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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 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. Enter the repeater output frequency.
    Use the keypad to enter the frequency into the radio.
  • Step 12. Assign the receive frequency to the same channel in Step 6.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 13. Press the [*Scan] button to activate Reverse Mode and display the transmit frequency.
  • Step 14. Assign the transmit frequency to the channel.
    Press [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter the same memory channel in step 12] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 15. Press the [*Scan] button to exit <i.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.

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

  • Darrell Mason

    I was trying to program the UV-5r but our local fire department frequency only has two numbers before the period like 46.23400 and I can't find anyway to program it in can anybody help me

    Reply
  • Rachel

    So is there a basic " walkie talkie use for dummies" out there? I 'm still stumped even with the new expanded manual I downloaded. It's like you have to take some technical class before you're allowed to use a walkie talkie. I say that in all fun and total confusion. It does the basic that I wanted it to do, but I feel like I'm missing out on all the neat things it could do.

    Reply
  • mvs sarma

    How do i program for satellite AO-91- Thanks sarma vu3zmv

    Reply
  • Brett Amond

    I just bought the Baofeng uv-5r plus to use on job sites to communicate with my guys. Is there an easy guide to setting channels as presets for us to use as ptt channels? I like the cost and size of these, but obviously not smart enough to figure it out on my own!! Thanks!!

    Reply
  • Craig

    Fifteen steps to enter a repeater frequency? That's crazy.
    But thanks for the instruction. I never would have figured-that out myself.

    Reply
  • The new radios automatically know the band you are entering because of the first two digits. There is no need for the band setting anymore. Just skip that part and enter the frequency.

    Reply
  • robert

    I have a baofeng uv-5r I don't have a band key so how do I change bands. just by putting in the freq I want
    robert

    Reply
  • YAP SWEE KHONG

    How to set channel mode ?
    model: UV-5RE

    Reply
  • YAP SWEE KHONG

    My voice prompts are in Chinese . How can I get it speaking English.
    model: UV-5RE

    Reply
  • Shon, K6QT

    I am using a BTECH UV-5X3, but these are similar enough to be useful to me. The FIRST item I hadn't realized is that you need to be setting your repeater settings on band A or they won't save (i.e., DON'T save settings when you are on the lower band B setting!)
    I especially appreciated step 11 (menu no. 26 on my radio): "Use the KEYPAD (my emphasis) to enter the frequency into the radio." Throughout most of the rest of the menu items, it is necessary to use the up and down arrow buttons to set menu items. I tried this in vain, finally searching and finding this web site, which gave me the answer, which was that I actually needed to TYPE IN THE OFFSET USING THE KEYPAD, which is in MHz. So if I want a -5.0 MHz offset, I set the offset to negative using another menu item, no. 25 SFT-D on my radio, set to negative. Then I go to menu item no. 26 to type in the offset. Type in 005000 for a 5 MHz offset.
    Thank you so much!
    de SRE, K6QT

    Reply
  • Rick

    Sorry, I had to run your query through a translator. Are you asking if the Baofeng UV-5R can operate on 30mhz to 87mhz frequencies? If so, the short answer is no. The UV-5R is not an HF radio. It operates on 144MHz VHF and 440MHz UHF frequencies.

    Reply
  • Zapytanie o polaczenie sie z innym radiem
    Zapytanie o polaczenie sie z innym radiem October 4, 2017 at 4:18 am

    Witam czy uv-5r moge sie polaczyc z radiem o zakresie czestotliwosci od 30mhz do 87mhz jesli tak to jak to zrobic bo nic mi nie wychodzi dziekuje i pozdrawiam.

    Reply
  • Rick

    The radio did not respond message simply means that CHIRP could not communicate with the radio. The error message may be caused by a number of different factors. Follow the step by step instructions in this article to troubleshoot your issue.
    What to do if the radio programming software does not detect the cable or COM port

    Reply
  • Rui

    Hi people, i received a cable from Baofeng, to program my uv-5r (BFB297), and i connected to shirp software, and when i chose the port and vendor and type of radio, it tries to download from radio, it apears on screen "radio did not respond".
    Can you help me with this?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Rick

    John, the short answer is, you can't. The Baofeng UV-5R is not an HF radio and cannot operate on 30MHz or other frequencies below 136MHz VHF or above 520MHz UHF. The only exception is the built-in commercial broadcast FM radio which is receive only and is not programmable.

    Reply
  • John

    How do I program a 4 digit frequency like 33.94 instead of xxx.xxx

    Reply
  • Rui

    Hello Rick,
    Thanks for reply my questions. I'm just waiting for the cable program to star programing the radio and see what he is able to do.
    I have also a Alinco DJV5E, Icom W32E and Wouxun KG-UV9D(Plus) and with this one i enter in a repeater at 47 miles from distance.

    Reply
  • Rick

    Hi Rui, to answer your questions:
    Q1 - Is it possible to expand the 127 Ch to more capacity?
    A - No. It is not expandable by the end user.
    Q2 - With radio off, i punch key 6 plus radio on and on tehe screen apears " 170508N". What is the meaning?
    A - If you press the 3 key while turning on the radio, the firmware version number displays on the screen. However, it is not the actual version number. If you press the 6 key while turning on the radio, it displays the 6+Power-on message. This is similar to the 3+Power-message, except that the message is programmable. If you program the UV-5R using CHIRP you can customize the 6+Power-on message.

    Reply
  • Rui

    Good afternoon people,
    Can someone replay the questions i worte before?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • Rui

    Hello,
    I bought a UV-5r (BFB 297) last week or so, and i have 2 questions to ask:
    Q1 - Is it possible to expand the 127 Ch to more capacity?
    Q2 - With radio off, i punch key 6 plus radio on and on tehe screen apears " 170508N". What is the meaning?
    Thanks

    Reply

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