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How to manually program the Baofeng UV-5R from the keypad

Baofeng UV-5R-2.jpgThe Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most popular dual band handheld two way radios on the market worldwide. It's compact, feature packed, and very inexpensive. For many users who are new to programming portables, it is also one of the most challenging to program, primarily due to a poorly written user manual and an all but complete lack of support from its manufacturer, Baofeng.

Fortunately, there are some helpful resources available from a global community of UV-5R enthusiasts, including an easier to read and understand owner's manual and an excellent software application designed to program the UV-5R from a computer. The programming software is called CHIRP, and it is freely available online.

Of course, CHIRP is a great solution, provided you have a computer, an easy to install programming cable and the time to input all the data for 128 channels. But, what if you are on the road or out in the field and don't have a computer handy? What if you need to add in a frequency or program a channel on the fly?

We often receive calls from customers who just purchased their first Baofeng UV-5R from Buy Two Way Radios and want to know how to to operate it. More specifically, they want to know how to program their radio manually, directly from the radio itself.

So, here's how to do it. Follow the instructions below to manually program your Baofeng UV-5R direct from the keypad of the radio.

How to manually program a simplex channel

  • Step 1. Press [VFO/MR] and enter Frequency Mode.
  • Step 2. Press [A/B] and choose the A Side (upper display).
    The A side must be used to program channels into the radio. Programming data entered on the B Side (lower display) will not be saved.
  • Step 3. Press [BAND] for the frequency band.
    Toggle [BAND] to choose 136 MHz (VHF) or 470 MHz (UHF).
    If the incorrect band is chosen for the frequency entered in Step 5, the radio will cancel the operation.
  • Step 4. Disable TDR (Dual Watch/Dual Standby).
    Press [MENU] 7 [MENU] [press up/down arrow keys] OFF [MENU] [EXIT]
    It is highly advised to turn TDR off when programming directly from the radio.
  • Step 5. Enter the frequency.
    Use the keypad to enter the frequency into the radio.
  • Step 6. optional - Enter the transmit CTCSS/DCS code.
    • CTCSS - [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter/choose code XXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • DCS - [MENU] 12 [MENU] [choose code XXXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 7. Assign the frequency to a channel.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]

How to manually program a repeater channel

  • Step 1. Press [VFO/MR] and enter Frequency Mode.
  • Step 2. Press [A/B] and choose the A Side (upper display).
    Like the simplex channels, the A side must be used to program the repeater channels into the radio. Programming data entered on the B Side (lower display) will not be saved.
  • Step 3. Press [BAND] for the frequency band
    Toggle [BAND] to choose 136 MHz (VHF) or 470 MHz (UHF).
    If the incorrect band is chosen for the frequency entered in Step 6, the radio will cancel the operation.
  • Step 4. optional - Clear any CTCSS/DCS codes previously assigned to the channel.
    If no previous codes exist or when setting up the channel for the first time and no codes are needed, set the menu items listed below to OFF.

    • RX DCS - [MENU] 10 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • RX CTCSS - [MENU] 11 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • TX DCS - [MENU] 12 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • TX CTCSS - [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 5. Disable TDR (DualWatch/Dual Standby).
    Press [MENU] 7 [MENU] [press up/down arrow keys] OFF [MENU] [EXIT]
    It is highly advised to turn TDR off when programming directly from the radio.
  • Step 6. optional - Delete any existing data on the channel to program.
    Skip this step when setting up the channel for the first time.
    Press [MENU] 28 [press up/down arrow keys to choose channel number] [MENU] [EXIT]
    It is highly advised to turn TDR off when programming directly from the radio.
  • Step 7. Enter the repeater output (your receiving) frequency.
    Use the keypad to enter the frequency into the radio.
  • Step 8. Input the repeater frequency offset.
    Press [MENU] 26 [MENU] [enter the offset for 2 meter or 70 cm repeater] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 9. Enter the Transmit Frequency Shift.
    Press [MENU] 25 [MENU] [enter 1 for positive shift or 2 for negative shift] [MENU][EXIT]
  • Step 10. optional - Enter the transmit CTCSS/DCS code.
    • CTCSS - [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter/choose code XXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • DCS - [MENU] 12 [MENU] [choose code XXXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 11. Assign the receive frequency entered in Step 7 to the channel.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 12. Press the [*Scan] button to activate Reverse Mode and display the transmit frequency.
  • Step 13. Assign the transmit frequency to the channel.
    Press [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter the same memory channel entered in step 12] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 14. Press the [*Scan] button to exit Reverse Mode.

To add more channels, simply repeat the steps above. If these step-by-step instructions are followed correctly, you should be able to program all 128 channels (000-127) in your Baofeng UV-5R as you need.

107 thoughts on “How to manually program the Baofeng UV-5R from the keypad”

  • Nino

    Hi.
    How to use 2nd function in keypad ?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Mohit

    How to setup set CB radio frequency on Baofeng?

    Reply
    • Rick

      If you are in the US, you can't. CB radios operate on frequencies in the 11 meter band. The Baofeng UV-5R operates on amateur and business frequencies in the 2 meter and 70cm bands. CB in North America is way out of band for most Baofeng radios. It may or may not be technically possible to program a Baofeng UV-5R in countries that use different bands and frequencies for their CB, however, you may want to check with the governing authority in those jurisdictions to be sure it is allowed before attempting to do so.

      Reply
  • Dan

    hey , were do i get this licence

    Reply
  • John Gomez

    while I appreciate the step by step directions, unfortunately are not correct. I am trying to program to a repeater and in those instructions it will say as in step 6 but step 6 of how to program in simplex or step 6 on how to program to repeater? My only guess is he would go back to simplex so that doesn't make sense. Secondly trying to set the receiving mode dart any instructions on how to do that because again a references the wrong step. Is there any possible way you could please revise your instructions and double-check the steps because there seems to be no good information on how to program these dumb baofeng radios. I bought a yaesu at least you could call somebody and get support. Now I know why these bail things are so cheap, I guess you get what you pay for?

    Reply
    • Rick

      Hi John, I just reviewed the instructions, and there were indeed a couple of typos and an extra step. This has since been revised and tested to work. I apologize for the errors.

      Reply
  • Mark

    Hi Ken C,

    To get FM on the BF-F8 set the A/B button so that you are in the 2 meter band then momentarily press the orange Call button on the side of the unit. You cannot get to FM mode from the 70cm band.

    Reply
  • peter loft

    Hi, i must be thick,,,,,,,is it possible you could email me instructions (idiot proof) on how to get my baofeng 5r working. i cant understand how to load a frequency and i cant understand how to get a channel. cheers. peter.

    Reply
  • Greg KN7GIG

    Guys...LISTEN TO WAYNE! GET YOUR LICENSE!!! Then, get involved with an amateur radio club near you.

    1. Look up'Chirp' software. You'll need t0 be slightly computer-literate and get a programming cable available on Amazon for aroun 20 bucks. That, or struggle through the owner's manual. It's clunky but do-able.

    2. The Baofeng is pretty popular due to its price. Ham radio clubs will usually have a couple of members well-versed in their programming and use because of this.

    3. You NEED to follow the FCC rules. Just because the radio CAN transmit and receive on certain frequencies does NOT mean that YOU are allowed to use those freq's. Just like the fact that just because your car's speedometer goes to 120 or whatever doesn't mean you're legally allowed to drive that fast on public roads. The same goes for FRS / GMRS ('walkie-talkie") bands. There are power limitations, etcetera...You can listen, but can't transmit unless you're doing so within the FCC rules for the equipment AND YOUR LICENSE CLASS.

    That said, have fun. Club members can be a wealth of knowledge, and you'll gain trust and respect when you show initiative to LEARN and then pass that knowledge on to others.

    Reply
  • Wayne Reynolds
    Wayne Reynolds May 16, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    It kills me to see all of the posts asking how to program.

    Step 1. GET YOUR FRIGGIN LICENSE!
    Step 2. Program the radio.

    KD9GQB

    Reply
  • Ray

    You dobt need no damn computer. Google the 2 way radio and look up one if the chaneels frequency. Itll give it to you set your scanner on that frequency. Next set the vox to on and the code given. Boom done

    Reply
  • C0mbat_W0ombat

    Hi folks I am a total noob at this and would love some help please.

    I have two Boafeng radios a UV-5R and a BF888, I am wanting to programme the UV-5R so it will talk to the BF888 on three channels ( So I can preset them ) , as I want to be able to let a buddy use the BF radio when we are airsofting . I chose three channels preset so if we get to a site and someone is using one of the channels already we can switch easily.

    I also want to do the same to work with a friends Retevis RT24 ( again 3 channels )

    could someone please help me please ( in super dumbed down old many can understand technical sh*t speak if possible )

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Rick

      You would need to program each radio to the same frequency on the same channel. The BF-888S does not have a key pad and would need to be programmed from a computer using specific programming software for that model. As for the Retevis, we do not carry that brand, but the model you mentioned seems to be a PMR446 radio. These radios are intended for use in the EU. We are based in the US, so we cannot advise on the use of a PMR446 radio with the UV-5R or BF-888S. If you live in the EU, we recommend that you consult with the agency in your country regarding the use of these radios on those frequencies before attempting to program your radios.

      Reply
  • Mike

    Your programming notes were very helpful. The manual that comes with the UV-5R is pretty scant. Again TNX and 73. Mike, W4LZ

    Reply
  • Tja

    Hello all, I'm a total newbie at this, I would like to know what you recommend as the best way to set up and program this radio. I just bought my first baofeng uv-5r radio, I want to be able to set it up for use.

    I have experience with radio frequencies as I have had scanners before, but never a transceiver such as this. I notice that many people need frequencies and codes when setting up this radio, where in the world would I be able to get all this information so that I can set up this radio for use ?

    Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  • Tj

    Hello all, I'm a total newbie at this, and just bought my first baofeng at uv5r Radio.

    What is the best way to program this radio, and I noticed that you seem to need frequency codes and other things when you were putting in a specific frequency. Wherr in the world can I get all this information to input into this radio?

    Any information you could give, would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

    Reply
  • Josh

    How do I program it to get the police scanner

    Reply
    • Rick

      You cannot pick up "police scanners" because they are scanners that receive only. They do not transmit. The Baofeng UV-5R is an analog transceiver. Although it does have a scan function, is not designed to operate as a scanner. Also, many law enforcement agencies now use digital radio systems. An analog radio such as the UV-5R will not hear digital radio signals.

      Reply
  • Raymond

    Trying to connect to uhf walketakee how to program my bf8hp tank you

    Reply
  • Sean

    Mark Johnson , Radio Menu, "upload to radio" is what you are looking for.

    I learned a lot watching this videos on this radio, they are long winded! But, they were 2 videos that made the most sense.
    manual programming:
    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlxK80QUYpk&t=0s&list=WL&index=18"
    How to use chirp and the uv-5r:
    "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3jpz1mwuDw"

    Reply
  • Mark Johnson

    I uploaded the CHIRP program and I entered the freq's that I want but how do I get it to program the radio? I have it connected via the programming cord but I can't find any way to activate the programming mode.,

    Reply
  • Anthony

    I can only program non receiving frequencies into my baofeng be-f8hp. For example, I'm trying to program noaa 164.475 and it will not confirm/save to memory channels. But if I try 162.450, which I don't receive, it will confirm and save. New to this so I may be missing something, but I can't find anything. Any help would be great. Thanks

    Reply
  • JM

    Just bought a UV-5R. In frequency mode when press band I don't get the option to toggle between 136 VHF and 470 UHF. It just displays 400.000?? What am I missing?

    Reply
  • Nad

    Hi..

    Kindy asking how to set up our new baofeng uv 5r we have 7 pcs and its for our office secretaries to warehouse man use we realy dnt have idea were we can get free frequency numbers to be use for our set up or how to set up our radios.. badly need help. Thanks

    Reply
    • rick

      If you are located in the US and the radios are for business use, your company would need to apply for an assigned frequency on the business band. The license is valid for 10 years and there is a fee, the cost of which depends on the type and number of licensed frequencies purchased. You can find more information on our web site at FCC Radio Licensing Services.

      There are license-free options available to businesses as well, such as MURS and consumer FRS radios, but they require you to purchase radios specifically designed for use on those frequencies. The Baofeng UV-5R is not legal for use on MURS or FRS. Digital radios operating on 900MHz such as the Motorola DLR and DTR series are also license free, but they also require you to purchase radios specifically designed for those frequencies. The Baofeng UV-5R does not operate on 900MHz.

      Before taking it further, listen to our podcasts An Introduction to Business Radios and FRS Radios For Business? for more information and an in-depth explanation on using two way radios in a business, office or warehouse environment.

      Reply

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