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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.

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

  • Rick

    Good catch. That was a typo. It should read "enter the same memory channel in step 12". Thanks!

    Reply
  • James McNamara

    step (14) is confusing. It say enter same memory channel as in step (27). Did you mean step (7)?

    Reply
  • Thomas Ward

    You tell by the frequency range you're in. 130MHz - 176MHz is VHF, 400MHz - 520MHz is UHF. There's no specific indicators on the LCD screen to identify the band you're set to.

    Reply
  • Robi

    Salut à tous
    J'ai acheté le mien aujourd'hui alors ma question .Est'il possible de descendre sur les frequences 118 mhz

    Reply
  • ramona

    How can I tell what band I'm using? nothing shows up when I hit the band button.

    Reply
  • Brandon

    I still can't get my Baofeng uv-5r programmed to my emergency channels

    Reply
  • Rick

    You need to know what frequency the other radios are on before you can program your radio to communicate with them. However, the frequency alone is not always enough. If the other radios are using CTCSS/DCS codes, you will need those as well.
    In addition, the UV-5R is an analog radio. If the other radios are digital and are operating in digital mode, your radio will not be able to communicate with them.

    Reply
  • Rick

    These instructions were written specifically for the original Baofeng UV-5R sold on our site at Buy Two way Radios from which this article originates. Although they may also generally apply to other variants of the the UV-5R, due to different features and firmware, your mileage may vary.
    We do not carry the UV-5RV2+, so we have little information on this model to provide a specific guide. You may need to contact the dealer from which you purchased your radio if they offer any support for your model.

    Reply
  • I'm stuck on step 3 as my UV-5RV2+ doesn't have a Band key/button. Thanks.

    Reply
  • Paul Helm

    Is there any way that I can program if I don't have the frequency number that other radios around me with in the same building? Thank you for any help with this issue.

    Reply
  • Dave,
    You can set the min and max boundaries using the CHRIP software.
    Cordially,
    Rob
    kc8kpx

    Reply
  • Hello Dave,
    I have a Baofeng UV-5RV2+ I picked up off of Amazon last summer. Mine also transmits in the extended ranges you describe. I've read that these radios were't necessarily designed for Ham Radio. That would explain the wider transmit coverage.
    Cordially,
    Rob
    kc8kpx

    Reply
  • Dave M6DOA

    Hi all i recently bought a baofeng UV-5R and found it easy to program from the keypad. However when i checked how low it went i discovered it works as low down as 130 mhz and as high as 176.9975 VHF and on UHF 400 mhz to 520.9975, the info says 136 mhz to 176 mhz VHF and on UHF 400 to 520 mhz. Has anyone else found this extended range? Not programmed via a computer so not been expanded. Cheers Dave in UK M6DOA

    Reply
  • IM

    Dear Friends,
    How to hide or disable Channel mode B from showing up or using it. ?
    please advise

    Reply
  • Rick

    Hi Ruth, are you referring to Step 6 in the simplex instructions or the repeater channel instructions? In either case, you would assign any channel number not already assigned to a frequency.

    Reply
  • Ruth

    Just wondering wat would the frequency channel be at step 6 it has me a bit confused.thank you in advance

    Reply
  • Pat Ocoffey

    Very Helpful! How do I name the programmed channels?

    Reply

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