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How to fix a Baofeng UV-5R that stops receiving after CHIRP file is uploaded

The Baofeng UV-5R is an extremely versatile and inexpensive dual band handheld radio, which makes it one of the most popular and biggest selling transceivers around the world today. It's Baofeng's flagship radio, and they constantly tweak and update the UV-5R it to keep it on top in the marketplace.

Sometimes the updates are minor and are hardly noticeable, if at all, save for a higher firmware version number. However, if a more serious internal change is made, it may require a bit adjustment in the way the radio is programmed or operated, especially among seasoned users.

Such is the case with the most recent revision to the UV-5R. The latest known firmware version is N5R-20. The version number previous to this was BFS313. Up to firmware BFS313 the version numbers were fairly consistent, with only a change to one letter and/or number, an indication that even major feature updates and additions were not too radical as to affect overall compatibility of the programming data files between versions of the radio. With the introduction of N5R-20, the numbering system completely changed, a possible indication that the older and newer firmware may have more fundamental differences than previous versions.

This would explain why some users are experiencing issues when attempting to upload older programming files to the new radios using the CHIRP programming software. The older CHIRP image files from Baofeng UV-5R radios with BFB or BFS series firmware are not compatible with radios equipped with the N5R-XX version of the firmware.

For the first time owner of the UV-5R, this isn't an issue at all, since you would simply download the image from the radio into CHIRP, save the file to your computer, program your frequencies, and upload the same image file back into the radio.

For the user who is adding the new UV-5R to a mix of other Baofeng radios, this means that you can't just upload an existing CHIRP .img file from your old radios to the new one. The differences and changes in the latest firmware simply will not let it work with the old file. As annoying and time consuming as it sounds, the best practice is to create a new CHIRP image file for the radio. As with the new user, download the defaults from the new radio into CHIRP, save the file, enter your data, and upload them into the radio.

Of course, that's all well and good if you are reading this before you try to program the new radio, but what if you've already found out the hard way? You already uploaded your old .img file to your radio and it begins to act strangely. The UV-5R has no audio, won't receive unless you press the MONI button, or stops responding altogether. Performing a reset doesn't work to fix the issue. Has the damage already been done?

First, don't panic. You haven't damaged your radio. The firmware is permanent, and can't be upgraded, changed, or "flashed". The CHIRP image file doesn't alter the firmware in any way either, so it's all good. All you really need to do is clean out the bad data, so to speak, and re-program the radio.

To do so, you will need to use another version of CHIRP. Download the appropriate version of chirp-daily-20140714 for your operating system (Linux, Mac or Microsoft Windows) to perform the fix. You will also need an original or stock .img file from a UV-5R radio with the N5R-20 firmware.

If you downloaded the image from the radio to CHIRP and saved it to your computer before you uploaded the .img file from your old radios, you're in great shape. Otherwise, you will need to locate and obtain an .img file from a new or working UV-5R with the N5R-20 firmware. Note: If the radio was purchased from Buy Two Way Radios, we can provide the N5R-20 version of the stock image data that is typically pre-programmed into the UV-5R at the factory on request.

After CHIRP is installed, load the N5R-20/stock .img file into CHIRP and upload it to the radio. This should restore the UV-5R to its original settings. Use this new image file as your working image to program the new radio as needed.

27 thoughts on “How to fix a Baofeng UV-5R that stops receiving after CHIRP file is uploaded”

  • Francisco

    Hi all, i actually have a Baofeng Uv-5re that has a little problem in the channel mode, it don't make any sound, like it's not receiving, but it can transmit. Anyone knows how can i Fox it? I been reading a few but i can understand wich is they problem itself. Extra data= power on + button 6 shows "160508N"
    (Sorry for mi bad writting, i'm from Argentina and my english is not they best)
    Email: [email protected]
    Any info would be grateful

    Reply
  • Jay Sotak

    Oh sorry for the previous post. It really does not follow the thread at all. I was just eager to solve my problem. My apologizes. You can ignore it. I will go another route. Thanks again

    Jay AB9CG

    Reply
  • Jay Sotak

    First my lap top that I programmed my first UV-5R crashed about a year ago. Now I have loaded the current Chirp and one of the Baofeng software were you had to know which pull down to use to switch to English.
    So in the Baofeng software that I had before I could change the opening Power ON banner to say "Welcome AB9CG" which is great for me. But when helping some other hams with programming their UV-5R radios I keep transfering my Power ON banner to their radios. I can find where I can turn on and off the POWER ON message. But how can I change it? All three UV-5R have "ver BFB297" and I one BF-F8HP "ver F8HP-1" May be just missing in the software somewhere.

    Additional errata.... Holding the "6" key during turn on yields a number sequence of "130711N" for two of UV-5R models and a "141006N" for other. The BF-F8HP has a "150121N"

    So any help would be great! Thanks
    Jay AB9CG

    Reply
  • Harley

    Having problems with receive with a UV-5r. Dose any one have a Recovery image file from radio with a 1FB297 firmware that you could email me?

    Thanks

    Reply
  • Francisco Ruiz
    Francisco Ruiz May 5, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Dear All
    I need your help with two firmware images for two different UV-5r transceivers" to recover the RX because a chirp problem.
    1st UV-5r Firmware: HN5RV01 1FB297
    2nd UV-5r Firmware: HN5RV01 1
    I really appreciate your help with this files.
    this is my email: [email protected]
    Best regards
    Francisco

    Reply
  • Michael Olsen

    Thanks! This worked and they have all the .img for many different versions there.

    Reply
  • Bill

    I fixed the MONI issue on my GT-3 by simply going into the menu, item 40, RESET ALL. Did the trick!

    Reply
  • Alan

    I had the failure to read and to program when trying to program "old" radios, and helping to program "new radios. I was able to force feed them by rebooting my computer with the radio OFF!! Load the program, go to "upload from radio", turn the radio on as instructed. And it worked. Yes it was frustrating !!! and that's how it worked for me. I wish I could make it easier and blowing out the old firmware. Good Luck.

    Reply
  • jorge

    hi. i programmed douzens of radios and i had no problems. now with 3 radios uv-5ri i have the same problem. with ou without tone donĀ“t receive. manualy or with pc is the same problem. only with monitor pressed can receive. i tested with all helps indicated but always the same. if somebody can help. regards

    Reply
  • Ken Lesniak

    Another day, another try at loading a new program of frequencies. Three tries are no good. The fourth try works????? Went thru all the same things I tried before, including restart the computer. Then it decides to let me download what was in the radio's memory and let me upload the new frequencies. Modified the freqs and uploaded again, ok. Makes me scratch my head.

    Reply
  • Ken Lesniak

    Similar problem as Larry's. When I first got the radio I successfully altered the original program with freqs from my first radio but only copied old radio freqs to new program. Now, I can't download or up load this radio. My first radio works fine with Chirp.

    Reply
  • Larry Raymond

    I have a "Radio failed to respond" issues. Do not know what the issue is, Have the right comport, (checked by the system/settings), Have re-set the radio twice, Still no resolve. Radio does not respond. It did 24 hours before hand, but not now. Yes plug is in securely, yes the driver works. It engages and identifies the radio, but up load and down load, radio will not respond. Even tried the original program software, still will not work. Even chanded lap-tops/computers, made no difference. Is it possible that the program parameter has failed some how on the trigger to talk to the out/in source?

    Reply
  • Lisa

    Well today was the day that I apparently turned both of my uv-5r's into receive only radios. I have a two year old uv-54and a year old uv-5r plus. I have exchanged files between these two radios before. But today I wanted to update a tone for a repeater. I uploaded the file off the older radio and made the change and it worked just fine. Although all I could do is key the mic and have the repeater identifier reply to me. Then I took the new radio and just uploaded the modified file from the old radio. But here is where I had problems. I got the red flag at the end of the upload saying my software/firmware was not compatable or something like that. The radio would work but there was no audo transmitted. So now I updated the Chirp to todays daily build and then I can upload my file with no issue. But now neither radio will talk to each other over the repeater. They both will trigger the send and receive from the repeater but no audio is transmitted. Now I am very careful and I up load old images that were stock images of each radio. Both radios will transmit and receive the repeaters signals but no sent audio is received. I was just about to consider each radio bricked and headed for the garbage can when I tried a simplex frequency and both radio's will transmit and receive normally with each other via simplex. Now I don't know what to do. They work on Simplex and will talk to each other but they will not talk to each other through a repeater. Any idea's?
    Thanks for any suggestions.
    my email is [email protected]
    Thanks again.

    Reply
  • Paul

    Audio only with MONITOR button pressed solved! Well, at least for me anyway. Remember, as always, your results may vary.
    Baofeng UV-5R; BFB 297 firmware; Windows XP with recent CHIRP daily build, driver on PC not known.
    For me the MONI key thing was only an issue in channel mode. Frequency mode working as it should. Furthermore, some local repeater frequencies loaded with CHIRP were working just fine in channel mode. Others, especially the WinSystem repeater in my area and the NOAA weather transmissions still needed a press of the MONI key to get audio. Note: the radio was clearly receiving as the green LED was lighting, so a signal was getting in there. Just no audio as many have experienced. Hmmm...what's going on here?
    I've had the radio about two years and only used the Baofeng software to program and as everyone in the world knows, it's junk. Finally got around to trying CHIRP this week and found it quite easy to learn, but still the MONI key thing was vexing me. Started fiddling with the settings on those two aforementioned frequencies in CHIRP. I noticed that most, though not quite all frequencies defaulted to TSQL (Tone SQueLch) in the Tone Mode column. Other choices are (none), tone, DTCS (Digital Tone Coded Squelch), cross. For the heck of it I started changing the Tone Mode settings top to bottom on those two frequencies, leaving everything else alone, uploading, then testing. Low and behold, the frequencies finally worked on the "tone" setting in the Tone Mode column. No MONI key needed.
    I know enough to set the tone squelch manually for local repeaters but I confess I'm not versed in the finer points of tone squelch settings and all that. I'll have to study on these things more. But with just a bit of trial and error with CHIRP I finally stumbled on the solution. Give it a try if you're having the same problem and let us know how it works for you.

    Reply
  • michael

    dont know if this helps. ran into this problem with my uv5r when using a rubber duck. connected it to a discone or mounted antenna and it works just fine. however no rubber duck works on it.

    Reply
  • Dar

    My problem is that when I program in multiple repeater frequencies, either they all take on the "tone" and "offset" settings from the last one loaded or they all take on the lowest "tone" setting and the "offset" setting with the lowest digit (005.000 instead of 000.600). This problem is not mentioned by anyone else that I can see. What is my problem?
    [email protected]

    Reply
  • Best radio ever baofeng uv-5r

    Reply
  • Mark

    WIll I have to keep saving new images every time I buy a new UV-5r?
    I have some 1 year old radios and need more, but I don't want to have 40 different images? for the same radio.
    I really need to purchase 30 radios! but I am afraid because communications to the radios is so different .
    Can I create one image ? and communicate with all uv-5rs?

    Reply
  • thanks for the blog it helpped me alot :)

    Reply
  • philpotter

    Like everyone else I am having the same problems with the UV5R's not receiving unless MON is pushed. The radio UV5R Firmware is BFS-313 and the second number, it is BFS-297 the +6 Power - On Message1 and the+6 Message 2 have been erased. Do you know where I can get a original copy to recovery and restore my radio back to normal.
    Thanks Phil KK6MZJ

    Reply

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