Category: Survival Gear

How To Program The BaoFeng UV-5R

Reliable, water-resistant, compact, feature-packed, very affordable, and a long battery life – the BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio (Amazon link) is a proper two-way Ham or emergency radio. You can even listen to FM broadcast radio during your outdoor trail hike, while still monitoring incoming radio frequencies. Neat, right?

But perhaps the main perk of the BaoFeng UV-5R is its versatility. You can transmit on amateur frequencies, including Wideband (25kHz) and Narrowband (12.5kHz) frequencies. It also boasts of 128 programmable memory channels — allowing you to tweak your device how you want (as long as it’s within legal / licensed limits). Some reviewers have claimed range up to 15 miles with the addition of a compatible Nagoya NA-771 15.6-inch whip antenna (around $20-$25).

But while it is relatively easy to use, programming the device is not all that straightforward for beginners. Whether it is due to a lack of support from manufacturers or poorly elaborated user manuals, programming handheld radios seems to be an eternal challenge for many users. Fortunately, there are BaoFeng UV-5R enthusiasts such as Tin Hat Ranch, who offer helpful resources.

Related: How To Make A Crystal Radio

You generally have two options to program the BaoFeng UV-5R. You can either:

• Make use of the Excellent CHIRP Software: This is an open-source tool available on Windows, Linux, and macOS. It offers a user-friendly interface that allows the seamless programming of a wide range of amateur radios. To program your BaoFeng UV-5R radio using CHIRP, all you need is the software, a USB plug’n play programming cable, and the simplified tutorial (see linked video).

• Programs Channels Manually: Don’t have access to a computer? No worries! You can also manually program your HAM radio on the fly – i.e., direct from the keypad. With this method, you can program a simplex channel or a repeater channel depending on your needs.

Tip: It’s illegal to transmit on certain frequencies unless you have an operator’s license or are in a true emergency situation. The restricted bands vary by locality. Be sure to understand and follow the codes in your region.

How To Program The Baofeng UV-5R
How To Program The BaoFeng UV-5R – Image: