Friday, February 28, 2014

Baofeng HT Radios

Baofeng HT Radios. (UV-5RA) 2m (136-174Mhz) and 70cm (400-480Mhz) with a additional FM broadcast band Rx only (65-108Mhz) (the Transmitting power is (1 Low/4W High).
This radio should be ideal for Satellite work but it is not full duplex ;-(

Baofeng UV-5RA
Transceiver is available from
I have heard a lot about the small Baofeng HT radios and I was wondering how well they work.
Firstly when I looked around on the internet I found a whole range of the Devices with minor differences between them.

Here is some comparison differences I could found.

Radio Model Dual band Memory Channels Frequency range(s) Battery Power Tx Power Battery
UV-5R Yes 128 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz 12 hours 4/1W 1800-mAh
UV-3R Yes 99 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz broadcast band 68 to 108 MHz(RX) 10 hours 3 W 1800-mAh
UV-5RA Yes 128 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz broadcast band 68 to 108 MHz(RX) 12 hours 4/1W 1800-mAh
BF-888S No 16 400 to 470 MHz 8 hours 4W 1500-mAh
UV-100 Yes 99 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 470 MHz Broadcast band 65 to 108 Mhz(RX) 10 hours 2W 1200mAh
UV-B5 Yes 99 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 470 MHz 12 hours 5/1W 1800-mAh
UV-5RC Yes 128 136 to 174 MHz and 400 to 480 MHz broadcast band 68 to 108 MHz(RX)  ?? 4/1W 1800-mAh

Well I was surprised with the UV-5RA that I got and was reasonably easy to configure and program.
I got the repeater split set-up in no time after watching a YouTube video.

Here is the Microphone and external speaker connection details.

Both the modules is available from Giga Technology

Programming cable assembly.

Programming cable assembly.

Programming your Baofeng radio (UV-5R?)

Frequency Mode vs. Channel Mode
These two modes have different functions and often confused. 

  • Frequency Mode - Used for a temporary frequency assignment, such as a test frequency or quick field programming. 
  • Channel Mode - Used for selecting preprogrammed channels. 

All programming MUST be initially done in the Frequency Mode using the Upper Display only. From there you have the option of assigning the entered data to a specific channel for later access in the Channel Mode if desired.

IMPORTANT: Programming done using the Lower display cannot be saved and will be lost.  

Programming a Repeater Channel with Standard Offsets (600kHz minus offset)
This example is for:  146.700 MHz
600kHz minus offset
into channel 99
CTCSS tone 123.0

1.    Set radio to VFO Mode   (Frequency Mode)
      a.)     UV5R series - Press VFO/MR button
      b.)     UV82 - Turn radio OFF, then Press/Hold MENU button during PowerON.

2.    Select   Display A    (this is a must)
      a.)     UV5R/GT3 - Press     [A/B]      and select the Upper Display.
      b.)     UV82 - Press [EXIT A/B] and select the Upper Display.

3.    Disable TDR (Dual Watch/Dual RX) which toggles between A and B.
          Press  [Menu]   7   [Menu]
          Select OFF
          Press  [Menu]   [Exit]

4.    Delete Prior Data from the channel to be programmed.
          Press  [Menu]   2 8   [Menu]
          Enter   9 9   (Memory Channel to clear)
          Press  [Menu]   [Exit]

5.    Enter the Repeater Offset.
         Press [Menu]   2 6   [Menu]
         Enter  0 0 6 0 0
         Press  [Menu]   [Exit]

6.   Enter the Transmit Frequency Shift.
        Press  [Menu]   2 5   [Menu]
        Enter  2  for Minus shift. ( or    to  - )
        Press  [Menu]   [Exit]  

7.   Set CTCSS or DCS codes for Transmit. 
         ( example = CTCSS TX tone 123.0 Hz )
            Press  [Menu]   1 3   [Menu]
            Enter  1 2 3 0   [Menu]   [Exit]

8.   Enter the repeater output frequency,  1 4 6 . 7 0 0 

9.   Store RX frequency
        Press  [Menu]   2 7   [Menu] 
        Enter   9 9   (Memory Channel)  ( 000 to 127 )    
            This is the channel that was cleared in step 4. 
        Press  [Menu]   [Exit] 

10.  Press the [ * Scan ] button.     
         This activates  Reverse Mode and displays the TX frequency.

11.   Press  [Menu]   2 7   [Menu] 
         Enter the same Memory Channel entered above. 
         Press  [Menu] 

12.   Press the  [* Scan] again to exit the Reverse Mode.

13.   Press  [Exit]

This will now appear it in the channel list when you switch to Channel Mode. (MR)
Boafeng UV-VF5 Circuit diagram


Radio programing details
here is a link to the Chirp program

Which antenna is best?

 It's all personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is:
 The longer the radiator, the better the range, especially on transmit.
 Short stubby antennas use a coil to match TX to 50 ohm, not radiate.
 The closer to 1/4 wavelength in the air, the better the performance.

      A field test was performed between 31 popular antennas.
     The results can be found HERE.   

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