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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.


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!


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?

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


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 website.

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


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 website FAQ #81.


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

my back lit I off how do I turn it back on???

I would like to know if anyone out there would do this programing for me I am a disabled vet. and I cant see well enough to do this I will gladly mail it to someone..and pay for return shipping

How do you find the micro processing reset? I want to erase the input..

Can someone tell me how to name the channels so they display on the unit when turned on. I labeled in the chirp software but am having no luck witht he display on the radio itself. Thx

Hi Jim, if you labeled the channels and uploaded the programming file into the radio, all you need to do is set the radio into the the channel mode that displays the channel name.

To do this on the UV-5R, press MENU and move the arrow up/down buttons to MDF-A or MDF-B (menu option numbers 21 and 22, respectively) depending on which one you want to change. Press MENU again to enter that menu option, then move the up/down arrows to choose between FREQ (to display the frequency), CH (to display the channel number) and NAME (to display the channel lname). Choose NAME, press the MENU button again to set that option, then press the EXIT button. The channel name should now appear on each channel.

I have the Baofeng UV B6 radio...I don't think the manual would be the same. But I'll try to Google it and see if I come up with anything. I'm not promising anything-computer search engines and I are not the best of friends...

Re: Baofeng UV-5R radio.

Do you have optional antennas/adapters for the Baofeng UV-5R radios?

I'm borrowing this radio from a friend. Can I ask why I am allowed to TRANSMIT on the dallas police channels?

Hi James, that is something you should ask your friend. The Baofeng UV-5R is capable of transmitting and receiving on UHF frequencies between 136-174 MHz VHF and 400-520 MHz UHF. The radio is sold in the US for use on amateur and business frequencies on those two bands, however there are some other radio services that also use frequencies in those bands. The radio is intended for use by licensed operators only and only on the frequencies for which they are licensed to use.

Some do purchase the radio for use as an inexpensive scanner for monitoring other radio services that use frequencies within those bands, and although it isn't intended for use as a scanner, technically it is legal for someone to own and use the radio to listen only, as long as the user does not transmit. The radio can be programmed to disable transmit on select frequencies and listen only, and this is highly recommended for frequencies and services a user wants to monitor, however, it is up to the user to program it into the radio.

If your friend has programmed the UV-5R with frequencies used by local law enforcement, has not disabled transmit on those frequencies and has loaned it to someone who is not licensed to use those frequencies, those are questions you need to ask your friend, and he or she has a lot of explaining to do.

If you don't no the frequency of a radio you want to tie too will this scan to find it ??

Hi Richard, although the UV-5R does have scan capabilities and can scan the range of frequencies within the two bands supported in frequency mode, the scan function is very slow. It's a great little radio, not a scanner, and is designed to be programmed as a radio to specific assigned frequencies, not detect the frequencies another radio is using. Considering its scan limitations, I would not recommend using the UV-5R as a frequency scanner.

i have a uv-5ra and accidentally held down exit instead of scan. Now my radio will not turn on. Can you please help me fix it?

Hello .. and thanks for the info...I just need to confirm settings on how to make them transmit the farthest from each other...i'm only gettin bout 7/10 of a mile...and im told they could go 2 miles...its very flat land and only a few houses in the way..not sure what else it could be...thanks...


I lower frequency / band will provide you with stronger signal over a longer distance.

The original rubber ducky whip that comes with it is terrible, to be frank. Invest in a better antenna that is designed for the bands this radio is meant to operate on (VHF and UHF)

hey i have a few qustions on the BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio i saw it on can you transmit on law enforcement frequencies and on business radieos

Hey, You are not legally allowed to transmit on law enforcement frequencies ever, If you are a first responder you need to get a proper radio for your tasks. Talk to someone in your station, or wherever you work. If you are not a first responder. You NEVER EVER EVER transmit on law enforcement frequencies. Seriously it is a felony in the United States. Even if it is to save a life. You should never use law enforcement frequencies. Use any other ones you wish only if someones life is in danger. However, cell phones are your best bet. Sorry. From an emergency communications perspective you should learn how to be a ham radio operator. The licence is 15 dollars or less. And then you have frequencies that you can legally operate on, and usually you can get help through the network of repeaters and/or autopatch.

However some have said it is part 90 certified. However it is not because it can transmit on part 97 frequencies, and therefore cannot be part 90 certified. Coming from a ham operator, you should not buy this radio to transmit on the frequencies you wish. Get a specific radio for those purposes, buy a real business radio for business radio purposes. If you are law enforcement you might be able to get a radio from your unit or district if you just want one to carry around. Transmitting on law enforcement frequencies can be dangerous because it can impede a response to another emergency. They do prioritize. Just because you think the emergency is important, doesn't mean that it really is. They look for the greater good. One person vs ten people kind of thing. They will save 10 and sacrifice 1 if they have too.

Hi Zack, a radio can transmit on Part 97 amateur frequencies and still be Part 90 certified for business use. There is no Part 97 certification required for radios, so technically and legally, a business radio that is capable of transmitting on ham frequencies can be also be used as an amateur radio. If such Part 97 type acceptance was required, much of the experimentation and DIY radio builds that are part of the hobby would not be possible, because a ham would not be able to build a radio themselves without FCC certification of the device, thus stifling any sort of experimentation and innovation at all.

On another note, the Baofeng UV-5R is indeed Part 90 type accepted for business use. The FCC ID is ZP5BF-5R. If in doubt, look it up in the FCC ID database.

Is there information on how to program the FM side of the radio..

Thank you

I need HELP!!! I bought a Baofeng UV-5R5 radio and a programming software / USB driver disk and cable. I tried to install it on my computer and the driver will not load the USB adapter correctly and the radio programming software only brings up ?? question marks ?? when I open it. Can you help? You can contact me at the email address. Thank you

Hi Barton, unless the programming cable and software was purchased from Buy Two Way Radios, installation may be a wild card. You can try the instructions in the article How to install the Baofeng USB programming cable and software. It may help.

Can anyone tell me how I can enter a programmed channel by using the key pad numbers. For instance I want to work channel 20 and after that channel 58, how can I enter that by the key pad not using the up and down buttons

How to change device language from Chinese to English. The voice is in Chinese explaining the directions on how to programing. Is it a quick fix.

I have recently programed my UV5RA with CHIRPS and it worked fine but I had put the wrong freq in fornone of my channels and needed to add 3 more channels, so when dodwnloaded the data from radio and changed/added to it and then uploaded again;; it came back talking in Chinaese and world not transmit at all when PTT pushed. I got the radio back to talking in english but have not been able ato lget it back to a point where it will transmit when PTT pushed (LED backlight does not come on in transmit and one short beep only. I am baffled. Thanks K7NOI/George

Hi how so i lock out a chanel on my uv5r manualy

How do i get it to speak english and whenreciving it dosent pick up transmisson

The article How to reset a Baofeng UV-5R two way radio includes simple instructions on how to set the language from Chinese to English.

Based on your comment, it is possible your radio may not be programmed to receive any frequencies. The Baofeng UV-5R usually needs to be programmed to specific frequencies out of the box. The radio can be programmed from the keypad through the menu on the radio itself or through a PC with a programming cable and software such as CHIRP.

my friends I need your help I have a railroad scanner called Baofeng UV-5RE and I have already two Norfolk frequencies in on my railroad scanner and I need help how to listen to them autoimatcally without smashing the moni button. my 2 ns frequencies I got now is 160.245 and 160.950 and I didn't get instruction manuel at all. guys call help me please.



Although it has scan capability, the Baofeng UV-5RE is not a dedicated radio scanner, it is an amateur two way radio, similar to the original UV-5R. We carry the UV-5R but we do not carry the UV-5RE, so we do not have a manual specifically for this model. However, since the two radios are very similar, the UV-5R manual should help somewhat. The article above includes a link to a UV-5R manual.

Thank you guys very for this manual.

I donated $10.00 to help you along in your work.


How do you get English language back and actually make receive a channel. I enter local channels but only get static. Should have bought a real one

To restore a Baofeng UV-5R to English language, check out How to reset a Baofeng UV-5R two way radio and follow the instructions in the last section of the article subtitled "To set language from Chinese to English".

As for your question about static, what band and frequencies did you assign to those channels? The UV-5R is an analog radio. Is it possible those are encrypted, scrambled or digital transmissions you receiving? If so, "static" is all you will hear.

Hey Folks,

Thanks for this site! I got my Extra Class license in the early 1970s, but it was a "Technician" kid I work with (KC1ICC), who turned me on to the Baofeng. Your extensive documentation manual is extremely useful, and I've now got the gizmo up-and-running on a couple of repeaters, one of which is located on a mountain top about 60 miles away, in Western Mass. The fact that I'm able to hit that distant repeater with a useable signal, employing only the "long whip" antenna and the Baofeng's 5-watt output, absolutely astounds me. However, with appropriate humility, I've also got to say that I've funded the "kid" who recommended it to do all of the Baofeng programming for me. So I get to just kick back and have fun with it. Hey, for $30 bucks, this little radio is a "steal" -- but an Electrical Engineering background is apparently a huge asset in trying to get the dang thing to work. Such is life in the contemporary cyber-world.

When I say to show the channel on the bottom of the screen, it stays locked on channel 0. It does not change the channel number when i manually change the number? Any ideas?

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