Baofeng UV-5R, new firmware – the differences

My second Baofeng UV-5R arrived. As expected, this one is loaded with new firmware.

Holding ‘3’ while powering up:
Old data: BFB231
New data: BFB251

Holding ‘6’ while powering up:
Old data: 1203151 VER-05
New data: 1203151 VER-05

As you can see, the data we thought to be a combination of production date plus the number of UV-5R’s produced that day, are identical. It appears that the UV-5R’s aren’t serialized in such a way at all, which makes retrieving this information pointless from now on. The printed serial numbers on the back of the HT do differ though.

Serial number old UV-5R: 201203R05872
Serial number new UV-5R: 201204R2295

Both are black versions and bought from 409shop. This shop uses more than one name on eBay, such as RadioBanker and HK360Radio.

Batteries still do not have the CE mark. The CE mark is totally unimportant when it comes to quality, but there is a slight possibility that the batteries will be refused at the border of EU countries.

Differences

  • New antenna is embossed. Text: Baofeng and U-V Antenna.
  • New voice. I liked the old one better, the voice quality degraded substantially. To make matters worse, she sounds like she’s had a tragic life and needs counseling ASAP before she kills herself.
  • Menu 14 (VOICE) now offers the choice between Chinese and English.
  • Lowest RX audio level even lower

Things that should have changed but didn’t:

  • Frequency input using the keyboard not fixed
  • Various squelch settings still don’t make any difference
  • Various VOX settings still don’t make any difference

The ‘Not Confirmed’ Dept:

Some owners of earlier UV-5R’s complained about the receiver being off frequency, and some state that the new version does a better job. Mine wasn’t off frequency, and the new one isn’t either. I don’t say that these people were imagining things, only that I could not confirm this. There’s always the possibility of getting a lemon.

I’ve read tips from owners that by choosing 2.5KHz channel spacing, and checking the frequencies below and above a busy frequency, could give you an indication whether the UV-5R is off frequency or not. I disagree. If I do the same with a Kenwood TMV-71 or Yaesu FT-8900R, I find the same differences. These differences are more likely caused by the non-symmetrical shape of the (often cheap) filters commonly used in these radios. Try it.

Earlier UV-5R articles:

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27 comments on “Baofeng UV-5R, new firmware – the differences

  1. Het lijkt me een leuk apparaat echter heb er nu enkele liggen en word absoluut niet wijs uit het programmeren ervan.
    Zelfs het programmeer programma is één groot vraagteken voor me, ligt dit nu aan mij of,…

  2. Thank you that explains why one of my radios is different, shame you cant update the firmware via a programming cable and thank you for your thoughts and comments regarding these radios it has been most helpful

  3. Now if you press and hold the MONI key and turn the radio on I get a message “COPING” no telling what that does…. Any suggestions??
    ver:BFB251
    1204171 ver-05

    Tnx
    73
    AL (n4god)

      • Thanks for the quick response, I kinda thought that but it’s nice to know from someone whos been there. This radio reminds me of the VX-5R from yeasu -$300……

        Chow
        Al

  4. I can not read data from the radio. I keep getting a fail to connect code. I can write just fine. Any ideas why I can’t read? Also how do you save the data? I have BFB251 and 12077a ver 5.

    • It’s an audible alarm sound, which is also transmitted. Other brands often refer to it as “Man Down transmission”.

      Really useful ones incorporate a GPS tracking system which, obviously, isn’t part of the UV-5R’s design.

  5. Thanks for the great review. I’m wondering how the UV-5R came along from the very first model to the latest and greatest model. I know of the UV-5R, UV5RA, UV-5RB, UV-5RC, UV-5RE and now the UV-5R Plus in no particular order. On a timeline, which is first to last? Is the UV-5R Plus the very latest version? Thanks so much!!

    73, Bob

    • Technically they’re all the same. In an attempt to sell more, these radios became available with all kinds of different looks. Even the earliest design will have the latest firmware. Basically there is no timeline – nobody kept track of all these varieties. Just pick one with the looks you like.

  6. I was playing with the frequency input and discovered the radio rounds down when on e.g. 12.5 or 6.25 channel spacing.

    If the step is 12.5 and you want to enter 145.6125 type 145613 rather than 145612 on most other radios
    or if you set channel step as 6.25 and you want 145.60625 on type 145607

  7. You mentioned that “Frequency input using the keyboard not fixed”. We just purchased the UV-5R plus and found that we key in a “7” the audio states “7” however a “5” comes up on the readout so it appears that the frequency is not what we keyed in. (482.93750 keyed in – shows 482.93550) This appears to be intermittent

    Thanking you in advance..

      • Thank you for your reply. We received our replacement unit (first unit shipped by Amazon appeared to be used) and it too has the same bug. Will the frequency be that of what it keyed in and not what is visual? Can this issue be solved by using computer to program? Again thank you for your response.

      • The bug is part of the design – the UV-5R has its share of flaws, and some can’t be fixed by new firmware. Yet it’s easy to solve. In manual programming mode, check the frequency in the display after typing one in, and press the Up key once if necessary. When using a computer to program the UV-5R, this problem doesn’t apply.

  8. Just wondering if the original programing software will work in the later models. I received a new version of the UV-5R, and it will not communicate with my computer. Yes I tried manually setting the port on the computer, and still not go.
    Thanks for any advise.

  9. The UV-5r+ no longer displays the arrows to the left of the frequency to indicate which one is transmitting or receiving. Is this an option or function I have changed or a fault in the radio? I have a UV-5r standard model and it has arrow with an additional S above the freqs. Any ideas?

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