outdoors hunting camping SHTF GMRS radio communications antenna battery electronics scanners digital computer software hardware laptop iPad iPhone eBay music radio
.

 
Baofeng / Pofung
UVB5 / UVB6
FAQs Page
 
             
 
1.
   
Newest Radio and Firmware
1.1   The Newest Version
 
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   400-520 MHz operation
  2.7   Audio chops out when listening to a station
  2.8   Radio stops transmitting
 
3.
   
Programming
  3.1   Storing the 7th digit of a frequency
  3.2   Storing different frequencies in A and B
  3.3   The purpose of 2 displays
  3.4   Synchronizing display A and B
  3.5   Disabling the transmitter for receive only operation (NOAA)
  3.6   Storing FM radio 65-108MHz channels in memory
  3.7   27 vs. 28 / 29 Menu Definitions
  3.8   Restoring to factory default
 
4.
   
Tone Access  (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
  4.1   CTCSS / DCS tones - What are they
  4.2   Sending a 1750 Hz tone
  4.3   DTMF keypad tones
  4.4   CTCSS Receive Tone 114.8Hz issue
  4.5   Other Receive Tone issues
 
5.
   
Batteries and Accessories
  5.1   Cables, antennas, Spkr/Micr interchangeability
  5.2   Is a radio case a good purchase
  5.3   USB chargers
 
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
  6.6   Frequency Expansion (hacking)
 
7.
   
Microphone and Audio issues
  7.1   No Transmit Audio
  7.2   Low Transmit Audio
  7.3   Less Microphone Sensitivity
  7.4   PTT disabled when Spkr/Micr plugged in
 
8.
   
Antenna Questions
  8.1   Which antenna is best
  8.2   SMA Antenna Connectors
  8.3   Antenna doesn't screw in completely
 
9.
   
Display Questions
  9.1   LCD turns dark
  9.2   Shift Indicator (+ -)
  9.3   Signal Meter Accuracy
  9.4   Battery Level Indicator
  9.5   Display disappears if I wear sunglasses
 
10.
   
General Questions
  10.1   Waterproof / IPX rating
  10.2   Radio shuts down
  10.3   Did I get a used radio
  10.4   Radio doesn't speak English
  10.5   Volume Control knob is hard to turn
  10.6   Rotary Encoder knob response is slow
  10.7   Locking / Unlocking the Keypad
  10.8   Programmed Channel Disappears from Radio
  10.9   User Manual
  10.10   Password for Test Mode
  10.11   Test Mode Functions
  10.12   Welcome Message at Power On
       
     
       
Newest Radio and Firmware 
 
  1.1   The Newest Version of the UVB5/6 series?
The newest version of the radio is determined by the firmware.
Some update information can be found in Section 3.7 and 10.12 of this FAQ.
 
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 (CTCSS)
Review the Tone Access section of this page.
 
 
  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 frequencies?
It is not possible to receive Aircraft signals with this radio. They are out of the radio's frequency range.
Also, the Aircraft Band is AM while this radio is FM only.
 
 
  2.4   Weather channels - NOAA / NWS
NOAA / NWS can be received, 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 to broadcast approximately 8 seconds after the signal clears.
To prevent the radio from switching, set the VHF/UHF receiver to an unused frequency.
 
 
  2.6   400-520 MHz operation
The radios specifications show 400-470MHz operation; however, using CHIRP the range can be expanded to 400-520MHz with no internal modification.
 
 
  2.7   Audio chops out when listening to a station
If this occurs, STE (Menu 26) should be set to OFF.  
 
 
  2.8   Radio stops transmitting
When the battery is near depletion, the TX mode is set to OFF.
 
       
Programming
 
  3.1   Storing the 7th digit of a frequency  xxx.xxx5
Change Step (Menu 1) to 6.25 or 12.5 kHz. Enter the first 6 digits of the desired frequency. The radio will round down (or up) based on the step setting.

NOTE: The 2.5 kHz step can be entered using CHIRP software.
 
 
  3.2   Can I store different frequencies in A and B
No. There is only a single bank of 99 channels.
The same frequencies show in both displays A and B.
You can however change the way they appear. (Menu 18 & 19) The display options are Frequency, Channel Name or Channel Number.
 
 
  3.3   The purpose of 2 displays   (A and B)
Dual Receive. You can set each to a different preprogrammed channel. With TDR (Menu 10) turned on, your radio will sample between the two frequencies and stop on whichever one has activity.
 
 
  3.4   Synchronizing display A and B
Display A and B operate independently. You can set one display for Frequency and the other display for Name, but you cannot synchronize them to track together.
 
 
  3.5   Disabling the transmitter for receive only operation (NOAA)
This can be done using the transmit inhibit function of your software.
 
 
  3.6   Storing FM radio 65-108MHz channels in memory
Up to 16 channels can be stored using software. You cannot make this radio transmit on this band.
 
 
  3.7   27 vs. 28 / 29 Menu Definitions
The original UVB5 / B6 radios were shipped with 29 menu options. The newer versions now ship with either 27 or 28 menu options.
 
The radios with 28 menu items removed:
-  Menu 24 (TX-AB) by improving Dual Watch function
 
The radios with 27 menu also removed:
-  Menu 29 (Companding)
-  Programmable test mode settings
But included:
-  Center side button now turns on the LCD backlight
 
Note: See also item 10.12 below
 
 
  3.8   Restoring radio to factory default.
Press and Hold the MENU key while turning radio ON. "Reset All" will do a Deep Factory Reset.
 
       
Tone Access (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
 
  4.1   What are CTCSS / DCS tones
A CTCSS or DCS is a 'Tone' sent along with your voice when transmitting.
They are used to access a specific repeater and block interference.
Visit CTCSS for details.

 
  4.2   Sending a 1750 Hz tone
Press the PTT button and then press the MONI button to transmit a 1750 Hz tone.
 
 
  4.3   DTMF keypad positions
Menu = A    = B     = C    = D
 
 
  4.4   CTCSS Receive Tone 114.8Hz issue
This is a known 'bug' with the UVB5 / UVB6.
To receive a station using a CTCSS tone of 114.8Hz, the Rx must be set to 118.8Hz. When Rx is set to 118.8Hz, both 114.8Hz and 118.8Hz will open the Rx squelch.

'Work Around' using CHIRP software, set the following:
Tone Mode = Cross Tone = 114.8 Tone Sql = 118.8
 
 
  4.5   Other Receive Tone issues
It has been reported that some tones are wide enough that they will open the receiver with adjacent tones.
 
 
       
Batteries and Accessories
 
  5.1   Cables, antennas, Spkr/Micr interchangeability
Many Kenwood / Wouxun accessories are, such Spkr/Micr, Programming Cables, Antennas, etc. are interchangeable.
 
 
  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.
 
 
  5.3   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.
 
 
       
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
- RT Systems - Purchased along with proprietary cable
 
 
  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
 
 
  6.6   Frequency Expansion  (hacking)
The OEM software allows changing the range to 400-520 MHz. However, it will erase ALL channels previously programmed.
CHIRP allows you to expand to 520 MHz with no channel data loss.
 
       
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.
 
 
  7.4   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.
 
 
       
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
 
       
Display Questions
 
  9.1   LCD turns dark
This is to be expected from a small radio. 5 watts creates a lot of heat in a small unvented area. 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.
 
 
  9.2   Shift Indicator
The wrong shift indicator (+ -) may show in your display.
This is a known 'bug'.
 
 
  9.3   Signal Meter Accuracy
The signal indicator tends to exaggerate the actual strength of the incoming signal.
 
 
  9.4   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.
 
 
  9.5   Display disappears if I wear sunglasses
LCDs function by polarizing the liquid crystal elements in the display. Polarized sunglasses will react to the polarized lens. LCD Wiki
 
       
General Questions
 
  10.1   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.

A detailed breakdown of these codes can be found at CODES.
 
 
  10.2   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.
 
 
  10.3   Did I get a used radio
Many of these radios to come with some channels pre-programmed. These are channels used for factory testing.
 
 
  10.4   Radio doesn't speak English
Press Menu, 9, Menu, Make selection.
Menu Options are: CHI / ENG / OFF
 
 
  10.5   Volume Control knob is hard to turn
Not uncommon. Lift the knob off in place it back on.
 
 
  10.6   Rotary Encoder knob response is slow
Turn off the voice prompts. The Rotary Encoder's performance is greatly improved when Menu 9 (VOICE) is set to OFF.
 
 
  10.7   Locking / Unlocking the Keypad
Hold the [MENU] key in for 2 seconds to lock or unlock the keypad.
 
 
10.8 Programmed Channel Disappears from Radio
It's the Great Houdini's disappearing channel trick.
Pressing and Holding the FM Key on the keypad for 4 seconds will erase the current channel. If you keep your radio in a pouch, make sure there is no pressure on the keypad, OR Lock the Keypad as described above.
 
 
  10.9   User Manual
Here is a link to the User Manual.
 
 
  10.10   Password for the Test Mode
The password is   K T 5 1 1
 
Note: Test mode not available on newer models
(see section 3 above)
 
 
  10.11   Test Mode functions
The VHF and UHF High Power, Low Power, and Squelch Levels can be adjusted.

CAUTION: These levels are preset at the factory and vary from radio to radio. Misalignment could damage the radio.
 
 
  10.12   Welcome Message at Power On
Radios with 27 menu items will silence the "Welcome" message if Menu 9 (VOICE) is set to OFF. 
Radios with 29 menu items will always say "Welcome" (or the Chinese equivalent) regardless of Menu 9 settings.
 
 
       

TOP of PAGE
 
Miklor Home
 
Miklor
 


   
 


Support
Miklor

 

UVB5 / UVB6

 
 



Support
Miklor

 

UVB5 / UVB6