1 Q: Which is the Newest version of the UV5R series?
A: The UV-5R is a generic transceiver.
There are various models
available, such as
UV5R, RA, RB, RC, RE,
RUU, R+, Mk II, UV-E5,
F8, F9, F11, etc.
Other than Case and Color, they are
If you have the newest firmware, you have the newest
Cables and accessories are compatible with some exceptions.
The UV-5RAX is designed for 150/220MHz.
A compatibility list can be found at:
* 2 Q: What revisions were made to
the UV5R Firmware?
A: A current list of known changes can be found
3 Q: How can I determine which firmware my UV5R has?
A: Power the radio OFF. Press and Hold the 3 key. Power
the radio ON.
The display will show BFB - - - This is the
However, if the firmware displayed is BFB297, go to
4 Q: Can the UV5R firmware be updated?
A: No. The firmware cannot be updated.
The microcontroller is an OTP (One Time Programmable)
Once 'flash' programmed at the factory, it cannot be
FCC CERTIFICATION and TYPE ACCEPTANCE (U.S.)
11 Q: Is the UV5R FCC Part 90 certified?
A: Yes. This radio is certified for Licensed Commercial operation. FCC ID. ZP5BF-5R and ZVMUV-E5
Is the UV5R FCC Part 95 certified?
(FRS, GMRS and MURS)
A: No. This radio is not Part 95 certified for FRS, GMRS, or MURS
operation in the U.S. Please refer to FRS, GMRS and MURS
13. Q: Is the UV5R FCC Part 97 certified?
(Ham Radio) A: Yes. This radio may be used legally by Licensed Hams on any
service in the U.S.
For complete FCC guidelines, visit
e-CFR Part 97
This includes Licensing, Operation
14. Q: Is the UV5R FCC Part 80 (Maritime)
or Part 87 (Aviation) certified? A: No. This radio
is not certified for either Maritime or Aviation use in the U.S.
21 Q: I can't key or hear my local repeater.
A: Review the Tone Access section of this page.
22 Q: I can't hear my signal through the repeater, but I hear the repeater tail.
A: 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 your audio.
2) Call someone on the repeater to verify your signal quality.
If they can hear you, then all is fine.
23 Q: What type of power and performance can I really expect?
A: This link will direct you to test results found on a typical UV5R.
Your mileage may vary...
24 Q: Can this radio listen to Aircraft frequencies?
A: No. They are out of the radio's frequency range.
Also, the Aircraft Band is AM while the UV5R is FM only.
25 Q. Can this radio listen to NOAA / NWS frequencies? A. Yes. However, it cannot be put in
a standby mode and triggered by
their 1050Hz alert tone.
26 Q. Can I store FM Radio 65-108MHz channels into memory?
A. No. This is controlled by a separate receive only chip in the radio.
You also cannot make this radio transmit on this band.
27 Q. Why does my FM Broadcast Radio keep cutting out?
A. The broadcast radio gives priority to an incoming VHF/UHF signal.
It will switch back to broadcast 5 seconds
after the signal clears.
To prevent the radio from switching, set VHF/UHF
to an unused frequency.
31 Q: I programmed a channel, but it won't save.
A: There are three steps to the process:
1) You must be in the VFO/Frequency mode
2) Display A (top display) must be selected.
3) Channel must be empty before programming frequency data.
(use menu 28 to delete a channel)
32 Q: How can I store a 7th digit of a frequency?
A: (1) Change Menu 1 (Step) to 2.5kHz.
(2) Enter the first 6 digits of the desired
frequency, the use the
Up/Down arrow for the
last .5 kHz.
Example: 462.7125 would be: 4 6 2 7 1 2
tiny 5 will show to the right of the frequency display.
33 Q. Can I store different frequencies in A and B?
A. 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.
Manual programming of memory channels can Only be done while
display A (top display) is selected.
34 Q: What is the purpose of A and B if they are both the
same? A: Dual Receive. You can set each to a different preprogrammed
With TDR (Menu 7) turned on, your radio
will sample between the
two frequencies and stop
on whichever one has activity.
Can displays be synchronized to show Name in A and Freq in B?
A. No. Display A and B operate independently.
36 Q: Can I disable the transmitter for Receive Only frequencies?
A: Yes. This can be done using the CHIRP software.
Enter the desired receive frequency.
Set Duplex to 'OFF'
The display will not change. No RF is generated.
37 Q. Can I store FM Radio 65-108MHz channels into memory?
A. No. This is controlled by a separate receive only chip in the radio.
You also cannot make this radio transmit on this band.
41 Q: My receiver skips over some channels when scanning.
A: There is a known 'quirk' with the UV5R receiver.
If a scanned channel has an R-CTCSS (PL) tone of 136.5 Hz
or lower, the receiver will not stop on that channel.
R-CTCSS (PL) tones of 146.2 and higher work fine.
Note: It is recommended to Not use RX Tones unless absolutely necessary.
42 Q: My radio only scans my top group of frequencies, but not all.
A: Power cycle your radio ON/OFF and the issue should disappear.
TONE ACCESS (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
51 Q: Why can't I key or hear my local repeater, fire dept, etc.
A: Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS (PL) tone for access
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
This can be tested by pressing the [MON] button.
When in doubt, leave the RX tone OFF. Visit
52 Q: What are these CTCSS (PL) tones I keep hearing about?
A: A CTCSS is a 'Tone' sent along with your voice when you transmit.
Visit CTCSS for details.
53 Q: How do I send a 1750 Hz tone to activate a repeater that
requires it for access?
A: Press the [PTT] button and then press the [BAND] button to transmit
a 1750 Hz tone.
Q: What are the DTMF keypad positions for A, B, C & D?
A: This varies by firmware release.
Early FW releases BFB231
and prior had a keypad sequence error.
[Menu]= A [Up]= C
[Down]= B Exit= D
This was later corrected to:
[Menu]= A [Up]= B
[Down]= C Exit= D
When sending DTMF tone D [Exit], the speaker emits the tones for 0 [zero]
but the tone sent over-the-air for
had been confirmed to be correct.
62 Q: Are cables, antennas, spkr/mic, etc interchangeable? A: Many accessories are, such as Kenwood / Wouxun.
Is a radio case a good purchase? A: It depends on your use. Refer to Radio Shut Down below.
See FAQ 111
Is there a Battery Eliminator for the car? A: Yes. It's the E-DC43. You guessed it,
It is not a battery charger. It replaces the
battery for mobile operation.
65 Q: Is there a USB charger for the UV-5R?
A: No. The UV5R battery has a 7.4 volt battery.
A USB port is only 5.0 volt.
The standard charger supplies 8.4 volt during the
At 5.9 volts, the UV5R announces a 'Low Voltage'
warning. See FAQ 104
66 Q: What would be a good replacement charger for the UV5R?
A: The TYT BGC-F8 is a direct replacement and seems to be built
67 Q: Are optional batteries available?
A: Yes. 3600 / 3800 MAH batteries, and AA / AAA cases are available.
However, most are designed to fit the standard UV-5R only.
Always check compatibility before ordering.
68 Q: Why doesn't my new battery fit properly?
A: Some aftermarket batteries are not case compatible and may require
trimming of the battery due to case design differences. Photo Verify that the battery you
are ordering is an exact match for your radio.
69 Q: Where can I find replacement parts?
(knobs, switches, screws, etc) A: Some links can be found here...
SOFTWARE, CABLES & DRIVERS
71 Q: Is there an alternative to the Factory software?
A: Most users prefer CHIRP. It's easy to navigate and
new features are
added on a regular basis.
This can be found on the
CHIRP Software & Examples pages.
72 Q: Must I load an older cable driver for Vista, Windows 7 & 8
A: Many bargain cables came through with Prolific chip clones/copies.
Windows loads the latest
driver which rejects these cloned chips.
This is covered in detail
in the USB
Cable Drivers page.
These cables work fine if
the proper driver is loaded.
Q: How can I be sure I order a USB cable with an authentic
A: Programming cables utilizing an
FTDI chip will work with no problems.
74 Q: Is there software that can 'Open Up' the freq range of my radio?
A: There is software available that will allow you to enter any number you
However, even though the number shows in the display, internal filtering
of the UV5R prevents
both TX & RX operation on
these frequencies and
may cause irreversible damage to your radio.
These radios were not designed to operate outside
their specified range.
They cannot be made to work as Tri-Band.
MICROPHONE & AUDIO
Why is my microphone audio is low?
A: Here's are some suggestions:
1) Talk directly into the radio, within one inch.
2) Confirm the audio is set to Wide Band.
5 kHz (Menu 5 = W)
3) Try an external spkr/mic to confirm problem is the mic.
4) Blow compressed air into the
5) If you have an external
spkr/mic, plug it in and out a few times.
The issue might be a dirty connector.
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.
There is approx 1/16" clearance between the inside of the case and the
For an in depth description of this procedure, go to the Yahoo UV5R
"Mic Hole Issue", Staring with Post
82 Q: Why is the audio less sensitive than my Icom or Kenwood?
A: The UV-5R series was designed as a commercial radio, not ham.
It was designed to block out background noise in
an industrial environment.
Talking right into the face of the radio cures
most audio weakness.
83 Q: Is the PTT switch disabled when a Spkr/Mic is plugged
A: No. Even with a Spkr/Mic plugged in, the PTT switch is still physically connected. This is true for most handhelds.
Which antenna is best? A: 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 or 3/4 wavelength in the air, the
better the performance.
A popular antenna
for general use is the J0125A (aka The $3.79 special)
Very flexible and works well on 2m/440.
8" (21cm) J0125AeBay
Also, the Nagoya NA-701, NA-771.
To mate with the UV5R, the antenna's
connector must be
Just remember, it's only 4 watts into a piece of wire.
There is no Magic Antenna out there.
92 Q: Can I use an antenna with an SMA RP connector?
A: No. The RP stands for Reverse Polarity. The outer shell looks the
but the Male/Female pin sequence is reversed.
93 Q: My antenna doesn't screw in all the way. A:
This is not uncommon on some aftermarket antennas. Purchase a thin 5/8" OD internal
tooth lock washer or rubber O-Ring. Take
your HT with you to the hardware store to assure the proper fit. You may want to
superglue it to the bottom of the antenna ONLY.
94 Q: Can I build my own antenna? A: Absolutely. If you want to start small, try a
simple ground plane.
Here are the instructions for a GP antenna with a
radial length calculator.
The calculator covers all frequencies from DC to
A great project.
101 Q: Display goes dark if I talk too long on Hi power.
A: This is to be expected from a small radio.
4 watts creates a lot of heat in a small
Give it time to cool
down. 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.
102 Q: My display shows + and - at the same time. A: This is normal. When the TX and RX frequencies differ, the display shows
+ - to indicate that an offset has been entered.
If TX and RX are the same (simplex)
the + - indicator does not display.
103 Q: How accurate is the S-Meter?
A: The What? There's a signal indicator in the upper left.
If there's a signal, it appears. If
not, it's gone.
104 Q: How do I translate the Battery indicator in the upper right?
A: Tests have shown the following:
(tests by Phil Souza)
Full charge (approx 8.32 volts) 3 bars
Battery drops to 7.09 volts, 2
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: Measurements can vary based on
temperature and load. 105 Q: Why does my display disappear if I wear polarized sunglasses?
A: LCDs function by polarizing the liquid crystal elements in the display.
Polarized sunglasses will react to the
polarized lens. LCD Wiki
111 Q: Why did my radio shut down when I took it out of my pocket.
A: If you carry your radio and keys in the same pocket, a case is
recommended. If the charging contacts are shorted, the battery goes into the
protection mode. There will be no damage to the battery or radio, but the radio
will power off. To reset the protection mode, the battery must be removed and
112 Q: Did I get a used radio? My UV5R had frequencies
A: No. Your radio is new. These are channels
used for factory testing.
The easiest way to remove them is to:
Press Menu, 40 (Reset), Menu, ALL, Menu.
113 Q: My radio doesn't speak English? A: Press Menu, 14, Menu, Make selection, Menu
The selection varies by firmware
Older units display ON / OFF, newer
display CHI / ENG / OFF
114 Q: Why doesn't my volume go completely down.
A: This was a known issue with earlier 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.
115 Q: How do I lock/unlock my keypad?
A: Hold the #
button in for 3 seconds.
Pressing it quickly changes the power from
HI power to LO.
116 Q: Where can I get a User Manual and Schematic for this bad boy? A: Here are the Links:
Schematic Note: Only work on this radio if you have
little tiny fingers.
117 Q: How do I pronounce Baofeng? (Good to know if you want to impress
A: Try this link
Baofeng. Bow Fung
118 Q: Where can I find reviews on the UV-5R?
A: Reviews going back to mid-March 2012 can be found at
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