This is a compilation of common questions asked on this blog or by e-mail. Hopefully this will be useful to many first time Baofeng UV-5R owners.
Q) Why can’t I seem to get the channel spacing right for a certain frequency range?
A) With the UV-5R the channel spacing is set for a certain VFO, not a certain frequency range. The best way to get it right is to use VFO-A for VHF, and VFO-B for UHF (or the other way around, depending on your preferences). Go to VFO-A and set the desired channel spacing for VHF. Then switch over to VFO-B and set the desired channel spacing for UHF. The same system applies to setting up repeater offsets.
Q) Keys don’t seem to respond immediately, sometimes I have to press them twice before the UV-5R reacts.
A) Check menu 3 (Save Mode). When set to ‘Off’, all keys will respond immediately. Any other value will put the UV-5R into sleep mode for a certain amount of time. Pressing a key for the first time will only wake up the HT, but will not perform the desired function.
Q) How does the ‘Save’ system work? What do these numbers mean?
A) The numbers (1-4) represents the number of cycles the HT goes into sleep mode. Five cycles appear to be equal to 0.5 seconds. The higher the number, the more battery energy is saved. When in save mode your UV-5R will become somewhat sluggish though, and you might miss a word or two when your monitor frequency becomes active.
Q) How can I switch to reverse when listening to a repeater?
A) Press the star (*) button momentarily. Holding the (*) button for a longer period of time will start the scan function.
Q) Even when I set menus 29, 30 and 31 to ‘Off’, the LCD will still be illuminated at times. How can I stop this?
A) Go to menu 5 (ABR) and set it to ‘Off’. This menu sets the number of seconds the display will stay illuminated.
Q) After a certain amount of operating time my LCD becomes unreadable.
A) This is a design flaw. The PA module is directly seated under the LCD, which quickly leads to a heat problem, especially in areas where high outside temperatures are common. The LCD will become readable again after cooling down.
Q) Setting different Squelch and VOX settings do not appear to make any difference.
A) This is a well known bug and observed from firmware versions BFB231 up to BFB251.
Q) I can’t manually store a frequency into memory.
A) Make sure VFO-A is active. You can’t use VFO-B for programming! The desired memory position should be empty. If needed use menu 28 to delete a memory position before programming.
Q) Repeater offsets can’t be saved into memory. How come?
With the UV-5R you have to store the repeater output and input separately. First program the repeater output into memory. Then select the repeater input and save this frequency into the same memory position.