Customer Reviews: Baofeng USB Programming Cable for Baofeng Two way Radio UV-5R, BF-888S,BF-F8+ With Driver CD
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on October 26, 2013

First let me say that before I correctly installed the proper driver first, plugging the Cable into the Radio & the PC would put the Baofeng UV-5R into Transmit mode, and cause my PC to shut down. Here is how you fix that!

Important: DO NOT plug in the cable to the radio until you get the driver installed. This may cause an excessive power demand from your PC's USB port and cause shut down or damage.

Here is the quick & easy way to install a working driver that is already inside of Windows.

Plug in the USB Radio Cable to your PC only.
Wait for Windows to recognize the new device. (If Windows does not recognize device, go to Device Manager to configure USB Cable driver.)
When asked for a driver/location select Install Driver Manually.
Select HAVE DISC button.
For the TYPE of device scroll down & select PORTS
For the driver manufacturer scroll down & select PROLIFIC
(The USB Serial GPS should be selected on right half of window.)

Windows will give you a warning about the driver, just ignore and continue.
Make sure you look to remember which Port it used. (Ex. COM7)
If you forget which Port is used, you can bring up Device Manager to find the device & port.

If you install Chirp software, you will need to configure it for the Baofeng UV-5R. Make sure you select the correct Port# or it will not find your radio. It will also give you a warning about Baofeng compatibility, just ignore that and continue to "clone" the information from your radio into Chirp software.

When the radio is SENDING information to the software app, the light on the radio will blink RED.
When the radio is RECEIVING information from the software app, the light will blink GREEN.

Below is an alternate method for installing the software that came on the mini CD-ROM disc.

Okay folks...I had the similar problems of not being able to install the driver, nor the WIN7 OS being able to assign a correct one so here is what I did to make it work - EASY!

1. Insert the small drivers disc into your CD-ROM/DVD-ROM.
2. Navigate to the root directory and you will see the Folder "M_K"
3. Go inside the "M_K" folder and you will see a folder named "USB"
4. Go inside the USB folder and you will see another folder named "新版驱动"
Example: F:\M_K\USB\新版驱动 (where "F:" is your CD/DVD drive.)
5. Inside the folder named "新版驱动" you will see a file named:
6. Copy that file to a temporary folder somewhere on your hard drive (C:)
7. You can now run the file without it crashing!
8. The installation should go without any issues and report that the USB driver has been installed correctly.

For some reason, the file is not able to run from the root directory on the mini CD-ROM, and needs to be copied to your computer to run.
You may also want to right-click ("I said, RIGHT-CLICK!") and select "Run as Administrator" if there are problems. I didn't have any, but I am logged on as Administrator of my machine and only have one logon account for this machine.

Please gimme a thumbs up by clicking the "this helped me out" button below!
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on August 13, 2012
Placed an order and was quickly informed there was a stocking issue and a resolution date, and within a week the product shipped and received on the day they stated. Very pleased I was informed of the problem before I started wondering what happened. After I got the cable I plugged it into the computer and attempted to use the software that came with it but was unable due to file errors on the CD. No problem as there are plenty of other options available for free (legally) that I had intended on using anyway. I ended up using the software called CHIRP, use your favorite search engine and search "CHIRP radio programming" ensure you download the daily builds as the stable doesn't include support for the UV-5R. Last issue is the driver, there are some sources of chips in these cables that need an older revision of the driver to function. I was able to install the driver off the CD. However if you cant for whatever reason then you need to find <Win7Vista_64bit_prolificUSB_V3200(DOT)exe> and use that driver instead of the one that is auto-installed.

Another source of information is the y**oo group baofeng_uv5r

For Linux:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:dansmith/chirp-snapshots
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install chirp-daily

make sure you have read/write privileges to the USB port too
chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB0

Then run as su
sudo chirpw

If you have the UV-5R, get this cable...your fingers and sanity will thank you!

1212 comments|128 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 3, 2012
I lost my Icom T2H somewhere between the grill & the garage during last summer's storm & wind season. Looked all over and then looked at replacing it. Very expensive loss. Not wanting to spend >$130 on a radio I might lose again, I wandered the web until I found the Baofeng UV-5R. Read a bunch of the snarky reviews, looked at the price and dove. Ordered it on Amazon through Sain. No problem. Less than a week later the radio was in my paws.

The Baofeng UV-5R is a great radio. Weather channels, police channels, 2m & 70m FM & a FM broadcast receiver. At something like $70 it was a good deal. (The manual, for want of a better term, is way below minimal. I had to cruise the Web for that info too.) So, price &c considered, I'm happy with the radio. It'll cover my storm fretting needs & maybe even survive Hamvention.

The software & cable, on the other hand, are a bit of a stretch. First off, according to one source (on the [importer] website), the cable uses a Chinese fake of a Prolific chip. If you let Windows7 find the driver, it will discover the fake chip & disable the port it's hosed up to.

The CD that came with it appears to have data on it but my computer says it's blank or needs formatted. Nope. That ain't gonna work. (Tried it in another W7 machine & no go. Might work in a XP but mine has no CD hole.) Downloading the software from Wouxun is fine. Got the version for my machine & installed it. But then there's that W7 fake chip checker.

All that being said, and after taking a week off for Dayton Hamvention, I have revised this review as follows:

The cable will work with an XP machine. The software will install on either W7 or XP but the cable, for reasons listed above, will not work on an W7 computer.

The software is a bit clunky. The screen prompts are like the ESL voice prompts on the radio. English? Yes, but you know it ain't like Ma & Pa talk. You have to enter each frequency one at a time. No block copy & paste. There are start up defaults that you can mess with in the Option Features drop-down under the Edit menu. Took me over an hour & some of fiddlin' to get it set up & enter all 98 channels that I am set to use now (which is just about everything from 145.110 to 147.570 MHz). So yeah, it works. I can program the radio. (Be sure to use the radio's RESET ALL before you try to load from your computer.) And I can add PL & CTCSS data to the software's table & all that.

So the radio's still great. I like it plenty. And once I got it goin', the cable/software were good too. I'm happy now. We're cool. But it still bothers me that the cable won't work with W7 (without messin' with the drivers).

Thus the upgrade to three stars. (I'd go for 3.5 'cept there's no half a star increment)
55 comments|34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 19, 2013
This cable works great...(even though its probably a knock off from china) With a little bit of searching Google you will find that this cable uses a chipset that prolific has decided to blacklist along with any updates of there newest drivers. So the driver that you have to use in order for your Windows 7 64 bit OS to recognize it is the Win7Vista_64bit_ProlificUSB_v3200.exe driver, do a quick Google search and you will find it just as easily as I did. Read the rest of this web page for more info on the install [...]
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on April 26, 2013
There are a lot of aftermarket USB cables for programming radios. Some of them are knock-offs of knock-offs - essentially pirated versions of legitimate aftermarket cables. The chipset used in several legitimate aftermarket cables is made by a company called "Prolific" in Taiwan. BUT, there are counterfeit Prolific chipsets out there, and the official drivers often do not work with them, even though the chip reports that it's made by Prolific.

While I don't know for sure, I had the characteristic symptoms described in online radio forums that this cable is using a counterfeit chipset. The driver installed, recognized the cable, but the driver wouldn't start. (Windows 7). No luck at all on MacOS.

Save yourself hours of headache and online forum reading. Spend $20 on an official cable.

I've also put "Brainy Deal" on my Do Not Buy From list.
44 comments|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2013
The Baofeng radio, and most others, basically requires a serial port to program it. It has standard TxD and RxD ports split on the two Speaker-Mic connectors. A USB port, natively, will not work so the thick part of the cable, at the USB end, houses a USB-to-Serial chip and circuitry. It is this USB to Serial conversion that makes this cable worthless. The chip requires software drivers and those drivers will not work with any version of Windows newer than Windows XP.

Starting with Windows Vista, Windows added the ability to validate that proprietary software is only used on chips of the same manufacturer. This is part of Windows DRM as Microsoft tries to limit misuse of intellectual property. I think it is a shame hardware vendors do this with their drivers because hardware should always have multiple sources but they (Prolific and Microsoft) did lock it down - and it is certainly within their rights.

This cable uses what is reported as a "counterfeit" chip so the Prolific driver won't work. If it were truly counterfeit then Prolific would go to court and stop its sale in the US. So it's not counterfeit. It might be "compatible" or it might be licensed or whatever. In any case, it is not a Prolific chip and Windows 7 will not allow the Prolific driver to work with the chip in this cable.

The bottom line? This cable will not work with Vista or newer Windows versions. Unless you intend to keep a separate XP box around just to program your radio then there is no sense buying this. Amazon does sell a different cable, still with a non-prolific chip, but that chip maker at least supports their USB to Serial converter with driver software that works: ASIN: B0097E2I2S.

For the technically capable buyer, there are plenty of CP2102 USB to Serial converters you can buy at Amazon that support W7. Then you could cut the USB end off this cable and solder to the CP2012 board and you'd have a really working cable. Just google Baufeng and CP2102.

Interestingly, I randomly checked 3 of the 5-star reviews to see what else the reviewer had reviewed. The three I checked had only ever reviewed this product. Are they representative of the sellers of this product?
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on January 12, 2013
Edited by Me: This cable just did not work. I have tried multiple drivers and all the tricks listed on various websites. The chipset appears to be the issue. The manufacturer has actually discontinued this chipset due to Chinese counterfeits that flooded the market. They have even gone as far as to have the Windows OS update disable their driver on devices with the counterfeit chipset, forcing users to use an outdated driver- IF they can get it to work. I finally used the tester program from the chip manufacturer and it appears to be a counterfeit controller chip.

That being said, after spending 4 hours yesterday trying to get it to work I went to bed a bit peeved. Today, on a whim, I tried to install this item on another computer running the exact same OS. Now, it works.

It forced me to speed up my timetable to update my laptop to Win8. It now also works on the original computer, but only with a specific driver set for my UV5RA. Apparently, the UV5RA is a bit more finicky than earlier editions. I have the 295 software version. If you run into the same issues do a search for universal radio UV5RA. I gave it a 3 rating because it is still a pain in the rear due to the drivers. The software they send has very bad instructions and are outdated. The newer drivers and installation software work for Software version 291 and higher.

33 comments|38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 22, 2013
I bought a UV-5R and the radio works great. The cable and mini disk is a joke. There are no instructions with the software and after going to my local ham radio store to buy an adapter for the longer antenna that was supposed to fit the guy told me that the chip in the cable is probably out of date. I asked him how could I tell if that is so. He said that I won't be able to download anything to the radio and that is exactly what happened. Do yourself a favor, go to the local ham store and buy thier cable, around 16.00. The chip in the cable will communicate with your radio and you will be happier for it. The radio with the longer antenna was worth the money and having to buy an adapter, 4.00, was a slight let down, but after I programmed the radio and was talking to people fairly far away in a metro area, I was pleased with the performance.
In closing. This is for the Amazon folks. Don't sell anymore of these cheesy mini disks and out of date cables. Other than that you guys are awesome and I appreciate the great customer service. Thanks.
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on March 11, 2014
Just received the cable in the mail. The seller (Arrela) shipped it via USPS and I received it 6 days later. (Beat the estimate by 30-60 days.) It works fine with my Baofeng UV-5R+Plus. The two-prong connector fit perfectly into the mic/spk jack without the problems other people have reported. I did NOT use the included mini-CD or whatever software is on it. I used CHIRP daily-build running on a Linux machine with Ubuntu 13.10 to connect with the radio on /dev/ttyUSB0. The radio is really not difficult to program manually, after you get used to the steps, but Chirp (and this cable) makes it a breeze!
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on April 4, 2013
I know, I was warned via the multitude of bad reviews, but this product does not work AT ALL!!! The cd, which was not even a regular size disc, and the cord DID NOT WORK AT ALL!!! I was hoping that even if the disc didnt work, the cord would. Id have been able to download the needed program online....nope! This is a rip off, DO NOT BUY THIS CRAP!!!! I will say this, I sent them an email containing my discontent w/ the product I recieved. I may have to utilize Amazons return policy if the company fails to rectify the situation.
22 comments|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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