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A Real Baofeng UV-5R Owners Manual

Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band RadioThe Baofeng UV-5R is very popular among ham radio enthusiasts, and for good reason! It is a dual band radio (2m/70cm) with tons of options at an almost unbelievable low price. This has made the UV-5R a perfect choice for amateur radio newcomers as well as a must-have for long time hobbyists.

The biggest complaint with the Baofeng UV-5R? The lack of documentation. Baofeng is a Chinese manufacturer and these products are imported (this helps explain the low price). It is pretty common for imported radios to have poor documentation, and the UV-5R is no exception. A printed users manual is included with the radio, but it doesn't even scratch the surface in explaining the many functions of the UV-5R.

Looking for a better option, I stumbled upon The (Chinese) Radio Documentation Project. This project aims to create quality documentation for popular but notoriously poorly documented Chinese amateur radios. The project, created by Lennart Lidberg, produces open source documentation that is released under an extremely generous license.

Fortunately for us, the radio that they have started with is the Baofeng UV-5R. They have released version 1.0 of their manual and it is detailed, illustrated, and extremely well written. Anyone who was hesitant to purchase this radio in the past because of poor documentation can now scratch that concern from their list.

Writing manuals like this one is a very time consuming process and it is extremely generous that they are releasing the documentation to the community for free. If this manual was helpful to you, I would encourage you to visit the project web site and make a donation. Donations show that the work was appreciated, and will encourage them to keep the documentation up to date and add other products in the future.

21 Comments

You folks certainly have a nice establishment here from what I have seen and read. I have one question. I live in Columbia,SC,do you have a brick and mortar store there in Rock Hill where we can stop in and buy a radio or cable?

Thanks, David! We certainly do accept walk-ins and pickup orders at our Rock Hill headquarters Our contact information including our address is available on our contact page.

Do you know if the Motorola 2 prong plug will work on the BaoFeng radios?

The Motorola connector is not compatible with the Baofeng, but the Kenwood KW1 two prong connector is. Our list of accessories includes earpieces, speakermics and other accessories with Kenwood connectors that will work with the Baofeng UV-5R.

The software that comes with the radio doesn't work on most computers.
Download "CHIRPW". It works, although it sometimes takes some fiddling with to get it to work.

The biggest problem with CHIRPW is determining which USB port is assigned to the radio.

Hi Capt Turk, the software is called CHIRP (there is no "W" in the name) and we include the latest stable version of it with the genuine Baofeng USB Programming Cable from Buy Two Way Radios. The software works very well but it can be tricky to set up the programming cable if one is not familiar with it. Fortunately we provide full instructions for doing so on the CD that comes with the cable and in our article How to install the Baofeng USB programming cable and software. It is easy once you know how to do it.

Thanks so much. Love the manual. I haven't figured out how to use mine in forever. Now I can. Awesome. Thanks bunches.

Thanks for your help!

Keep up the great work!

This is awesome, thanks a ton. I was wondering though if anyone knows what the microphone impedance is in the Baofeng? The antenna impedance is 50ohm but I don't think that's what I'm looking for...Trying to hook this up to a low impedance military surplus headset and I'm pretty sure most civilian radios have a high mic impedance (like 2 k-ohm) but wanted to make sure.

Thank You, Thank You..... trying to work through this radio with the original manual and the faulty mini-disk (requires updated drivers) has been a trial for the past three weeks. FINALLY - a manual to describe and get this to be a functional radio!

Awesome....

Will the radio be able to scan all channels for any activity and lock into one that has communication?

i have a baofeng uv5ra+ . it worked fine for a few months but today the display was freezing up and it reset itself and i have to turn it off and on several times to get it to work but it just keeps freezing up. any idea why this is?

It could be due to several things. When was the last time it worked without freezing up? Has anything changed since the last time it worked? Have you made any mods to the radio? Has the radio ever been opened up? Has it been exposed to excessive moisture or become wet? What happens when you swap the battery or perform a full factory reset?

Steve,
Programming a memory channel using the keypad automatically puts it into the scannable list (it does require a power cycle of the radio before it will be scanned, though). Software is required to be able to "lockout" a memory channel from being scanned.

Once scanning stops on an active memory channel, how scanning resumes is determined by the menu 18(SC-REV) setting. The choices are...

TO (Time Operation) - scanning will resume after a fixed time has passed
CO (Carrier Operation) - scanning will resume after the active signal disappears
SE (Search Operation) - scanning will not resume

Jim KC9HI

The (Chinese) Radio Documentation Project was a great idea and an awesome first effort by Lennart. But the v1.0 manual, certainly better thatn e Baofeng manual, was not perfect. The day it was released, it was downloaded, proofread, marked up and returned. Unfortunately the project basically started and ended the same week. :-(

The v1.0 manual is well worth having as-is, but after realizing it wasn't very likely that a v1.1 or v2.0 of the manual would become a reality, it was decided to make the marked up copy available to all. The marked up copy has also been revised a few times since it initial release. It along with the original v1.0 manual are available from the miklor.com website.

http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/UV5R-Manuals.html

Also, if you want a comprehensive reference for the UV-5R menus, visit the miklor.com home page for the UV-5R and scroll down to "Menu Definitions - Detailed".

http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/
http://www.miklor.com/UV82/

Jim KC9HI

I have two pieces of the uv-5r.
After using a speakermic both wont send anymore without.

Hi Rebel,

When a speaker mic is inserted into the radio's speaker mic jack, contacts are lifted to disable the internal speaker and internal mic.

When the radio gets hot from long transmissions, the substance that is put in the jack to help make it water resistant melts and gets under the mic contact. So when the plug is removed from the radio the mic contact is blocked from returning to its normal position and the internal mic remains disabled.

Some have been successful at removing this "debris" by following the instructions on the miklor.com website FAQ #81.

http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/UV5R-FAQ.php#spkrmic

Jim KC9HI

I have followed your instruccions carefully, but I still cannot assign a channel to a frequency in VHF. My interest is the Marine frequency spectrum so channels are mandatory.
I'm obviously doing something wrong, but cannot identify.
Can you help?

So where's the manual?

The article above links directly to it in the second to last paragraph.

thanks ever so much

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