Programming the UV-5R – and a word on the antenna

I mentioned last week that manual programming of the memories of the UV-5R was a step too far, at least for me! At the time I ordered a programming cable from Hong Kong. It's yet to arrive, but today, I had an idea.

I currently have a programming cable for a Midland CT-790 here. Now that looks to be a clone of a Wouxun radio and I knew that the Baofeng UV-5R was supposed to use the same programming cable as a Wouxun. Would it work, I wondered?

I grabbed the Baofeng UV-5R software from the link on http://www.uv-5r.com and installed it. There was an initial problem, because the programming lead installed itself as COM11 and the UV-5R programming software only went up to COM8. I managed to convince the cable to be COM1 (that takes me back to packet  days, playing with COM1....) and then fired up the software.

What I thought were error messages were in fact not! They are clearly interesting translations. After a couple of false starts, I managed to get the computer to read the UV-5R and download the memories into the programming software. From there, it was relatively straighforward to modify the memories and upload them back into the radio without incident. The UV-5R software is pretty basic, but it's functional. Don't expect handholding, but it beats trying to program the radio manually.

Since I had the Midland CT-790 (Wouxun KG-UV1P) here, I was curious about the antennas. I swapped the Midland's antenna onto the Baofeng. Where I had struggled to blip up GB3UK on 430MHz with the Baofeng antenna, it worked better with the Midland. Same story on GB3WH on 145MHz. So it may be that the UV-5R antenna is worth replacing - although it's certainly adequate. The Midland antenna is slightly longer and more flexible. The Midland antenna, if fitted on the UV-5R has a slight gap at the base which might not be ideal for longer term use.

All good fun and interesting - remembering this was a radio that cost less than £40. As K0NR comments in his blog on the UV-5R, a rig for the price of a tank of petrol/gas. Way less, for us.....!!
Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

5 Responses to “Programming the UV-5R – and a word on the antenna”

  • Larry KL7IBV:

    KG-UV Commander is my programming software of choice. Very slick, full featured, and bug free as far as I can detect.

    Go to: http://www.kc8unj.com/kguv.html

    It’s free, and excellent.

    73, Larry KL7IBV

  • Frank Sanor WA8WHP:

    Tim, I also have the UV5R. I like the rig but, the Baofeng software did not like my computer. I downloaded a copy of CHIRP (its free) and it took right off and did what it should. The antenna problem is the need to mechanically isolate the antenna movement from the socket. A friend found a SMA to BNC adapter of the correct gender. Plans are to build short cable BNC to SO239 to match and isolate to external antennas.
    73 CUL GL
    DE WA8WHP AR

  • Paul, N8ABS:

    Tim, THANK YOU for your article. I won’t say how much time I have spent trying to program this HT. Thanks Again, Paul

  • Robert:

    Hi guy’s
    Maybe some can help me out here I have the Wouxun kg-uv1p the probem is that when I program the radio it will keep the memorie BUT when I trun it off It’s go’s back to chinese so to take out off this I have trun the radio off two time and reset the radio by going to manual hit Channal/freq to get the freq is there a way to reset the main cpu (chirp)I heard that this will save the radio and being it back like new.

    from BoB WA2BoB

  • carl haggblad:

    igota baofeng uv5r i can mamuly program it drops the +OFSET
    WHEN PUT IH TO MEMREY IT WILL NOT PROGRAM RIGHT ANEY
    SEGESTING,S N7YKO

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