Baofeng UV5R series
FAQs Page

           Newest Radio / Firmware
           Transmitter & Receiver
           Tone Access   (CTCSS, DCS, DTMF)
           Batteries and Accessories
           Software, Cable & Driver Issues
           Microphone & Audio Issues
           Antenna Questions
           Display Questions
           General Questions


Mobile Radios

HF Radios


Programming Cables


Dual Band
220 MHz






Q:  Which is the Newest version of the UV5R series?
A:   The UV-5R is a generic transceiver.
          There are dozens of variations available, such as
          UV5R, RA, RB, E5, F8, GT3, etc.    (view_list_of_variants)
          Other than Case and Color, they are the same_radio. (rebranded)
          If you have the newest firmware, you have the newest radio.
   Cables and accessories are compatible with some exceptions.
   The UV-5RAX is designed for 150/220MHz.
   A compatibility list can be found at:           
UV-5R Compatibility

Q:  What revisions were made to the UV5R Firmware?
A:   A current list of known changes can be found at: Firmware_Updates

Q:  How can I determine the firmware release of my UV-5R?
A:   This procedure is covered at Find Firmware Release

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 changed.

Q:  Are there any internal differences in the newer models?
A:   The newer production radios incorporate the 2nd generation chipset (RDA1846S and RDA5802N). This chipset claims improved AGC action as well as a low-IF digital audio processor for improved sound quality. This chipset will eventually be used in all newer radios as the older chips are phased out.
Q:  I can't key or hear my local repeater.
A:   Review the Tone Access section of this page.

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.


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...       Performance Tests 

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.
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.

Q.  Why does my FM Broadcast Radio keep cutting out?
A.   The broadcast radio gives priority to an incoming VHF/UHF signal.
       It returns back to broadcast X seconds after the signal clears.
       X is determined by the ABR setting.  0-5 secs (0-24 secs using CHIRP)
      To prevent the radio from switching, set VHF/UHF to an unused frequency.
Q.  Why is my audio 'chopping' when listening to a station?
A.   If this occurs, STE (Menu 35) should be set to OFF.
Q.   Why does my receiver 'pulse' when returning from a received signal?
A.   This is a 'bug' in some firmware releases.
If Save (Menu 3) is set to 1, 2, 3 or 4 and ABR (Menu 6) is set to 9 or 10, a pulsing may occur on a broadcast FM signal when returning from a received signal interruption.
- Work Around:  Set Save to OFF  or  ABR to 8 or less.
Q.   Why did my audio mute when I turned off the Keypad Beep?
A.   This was found in firmware releases N5R-20 / N5R-30.   Details


Q.  What range can I expect from these radios?
A.  There are many factors to consider.  Power, antenna, antenna height,
     HASL (height above sea level), terrain, obstruction, trees, horizon, etc.
     A good starting point for simplex operation would be Distance_Calculator   
     Your Mileage may Vary.

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)     Refer to Programming Hints

Q:  How can I store a 7th digit of a frequency?    xxx.xxx5
A:   Change Step (Menu 1)  to 2.5 kHz. (6.25 / 12.5kHz)
      Enter the first 6 digits of the desired frequency, then use the Up/Down arrow for the last digit(s), depending on the step selected.
- Example: 462.7125 would be:     4 6 2 7 1 2   Up Arrow.
- A tiny  .25/.5/.75 kHz
 will appear to the right of the frequency display.

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.

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 channel.
      With TDR (Menu 7) turned on, your radio will sample between the
          two frequencies and stop on whichever one has activity.

Q.  Can displays be synchronized to show Name in A and Freq in B?
A.   No.  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.

Q:  Can I disable the transmitter for Receive Only frequencies?
A:   Yes. This can be done using the transmit inhibit function of your software.

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.
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.
Note:   The scan rate of this radio is only 3 channels per second.

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.
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 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 [MON] button.  When in doubt, leave the CTCSS and DCS tones OFF
If this procedure does not work, review the software recovery procedure located at:  Erratic Behavior and Recovery

Q:  What are these CTCSS (PL) tones I keep hearing about?  
A:   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.

Q:  How do I send a 1750 Hz tone for repeater access?
A:   Press the [PTT] button then [BAND] button to transmit a 1750 Hz tone.
      If there is no [BAND] button, Press [PTT] then [A/B].
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 in BFB238 to:
           [Menu] = A   [Up] = B  [Down] = C    [Exit] = D

Bug Note:
   On older versions, when sending DTMF tone D  [Exit], the speaker emits the tones for 0 [zero] but the correct over-the-air tone f
or D is actually sent.
   BFS311 and newer versions, however, actually send the 0 [zero] tone in error.
Q:  Are cables, antennas, spkr/mic, etc interchangeable?
A:  Many accessories are, such as Kenwood / Wouxun.
Q:  Is a radio case a good purchase?
A:  It depends on your use. Refer to Radio Shut Down below.  See FAQ 111

Q:  Is there a Battery Eliminator for the car?
A:  Yes.  It's the E-DC43.   You guessed it, eBay
      It is not a battery charger. It replaces the battery for mobile operation.

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 charge cycle.
      At 5.9 volts, the UV5R announces a 'Low Voltage' warning.  See FAQ 106
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 more solidly. It is designed to use a 13.8Vdc input. With the proper cable, it can be used in the car to charge the battery while on the road.


Q: Are optional batteries available?  Are they all compatible?
A:   Yes. 3600 / 3800 MAH batteries, and AA / AAA cases are available.
However, many are designed to fit the standard UV-5R only and are not interchangeable without modification.   See Photo of cases.

There are extended batteries that are universal, but they must specifically state that in their advertising. Here is an image of such a battery.  Universal
Note that the bottom of the battery case is smooth, not keyed.
Always check compatibility before ordering.    UV5R_Compatibility
Q: Can I charge the 3800mAh battery using the charger jack on the side?
A:  To charge the BL-5L 3800mAh battery you must purchase a:
- TYT TH-UVF9   battery charger for 110VAC or
- TYT TH-UVF9D for 12VDC.
- This is a fully regulated charger
- Plugs directly into side of battery, not a charger base
- These are sometimes found on Amazon

click to enlarge
Q:  What batteries can I use in the AA / AAA battery cases?
A:   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.

Click to enlarge
Q:  Why is my battery hard to remove?
A:   Some batteries ship with a sharp edge on the clip that holds the battery in place. This can be smoothed down with fine sandpaper. Only take off a small amount at a time.

Click to enlarge


Q: Where can I find replacement parts?  (knobs, switches, screws, etc)
A:   Some links can be found here...      PARTS
Q: Is there an alternative to the Factory software?
A:  An excellent alternative is 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.

Q:  Why must I load an older cable driver for Vista, Windows 7/8/etc ?
A:  Many generic cables use Prolific chip clones/copies.
        Windows will load the latest driver which rejects cables using 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 chip?
A:   Programming cables utilizing an FTDI chip will work with no problems.
      Call your local dealer before ordering to confirm chip set.

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 wish.
      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.     Frequency_Expansion
Q:  I have NO audio on Transmit
 If you experience no audio (after confirming on simplex), 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.

Q:  Why is my microphone audio is low?
A:   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. There is approx 1/16" clearance between the inside of the case and the microphone element. 

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. 

Q:  Is the PTT switch disabled when a Spkr/Mic is plugged in?
A:  No.  Even with a Spkr/Mic plugged in, the PTT switch is still physically connected.  This is true for most handhelds.  
Q:   Will the UV82 Dual PTT Spkr/Micr work with a standard UV5R?
A:  Yes. However it will function as a standard single PTT Spkr/Micr.
      Only the Lower Side PTT will function. The Top PTT has no effect.
      Using a Dual PTT Spkr/Micr will not create a new UV5R function.
Q:  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 wavelength in the air, the better the performance.

      A field test was performed between 31 popular antennas.
     The results can be found HERE.

Q:  Can I use an antenna with an SMA RP connector?
A:   No. The RP stands for Reverse Polarity. The outer shell looks the same
but the Male/Female pin sequence is reversed.   SMA Female

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 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 Extended_Threads

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 Light.  CALCULATOR
      A great project.
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 unvented area.
          The newer 8 watt F8HP will heat up even quicker.
          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.

Q: The Black & White display on the radio just went Totally Blank.
        Did my display go bad?

A:  Probably not.  More than likely, your ABR (Menu 6) was reset to OFF.
     This is the Display Illumination Time.  Enter the following sequence:
         Up Arrow
         Up Arrow
     This will set the ABR to 2 seconds.
Q: Why does my display show + 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 (SFT-D)
If TX and RX are the same (simplex) the + - indicator does not display.

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.

Additionally: The signal indicator even shows full deflection on an unused channel when you (a) press the monitor button, or (b) when you set the squelch level to zero.
Q:  Why doesn't the S-Meter function in a normal fashion?
The SDR receiver found in the UV-5R & UV-82 series does not measure an  incoming signal in the traditional fashion based on strength, but rather the amount of noise. Once the signal becomes Full Quieting, it cannot determine the difference between an S1 or S9 signal. Unfortunately, this is by design.


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 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.

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
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 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 plastic bag for protection.

Q:  Did I get a used radio?  My UV5R had frequencies pre-programmed.
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.
Q:  My radio doesn't speak English?
A:   Press Menu, 14, Menu, Make selection, Menu
        The selection varies by firmware release.
        Older units display ON / OFF, newer display CHI / ENG / OFF
Q:  Why doesn't my volume go completely down.
A:   This was a known issue 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.

Q:  How do I lock/unlock my keypad?
A:   Hold the  #  key in for 3 seconds.
       Pressing it quickly alternates TX power level.
Q:  Where can I get a User Manual and Schematic for this bad boy?
A:   Here are the Links:   User's Manual  and  Schematic 
           Note: Only work on this radio if you have little tiny fingers.

Q:  How do I pronounce Baofeng? 
                     (Good to know if you want to impress your friends)

A:  Try this link  Baofeng.  Bow Fung

We hope you found the Miklor site helpful.
73  John  K3NXU
 Untitled 1

Thank You for Your Support

Miklor Home