Fixing poor squelch levels on Baofeng radios

After reviewing the GT-3 Mark II, a radio in which many problems were solved, the poor, sometimes meaningless squelch levels on various Baofeng models were one of the few things left on my ‘The Perfect Baofeng’ wish list.

Squelch levels improved somewhat over time, but it just wasn’t enough. The slightest whisper of a modem, router or switch still opens up the squelch, whatever the setting. It seems that this annoyance will become something of the past. No, not thanks to Baofeng, but thanks to the efforts of the Chirp development team.

A new ‘daily build’, available within a few days, will let you decide when the squelch opens up – either when receiving a tiny noisy signal, or when a repeater around the corner starts transmitting. The image below (courtesy shows how the the new ‘Service Settings’ option will look like in Chirp:

Baofeng SquelchAs you can see you can set a personal threshold for every individual squelch level (1-9), and enter different settings for VHF and UHF. The higher the number, the more signal you need to open up the squelch.

I’ll keep you posted regarding the compatibility with old and new models.

12 comments on “Fixing poor squelch levels on Baofeng radios

  1. I’m really, REALLY happy with this! Of course I will use it with my Baofengs, but… I hope CHIRP developers will be able to add this feature for the Wouxun KG-UV8D which has issues with squelch…!

  2. Wow, great news Hans, this definetely makes the Baofengs better radios. I wish there was also a delay setting for the squelch, for example only open if there’s a continuous signal over the treshold for over 100ms etc. Sometimes the issue is with strong pulsating signals, not continuous carriers.


  3. This excellent news! I would absolutely love to see this work for the UV-5R series radio. I love my little UV-5R transceiver but the squelch is just terrible, especially on 70cm.

    The developers of CHIRP are amazing.

  4. is there any particular reason these don’t cover 800mhz for receive? It would make the perfect radio for me if I could tx on a ham band and monitor an 800 band all at once.

    • It’s because Baofeng does not have models that receive 800mhz. They are very inexpensive (Less than $100 USD) Chinese radios.

    • The new version adds support for the UV-5R and its clones. You could change the squelch settings on a UV-B5 for quite a while already, see ‘Settings -> Test settings’. Make sure you save the original configuration before editing squelch levels. Edit at your own risk!

      • Baofeng/Pofung is shipping some UV-B5/UV-B6 radios in versions that only have 27 menus instead of the original 29 menus. These radios ignore the “test mode settings” of both the CHIRP and the OEM software.

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