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  GMRS V1
 
Reference and FAQ Page
 
UV-82

 
Although this FAQ page is meant to assist as a diagnostic aid, it should also be reviewed in its entirety in the early stages of radio ownership, as you will find references and operating hints not found in some of the manuals.
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1.
   
Radio Basics
1.1   Transceiver Description
  1.2   FCC Type Acceptance
 
2.
   
Transmitter and Receiver
  2.1   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
  2.2   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
  2.3   Aircraft frequencies
  2.4   Weather frequencies - NOAA / NWS
  2.5   FM Radio broadcast cuts out
  2.6   Audio chops out when listening to a station
  2.7   Selecting a Channel using the Keypad
  2.8   Squelch Control has Limited Range
  2.9   Tone at the end of a received signal
 
3.
   
Programming
  3.1   Software Compatibility
  3.2   Channel is manually programmed, but will not save
  3.3   Storing the 7th / 8th digit of a frequency
  3.4   Storing different frequencies in A and B
  3.5   The purpose of 2 displays
  3.6   Entering additional frequencies (i.e. NOAA)
  3.7   Storing FM radio 65-108MHz channels in memory
  3.8   Switching modes from VFO to MR
  3.9   Dual PTT Synchronization
 
4.
   
Scanning
  4.1   How to Add/Skip channels when scanning
  4.2   Scan Add/Skip cannot be altered via keypad
  4.3   Radio does not scan new channels added by keypad
 
5.
   
Tone Access  (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
  5.1   CTCSS / DCS tones - What are they
 
6.
   
Batteries and Accessories
  6.1   Battery Charging
  6.2   Cables, antennas, Spkr/Micr interchangeability
  6.3   Is a radio case a good purchase
  6.4   USB chargers
  6.5   AA / AAA Battery Cases
  6.6   Battery Terminals get Hot when Transmitting
 
7.
   
Software, Cables & Drivers
  7.1   Error Messages
  7.2   Programming Cable & Drivers
  7.3   Genuine Programming Cables
  7.4   Building Your Own Programming Cable
  7.5   Frequency Expansion (hacking)
 
8.
   
Microphone and Audio issues
  8.1   No Transmit Audio
  8.2   PTT disabled when Spkr/Micr plugged in
  8.3   External Speaker Microphone options
 
9.
   
Antenna Questions
  9.1   Which antenna is best
  9.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
  9.3   Antenna doesn't screw in completely
 
10.
   
Display Questions
  10.1   LCD turns dark
  10.2   Display shows + and - at the same time
  10.3   Display looses sync during scan
  10.4   Battery Level Indicator
  10.5   Display disappears if I wear sunglasses
 
11.
   
General Questions
  11.1   Waterproof / IPX rating
  11.2   Radio shuts down
  11.4   Radio doesn't speak English
  11.5   Volume doesn't go completely down
  11.6   Keypad is Locked  
       
       
     
       
Radio Basics 
 
  1.1   Transceiver Description
The GMRS V1 is a 5 watt, preprogrammed GMRS transceiver with the capability of storing over 100 additional receive frequencies.
A review of this radio can be found HERE.
 
 
  1.2   FCC Type Acceptance
The GMRS V1 is FCC Part 95A certified for GMRS service.
Proper licensing is required.
 
 
       
Transmitter and Receiver
 
  2.1   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS or 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 [MONI] 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   Can I receive Aircraft frequencies
No. They are out of the radio's frequency range.
Also, the Aircraft Band is AM while the GMRS V1 is FM only
 
 
  2.4   Can I receive Weather channels - NOAA / NWS
Yes. However, it cannot be put in a standby mode and triggered by their 1050Hz alert tone.
 
 
  2.5   FM Broadcast Radio cuts out
The broadcast radio gives priority to an incoming VHF/UHF signal.
It returns back to FM Broadcast X seconds after the signal clears.
X is determined by the ABR setting. 0-10 seconds 
To prevent the radio from switching, set VHF/UHF to an unused frequency.
 
 
  2.6   Audio chops out when listening to a station
If this occurs, STE (Menu 35) should be set to OFF.  
 
 
  2.7   Selecting a Channel using Keypad
Enter a three digit number to select the desired channel.
- Enter 001 to select channel 1
- Enter 010 to select channel 10
- Enter 100 to select channel 100
 
 
  2.8   Squelch Control has Limited Range
The squelch levels 1 through 9 currently make little to no difference when selected. CHIRP has recently added a way to resolve this by letting the user select the Range of the squelch control. This is explained in detail with graphics at:
     Reset the Squelch Level Range
 
 
  2.9   Tone at the end of a received signal
Menu 42  is A/B-BP with options OFF/A/B.
When set to A or B, an audible tone is generated at the end of receive activity to indicate which display was in use.
 
 
       
Programming
 
  3.1   Software Compatibility
Always use the proper software (SW) for your radio.
When using CHIRP, Always use the Latest Daily Build, available HERE.
 
 
  3.2   Channel is manually programmed, but will not save
  1) You must be in the VFO/Frequency mode
  2) Channel must be empty before programming frequency data.
(use menu 28 to delete a channel prior to entering a new channel)
Refer to Programming Hints
 
 
  3.3   Storing the 7th / 8th digit of a frequency
 
Enter the first 6 digits of the desired frequency.
Then use the  for the last digit(s), depending on step selected.
(Step = 6.25kHz)   462.712 = 462.7125 
 
The GMRS V1 automatically chose the 7th / 8th digits regardless of the step setting.

462.716 = 462.71625
462.717 = 462.7175
462.718 = 462.71875   Rounded Up
462.719 = 462.71875   Rounded Down
 
- A tiny .25 / .5 / .75 kHz will appear to the right on the LCD.
- The step setting only impacts the scanning mode.
 
 
  3.4   Can I store different frequencies in A and B
No. There is only a single bank of 128 channels (0-127)
The same frequencies show in both displays A and B.
You can however change the way they appear. (Menu 21 & 22)
The display options are Frequency, Channel Name or Channel Number.

Note: Manual programming of memory channels can Only be done while display A (top display) is selected.
 
 
  3.5   The purpose of 2 displays   (A and B)
Dual Receive. You can set each to a different preprogrammed channel. With TDR (Menu 7) turned on, your radio will sample between the two frequencies and stop on whichever one has activity.
 
The display formats can be set to either Name, Channel, or Frequency.
 
 
  3.6   Entering additional frequencies (i.e. NOAA)
There are over 100 channel slots can be programmed for VHF and UHF frequencies between 136-174 and 400-520 MHz.
These are receive frequencies only.
 
 
  3.7   Storing FM radio 65-108MHz channels in memory
This radio cannot store FM Broadcast channels in memory. You also cannot make this radio transmit on this band.
 
 
  3.8   Switching Modes from VFO (frequency) to MR (channel)
Press and Hold the [MENU] key when turning radio on.
 
 
  3.9   Dual PTT Synchronization
The transceivers comes with the Dual PTT enabled. The top of the switch selects Display A, The bottom selects Display B.
 
The PTT can be synced (via software), to perform as a standard single function PTT, transmitting on whichever display is currently selected.
 
 
       
Scanning
 
  4.1   How to Add/Skip channels when scanning
Selecting channels to be skipped can be done by selecting Menu 41 and turning SC-ADD either ON or OFF
 
Note:
The scan rate of this radio is 6 channels per second.
 
 
  4.2   Scan Add/Skip cannot be altered via keypad
This only occurs on channels 0>6  (FRS/GMRS shared).
Once they are set with CHIRP, that setting cannot be changed via the keypad.

If set to S (skip) with CHIRP, scan will remain OFF..
If set to blank, scan will remain ON.
 
 
  4.3   Radio does not scan new channels added by keypad
Recent firmware has the  'scan_add'  bit disabled by default for manually programmed channels. In this instance, you must use software to enable scanning of these channels.
 
Note: Some radios require being Power Cycled (OFF/ON) after programming before the scanning can take effect.
 
 
       
Tone Access (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
 
  5.1   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.

 
       
Batteries and Accessories
 
  6.1   Battery Charging
Do not leave the radio turned on while charging. If the transceiver is powered on, it will continuously consume energy. The charger cannot detect when the battery has been fully charged and will fail to indicate correctly.
 
This could overcharge the battery and shorten its life.    
 
 
  6.2   Cables, antennas, Spkr/Micr interchangeability
Many Kenwood / Wouxun accessories are, such as Spkr/Micr, Programming Cables, etc.
 
 
  6.3   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.
 
 
  6.4   USB chargers
These radios have a 7.4 volt battery while a USB port is only 5.0 volt. There is not enough voltage to charge the battery. The standard charger supplies 8.4 volt during the charge cycle.
 
 
  6.5   AA / AAA Battery Cases   (UV5R series)
The UV-5R series requires 7.4V for proper operation.
The standard battery case will hold 6 AA or AAA cells.
The standard rechargeable battery provides 1.25V per cell.
This will provide the 7.4V needed. (6x1.25=7.5V)

Note 1: Most Alkaline batteries provide 1.5V per cell. (6x1.5=9.0V)
This will create an Over Voltage condition and the radio's protection circuit will cause the radio to not transmit.
 
To prevent this from occurring, replace one of the cells with a spacer or 'dummy' cell. This will drop the voltage to (5x1.5=7.5V) for proper operation. They can be found on eBay by searching "AA dummy battery"

Note 2: Some battery cases have very close tolerances. Although this is normally not an issue, you may want to slide a thin piece of paper or cardboard between the contacts to prevent a short if something should slip out of place.
 
 
  6.6   Battery Terminals get Hot when Transmitting
When you touch the batteries ground charging tab, you are also providing an RF ground as well with your hand. This is an RF burn.
You are now the bottom half of a dipole.
 
 
       
Software, Cables & Drivers
 
  7.1   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.
 
 
  7.2   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 at  USB Cable Drivers.
 
 
  7.3   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.
 
 
  7.4   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   -   BTech / Kenwood / Baofeng
RS232 to 2 Pin  -  BTech / Kenwood / Baofeng
General Technical Information
 
 
  7.5   Frequency Expansion  (hacking)
There is software available that will allow you to enter any number you wish. However, even though the number shows in the display, internal filtering of the radio prevents both TX & RX operation on these frequencies and may cause irreversible damage to your radio.
 
Note: These radios were not designed to operate outside their specified range. They cannot be made to work as Tri-Band.  
    Expand Frequency
 
 
       
Microphone and Audio Issues
 
  8.1   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.

If this doesn't resolve the issue, you may need to go one step further, as shown at this YouTube Video.
 
 
  8.2   Is PTT disabled when Spkr/Micr plugged in
No. Even with a Spkr/Mic plugged in, the PTT switch is still physically connected. This is true for most handhelds.
 
 
  8.3   External Speaker Microphone (ESM) options
There are two optional available.
1. Single PTT  ESM
       PTT will always select display B.
2. Dual PTT   ESM
       The lower Side PTT selects B, Top selects A.
 
Using a Dual PTT Spkr/Micr with any radio with a single PTT will not create a new Dual PTT function for that radio.
 
 
       
Antenna Questions
 
  9.1   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 using 31 popular antennas can be found at
   Field Tests.
 
An overview of antenna types available can be found at
   Best Antenna.
 
 
  9.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
There are several varieties of SMA connector. Male, Female, Reverse Polarity, etc.
 
Diagrams of these varieties can be found at  SMA Antenna
 
 
  9.3   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
 
 
       
Display Questions
 
  10.1   LCD turns dark
This is to be expected from a small radio. 5 watts creates a lot of heat in a small unvented area. The newer 8 watt F8HP will heat up even quicker. Give it time to cool down and the LCD will return to normal. The same occurs if you leave the unit in the car on a hot day. Run low power whenever possible. This will also extend battery life.
 
 
  10.2   Display shows + and - at the same time
In Channel Mode this is normal when the TX/RX frequencies differ.
In Frequency Mode + or - is displayed based on Menu 25 (Shift)
If TX and RX are the same (simplex) the + - indicator does not display.
 
 
  10.3   Display looses sync during scan
When scanning, only the display selected will show the scanning cycle. A quick press of the up/down arrows at the end of the scan will re-sync both displays.
 
 
 
  10.4   Translating the Battery Level Indicator
Tests have shown the following: (tests by Phil Souza)
Full charge (approx 8.32 volts) 3 bars
Battery drops to 7.09 volts, 2 bars
Battery drops to 6.73 volts, 1 bar
Battery drops to 6.29 volts, 0 bars
Battery drops to 5.91 volts,
     the radio announces "low voltage" until the battery expires.
 
Note: Volume must be turned up to hear the battery warning.
Note: Measurements can vary based on temperature and load.
 
 
  10.4   Display disappears if I wear sunglasses
LLCDs function by polarizing the liquid crystal elements in the display. Polarized sunglasses will react to the polarized lens. LCD Wiki
 
 
       
General Questions
 
  11.1   Waterproof / IPX rating
The IPX Code classifies and rates the degree of protection against water provided by a case or electrical enclosure.

This list ranges from IPX0 to IPX8.
- IPX0 = No Special Protection  to
- IPX7 = Protected against water immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
- IPX8 = Protected against water submersion - The equipment is suitable for continual submersion in water under conditions which are identified by the manufacturer.

AA detailed breakdown of these codes can be found at CODES.
 
 
  11.2   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.
 
 
  11.4   Radio doesn't speak English
Press Menu, 14, Menu, Make selection, Menu
The selection varies by firmware release. Older units display ON / OFF, newer display CHI / ENG / OFF
 
 
  11.5   Volume doesn't go completely down
This was common with very early versions of the UV5R. It was a component issue that has been resolved with newer radios. Periodically, however, even a new radio will show up with this issue.
 
 
  11.6   Locking / Unlocking the Keypad
Hold the  # key in for approximately 3 seconds.
Pressing it quickly alternates TX power level.
 
 
       

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