Logo Baofeng UV-5R Notes

Baofeng Radio in charging base

Project Description

This project is a quick online note on my recently acquired Baofeng UV-5r handheld. These are quite a deal and have tons of accessories available. They are not the easiest radios to program, but with the help of an open source program called chirp, the process is not too difficult. This page provides web access to a local frequency list that may provide a good starting point for hams setting up the UV-5R and family radios in the central Vancouver Island community.

Tips on the UV-5R

When you get the radio, start chirp and go to the radio/download from radio menu selection. Follow the instructions and save a copy of the original radio image. This can always be used to restore the radio to the factory programmed test frequencies.

Note that the radio img is different from the csv files that can be exported to disk or imported from the disk. The img file contains all the imformation on the radio including the frequency list and setup information. The csv files just contain information for programming each channel in the radio. CSV files can be used between radio models, but the img file is specific for your handheld.

To avoid transmitting outside the ham bands, set the duplex column entries to "off" for each channel you are using as a receive only scanner channel.

I ordered my radio with the extended battery pack because it makes the radio a little easier to handle and close to doubles the useful battery life.

Most ham frequencies use 5Khz wide modulation (FM mode). Most new commercial frequencies have converted to 2.5KHz wide modulation (NFM mode). FRS uses NFM. If you get the mode wrong for a channel, it will still work, but you or the listener may report weak or loud distorted audio.

I find it useful to reserve the first 10 or so channels for your favorite frequencies. This makes it much easier to find and change to a channel with a few clicks on the up and down buttons.

You can configure the radio display channel frequency or channel name.... I am not sure which works best as I usually remember repeaters by frequency and scanner channels by name.

Transmitting or even having the radio programmed to transmit on frequencies outside of the ham bands is not recommended. The radios are not licensed or certified for operation on frequencies other than the ham bands. Locally, there has been a crackdown on user programmable radios being used by truckers/hunters/offroaders on out of band frequencies. Radios have been siezed at roadside inspections if a proper license cannot be produced. I suggest keeping a copy of your ham license in the glove box.

Program in your favorite FM station (settings tab, FM radio preset) and enjoy listening to music while waiting for traffic on the VHF or UHF channels. Activity on the VHF/UHF channels will mute the music until the channel goes inactive and then return to the FM music source. This is great when volunteering for public service events or monitoring low activity channels. Enable the FM music by pressing the orange call button on the side of the radio briefly.

Under Settings tab, Other settings, power on message 1, enter your callsign. This will be displayed for a short time anytime the radio is powered up.

Reset and Manually Programming the Radio for 1 Repeater (painful)