Baofeng UV5

I don’t have one but I know a man on Snowdon who has one and couldn’t hear people calling and calling.

John was 57 with me and he couldn’t hear me yet Carolyn on Gd-002 could hear me at 59+++ when I used a rubber duck and 0.5w.

They may be cheap but it’s money wasted when you can buy arafio that receives as well as transmits for not much more.

They’re cheap becacause they’re junk

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@KQ2RP isn’t the Squelch is a menu setting?? … probably needs messed with / adjusted…

Tell JOHN to press the monitor button…


No matter how little money something costs. It will always be a too expensive good if it doesn’t fullfill the intended function or service.
I won a Baofeng UV B5 in the EA2 area SOTA day party and after using it no more than 6 or 8 times it stopped transmitting any reasonable power.
I don’t think I’ll take it to be repaired, as it will be a waste of time and money because I’m pretty sure another failure will come up pretty soon after repair.
Since 1984 I’ve owned 3 Yaesu Co. HH. Yaesu FT-470, Yaesu FT23R and SOMMERKAMP SK-205RH.
Great reliable pieces of radios all of them.
Several of these modern chineese ‘bargains’ are in fact scam, as they don’t do what they say they would do for you.


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If the operator has enable RX tones then the Radio won’t hear anything…
The radios do have a complicated menu structure that baffles most of us at some point…


I’m sure my VX170 was made in China and it’s brilliant. Mine is 9 years old now, still going strong on the original battery. It lives in the outside pocket of a rucksack with no case. The audio is loud, the battery lasts forever, it works on summits with lots of commercial transmitters present. It is for SOTA work unbeatable in my view.

Cost £83 which is 3x a UV plus some chips and a pint. But it works and keeps working so it’s money well spent.

I agree!

Richard G3CWI started a new topic about the Yaesu VX-3.

Then I had the chance to compare the Yaesu VX-3 with a Baofeng (UV-5R) and my thoughts are here:

Recently I had the chance to compare the Icom-V80 with a Baofeng (U???) in a noisy rf environment (CT/ES-001) and the results were the same.
The Icom doesn’t saturate the front-end. So, many stations were received in the Icom while in the Baofeng no signal was heard.

So, Andy, MM0FMF you’re right!

73 de Pedro, CT1DBS/CU3HF

My bigger worry is that because these are so cheap, young people and newcomers to the hobby will buy them. For those of us who are old enough and ugly enough to know what we are doing, then fine, buy and throw it in the car “for emergencies”. But you’d better pray it’s not a matter of life or death if you intend to depend on one.

Anything I can do to make people who don’t know any better think hard before buying one of these is time well spent.

It’s my primary 2m monitor rig - if I am planning on working 2m either fm or Ssb I use my 817.

If and when I upgrade my license to use APRS I will upgrade to have both capabilities in 1 device.


Exactly, but they might learn why the are useless prehsps. For APRS they can be driven rather effectively for one useful purpose.

I’d like a HT that could do SSB if one exists?!

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On the way home from a vacation, I detoured to the American Radio Relay League’s mother ship location and had a nice tour. One part of that was meeting and chatting with the fellow who does product review lab testing, Bob WB1GCM, who’s result’s show up in ARRL’s journal QST. Bob’s comment about Bofang’s transceivers is that many of them transmit out-of-band spurs that violate the US’s FCC specs.

I have more than one and they works greatfully…

You should have hung around longer Andy :wink:

John switched to his FT817 on 2m later on (gosh, he was up there a long long time!). His audio was miles better then for sure. (Listening on Hack Green from work)

In the past I owned a SSB HT: Belcom LS-202E.
Not the best RX but better than any Baofeng, etc…

From time to time it appear in the ebay.

73 de Pedro, CT1DBS/CU3HF

I’m afraid that we’re seeing this on other forums, (fora?). Their venture into amateur radio begins and ends with a cheap Chinese hand-held and their local repeater.

Yes. Sounds like operator error. As I said, they work fine. Anyone who claims they don’t work or fail at a high rate probably doesn’t have direct experience with them or hasn’t taken the time to set them up correctly. They do have their quirks and shortcomings and as a main HT in the longrun, there are better choices. For spares, they are fine. They are not Kenwood or Yaesu in terms of performance, but no one said they were. In my experience, many local hams have started off with these and used them as springboards to get on the air and eventually gravitate to better equipment. YMMV.


Shame to hear that Andy - the older 2W UV-3R had a rediculously sensitive receiver side in it - far better than the rigs from the “big 3” that other club members had at the time, when we compared them in Oz.

The downside of that model was that the front end seemed to overload quite easily. Sounds like Boafeng went too far the other way with the UV-5R then.

It’s good to see that the price of the entry level HTs from the “big 3” dropped drastically once the “Chinese-cheapies” came out, so it’s now possible to get a reasonable HT at an affordable price for someone entering the hobby.

But you do still get what you pay for when we look at the disposable HTs out of China.

The factory squelch settings aren’t very good. CHIRP can be used to change them to more useful values.
I blame the factory Duck for part of the UV-5R’s slightly lower sensitivity (mine is far from being deaf). Better antennas are easy to find. Not very selective either but for <$30 US on ePay, what does one expect?
I’ve had mine 3+ years and it’s Ok for local repeater use, etc.
Thinking of connecting it to my cell phone for APRS. Many posts about this online.
Forget the clunky built-in menu system, use CHIRP to program these things.


This may be of interest to some…

Symptoms of a “bricked Baofeng” can vary but the most common one seems to be inoperative receive mode after downloading a file via Chirp (or other software) to try to update channels and settings. On the UV-5RC kindly given to me the squelch was locked, regardless of the programmed setting and you had to press the “Monitor” button to force it to receive at all. Transmit worked fine.

The most likely cause is loading an image file FROM ANOTHER BAOFENG as a quick way to update the channels. Unless the internal firmware is the same revision you may “brick it”. Once you have done this, no amount of downloading and editing will fix it – don’t bother. The only way is to restore the factory image.


  1.  Find the firmware revision number of your Baofeng.  Hold down the “3” button and switch on.  The display shows the firmware number briefly.  If the top line says “REV” then the firmware revision is the bottom line.  If the bottom line says ”BFB297” then the firmware revision is the top line.  Don’t ask why, it just is.  Mine said “BFB307 / BFB297”.
  2.  Visit the site
  3.  Find the file that corresponds to your firmware number, in my case BFB307(factory).img, and download it.
  4.  Use your good friend CHIRP to load this file to the radio and your main problem is solved.
  5.  Once you’ve checked it works then you can begin the task of updating the channels BUT YOU MUST START FROM THIS FILE and avoid the temptation to just copy from another radio.  Unless the firmware number matches you’ll most likely just brick it again.
  6.  There is also a “reset” option file available that fixes the problem and leaves all the channels blank.

There are plenty of other sites about Baofengs but this site seems to have all the image files for all Baofengs and similar handies conveniently gathered together in one place. Before I found it I wasted a lot of time being referred from one site to another, often with broken links.

73 Chris M0RSF


My UV5R has a better receive than my FT857D on 70cm.

I recently worked Viki M6BWA on a summit in GW/SW on 2m without a problem on the 857 from home, ive got an X50 on the roof, but when she moved to 70cm she was down in the noise & I couldnt hear her, out of interest I hooked up the cheap UV5R to the same antenna & I could then hear her, unfortunately with only 4w she could no longer hear me, but it proved to me that they can out perform some expensive kit sometimes., or I have a particularly deaf 857 :slight_smile:

I will be keeping mine handy.


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Try increasing the front end gain on 70 cm using the “hidden menu”. I did this and it made a big difference.