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Baofeng UV-5r VHF/UHF HT Review

FatHam

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Apr 15, 2011
631
175
73
61
So Cal
Got it. Found out mic is not working on ht but my kenwood smc-34 works on it so that kinda sucks.

I didn't read all 16 pages so I hope this isn't too redundant, BUT, these seem to be problematic... A number of the users on my local 2M repeater picked these up to talk into their remotes with. A common problem seems to be programming via USB (flat won't work) as well as resetting themselves (and clearing memory) from time to time.

The unit Mole passed to me to play with worked fine. I passed it on to another user to try and he couldn't keep the battery alive for more than 10 minutes. This with MAYBE 2 hours talk time on it. He figured that was a fluke and ordered one from China. Guess what? It won't program from the software and will only hold one memory channel when programmed through the face. Tech support? Rotsa ruck...


I know, I know... Whatdaya want for $50?
 

Mudfoot

Elmer
Jun 17, 2009
10,878
6,187
698
61
Southeast Ohio
Mine has caused several head shaking and scratching moments, but I still like it. I have not had any issues other than figuring out programming quirks.

I would buy another and take a chance.
 

Se7en

Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2010
4,576
219
73
Ca
Chirp works great and I use my kenwood cable to program the HT, even tho it came with its own cable (btw also works fine) my issues: display light doesnt come on all the time, setting up tone sql sucks big time, scanner speeds are not what is expected,EOT/ROGER flat out stupid, menu and functions are pretty cluttered up, monitor button is funky, display is poor quility, massive 2 sec delay on button press ptt keys sql... Likes ? Display color choices, battery life, led light, chinglish manual is awesome!. Yea its a $50 toy. I wouldn't rely on it if my life depended on it.

Btw chirp allows you to modify rx limits.
 

Blackpaw

Member
May 7, 2011
63
5
18
SW Costal ME
HAPPY NEW YEAR!! UV5R PLUS (latest vers.)

So, I'm a wanna be ham, taken many practice exams for my Tech ticket and have been in touch with a VE to take the real one in a week-10 days. I've done lots of research into this radio and feel that if I can work out the quirks and use either CHIRP or the VIP s/w that comes with the USB cable. Here are a few links that helped me grasp the ins/outs of working with these fun little radios.

New Users

CHIRP s/w

And I know it's been said, join the yahoo UV5R user group. Yes I know it can be a disorganized mess trying to read through messages, but there are other gems there, like photos, files, links, etc

I've got a 2013 UV5R+ in the mail and a local tech that may sell them in his shop. We're both going to learn how to use the s/w, I'm the geeky computer guy and he's the old school-been-in-the-radio-business-for-30-years guy.I'll keep everybody posted!!

73's

Greg (a soon to be reformed CB nut!!)
 

Wally777

Member
Jun 21, 2012
14
3
13
Took some time and a few cuss words, but basically like the radio, good HT, and finally ended up using CHIRP, worked very well.
 

KC9MSG

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Feb 8, 2013
20
0
11
51
I've had my uv-5ra for about a week now, so far i really like the little radio. I programmed it from the keypad, however that was a bit of a bear until I figured it out. the paper manual is worthless but searching the web for programming instructions made it fairly easy. I may get an aftermarket antenna for it shortly but i can talk on my local clubs 440 repeater from my basement with the stock antenna. overall i think it is a great radio.
 

Slim

Active Member
Apr 2, 2005
210
5
28
land of the worthless nut
Just bit the bullet & picked me up one of these lil gems while @ the Dayton Hamvention for a whopping $40!! Lovin it so far :cool: Mine is a model # UV-5RA also. Xtra battery was only $8 & the programming cable was $6!! Can't beat that. The RA model has a chrome faceplate around the speaker area unlike the older ones. Looks a lot better but it's gonna show scratches & wear & tear way easier in that particular area 8-( Great RX audio. Loud as Hell & clear & not tinny @ all. TX audio is a tad on the soft side IMO but def acceptable & prolly appreciated by folks on the other end :cool: Really enjoying the whopping $54 I spent on it. Well, back to tinkerin some more.
73.Chris. CDX285

BTW. They also offered a 2mtr/220 version :cool:
Can't recall the model # for sure. Think it was UV-5RB.
 

W4HR

Member
Apr 19, 2012
1
0
11
47
Update on programming repeaters/splits to mem

I purchased a UV-5R at the Huntsville hamfest last weekend for my son. I came here to read through your review just to see if I missed any features. I noticed that the comments said that repeaters can't be correctly programmed to memory into the radio without the software. My son and I actually figured out how to do this and I thought I would let you so know you could update your review/information.

First, in the menu, make sure there is an open memory slot by deleting using menu 28 (i think). You can't save into a slot that already has something in it.

Then enter vfo mode, put in the receive freq, t-ctcss tone, split freq (00.600 for 2m), and split direction + or -. (I actually think you don't need to program the offset or direction, for reasons you'll read in a moment, but I do it anyway.)

Save the memory using menu 27 into an EMPTY slot. The radio will say "receive frequency".

Now enter vfo mode, put in TRANSMIT freq along with the same info as receive freq.

Save the memory using menu 27 into the SAME SLOT AS THE RECEIVE FREQ. This time the radio will say "transmit frequency".

You can now go to memory mode and the radio will transmit on the correct offset and tone. This also allows programming of odd-split repeaters without the software.

I'm not sure if this works on my radio because of a firmware update or if this was the case with older radios, but I just wanted to share with the community what we found.

And thanks for your great reviews! I always look here before buying!

Jamie
W4HR
 

w9cll

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Jan 19, 2013
4,391
3,847
273
Chicago, IL
www.flickr.com
Nice information! I don't think the issue was you couldn't do it but more that it was difficult compared to other brands. I really like my UV-5r and now that they are $32 on Amazon (from a US seller) I probably will get another. I use Chirp to program it. Nice thing about using software is you can have several different configs for the same radio. Case in point, I am in the Chicago area, the family and I went up to Milwaukee for the weekend a couple of weeks ago. I programed my Baofeng with the Milwaukee area repeaters before we left. When we got back I just reprogrammed in the Chicago area again.
 
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Robb

Yup
Dec 18, 2008
11,433
3,560
323
Silicon Valley CA, Storm Lake IA
On my last post on this thread, I said that I was going to buy 'n try the 'Battery Eliminator Pack' (or 'BEP') for the UV-5R.

I bought it because:

1) Full power output would be available using it when in the mobile hooked up to the external antenna.

2) Should the batteries for this radio ever become obsolete or hard to find; then it still could be used even in a limited capacity.

Since I use it most often in a mobile, it has performed flawlessly - both the radio and the BEP. In the Santa Clara Valley or 'Silicon Valley' as it is known as, there are a LOT of repeaters out here. I can hit hit them all if they are ~20 miles away or less from the mobile. The BEP doesn't get warm unless I am talking for too long; but that seldom happens.

The BEP just slid in/out as easily as the battery pack does. It is fairly lightweight and is pretty sturdy too. Bought it for $12.50 and that included the shipping.

Overall, I still have spent less than $100 for this whole Baofeng HT system. I have the radio, spkr/mic, charger, Diamond antenna, and now the battery pack. The stock/original battery is still doing just fine. This radio is still a bargain for your basic, no-frills, sturdy, fine RX/TX cheapie radio.

This Baofeng is a definite SCORE . . .
 

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