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696 of 709 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heck of a lot of radio for the money
If you compare the Baofeng UV-5R to the latest offerings from Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood, you wouldn't think it's a 5-star radio. But when you look at the price they're asking for the UV-5R, 5 stars hardly seems enough. This is a fantastic value. For under forty-five bucks you get a pocket-sized dual band radio, complete with earphone/mike and a desktop drop-in charger...
Published 22 months ago by Michael J. Edelman

versus
156 of 179 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-Called "Newer 2013 Model" Baofeng UV-5RA Models
As a buyer of well-over 300 Baofeng radios (and counting) for the group I belong to (not all of which were purchased through Amazon but many were), I'm always amazed at the lengths some sellers go to to hype their products as being "newer" or "better" than other models, or perhaps (to give them the benefit of the doubt) they just don't know any better.

First,...
Published 12 months ago by CDC


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696 of 709 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heck of a lot of radio for the money, November 21, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
If you compare the Baofeng UV-5R to the latest offerings from Icom, Yaesu, and Kenwood, you wouldn't think it's a 5-star radio. But when you look at the price they're asking for the UV-5R, 5 stars hardly seems enough. This is a fantastic value. For under forty-five bucks you get a pocket-sized dual band radio, complete with earphone/mike and a desktop drop-in charger. Heck, Icom gets almost as much as this radio sells for just for the charger! NOt enough? It'll also cover FMRS and GMRS frequencies, receive the FM broadcast band, and there's even a built in flashlight!

So you've got to figure there's a catch, right? And there is: Programming this radio from the front panel is a royal pain in the caboose. After studying helpful web pages- not the manufacturer's manual- I'm now comfortable programming single frequencies and repeater offsets in, but I still don't seem to be able to put the in memory properly. The manufacturer supplies a program that's supposed to make programming easier, but the word is that it's as confusing as the front panel controls.

Luckily there's a fix. A group of dedicated hams have created a program called CHIRP that's available for Windows, OSX, and Linux that's as easy to use as a spreadsheet. Just type in the frequencies, offsets, CTSS, comments, etc., and hit upload. Unfortunately Amazon doesn't allow web links in reviews but you can find it by googling CHIPS and UV-5R. You'll also need the USB Programming Cable for BAOFENG UV-5R UV-3R+ Two way Radio With Driver CD to connect the radio to your computer, too. If you're interested in learning more about this radio before your order one, a good place to start is the user reference at miklor dot com slash uv-5r.
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303 of 318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Which version of the 5RA should you get?, December 14, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
In short: as of around mid December 2012, buy this one.

Best antenna for this: The Diamond SRJ77CA. Alternately, the Nagoya NA-771 SF if you are on a budget.

I was trying to figure out which version to get on here, frustrated by the reviews, so I decided to buy them all and report. I had read that the various versions are all the same radio, just the style and color vary: UV-5R, 5RA, 5RC, 5RE, 5R+, 5R Mk II, UV-E5, UV-5R Plus. This is true, so it comes down to which one is going to ship with the most recent firmware.

The firmware varies, but there does not seem to be much of a difference in performance. Holding "3" while you turn the radio on gets you the firmware version. I bought this mid-December, 2012 and got firmware version BFB295. I thought BFB293 was the latest but this is even more recent. The "UV-5R Plus" that I bought from Amazon for more money was BFB293, but I don't notice any difference at all in the functionality of the two.

For programming channels, don't bother trying to program directly to the radio - get the programming cable. You can buy the cheap connector, search for CHIRP software, and navigate that with some frustration. If you would rather spend a bit more and skip the frustration, look into the RT Systems connector and software which works perfectly without any frustration.

This can transmit on Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) with no license required. It also transmits on General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) which technically requires a license. However, "bubble-pack pirates" persons who use GMRS without a license are common. It also transmits on the HAM bands and even some commercial and emergency frequencies, so be careful what frequencies you transmit on according to your licensing.

Construction? Much better than you're expecting. I have a $450 Yaesu VX-8DR, and this does 99% of what I used the Yaesu for day to day. It's not submersible, so don't take it into the bath tub with you, but at $44 it's practically disposable. The accessories are dirt cheap too. The volume can get much louder on a 5R than any other HT that I've used.

Update 12/28/12: I bought a second one, received on Dec-21-2012, this time it was the BFB293 firmware rather than the BFB295 that I received two weeks prior.

Update 1/4/13: I bought a different, earlier UV-5R variant that came with BFB297 firmware. These radios are all the same, it seems to be a crap shoot what firmware you'll get.
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231 of 262 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW UV-5RA with 293 firmware, November 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
Purchased this HT hoping it would deliver as advertised and it did. 5RA with new 293 firmware. All items advertised,(including headset) were included in package. Could program this via USB cable(not included) by CHIRP and BAOFENG VIP software from my laptop with no problems. USB programming cable was ordered also on Amazon from other vendor for around $7 with $2 shipping China Post. Ordered radio and cable on same day and they both arrived on same day (china post shipped cable only took 6 days to East Coast USA). I am very pleased with this item and vendor. ... One note, the metallic front speaker piece in pictures looks silverish but when looking at it in person it is anodized, shiny black like the rest of the HT's frame. Very stylish!

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: You need a license to use this HT on any of the frequencies it is approved by the FCC to transmit on. Ham frequencies part 97 and FCC reg. part 90 only. Even though it will transmit on FRS/GMRS and many other frequencies it is illegal to do so and interference to licensed users may result in confiscation, fines or imprisonment by the FCC and other authorities depending on what you do & how bad you tick them off. For more details see my comments section.

**EDITED UPDATE:as per comments for my review I will add that the picture shown has changed from a 5RA to 5R but the description has stayed the same. Hopefully it is just a mistaken picture. I also know a lot of people say it is hard to program by hand but after a week of daily use it is quite easy to remember what is what but I still use CHIRP and/or VIP software for major changes and frequency updates. I have no problem with my USB programming. I thought I did at one point but it turned out to be software related and not the HT's fault. After about 2 weeks now of use this HT is working just fine but I haven't looked at its harmonics yet. From what I gather, bad harmonics on TX is hit and miss to the individual radio. After two weeks of use, I can comfortably upgrade my 4 star to 5 star rating but will add an aftermarket antenna. With stock antenna I was able to pick up an Amateur satellite within an hour of first programming out of the box. PLEASE READ ADDITIONAL COMMENTS BY CLICKING COMMENTS TAB, THERE'S A LOT MORE INFO ON THIS RADIO AND PROGRAMMING CABLE SOURCE.
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156 of 179 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So-Called "Newer 2013 Model" Baofeng UV-5RA Models, August 27, 2013
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
As a buyer of well-over 300 Baofeng radios (and counting) for the group I belong to (not all of which were purchased through Amazon but many were), I'm always amazed at the lengths some sellers go to to hype their products as being "newer" or "better" than other models, or perhaps (to give them the benefit of the doubt) they just don't know any better.

First, the Baofeng UV-5R series (including the original and still extremely popular UV-5R, I'll explain why in a minute) is what is normally referred to by many as a SDR radio (or software defined radio). While not a true SDR product (you can't use it with your computer to control the radio's functions or scan a wide amount of VHF/UHF frequencies with it), none the less a large chip is programmed on the circuit board built inside each radio. That chip determines what capability the radio itself can perform.

Every UV-5R series radio has the ability to transmit from 136-174 MHz on VHF and from 400-520 MHz on UHF in both narrow-band and wide-band modes (very useful for the occasional FRS or MURS use, which requires narrow-band mode to work correctly).

Every model does "at least" 4W on VHF/UHF from the factory, but occasionally you'll get a batch that does 4.5W or even 5W out, but the difference between 4W and 5W is minimal at best. A 4W radio with a better antenna will easily outperform a 5W radio with the standard crappy antenna that Baofeng ships on ALL (including the UV-5RA, -5RAX, and -5RAX+) models.

Baofeng DOES NOT program those chips any differently for the UV-5R vs. any other UV-5R series (including the UV-5RA). Version 307 of the firmware (which is the most current release I have in any of my radios) works EXACTLY the same way as previous older releases of firmware at least back to the 295 release (over a year ago), so any claim from a seller that this release provides additional features (at least from a user's perspective) is simply BOGUS, since the firmware inside both radios have the same features. In fact, my UV-5R radios with the 307 firmware release is EXACTLY the same radio (inside and within the firmware) as my UV-5RA radios with the 307 firmware release.

Second, you CANNOT in any way upgrade the firmware (unless you count buying a different radio and it comes with a different firmware release), so again the claim in the listing from some sellers that you can is simply BOGUS.

Third, you can believe that two thinner pieces (glued or screwed together on the faceplate of the UV-5RA) is somehow stronger than one thicker piece of plastic (on the original UV-5R series) if you like (and maybe it is), but I haven't seen that in real-world use from my own UV-5RA units. The standard UV-5R units that we use seem to hold up just as well (when dropped in the desert dirt or rolling down a hill) as any other Baofeng radio we own and use.

Fourth, and my biggest issue with all of the non-standard UV-5RA, UV-5RAX and UV-5RAX+ units, is that NONE of the Baofeng battery accessories (except the little 1800 mAh standard battery) work WITHOUT modification (unless you use a Dremel tool to grind or cut off part of your extended battery that works on the standard UV-5R - but won't work on your UV-5RA, UV-5RAX or UV-5RAX+).

Getting new UV-5RA units that don't work with Extended 3800 mAh batteries (without modification) doesn't make my group happy. That may not bother you, but NONE of the sellers of the non-standard UV-5RA, UV-5RAX, and UV-5RAX+ units ever seem to mention that lack of hardware compatibility in their listings, so buyer beware!

BTW, NONE of the "AA" or "AAA" battery shell packs work on the UV-5RA, UV-5RAX, or UV-5RAX+ units either, so that's 3 different battery accessories (including the 3800 mAh extended battery) that you can't use on these radios without hacking them with a Dremel tool (but they all work without modification on the original UV-5R units).

So "if" you want a "pretty" radio (as my wife calls it), buy one of the various versions of the UV-5RA (or -5RAX, or -5RAX+) with the shiny face plate and live with the fact that you'll be modifying ALL of the battery accessories you buy later in order to get them to work. Oh, you should see how well that shiny faceplate lights up when a flashlight hits it in the dark, just the thing you don't want for night use.

Virtually every guy in our group ends up carrying a standard UV-5R and giving the UV-5RA, -5RAX, or -5RAX+ to the wife or kids, since the wife and/or kids rarely care about the other accessories working and they (the wife and kids) tend to like the "pretty" radios, but again there is NO INTERNAL difference and NO EXTRA FEATURES in the UV-5RA, -5RAX, or -5RAX+ units (other than a different looking shiny faceplate) vs. the UV-5R (which I refer to as the M16 of radios, as all accessories you match it up with just plain work).

Now you know the real background on these radios.
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84 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING! Steep Learning Curve Ahead!, July 22, 2013
By 
Brendan Getchel (Waterbury, CT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
There are already some awesome, *very* helpful reviews on this and other Baofeng UV-5xx radios. I'm not a HAM or an experienced "COMS" operator, so there is nothing I can really add of significant value that has not already been mentioned by many more qualified reviewers.

However... though the UV-5 series of radios may be priced like a toy, they definitely are *not* toys. I bought a few just to keep on hand, unopened, in the event of a SHTF situation where normal communications were not available, thinking "it's a walkie-talkie, how hard could it be?"

Yeah, I'm an idiot.

In all likelihood I represent the majority of purchasers, with the requisite thinking outlined above. Boy, was I wrong! If you're not familiar with amateur radio, and how it works (and, like me, are likely not licensed) you will find out the hard way that there is a real learning curve with these things -- input / output frequencies, tone frequencies, PL, +/- Offsets, repeaters, and the list goes on! I didn't know any of these things when I bought them, and without that understanding they're basically useless. Sure, you can use them as FRS walkie talkies, but even that takes some study to get them to work properly. You would be better-served to just get a cheap set of walkies that are purpose-built for the task if that's what you're really looking for.

No, these are RADIOS -- real "dual band transceivers" that can actually get you into trouble with the law -- Google "Code 10-30" ("Illegal Use of Radio") if you don't believe me. They allow you to transmit on frequencies that require a specific license and operate under strict regulations. In other words, a $35 radio can get you into significant trouble, and we're talking about FCC and other fines that can easily exceed $10,000 (Google: "unlicensed HAM fines").

Since doing more research, I find myself becoming more and more fascinated with amateur radio and how things work, and this over just the last few days. It's literally a flood of information, and I still do not have these radios operating properly.

I originally thought I'd just pick up a few of these and sit on them until I needed to pull them out of the boxes. I'm glad I didn't wait until then, because I'd be screwed. There is no way I would ever have been able to put them to any practical use if I hadn't gotten curious and decided to "play" with them. I feel like I've stumbled onto a giant repository of information that I never knew existed, and I'm only now beginning to scratch the surface. To demonstrate my ignorance, I actually thought that I might be able to hear, or talk to, people around the country, if not the world, with these hand-held radios! After all, if you have a HAM radio you have unlimited range! Right?

Did I mention I'm not too bright?

If you're in the same boat, and figured that at these prices you "might as well" buy some "just in case" it's important to know up front, you're only wasting money unless you invest some real time into learning how to operate them properly. Otherwise you'll be in for a world of disappointment should the day come where you will actually need to put them into service in the event of an emergency. They're completely useless without knowing how to operate them -- in your local area!

Now, for the insatiably curious, I can't think of anything else that costs $35 and will keep you occupied for endless hours, days, weeks, and possibly years while giving you a valuable education in something that could possibly save your life, or the lives of others, should that day ever come.
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54 of 63 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly capable, quirky, fantastic value, December 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
This is an amazing little radio and an amazing value. You get the radio, 1800 mah battery, drop-in charger, and ear-bud/mic headset for less than you might expect to pay for the battery alone! The radio is packed with features - mostly useful, some amusing. Note that it is primarily a ham radio transceiver and you must be a licensed ham to legally transmit on ham frequencies.

The user manual that comes with the radio is useful but scanty. It only scratches the surface of how to set up and operate the radio. Out of the box, you can't do much of anything without some programming. An experienced ham can figure it out, but a new ham buying his first radio will likely be frustrated. This could be the radio for a new ham, but only with some help, preferably from an experienced user that already owns one. For example, frequency steps must be reduced to enable setting popular frequencies, and repeater offsets (not just +/-) must be specified. Fortunately, this radio has an enthusiastic and extremely helpful user group. Before buying the radio, I strongly recommend checking out miklor dot com slash uv5r. If you do buy the radio, you will really appreciate this resource!

A programming cable (purchased separately) is almost a necessity. The cable you buy will probably need an older driver to work. The previously mentioned resource will help you here also.

In sum, these are highly capable, highly quirky units that can provide lots of entertainment and useful operation - once you figure out how to set them up. My ham radio group bought a bunch of them for go-kits.

UPDATE: About a dozen of these radios have been purchased by hams in my locality. Every one of them operated properly out of the box. One has been since damaged by dropping it on a hard surface. The radio itself was fine, but the supplied antenna suffered internal damage (resolved by replacing the antenna with an after market antenna). In terms of programming the radio, about half of the users had someone else program the radio using an optional programming cable. Note that one cable can program any number of radios, the caveat being that you need the proper driver on whatever computer is being used. Also note any programming cable for Baofeng, Wouxun, and Kenwood handy/talkies will work. One industrious ham made a programming file that includes all the area ham repeaters, GMRS, FRS, Marine VHF and NOAA weather frequencies. This file was shared by several, and had the added benefit of identical memory channel numbers. As suggested elsewhere, programming the radios manually is somewhat challenging and the "newbies" needed help. After many new radios and quite a bit of use, no one in our group has been disappointed by their purchase.
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53 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Test Results: Baofeng UV-5RA vs Motorola MT352R, January 22, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
Just as a background, I have 30 years of radio experience and have several dozen radios of all kinds and brands. I routinely test these radios just to compare them to give you an idea of how well they perform compared to a similarly priced product.

I am going to use 3 radios for this test. This is the scenario:

Test Equipment:
1 Baofeng UV-5RA
1 Motorola MS350R- wil be used as the Base station for testing
1 Motorola MT352R

Test Environment:
My wife will stand outside our house with an MS350R as I walk away. Every 0.1 miles, I will do a radio check. I have set all the radios to the same frequency and Privacy code.

Distance Test:
0.1 Miles
1. Baofeng - Crystal clear on send and receive.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive.

Test: 0.1 Mile
1. Baofeng - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends. Louder and Clearer than the Baofeng.

Test: 0.2 Miles
1. Baofeng - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends. Louder and Clearer than the Baofeng.

Test: 0.3 Miles
1. Baofeng - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends. Louder and Clearer than the Baofeng.

Test: 0.4 Miles
1. Baofeng - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends. Louder and Clearer than the Baofeng.

Test: 0.5 Miles
1. Baofeng - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.
2. MT352R - Crystal clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.6 Miles
1. Baofeng - There was a little noise in the background on receive but it came in crystal clear on the transmit.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.7 Miles
1. Baofeng - There was a little noise in the background on receive but it came in crystal clear on the transmit. The Baofeng was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.8 Miles
1. Baofeng - There was a little noise in the background on receive but it came in crystal clear on the transmit. The Baofeng was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 0.9 Miles
1. Baofeng - There was a little noise in the background on receive but it came in crystal clear on the transmit. The Baofeng was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was a little noise in the background but it was still very clear on send and receive on both ends.

Test: 1 Mile
1. Baofeng - There was more noise in the background on receive but had some noise on the transmit. The Baofeng was coming in louder than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - There was more noise in the background but we can still communicate.

Test: 1.2 Miles
1. Baofeng - Her transmission was choppy. The transmission was very noisy. It was very choppy on the receive side. She had to repeat herself several times in order for me to understand. I had to repeat myself a couple of time with the Baofeng as well but a little better than the MT352R.
2. MT352R - Her transmission was choppy. The transmission was very noisy. It was choppy on both sides. We both had to repeat ourselves several times in order to understand.

Features of the Baofeng:

Pros:
1. Audible menus - I love that this thing talks to me as I navigate the menus.
2. Emergency flashlight and strobe light - If you are stuck somewhere you can turn on the strobe and it makes you more visible.
3. Tiny size.
4. Removable antenna - You can connect this to a mobile antenna.
5. Very long battery life - Out of the box, I used this radio for 3 days straight without charging it.
6. FM Radio - This is an awesome feature in such a small radio. You can listen to music when you are outside. And if someone talks in one of the channels you are monitoring, it turns of the FM and switches to Handheld radio mode.
7. Inexpensive.

Cons:
1. Not for the novice user. It took me a few hours to figure out how to program all the features on the keypad.
2. Not as durable as an Icom, Yaesu or Kenwood. Then again, those cost a lot more.

COMPARATIVE SUMMARY:
The Baofeng's removable rubber duck antenna and 4-5 Watts of power seems to be a little better in clarity in the longer distances. The Motorola is definitely louder and clearer in distances less than 0.5 miles. The Baofeng is really intended for Ham Licensed Operators since it handles Ham Frequencies and requires programming on the front keypad or by computer using an optional external cable and software. I did not bother with the software as I am used to programming radios all the time. A novice will have great difficulty understanding how to use this Baofeng as the User's Guide does seem to assume you are a Ham Operator.

So to you Ham guys out there, this is a nice radio. I am even building a Repeater using this Baofeng, just for fun. But for you guys that just want a working radio that you can talk on the GMRS/FRS frequencies, the higher powered Motorolas will do just fine.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Baofeng (Bo-fung) HAM radio, August 3, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
Well, I got this radio for $34, and what an amazing value it is. You have to put a couple hours into reading forums and watching videos to be able to know how to work it, and hopefully this review can drastically reduce that time. Now, when you get the radio, here is how to program it manually: (taken from a forum and youtube video -

How to program the Baofeng UV-5R manually:
[...]

In all cases, you must program the UV-5R while in VFO, or "Frequency Mode". And you must program from the upper line, that is, the A line, of the display. There will be a "cursor" present on the left side of the line that is active. This is chosen with the A/B button.

The programming sequence is, Menu (to enter Menu mode), then Up or Down button (or enter the menu number via keypad) to get to the Submenu you want to change. Once there, press Menu again, and use the keypad (such as setting tones) or Up or Dn buttons to make the changes you want. When you have it set the way you want, press Menu again, then press Exit. The radio will say "confirm".

Also, set the Band button for the band you wish to program, VHF or UHF. Now continue with the video.

BUT...

at 01:26, do NOT enter tones in Submenu 11, R-CTCS. That is receive squelch tones. Not all repeaters retransmit the tone from the station talking on the repeater. If you enter a tone in Submenu 11 the radio will only un-squelch if it receives that tone. This can be handy if you live in an area halfway between two repeaters on the same frequency, but only want to listen to one or the other. Those repeaters will likely use different tones.

You COULD set up, in that case, one Channel with that frequency, and the tone for repeater A, and another Channel with the same frequency, but the tone for repeater B. But for the most part, do not activate Submenu 11. With this rare exception, you should leave it Off. Likewise, set Submenu 10, R-DCS, to Off.

At 01:55, Submenu 13, T-CTCS (transmit tone), this is the tone your radio must transmit, and the repeater must hear, in order to activate the repeater. This is not used on all repeaters. If you set a tone, and your repeater does not require a CTCS tone, your radio will still work the repeater. However, if your repeater requires a tone, and you do not set a tone, or set the wrong tone, the repeater will not work. Set Submenu, T-CTCS accordingly, Off for no tone, or to whatever tone required.

Before you start programming there are some settings I suggest.

This radio has "Dual Watch". That means you can have the upper, or A line set to one channel, and the lower, or B line to another channel, and the radio will switch back and forth to whichever is active. That is a pain in the drain. I suggest you set Submenu 7 to 0, which is Off.

Next, Submenu 1, tuning step... I suggest setting to 5 khz. The UV-5R can go down to 2.5 khz steps, but that is not needed. Yes it is, for FRS and many other frequencies, set it to 2.5 khz.

Submenu 2, power, set to High (appx 5 watts) or Low (appx 1 watt) as you wish. I have mine set to High, and can toggle it down or back up at any time, without going into the menu, with the # button, lower right on the keypad. There is an L (for Low) present on the screen when set to Low.

Submenu 3, Battery Save, set to Off.

Submenu 4, VOX. Voice Operated... this means it will transmit just from your voice, or other sounds, without using PTT button. Set this to Off.

Submenu 5, WN (Wide-Narrow bandwidth). For ham use, set this to W (Wide).

Submenu 6, ABR, display illumination timer. The number is the number of seconds the display stays lit. Normally set it to 5 (5 seconds).

Submenu 7, we set already to Off.

Submenu 8, Keypad Beep. If you want it to beep every time you press a button, set this on. If that constant beeping irritates you, as it does me, set to Off.

Submenu 9, TOT, Time Out Timer. This cuts off transmission after so many seconds. This is good, and will keep from hanging the repeater open if PTT gets stuck on, jams down between the seat and console resting on the PTT, etc. I set mine to 30 seconds.

Submenus 10, 11, 12, 13, discussed in the video and above.

Submenu 14, voice prompt. Choices are Chinese, English, or Off. I set to English.

Submenus 15, 16, 17, 18, ignore unless you have a use for these.

Submenu 19, PTT-ID, set to Off.

The following two Submenus determine how the A and B lines read in channel mode... Frequency, Channel Number, or Name. You can only put in an alpha-numeric name via software. With software you could name CH-003, which is the Smithtown Repeater, SMTHTN, and the Jonesville Repeater as JNSVIL. This requires software programming.

Submenu 21, MDF-A (In channel mode, how Line A reads, Freq, Ch, or Name)
Submenu 22, MDF-B (In channel mode, how Line B reads, Freq, Ch, or Name)

Submenu 29,30,31, leave as they are. These choose color of backlight for RX, TX, etc.
Submenu 32, set to 0 (Site) This setting prevents the radio from transmitting the alarm siren sound, it will only sound on the speaker, not on the air. There is no way to disable this completely.

Submenu 34, set to 0 (Off)

Tail tone stuff, set as follows:

Submenu 35, set to 0 (Off)
Submenu 36, set to 0 (Off)
Submenu 37, set to 0 (Off)
Submenu 39, set to 0 (Off) ("roger beep")

Make all of these settings FIRST. Then proceed to programming your Channel Memories as per the video.

When in Channel Mode, you may navigate to a channel via the Up and Dn buttons OR by pressing three digits for the channel number. That is, Channel 3 is entered as 003.

In Frequency Mode, if you are entering numbers and it keeps screwing up when you punch in the last digit, check that you have the Band toggled correctly. That is, if entering 146.520, as you hit the 0, it won't take it, you probably have the Band set for UHF instead of VHF.

You cannot easily edit a channel once it is entered into memory. The best thing to do is use Submenu 28 to delete that channel number you wish to change, then program that channel from scratch and enter it via Submenu 27 as per the video.

"Setting the Wide/Narrow (Submenu 5) to Narrow will give weak audio if everyone else is Wide band. For ham use, it should be set to Wide."

If you want to program in the FRS frequencies, google them first. There are 22 of them, each must be saved individually. To save you a lot of trouble programming them, first change the STEP (menu 1) to 2.5K. Again, this will save you a lot of trouble, and allows you to input channels 1-14 FRS.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Quality AND for the price of a flashlight this radio can save your life in a disaster, March 21, 2014
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
Don't get me wrong, Ham radio is a great hobby and this is a great radio. "Back in the Day" I paid 10x more for equipment that wasn't anything close to this. My review and the value I'm discussing, however, has nothing to do with its contribution to that wonderful hobby.

It strikes me odd that people will spend a ton of money on flashlights for the next disaster and not consider what will happen when cell service gets knocked out and they need to call for help.

For the price of a flashlight you can this radio, a reliable, easy to use, phone company independent way to reach a network of responders ready to help when you need them. Should you also have a license to operate it? Sure. Do you *physically need* one? Of course not. All you have to do is turn it on, press the button, and ask for help.

I'm not suggesting that anybody break any laws, only that you consider the potential for helping yourself and your family. (And, it couldn't hurt to get a Ham License. It isn't that hard, it's lots of fun, and you get to meet some interesting people.)

And if you're still worried about using this radio in an emergency, I have it on good authority ('cause it's the FCC rule) that you can "use any means of radio communications at its disposal for essential communications in connection with immediate safety of human life and protection of property when normal communications systems are not available."

[...]
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great starter radio, December 17, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black) (Electronics)
I bought one of these UV-RA radios a few months ago, before I got my HAM license, to use as a hands on learning tool. That was a great idea. Having a radio to play with while i was reading up on HAM radio, made the things i was learning about make a lot more sense. Of course I could not transmit, but i did listen a lot, and learned a ton from just listening. Now that I passed my technician exam and have been using the radio for a few months, I have really enjoyed it. Its gets me on the air, and i am joining some local nets with it. I'm sure that I will want some other radios, as I progress with the hobby, but for now it is just fine. The programing isn't as hard as some have made it seem, however I have not programed other radios, so others may be much easier. The programing cable used with CHIRP is very easy, but I did have to find and download a driver for the cable. A tip for anyone new to CHIRP is that before you can "upload to radio", you first have to "download from radio". Once you do that, the program can recognize your radio and the upload option will now be available. If you want to learn about HAM radio, just get one. For the price, you wont be disappointed, and you will have a very usable radio. Have fun.
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