Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Those Chinese Radios • Part 1


One of the most popular little HT portables to hit the US market from China is the Baofeng UV-5R dual band VHF-UHF portable transceiver.  At 4 watts, its a sufficient little radio for hitting your local repeaters or reaching your XYL. Because of its extremely small size and light weight, it makes an ideal radio for covert ops, security work, and celebrity protection details. The radio has a scrambler encryption option, and a "clear tube" earpiece with covert microphone is available from a number of suppliers and on eBay.

Click HERE To View Bob Nagy's Great Review & Setup Video


This BAOFENG UV-5R transceiver is a small, light-weight multi-band FM transceiver with extensive receive frequency coverage, providing local-area two-way amateur radio communications along with unmatched monitoring capability. This HT meets the FCC & NTIA narrow band requirements of a Part 90 Accepted Transceiver.

  • 25KHz/12.5KHz Switchable (W/N Band)
  • Channel Step: 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25 KHz
  • Frequency Range: 136-174 / 400-480 MHz
  • FM Broadcast Receive 65-108 MHz
  • 128 Channels 50 CTCSS and 104 CDCSS
  • Dual-Band Display, Dual Freq. Display, Dual-Standby
  • 7.4V 1800mah Li-ion Battery Pack 

Frequency Range: 65-108 MHz (FM Receive Only)
136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz (TX/RX)
Channels 128
Frequency Stability: ±2.5ppm
Antenna: High Gain Dual Band Antenna
Antenna Impedance: 50?
Operating Voltage: DC 7.4V
Mode of operation: Simple or semi-duplex
Dimension (W x H x D): 100 x 52 x 32 mm
Weight: 250g (including battery, antenna)
Transmitter Output power: 4W / 1W (Max 5W) 
Modulation Mode: 16k?F3E / 11k?F3E
Maximum Deviation: <5kHz(Wide) / <2.5kHz(Narrow)
Spurious Radiation: <7?W
Adjacent Ch. Power: <=-65dB(Wide) / <=-60dB(Narrow)
Pre-emphasis characteristics: 6dB
Current: <=1.6A(5W)
CTCSS/DCS deviation: 0.5±0.1kHz(Wide) / 0.3±0.1kHz(Narrow)
Intermediation Sensitivity: 8-12mv
Intermediation Distortion: <10%


Bob Nagy in his video (above) tells how difficult it is to program this handheld via the front keypad.  I can also tell you, that my attempt to program the Baofeng with the free downloadable Chinese PC software was equally disastrous. But, there is a solution -- RT Systems to the rescue!

I was so please recently to discover that RT Systems has entered the field by providing USB programming cables and Windows-based software for the most popular Chinese handheld and mobile radios, such as the Baofeng UV-5R.  As a ham radio operator, I have appreciated the intuitive RT Systems software for programming my HF rigs and Yaesu handhelds for years.  Not to go into great detail, but if you have ever been challenged by not being able to move memory channels up or down or had the “CSV Import-Export” dilemma drive you batty, you will love the ease and convenience of RT Systems software!  BTW, the USB cables and software are VERY affordable, too.  To see how easy programming your rig can be, visit


You can order one of these great little radios for as low as $49.95 (special sale price), by paying a visit to the website of Knight Radio by clicking HERE.  Knight Radio also sells a full line of extra batteries, speaker-mics, and other accessories for this radio.

And yes, Amazon.Com also sells the Baofeng UV-5R for an amazing low, low price of only $42.45!  Click HERE to jump directly to the Amazon website's Baofeng sale page.

When you order your Baofeng, look for a "package bundle" including an extra battery, extended range antenna, etc. You'll get more "bang for your buck!"


There's a nice blog by a Dutch radio amateur, which has a ton of information on the Baofeng radios, links to user groups, and tips on doing firmware upgrades as they become available. The link to his blog is Thoughts of a Dutch Radio Amateur. Another good resource here in the USA, is the Yahoo Baofeng UV-5R Users Group, with a lot of the same type of information.  In the meantime, you can always leave me a comment with your email below, and I will get back to you within 24 hours.


  1. I'd highly recommend using "CHIRP" to program this radio. I've used this program to set up 3-4 of these radios and it works great. It's free to download.

  2. Great video.I found some good tips from it. I too use CHIRP. I use RT Systems for the Yaesus & Icoms.Did not want to spend more $$ on software then I did on the radio.Worked very well.

    Tnks for the clear simple to follow video

    73, Ray

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