UV-5R’s latest bug: listen to the beep

When it comes to keeping track of Baofeng / Pofung flaws, the Miklor page is way ahead of me. I only run into newer models by accident, but don’t order them anymore. It’s just too expensive.

The latest UV-5R bug pointed out by John K3NXU involves muted RX audio when the keyboard beep is switched off. Personally I find keyboard beeps very annoying, and always switch it off. No new model for me, that’s for sure…

It’s a bit of a silly bug, created by a sloppy programmer, and never caught by other Baofeng employees responsible for intercepting these things – if such employees actually exist. Let’s face it: the UV-5R is a dirt cheap product, having competent QA personnel on the payroll might not be feasible.

Not the first time
Since its inception the UV-5R had its fair share of bugs, from being off-frequency on receive to muffled TX audio to meaningless squelch levels. Under ideal circumstances bugs wouldn’t be a problem: just update the firmware and you’re fine. Unfortunately this can’t be done: UV-5R firmware can’t be updated afterwards.

If you can’t live with the bug, the only thing you can do is send it back or wait for a new version to come to market. If you bought directly from China, sending back the radio is often more expensive than buying a new one. Basically you’re screwed. Food for thought if you love conspiracy theories: Baofeng does it on purpose!


10 comments on “UV-5R’s latest bug: listen to the beep

  1. Baofeng is definitely a strange outfit with which to deal. I could write a book about the anomalies and subsequent (sometimes hilarious) efforts to resolve the issues. Like the author, don’t do it anymore, far too much hassle.

  2. Hi Hans,
    I am very happy to see you are back blogging! You probably already are aware of it but TYT released what seems to be the first dual band digital handheld TYT DM-UVF10:


    Supposedly they even have a version with built in GPS. The first reviews seem to be pretty favorable. I would love to see you review it if you get the chance.
    Many thanks for a very nice blog!


    • Hi Erik,

      a pair of these radios are in transit. They left TYT on Oktober 5; if all goes according to schedule I expect them to show up next week.

  3. Hi Hans,

    Thank you very, very much for your blog. It has been immensely helpful to me trying to navigate the waters of affordable radios for a new ham.

    The keyboard beep bug doesn’t bother me so much since I do use keyboard beeps (even on my cell phones). What worries me more are bugs that affect the fundamental performance of the radio such as the transmit audio bug/problem. Do you happen to know if Baofeng has corrected the problem with transmit audio?

    • Hi Jim,

      now that’s a bit of a mystery, or hit and miss. Sometimes I hear hams with a recent UV-5R who sound fine, sometimes it’s muffled. I wonder if the quality of the electret they put inside varies a lot.

      The UV-B5 / UV-B6 never had such problems. The UV-82 radios, based on the UV-5R design, sounds good too.

  4. We reported this issue to BaoFeng in which we immediately got it resolved on August 20th. We are a large enough vendor we can report these issues and get responses. All of our inventory is confirmed to not have the Bug as we would not accept any more bug shipments. We air ship all of our products and unlike many vendors we actually use and repair them too. We also reported and repaired the DTMF bug as well. Baofeng may not listen to consumers but we do have influence to make things happen so you can always report bugs to us for immediate resolutions (although Baofeng’s chipsets are OTP – which means they will sell their old inventory before sending out the new firmware (but we ourselves demand though for the bug reporting that we get fresh inventory!))

  5. Hans, thanks for the advice. I actually do have both the UV-82 and the UV-B5. I bought the UV-82 before I read your blog and then bought the UV-B5 after reading your review. I paid basically peanuts for both of them. I like them both, but I really like the display on the 82. I live in a rural area so overloading the receiver is not much of a concern to me, but what I like about the B5 is the encoder knob, the S-meter, and the ability to have the “A” and “B” displays in separate modes (Channel and Frequency modes). It’s really, really nice.

    The reason I’m concerned about the UV-5R transmit audio is because I’ve ordered a BF-F8HP. Yes, I know I am a Baofeng junkie.

  6. I had my UV-B5 replaced two times over the span of ~year and a half with almost exactly the same problem. At least 409shop honours their warranty, and offers some options if you bug them long enough…

  7. Just received the BF-F8HP. I can report that the beep bug seems to be gone in the latest firmware. Some of the earlier BF-F8HP’s did have this bug. I should point out that the BF-F8HP is really just a beefed-up UV-5R.

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