A few days ago, I was chatting to Andy G6REG and he mentioned that he needed a lead to help program his UV-5. Rather than have him wait to order one from Hong Kong, I suggested that I send him my lead so that he could could get started straight away.
Life’s never quite that simple though. The lead arrived with Andy and he installed the drivers but on running up the Baofeng programming software, it wouldn’t talk to the radio.
At that stage we thought it was a driver issue on Andy’s laptop. Andy decided to order a lead and driver anyway and return the lead to me. On a whim, he suggested that he send me one of the radios to see if I could program it.
When I opened the packet, I immediately noticed that Andy’s UV-5 was different to mine – it’s a UV-5RA. I made sure that the programming lead was working on my laptop and then ran up the software and downloaded the memories from my UV-5. So far so good!
Then I tried to write the memories back to Andy’s UV-5. No! Communication fault. It was then that I realised that the Baofeng programming software that I had used to program my UV-5 would not work with the later model!
A quick Google around revealed that this was indeed the problem and that others had got around it by using the CHIRP programming software. It seems that the ‘stable build’ version of CHIRP (0.2.3) does not support the UV-5, however, the latest daily build does. This I was able to download here
I also found some interesting notes about programming the UV-5 with Chirp
CHIRP installed readily and I was quickly able to download an ‘image’ of my UV-5R and save it. I then tried to write it back to the UV-5RA. The first time I did it, an error occurred, however, I remembered I had seen this on a first communication before and persisted.
Yes! Second time through and CHIRP was able to write the memories back to Andy’s UV-5RA.
So there we have it. Most likely, Andy didn’t have a driver issue on his laptop. At that stage we didn’t know that the basic Baofeng UV-5 software didn’t work with the new style rig, so I suspect that had he installed CHIRP it would have probably worked fine.