Software for the
computer and software is easier, but has its problems.
Due to the wide variety of Baofeng UV-5R firmware
versions, be sure you are using the correct one for your
radio, either CHIRP, Baofeng OEM or Baofeng VIP or you
will end up with a non working radio.
recommended to use the CHIRP stable build on Baofeng
radios (except for the UV-B5/UV-B6). Only the
has the capability to prevent the uploading of
incompatible .img files.
The serial USB cable used for programming needs to have the correct
drivers installed, and depending on the operating system
you are using (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 ,Windows 8,
etc) the process can get frustrating. Even more
frustrating than the manual programming process. More
information on the Baofeng UV-5R radio can be found on
Solving the Baofeng
Baofeng UV-5R The various models of Baofeng handheld transceivers
keep popping up everywhere. At prices less than $50,
radio amateurs (including veterans and newbies) are
scarfing up these radios.
Also very frequently, the new owner of such a radio finds that they
cannot figure out how to program it. Of course, the
solution is “use the programming software” which is
often helpful (and often not). The really gnarly problem
that usually surfaces is getting the programming cable
It appears that many of the cheap Baofeng USB programming cables
use a clone of the Prolific PL-2303 chip that is not
supported by the latest Windows driver. This
Miklor web page
does a good job of explaining the driver problem and
giving some helpful advice. (Actually the Miklor site
has tons of information on these radios, so check it
out.) I’ll also note that the same cable can be used to
program a Wouxun radio, so the same remedies apply.
Using the info on the Miklor site allowed me to get my
Baofeng/Wouxun/Icom cable working with my Windows 8.1
I started using the Chirp programming software, an open source
application that supports a wide variety of radios. (I
have found the supplied Baofeng and Wouxun software to
be, uh, well, crapware. It can be made to work but it is
a pain.) While the Chirp software is not bug free and is
in perpetual beta, it basically works well and does a
great job of supporting a wide range of radios. I
noticed that the Chirp Cable guide recommends the use of
programming cables with an FTDI USB chip. I found this
one on Ebay $10, a little more expensive than the cheapo
cables but not bad. I plugged it into my Win8.1 computer
and it started working immediately. I did not load any
drivers, Windows actually did its job and took care of
it for me. In minutes, I was programming a variety of
Baofeng/Wouxun/Icom radios. Success!!!
My strong recommendation at this point is to use the
Chirp software and
get a FTDI-based programming cable. You will be a much
happier Baofeng, Wouxun or Icom owner.