Tutorial: Baofeng UV-5R Programming

Undoubtedly, Baofeng UV-5R is a popular dual-band two-way radio in the market. Aside from having several features, it’s compact and affordable. For this reason, many walkie-talkie users reach out to it.

However, some users find it hard to program it due to a lack of information in the user manual. Hence, the brand is infamously known as the most challenging radio to program.

Because of this, we will guide you on how to program the device concisely so that it is easy for everyone to understand.


Programming the Baofeng UV-5R on the device

By all means, the easiest way to program a Baofeng UV-5R is to use software called CHIRP. Moreover, you might as well need a computer and a cable to put all the data.

However, this might be an ideal solution when you’re in the field or do not have a computer or laptop. If you need to add a channel in an emergency, using the device alone will help you.

Programming the UV-5R manually involves many steps, but it’s worth it, considering you’re in an adventure or emergency. Thus, here are two ways you can manually program a BaoFeng UV-5R.


Simplex Channel

Programming simplex channels is easier than doing it in repeaters. Hence, it’s recommended for amateurs. To do it, follow the steps below:

  1. Turn the device on, then press MR to set it into a channel mode. This will allow you to select among pre-programmed channels. You will know if you’re in channel mode if you see the number on the right side of the screen.
  2. Push the A/B button to switch between frequencies.
  3. Enter the frequency using the keypad. Suppose you’re using a frequency of 146.52, type 14652. If there’s a 0, you also need to type it to set it into a frequency mode.
  4. After choosing a frequency, press the Menu by scrolling to the MEM-CH. MEM-CH allows switching channels to memory. If you’re on the MEM-CH, push the Menu button to adjust settings. You will immediately see a small arrow on the left switch from MEM-CH to the default channel, CH-000.
  5. Select a channel you want to set the frequency by pressing Menu followed by Exit.
  6. Once the screen changes into Menu mode, press VFO/MR two and set it into channel mode.
  7. Test the device if it has successfully added the new channel by selecting the arrows or entering the digit manually.



Once you know how to program channels, you can now add repeaters. When adding repeaters, you need the following information: offset, offset direction, primary frequency, and tone.

The main frequency is where the repeater transmits on. Offset is where the repeater listens or what you transmit. It often comes in positive or negative numbers. For example, if the frequency is 146.67 MHz while the offset is -0.5, transmit on 146.17.

To set the offset direction:

  1.  Set the frequency in VFO or frequency mode.
  2. Enter the frequency.
  3. Select Menu, then type 25 or choose SFT-D.
  4. Select Menu, then click the arrows to set into +,- or off.
  5. Select Menu.

Then, set the offset frequency by:

  1. Press 26 or choose OFFSET
  2. Select Menu
  3. Enter the offset number. If it’s 0.5, type 000500
  4. Select Menu

Finally, set the tone:

  1. Press 13 or choose T-CTCS
  2. Select Menu
  3. Enter the tone frequency
  4. Select Menu

Once all settings are configured, save the frequency similar to a simplex. The other parameters, such as tone, offset frequency, and direction, will be automatically saved in the channel.


Programming the Baofeng UV-5R with CHIRP

Programming the Baofeng UV-5R with CHIRP is way easier than with a device. You need hardware and software components to perform it, but it’s more convenient considering the number of channels the UV-5R has.


What you need to program the Baofeng UV-5R with CHIRP

We recommend CHIRP for programming the UV-5R since it can cater to all types of radios, from simple to complex ones. Plus, it’s compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS.

Although, there are two components you need when programming with CHIRP – a computer and the USB port. The computer is where you configure the CHIRP and the USB port to save the settings into the radio device.

You may use any USB cable that’s compatible with the UV-5R. No worries, it doesn’t involve many steps when using a cable since it is only a plug-and-play process.


However, you need to download drivers for you to use it. As a guide, refer to Miklor.com, depending on the cable you purchased.

Most importantly, don’t forget to download CHIRP to configure your Baofeng UV-5R. Install the CHIRP software here.


How to Program the Baofeng UV-5R with CHIRP

Once you have installed the CHIRP on your computer, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the CHIRP software.
  2. Plug the USB port into the computer and the other end to your Baofeng device.
  3. Click RADIO on the Menu in the application, then DOWNLOAD FROM RADIO. Then, it will list all pre-programmed and newly added channels.
  4. Go to FILE > Open Stock Config.
  5. Choose a group of channels you want to add to your device. However, this feature does not apply to computers with macOS. Use the hotkeys or shortcuts necessary to perform this step.
  6. Copy the selected channels using CTRL + C.
  7. Then, switch to the Baofeng Tab on the screen. Paste the copied channels from the Stock Config to the Radio’s Config.
  8. Upload all the configurations done on the software to your radio. To do this, select RADIO > UPLOAD TO RADIO. This will then save everything to your Baofeng’s memory.
  9. Switch the device to Channel/Memory mode to verify if the programming is successful.
  10. Scroll up to the A frequency. From there, you should see all the frequencies you’ve added from the software.


Conclusion – Baofeng UV-5R Programming

As with all Baofeng radio devices, it needs programming before you can use it. You need to set the frequency into the channels to use it outdoors or at work.

Hopefully, this guide helped you program the Baofeng UV-5R in two ways – through the device itself and via CHIRP.

A manual program will do the trick if you need to add a new frequency, especially if you’re outdoors. On the other hand, if you’re planning to add several frequencies easily, using CHIRP is the most convenient way. For this reason, it’s best to be familiarized with both methods.



Founder of walkie-talkie-guide.com & TechVert.com. Tech enthusiast. Interested in gaming, computers, and walkie-talkies.

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