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Baofeng UV-5R and how do I get it to the point I can use it

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1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
Hello! This is my first post, I guarantee this will be a board that I will be dwelling in a lot as I do not have Facebook or any of the other variety’s thereof. Here’s the deal real quick, I have been using CB since a very early age, and have always had an interest in HAM. I purchased a Baofeng UV-5R. I was sure to purchase the programing cable as well. I made a run at it with a reset of the radio and a transfer of programing from my laptop to the radio…
The only time I was able to hear some traffic was when I manually programed in some local frequencies and I believe I was listening to some simplex, or maybe a repeater I really can’t remember. So at any rate I got frustrated at not even knowing how to surf my pre-programed channels and kind of gave up. The whole idea was to learn the radio etiquette, function of the radio and study for the test and then become licensed. I sort of gave up and then….
Fast-forward a couple of months and here I sit with a broken leg and plenty of time to learn. So I had my son bring me my HT and cable and I am back in the mix. I am really hoping that someone here has the magic bullet where I can plug it in, press this, hold my mouth like this, turn that etc. and be hearing the hams out their teach me the ways of their craft so as that I too may be cool look them one day.
One of my biggest draws is to get back into antenna building like when I was a teenager but there is not much point until I am licensed. I already know I can pass the tech test no problem as we speak. I am in the City of Durand Michigan 48429, but out in the sticks if that helps…thank you all so much in advance.
 

wyShack

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Campbell County, Wyoming
What software are you using to program the UV5R? The radio has two 'modes' frequency mode and channel (or memory) mode. Press the orange button (upper left) to switch between them. In channel mode you can press and hold the * key to start scanning the 'memories(or channels)'.

As you are just receiving, I would suggest that you program the 'local' ham repeaters and simplex frequencies into channels and then scan. Most of the 'traffic' will be during commute times or early evening. I am not near you but looked on the web and found two ham repeaters in Durland(you may want to check yourself) the frequencies I found were 145.29 Mhz and 442.625 Mhz. the national calling frequencies (simplex) are 146.52 Mhz and 446.00 Mhz.

Just to check your radio, you can try the weather frequencies between 162.400 and 162.600 (every 0.025 Mhz). One of those should be your local weather and is a 24 hour continuous broadcast.

checking here on RR, most of the Public Service in your area is on a truncked system that radio won't be able to monitor.

that should 'get you going' -you can also search for amateur radio clubs in your area- most hams are glad to help out.

Have fun and never stop learning
 

ChrisABQ

WRKQ847
Feed Provider
Joined
Jul 12, 2016
Messages
569
Location
Albuquerque, NM
I program mine with the Chirp software. If you are using software, be sure to download the image file from the radio before programming anything. If you try to upload a csv file, it will not work. You need to download the original image (img) file, make changes to it and then re-upload the file. It's really easy to program it using Chirp.
 

1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
https://youtu.be/OOeTh_V3Yhc
Hi guys, thank you very much for the responses and the research that was done to help me. Yes I do use chirp software, and I used it when I first got the radio. I used the video above today, which proved to be the best that I have used so far just to verify that I was doing it correctly. I entered in the 442.625 and I hope that my radio is set up currently to monitor it correctly, it is beside me as we speak and the screen will illuminate every now and then, not too sure if that is a good sign or not.
I know that with every other hobby in my life I have bought the “best of the best” so as to not discourage myself. Is it possible that this model is really that user un-friendly and hard to set-up? Is their models out there that are pretty much plug and play as opposed to this one?
I have a one hour commute to work, so I traverse 3, sometimes 4 counties and I think it would be an awesome way to communicate, and a nice new skill to learn and stay sharp at. I also have an Icom 204h mobile that I am very excited to learn on.
I believe I have 19 2 meter channels programed in currently that I got from “repeater book political query” with the chirp software…Perhaps the other settings on the radio are not setup correctly?
 

1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
For $25, you can't beat it. I just use it to scan local VHF and UHF departments in my area.
This is true. I just wonder about radios such as one that I am currently looking at as the Yeaseau Ft60 I believe it is. This one is an older model, but I think I can get it cheap. I just wonder if it is more user friendley. As for a scanner, I really cant beat the app on my phone, super convenient.
 

wyShack

Member
Joined
Nov 18, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Campbell County, Wyoming
Other than the mode, you may have to 'play' with the squelch setting (it's one of the menu items). From your comments, it sounds like it is opening every once in a while. try the weather change in 'frequency' mode ,set the volume, then go back to frequency mode and scan. For now, don't worry about offset or tone squelch. The chirp software will make that fairly easy-but for now keep it simple and move up.

73
 

1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
Ok

So, when the screen is illuminating, that must mean that someone has transmitted a good enough signal to open my squelch? And as for "move up" , do you mean advance my skills with this particular radio, or get a better one?
 

prcguy

Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2006
Messages
10,558
Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I think the quickest way for the OP to "get there" with his UV-5R is for him to read his specific radio, then send the file to someone who is real familiar with programming them to add all his local ham freqs with proper offsets and tones. Then the OP can load it back in his radio and start getting familiar with it.

He could then look over the file in Chirp and learn what was done to make it all play. If he ever messes up the programming the "master file" could simply be loaded back in the radio to get it functioning again.

Unfortunately I don't use Chirp much and prefer the factory Baofeng software for occasional programming of my radios. Any one here that is good with Chirp and who owns a UV-5R willing to help the OP on this one?
prcguy
 

1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
I wonder if that is what I did by going to the chirp software <clone from radio <query from repeater book < 2 meter and 70cm for Michigan <upload to radio <save as.
That is basically what my steps were if I recal correctly, I wonder if their is either settings that chirp cant adjust that I need to make, or perhaps no one in my area is very social?
 

robertmac

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 6, 2005
Messages
2,234
I get the point that these CCR are cheap in price. And looking at all the threads on problems with these CCR I would avoid them until I knew more about programming and operating radios. They are extremely poor scanners which a lot of newbees say they want to use them for. I have programmed Alinco, Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu radios and find them all very much easier to program without the use of software than Baofeng, Wouxun, TYT, etc.. The CCR are programmable on the fly but so many pushes of buttons that it is easy to make a mistake. Looking under the Thread of Amateur radio equipment there are very few threads of major problems. Do they have problems, sure, everything has the potential for problems. But they are so very infrequent. Thus, spend a little bit more money and get a Amateur license and better Amateur radio if that is the direction you want to go. Get a scanner if you want something to scan. Amateur radios are much slower at scanning, but better than CCR. I also get the point about using these CCR for preppers, but I bet when the food hits the fan, I have doubts that they will be very effective. And when the food hits the fan, one thing that one will want to do is change frequencies, tones, offsets, etc..
 

1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
Ok folks, update time. Something that I am famous for is thinking out loud amongst knowledgeable people in a field and finding the encouragement I need. I have no idea why this works for me, however; it does.
So this is what worked. I did the chirp update, and I did a much more refined search of the 2 meter and 70cm bands for the surrounding counties and even some along my path to work once I am able to return. I weeded out the d-star and I believe auto that was not compatible with my radio. I changed my squelch to 1 and I heard a bit of faint traffic. I am currently sitting here with the station I.D&#8217;s being scanned ( I feel rather smart for being able to do this) in the top line and will probably attempt to enter the NOAA bands in manually tomorrow as I do not know how to do it with chirp or otherwise from my laptop.
Of course until I get my license I will have zero clue if this thing is able to TX, I really wish I personally knew a licensed HAM especially one that lived close to me who could key it up for me. Just kind of seems like a magic taboo at this point. I am extremely excited to get my license, but it seems as though no one in my local area is testing for another couple of months (Michigan, 48429)
SO if at all, anyone has any more help to lend, I certainly am open and absolutely thankful for all of it thus far. If you guys are any indicator of the HAM community then I cannot wait to jump in!!!
*I have the ICOM-208H
 

Ziggy925

Member
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
13
See if there is a local ham radio club in your area. That's how I got started. I got a Baofeng to play with and listened to their net meetings and lots of other stuff in the area. I used Hamtest Online to study for my FCC exam and the club administered the exam. Got my license so I was finally able to press the Talk button and participate in net meetings with the club. There is always somebody available to help with projects and questions and I've used a lot of "Elmers" in the club. Right now I'm baby sitting a radio repeater behind a chair in my living room that will be used in a ski race this weekend. The club member who set it up said he would be happy to help setup an antenna and HF rig when I upgrade to my general license. While these forums are filled with fantastic people who can help you, there is nothing like being able to go one on one with another club member when your head goes into ham overload. :) BTW, pretty much everybody in the club has a Baofeng HT or something similar.
 

1hardyanimal

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
34
Location
Durand,Mi.
Ironically even more has changed since my last update-update. My Baofeng has actually turned out to be pretty user friendly, just like everything else I was just over thinking it. Chirp with a good cable makes me feel like a pro that could help a lot of people out. Today I got the wild hair and thought to myself “hey self, why not take all of the 124 channels that you programed into he ICOM ic-208h and copy and paste them into he Baofeng so you can enjoy that new mag mount you just bought for the Baofeng”…. I have to say, Self; you are really surprising me lol!!! And so now I have really started to wonder. I have a Yaesu VX-7R I think it is that I can get for $100 but I wonder if it is even worth it. I wonder if the money would be better spent on a PulseLarsen Dual Band ¼ wave NMO for my truck…
As for the Elmers, I have done an FCC search of my area not only to see when and if my call sign pops up, but to see if there is and familiar names. I may just have to attend the next club meeting.
 
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