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How to check the firmware version of the Baofeng UV-5R

Baofeng fans often want to know what firmware version is on their amateur radios. Unfortunately, since the release of version BFB297, the firmware version number that displays on the screen of the Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band UHF/VHF Amateur Radio may not be what is actually installed. To resolve the potential conflict and avoid confusion, Danny Feemster from Buy Two Way Radios will show you how to use the Chirp programming software included with the Baofeng UV-5R USB Programming Cable to check the firmware on the radio and find out which firmware version you actually have.

32 thoughts on “How to check the firmware version of the Baofeng UV-5R”

  • Rick

    The firmware for the UV-5R and most of its variants is factory set and is not flashable or otherwise user upgradeable.

    Reply
  • Victor

    Good friends I'm new to this from the radios, I have a pair of baofeng uv-5r + radio, one turns me on fine and the other stays on startup screen, as loading system, I would like to know if updating firmware can be repaired, like I update it And where do I get the firmware?

    Reply
  • Rick

    If you are using CHIRP, you should be able to export and import the csv easily.

    Reply
  • Jon S

    so if the cloning won't work, is the next best option to export the 5R setup to a csv to then import into a new image for the 5RV2?

    Reply
  • Rick

    Cloning radio-to-radio works best when the models and firmware are the same. The UV-5R and UV-5RV2+ use different firmware and this makes them different models.

    Reply
  • Jon S

    I am having trouble cloning a UV-5R onto a UV-5RV2+. I would think this wouldn't be an issue. When i try to upload I get this error message "The upload was stopped because the firmware version of the image (BFS311 BFB297 ) does not match that of the radio (N5R2407BFB297 )." Is there a way i can fix this or get around it? Is there an issue with the 5RV2+ or is it the information coming from the standard 5R? Any help for this relatively ignorant newb would be greatly appreciated. Thanks all.

    Reply
  • Barrie

    thanks for this first cheapo cable did not work but bought a £2 board wired to lead and bingo Mac book air picked it up, then got error wrong model till i used the fix above now work sweet as a nut
    cheers

    Reply
  • Hello Steve,
    i have the same problem. Do you have solved this problem?
    harry

    Reply
  • Fran Carey

    I am getting the Unsupported Firmware Version message on Chirp as well. Mine says the version is N5R3403 F8HP-1
    Did I get an old firmware version or am I doing something wrong?
    Model Number is BF-F8HP
    Thank You

    Reply
  • David

    First off, the CHIRP folks are amazing, the product is great and I truly appreciate their time and dedication and now I appreciate their vigilance even MORE. Read on...
    OK ya'll... GOT IT WORKING!! WhooHooo.
    After posting my last comment about NOT being able to write back to my UV-5RTP with CHIRP 0.4.1, I did find a way to get around the issue.
    CHIRP 0.4.1 will read the UV-5RTP very well as a UV-5R and you can make all the changes you need to in the resulting capture and save them to a file. But you can NOT write them to the radio. Well dang(!), but keep reading...
    So then I thought maybe I'll try the daily build. I'm usually very leery of beta firmware/programmers, but I'm within warranty/return timeframe so I figured "why not?"
    The CHIRP dailybuild (03-12-15) will NOT read the UV-5RTP as a UV-5R. When trying to read the radio the only options I have in the radio drop down that are close to my radio are UV-5R or UV-6, but not UV-5RTP. When choosing the UV-5R (like I did in the latest stable version and it worked then) I get an error: "incorrect model selected". Hopless and despair once again begin to set in. HOWEVER, I noticed at the very top of the drop list was a listing for a BF-F8HP and then it dawned on me - the F8HP is another "sold-as" name for the UV-5RTP (or vice-versa). The point is, I tried that and BAM, it read the radio. So I changed the settings I could get to (there aren't as many as the 0.4.1 version allows for the 5R), saved them (including the upper limit setting) and about fell out of my chair when it worked!!! Holy cats - super excited.
    So, as of this writing (03-12-15 @ 12:40am) this CHIRP build version works great, but the radio is listed under a sales pseudonym of the BF-F8HP. I'm looking forward to the next stable version that will include this model (and firmware BFP3-25). I'm hoping they put both names in the drop-down so those future UV-5RTP owners can find it easier than I could. I just got lucky that I remembered the other name of the RTP from my extensive pre-purchase research trying to determine what the differences were between the 8 High Power and the 5 Radio Tri-Power.
    Sheesh Baofeng, the radios are great, but set a single name/model and stick with it!!!
    I posted this particular build verion's URL in the post, I hope the moderator leaves it, but if not - I understand. Just head over to the CHIRP website and see if the daily build works for you (depending on whatever day you're reading this).
    Good Luck and 73,
    -David.

    Reply
  • David

    First off, the CHIRP folks are amazing, the product is great and I truly appreciate their time and dedication.
    I just got my UV-5RTP radios and just like CJ, I too am unable to reach my local repeater @ 444.700/110.9 because for some reason the radio is locked to a top end of 440. ERCK!!
    The CHIRP software was able to read the radio where-in I could change the top-end as well as add the repeater I want to reach. However, just like CJ, I am unable to load the program BACK to the radio due to firmware incompatibility BFP3-25.
    I've tried the Baofeng software and after a bit of trial and error, I was able to get their software to read the radio (that was about 4 hours of messing around). And while the software does allow changing the top-end freq, it will not write the change to the radio. Interestingly though, if I make changes below 440 and save them to the memory, those will write. Just not the freq. availability change nor the name of the radio. ODD.
    Anybody find a work-around yet. I'd be OK using either the Baofeng or CHIRP (prefer CHIRP), but right now my 5 new radios are almost useless if I can't connect to my local club repeater.
    Thanks all and 73.
    -David.

    Reply
  • CJ

    I just received my Baofeng UV-RTP radio. Has the 3 power levels. First of all when I got it I only could get frequencies 140.000-150.000 so I down loaded CHIRP. My radio uploaded fine to my computer and I seen the problem and changed it then added some NOAA channels when I tried to down load back to my radio it gave me an unsupported firmware message. I looked and my firmware on my radio says it is BFP3-25. How can I get the frequencies I want and need and get CHIRP working correctly.

    Reply
  • Kimbo

    I have 2 Baofeng UV-5R radios and they show BFB291 & BFB297, the 291 I programed along while back with the chirp. Then I was able to write to the 297 but it won't work but the program chl are showing... What do I need to do to get these radios to work with each other???
    Thanks in advance,

    Reply
  • Michael

    Hi Guys.
    I need some help, I sat down to program a new batch of radios using the old ver of chirp to find i could not key any repeater and also even when i did a re-set on the radio i put the radios on a simplex Freq and when i TX on the 1 radio the other radio dose not even pick it up. I have put the same list on 3 of the radios from chirp and still nothing they cant RX each other nothing,
    Any info if you have had this kind of problem the Radio Ver 297

    Reply
  • SCOTTY

    NEED HELP HAVE THE NEW N5R-20 HAVE TRYED EVERYTHING TRANSMET GOOD WILL NOT RECIEVE ANY THING HELP GOT 10 OF THEM TO PROGRAM

    Reply
  • Chris

    Steve,
    I have the same issue. I've been trying to download the correct original .img file. First I reset the radio and then upload the original file to it. This has worked on the 5RA's but not the 5R I'm trying to program.
    Check out this website: http://kc9hi.dyndns.org/uv5r/programming/CHIRPrecovery/

    Reply
  • STEVE

    Is there any way to determine the original firmware version? I programed my radio (UV-5R) with chirp successfully and my brother wanted me to program his (UV-5R V2+). To save time I uploaded my image to the radio and looks like my firmware is incompatible to his radio. Now he has to hold the monitor key to hear anything even with the squelch set at 0.

    Reply
  • Jim

    Jim,
    The 6+Power-on message is similar to the 3+Power-message that you use to determine the firmware version of your radio. The difference is that with CHIRP you can edit the 6+Power-on message to personalize it.
    When you download from your radio, the Work Mode Settings show the state your radio was in at the very last moment you were "working" with it. You see which display was selected, whether the radio was in VFO or MR mode, if the keypad was locked, which channel each display had selected, what frequency each VFO was tuned to, and so on.
    You can use these settings to preset the state your UV-5R will be in once the CHIRP upload has successfully finished. For example, I have mine set so that after I upload to my radio, the radio is in MR (channel) mode, with the top (A) display set to channel 1 (my work frequency), the bottom (B) display set to channel 11 (my local ham repeater) and the top (A) display selected.
    Jim KC9HI

    Reply
  • Jim

    Eddie,
    All UV-5R radios with the actual BFB297 firmware version and older will display "VER" for Firmware Message 1. It is only the firmware versions newer than BFB297 that will display an actual firmware version in Firmware Message 1. So your radio's firmware version truly is BFB297.
    Jim KC9HI

    Reply
  • Jim

    Derrick,
    Up until the release of the BFS313 firmware, at least one of the firmware messages had BFB in it. With BFS313 the firmware message became BFS313/BFS297, so without the BFB that CHIRP was expecting, the "firmware not supported" message resulted.
    You need to be using CHIRP 0.4.0 stable or CHIRP daily-20240307 or later for this firmware to be detected properly.
    Jim KC9HI

    Reply

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