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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R Help

Reviews Summary for Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R
Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R Reviews: 270 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $60
Description: Micro sized dual band 2m/70cm radio.
Product is in production.
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K9JCS Rating: 4/5 Oct 27, 2017 13:49 Send this review to a friend
I was Lucky. I got good ones  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had good experience with other inexpensive radios so I thought I would give these UV 5R radios a try. The price was great and the customer service from the seller was even better.. When I unpacked the two radios everything was included that was mentioned in the product description. I quickly hooked up the two charging cradles to charge the batteries and found out that one of the wall warts that powered the charging cradles was dead. I contacted the seller and had a response the next day that they were sending a replacement and they even included a tracking number. What a pleasant surprise. After charging the two batteries with the one working charger it was time to program the radios. The radios came to life as expected. Chinese programming cables and associated software have always been a weakness in my experience. Knowing that, I connected the supplied USB programming cable to my laptop which was running Windows XP and the computer recognized the cable without needing to install the drivers on the included mini disk. I have used Chirp software for programming radios and I started out by programming frequency information only. Chirp worked fine to this point but I discovered a problem with the USB programming cable. Based on past experience, I routinely program frequency information only first, then program radio features one at a time, then test the radio after each change to see if the change works properly. I discovered that the cable would not work to program two consecutive changes in a row. The work around was to simply unplug the cable from the computer and plug it back in between each programming attempt. After I figured this out I began finding that the Chirp software was not able to correctly program radio features into the radio, such as turning off the beep, turning off the voice prompts, using names instead of frequency on the display, etc. I downloaded the English version of the Baofeng software from the Miklor web site (make sure you download the correct version) , then updated the programming cable driver from the included mini CD and was able to make radio feature changes easily, although I could not find a choice in the Baofeng program to silence the beep. Everything else I wanted to do was easily done through the Baofeng software. Fiddling with software and diddling with drivers do not intimidate me. It's kind of a fun challenge for me. For someone who is less comfortable it might be a daunting experience. The feature changes I made could have easily been done right on the radio without software at all, but I wanted to make the software work. Everything I did through software could have been accomplished by directly using the radio controls instead of software, so If you are not comfortable with the programming cable and software, just look for English UV5R manual on the internet, download it and you will be in good shape to program it manually. The radio worked great, Every frequency I programmed in worked as expected. The radio itself is a Five Star item. The programming didn't cause me any difficulty, but because it might be difficult for a first time purchaser I took off one star. My bottom line is that I would be very glad to purchase additional UV5R radios if I needed them. The radio is great, but the software/programming cable combination can only be classified as workable with a bit of fiddling.
G6IYD Rating: 5/5 Sep 25, 2017 07:28 Send this review to a friend
Nice Radio  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It is not a Yeasu or Icom, but does what it says on the box. For a very little money you get a fairly robust dual band radio. I have owned several Chinese hand-held radios, and they have all performed reasonably well. The UV-5R is very good value, with decent reception and good TX reports. Small, with a sensible button layout and simple to program with Chirp. Not much else to say, but for a newcomer to VHF/UHF amateur radio, or as a back-up for your more expensive HT, this is well worth buying.
VE5EDE Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2017 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Changed Ham Radio History  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had about 7 of these and have handed several on to new hams to celebrate after they passed their exams (In Canada new hams can secure a callsign and be on the air within 30 minutes). They make great gifts. I keep buying more at about $22 each Canadian shipped to my door. Two of mine are the triple power models. I have plenty of Icoms, Yaesus, Kenwoods and Alincos, but don't use them, because I want to see how long the Baofengs will last. Not one I've bought or any my friends' (dozens!) have failed after all these years. Some even spent the night out at -42c. OK, one volume knob fell off...

They do what they say they do, with not much pinache, but they work fine. The older ones aren't as good with desense and intermod, but the triple powers are quite a bit cleaner. The latest versions bring reports of "broadcast quality". Even the manuals are improving. The first manuals did not give adequate instructions how to manually program these radios. If you don't get it right (youtube can help) the radio simply won't work, and you'll be posting your 0 star review here.

More poor, handicapped, elderly and fixed-income hams are on the air than ever before because of this radio. And how happy they are to be participating.

4 stars for the technical, and 5 stars for their sociological contribution!
N8AUC Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2017 08:59 Send this review to a friend
Three Year Update  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, at about the 2.5 year mark, the original UV-5R I got at Dayton finally ended up in the trash bin. The volume control failed. My initial thought was, "Oh no I have to get this fixed!" Then I remembered that I had spares, and this was only a cheap Chinese radio. So I kept the battery pack and accessories, tossed the failed radio in the trash, and pulled out a spare. Phew!

These radios are a little sketchy in the area of spectral purity on transmit. Mine meets FCC requirements, but just barely. The 2nd harmonic is -42db from the carrier. The FCC says it has to be -40dB or better. Yeah - it passed by the slimmest of margins.

Problem is, ALL the harmonics were at -42dB up through the frequency limit of the analyzer. Yes, we had the proper attenuators and test probes so we didn't overload the analyzer. The harmonic amplitude should roll off as you go higher in frequency, not stay constant. That's what you get with an SDR that has no appreciable transmitter output filtering. (Yeah, the UV-5 series IS an SDR. And based on what we saw, there isn't any transmitter output filtering. So I got lucky with this one.) A number of other UV-5R type radios tested that day did not meet the FCC requirement. I think the worst one we saw was -37db. Clearly not legal for use in the amateur service. Of all the radios we tested that day, probably 60% of them failed the spectral purity test, making them illegal for use on the Amateur Bands.

For comparison, I put my trusty crusty Icom T-8A on that same test setup. 2nd harmonic was around -60dB from the carrier (much better). And all the higher order harmonics rolled off like they should. By the time you got to the 5th harmonic, it was lower than the spectrum analyzer noise floor, which is -141dB. Now that is only a guess, because we couldn't see the 5th harmonic or anything higher than that, on the screen. The Icom cost 10x what a Baofeng costs when it was new. But the quality was MUCH better.

Although my UV-5R radios do work, and mine did pass the spectral purity test (just barely), I don't think I'll be buying any more of them in the future. You really do get what you pay for, at least in this instance.

73 de N8AUC

K2PHD Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2017 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Good radio for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had to add a Nagoya antenna to make the radio truely usable. I developed a programming check list and now find it very easy to program from the keypad. Also use for fire/OEM receiver.

Would recommend to any hams on limited budgets.
N8EKT Rating: 0/5 Jan 29, 2017 19:56 Send this review to a friend
TERRIBLE RECEIVE  Time owned: months
VHF is terrible on this radio with the stock antenna

Can't hear repeaters that are full scale on other hts

And in a high rf area the radio is useless as it gets desensed and becomes completely deaf!

Programming via keypad is virtually impossible and the hokey chirp software and interface cable is fresh out of some toy factory in China and regularly requires rebooting and unplugging!

On vhf or uhf this radios receiver is useless unless you live on a deserted island!

You get what yuou pay for and this radio is a JOKE!
KM4LCF Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2016 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent First Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my ticket on 6/10/2015, and promptly ordered one of these with a programming cable. Programming was not difficult using the Chirp software available online. For Christmas that year, I received a Nagoya NA-771R antenna and a 3800mAh battery, which provided even further range and longer talk time. I also added a "tiger tail" counterpoise to it, enabling me to hit repeaters 7 miles away from inside my house.

Compact Size
Easy to Program from PC
Battery Life

Limited functionality
Darn-near impossible field programming
No Rated Waterproofing
TX/RX range

Too Long Didn't Read Version: You get what you pay for, but several accessories are almost necessary.
NY7Q Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2016 20:33 Send this review to a friend
Not bad considering price  Time owned: more than 12 months
Programming is tedious but doable. built like a tank.I use a new 2016 uv-5r right now.....good reports.
KB9ZB Rating: 1/5 Jul 9, 2016 08:01 Send this review to a friend
good for garbage  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought one as a backup, just in case radio. Programing is just like any other radio, nothing special. It is what it is, I was not expecting a top of the line radio, but I did except it to work the time. Had a bad one, but got replacement no hassle. After presaging I was very anxious to try it out, first issue, it totally deviated my condo neighbors TV. Wiped out several channels, and teed off the neighbor, also got into a baby monitor as well. I have been operating in this environment for the last year and a half running 50 watts without any complaints or problems. Checked this out on a service monitor, talk about spurs it looked like a spark generator!!! Got a replacement, not much better than the first one, you get what you pay for in this case cheap radio cheap results.
For a first time ham not a good option, unless you want to drive them out of the service. The reason I say this is because almost all new hams do not know how to handle rfi issues or even what they really are.
KD0DUJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2016 00:27 Send this review to a friend
better internal mic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my UV-5r from a friend of mine yesterday and this radio works with the speaker mic and with out it and there is no problem with field programming and is a great beginner radio for new hams
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