Progress Through Activity

Amateur Radio Club Inc.

Programming UV5R
Software for UV5R



Software for the Baofeng

   Programming with 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.

   It is currently NOT recommended to use the CHIRP stable build on Baofeng radios (except for the UV-B5/UV-B6). Only the daily build 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 the miklor website.


Solving the Baofeng Cable Problem

   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 to work.

   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 computer.

   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.




Westlakes Amateur Radio Club Inc. York Street, Teralba NSW