS / DCS tones - What are they
 
5.
   
Accessories
  5.1   Cables, antennas, Spkr/Micr interchangeability
  5.2   Is a radio case a good purchase
 
6.
   
Software, Cables & Drivers
  6.1   Software selection
  6.2   Error Messages
  6.3   Programming Cable & Drivers
  6.4   Genuine Programming Cables
  6.5   Building Your Own Programming Cable
 
7.
   
Microphone and Audio issues
  7.1   No Transmit Audio
  7.2   Low Transmit Audio
  7.3   Less Microphone Sensitivity
 
8.
   
Antenna Questions
  8.1   Which antenna is best
  8.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
  8.3   Antenna doesn't screw in completely
 
9.
   
General Questions
  9.1   Radio shuts down
  9.2   Did I get a used radio
  9.3   User Manual
       
       
       
     
       
Newest Radio and Firmware 
 
  1.1   Newest Radio
The firmware has remained essentially unchanged.
Some newer models did included a voice inverter / scrambler option.
The newer models can be recognized as follows:
 
Baofeng, however, says the sticker does not do not determine whether your radio has this option. 
 
 
  1.2   Part 90 Certification?
Baofeng BF-888S received FCC Part 90 certification on 10/13/15 for use on commercial frequencies. The certification sticker can be found on the back of the radio case under the battery.
 
Certification can be found HERE.
 
 
  1.3   Firmware - Can it be updated?
No. The firmware in these radios cannot be updated. The microcontroller is an OTP type. (One Time Programmable)
Once 'flash' programmed at the factory, it cannot be changed.
 
       
Transmitter and Receiver
 
  2.1   I can't hear my local repeater, fire dept, etc (CTCSS)
Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS of DCS tone for access but DO NOT transmit one back. If your display indicates there is an incoming signal but you hear no audio, you may have an incorrect or unnecessary RX tone set. This can be tested by pressing the upper orange button of the side of the radio. When in doubt, leave the CTCSS or DCS tones set to OFF.
 
 
  2.2   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
The key here is that you can hear the repeater squelch tail.
You are too close to your receiver and over powering (de-sensing) it.
When this happens, you are blocking everything from your monitor.

1) Listen to your signal on simplex to verify you have audio.
2) Call someone on the repeater to verify your signal quality. If they can hear you, then all is fine.
3) For testing using repeater frequencies, always set your monitor receiver to your transmitter's frequency, not the repeater's output signal.
 
 
  2.3   Aircraft / NOAA Weather frequencies
These frequencies are out of the radio's range.
 
 
  2.4   Scrambler / Speech Inverter (not available on all BF888S)
 
1. This option activates Voice Inversion.
2. When set, radios will no longer TX/RX normal audio on the selected channel.
3. All radios in the group must have the option set on the same channel to function properly between radios.
 
Check your country's regulations regarding the use of scrambled transmissions.
 
 
       
Scanning
 
  3.1   Channel Scanning
When the transceiver options are set to SCAN (via software), setting the channel selector to channel 16 directs the radio to scan the selected channels from 1-16.
 
For more detailed information, see  BF888S Manual
 
       
Tone Access (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
 
  4.1   What are CTCSS (PL) tones
A CTCSS is an 'Tone' sent along with your voice when transmitting.
They are used to access a specific repeater and block interference.
Visit CTCSS for details.
 
       
Accessories
 
  5.1   Cables, antennas, Spkr/Micr interchangeability
Many Kenwood / Wouxun accessories are interchangeable, such as Programming Cables, Spkr/Micr, etc.
 
 
  5.2   Is a radio case a good purchase
If you carry your radio and keys in the same pocket, yes.
See Radio Shutdown under General Questions below.
 
       
Software, Cables & Drivers
 
  6.1   Software selection
There are several software options.
- Factory Software - Usually included with the radio  FactorySW
- CHIRP - Compatible with over 80 different models  CHIRP
 
 
  6.2   Error Messages
There are several  common error messages that could appear
when programming via software.  A list of these error messages, their definition and recovery can be found at Error Messages.
 
 
  6.3   Programming Cable / Drivers
This is one of the major frustrations with generic, low cost programming cables. Many generic cables use Prolific chip clones/copies. When plugged into a USB slot, Windows will load the latest driver. These drivers have been updated to reject cables using cloned chips.
 
These cables will work fine, but only if the proper backdated driver is installed. This is covered in detail in the USB Cable Drivers page.
 
 
  6.4   Genuine Programming Cable
Programming cables utilizing an FTDI chip will work with no problems. These cables are truly "Plug 'n Play". Call your local dealer before ordering to confirm chip set.
 
  6.5   Building Your Own Programming Cable
Another option is to build your own programming cable.
The Diagrams and Procedures can be found at:

USB to 2 Pin   -   Baofeng / Kenwood
USB to RJ-45   -   Leixen
RS232 to 2 Pin  -  Baofeng / Kenwood
General Technical Information
 
       
Microphone and Audio Issues
 
  7.1   No Transmit Audio
First, confirm you have no TX audio by listening to your signal on Simplex. If you experience no audio, the microphone jack might be stuck open with debris. Trim a Q-Tip to fit the microphone jack opening and dampen with denatured alcohol to clean the jack contacts. Allow ample time to dry.
 
 
  7.2   Low Transmit Audio
Here's are some suggestions:
1) Talk directly into the radio, within one inch.
2) Try an external spkr/mic to confirm problem is the mic.
3) Blow compressed air into the spkr/mic jack.
4) If you have an external spkr/mic, plug it in and out a few times. The issue might be a dirty connector.
5) Ham Bands Only - Set to Wide Band.  5 kHz (Menu 5=W)

Note: Some have reported the need to open up the microphone hole in the plastic case. This can be done by CAREFULLY using a 3/64" drill bit and twisting it slowly by hand to clear out the opening, but avoid touching the microphone element. There is approx 1/16" clearance between the inside of the case and the microphone element.
 
 
  7.3   Less Microphone Sensitivity
Unlike Ham equipment, many of these radios were designed for commercial use. This was to block out background noise in an industrial environment. Talking right into the face of the radio cures most audio weakness.
 
Do not confuse the audio of a handheld with that of a smart phone that can hear a pin drop in the next room.
 
       
Antenna Questions
 
  8.1   Which antenna is best?
It's all personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is:
The longer the radiator, the better the range, especially on transmit. Short stubby antennas use a coil to match TX to 50 ohm, not radiate. The closer to 1/4 wavelength in the air, the better the performance.

Field test results performed between 31 popular antennas can be found at  Field Tests.
 
An overview of antenna types available can be found at Best Antenna.
 
 
  8.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
There are several varieties of SMA connector. Male, Female, Reverse Polarity, etc. For diagrams of these varieties, go to SMA Antenna
 
 
  8.3   Antenna doesn't screw in completely
This is not uncommon on some aftermarket antennas. If your antenna doesn't come with a rubber spacer to fill the gap, you can purchase a thin 5/8" OD rubber O-Ring. Take your HT with you to the hardware store to assure the proper fit. Additional information can be found at Extended Threads
 
       
General Questions
 
  9.1   Radio shuts down
A case is recommended if you carry your radio and keys in the same pocket.  If the charging contacts are shorted, the battery goes into the protection mode. There will be no damage to the radio, but it will power off. To reset the protection mode, the battery must be removed and reinserted.
 
Note: If you carry a spare battery, place it in a small plastic bag for protection.
 
 
  9.2   Did I get a used radio
Many of these radios come with some channels pre-programmed. These are channels used for factory testing.
 
 
  9.3   User Manual
A re-written English User Manual is available at: User Manual
 
 
       
       

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