Programming the Baofeng UV-5RA

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.

Tim Kirby, G4VXE, is a regular contributor to and writes from Oxfordshire, England. Contact him at [email protected].

9 Responses to “Programming the Baofeng UV-5RA”

  • Paul W2FIS:

    I suggest that anyone having any version of the Baofeng UV-5R join the Baofeng UV-5R news group. A wealth of article, FAQ, drivers, software, advice, etc. Makes the whole process pretty simple.

    73 /paul W3FIS

  • Larry VE8NX:

    I have an UV-5RA, Use an old Kenwood cable to program it.

    The web page below has just about everything you need to know.

  • Don W7DTG:

    Thanks for the link Larry, great wealth of information their. Been posting a lot on my web page as well, and now can link to that site also.

    tnx es 73 de W7DTG Don

  • Matt KF7PGU:

    OK – So general feelings, but Baofeng vs. Yaesu with all the other, weather, FM and publice service channels? I’m actually leaning toward the Tri-Band Yaesu VX-6R… Your thoughts? Is the cost difference worth it or should I save several (several hundred) dollars and go with the Baofeng? I can spend money almost as good as my 7 year old son!

    73 KF7PGU

  • Stephen W9SK:

    The above link to info re programming UV-5RA is not working (403 unauthorized error).

  • Louis Anderson kk4vdx:

    Twice I’ve seen references to the link “”. When I tried it the response said “forbidden” not available to the public. It was on what appeared to be a free web building site. I just noticed Stephen w9sk seems to have run into the same problem. Larry @ ve89x recommended the link and apparently had no problem.

  • KK4YYL:

    I noticed the link is till not working. If anyone has any ideas about how to get it working I would appreciate someone passing it along.

  • Mike 2J0SZI:

    Hi I have a Baofeng UV-5R+ and want to manually programme my local repeater. The manual is useless as it does not say how to programme the handie.
    My local repeater id GB3GJ Output 145.6375 in is 145.0375 Ctcss is 71.9 Hz with negative shift. Would appreciate help. Thanks 73s Mike.

  • oswaldo borchert:

    Valuable writing ! For what it’s worth , if your company was looking for a IRS W-9 , my friend found a template form here

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