Valcon Systems. > Customer Support > Knowledgebase


Q:  I programmed a channel, but it won't save. 
A:   There are three steps to the process:          
          1) You must be in the VFO/Frequency mode
          2) Display A (top display) must be selected.
          3) Channel must be empty before programming frequency data. 
              (use menu 28 to delete a channel)     Refer to Programming Hints

Q:  How can I store a 7th digit of a frequency?    xxx.xxx5 
A:  (1) Change Menu 1 (Step) to 2.5kHz. 
     (2) Enter the first 6 digits of the desired frequency, the use the 
          Up/Down arrow for the last .5 kHz. 
              Example: 462.7125 would be:     4 6 2 7 1 2   Up Arrow.
              A tiny 5 will show to the right of the frequency display.

Q.  Can I store different frequencies in A and B?
A.   No.    There is only a single bank of 128 channels (0-127)
      The same frequencies show in both displays A and B. 
      You can however change the way they appear.    (Menu 21 & 22)
      The display options are Frequency, Channel Name or Channel Number. 
   Manual programming of memory channels can Only be done while 
   display A (top display) is selected.

Q:  What is the purpose of A and B if they are both the same?
A:   Dual Receive. You can set each to a different preprogrammed channel.
      With TDR (Menu 7) turned on, your radio will sample between the 
          two frequencies and stop on whichever one has activity.

Q.  Can displays be synchronized to show Name in A and Freq in B?
A.   No.  Display A and B operate independently. 

Q:  Can I disable the transmitter for Receive Only frequencies?
A:   Yes. This can be done using the CHIRP software. 
        Enter the desired receive frequency. 
        Set Duplex to  'OFF'
              The display will not change. No RF is generated. 

Q.  Can I store FM Radio 65-108MHz channels into memory?
A.   No.  This is controlled by a separate receive only chip in the radio. 
       You also cannot make this radio transmit on this band.
Q:  My receiver skips over some channels when scanning.
A:   There is a known 'quirk' with the UV5R receiver.
       If a scanned channel has an R-CTCSS (PL) tone of 136.5 Hz 
            or lower, the receiver will not stop on that channel.  
       R-CTCSS (PL) tones of 146.2 and higher work fine. 
Note:   It is recommended to Not use RX Tones unless absolutely necessary. 

Q:  My radio only scans my top group of frequencies, but not all.
A:   Power cycle your radio ON/OFF and the issue should disappear.
Q:  Why can't I key or hear my local repeater, fire dept, etc. ?
A:   Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS (PL) tone for access 
         but DO NOT transmit one back.
      If your display indicates there is an incoming signal but you hear no audio,
         you may have an incorrect or unnecessary RX tone set.
      This can be tested by pressing the [MON] button.
         When in doubt, leave the RX tone OFF.       Visit CTCSS for details.

Q:  What are these CTCSS (PL) tones I keep hearing about?   
A:   A CTCSS is a 'Tone' sent along with your voice when you transmit. 
       Visit CTCSS  for details. 

Q:  How do I send a 1750 Hz tone to activate a repeater that 
          requires it for access? 

A:   Press the [PTT] button and then press the [BAND] button to transmit 
          a 1750 Hz tone. 

Q:  What are the DTMF keypad positions for A, B, C & D? 
A:   This varies by firmware release.   

      Early FW releases BFB231 and prior had a keypad sequence error. 
           [Menu]= A   [Up]= C  [Down]= B    Exit= D   

      This was later corrected to: 
           [Menu]= A   [Up]= B  [Down]= C    Exit= 
   When sending DTMF tone D  [Exit], the speaker emits the tones for 0 [zero] 
   but the tone sent over-the-air f
or D had been confirmed to be correct.
Q:  Who are good sources for radios and accessories?
A:  The vendors mentioned are known to carry the latest radios and firmware releases.  Always consider your warranty when you make a purchase.
3 Old Crows General Store Located in Forth Worth, TX, USA
Austin Amateur Radio   Located in Austin, TX, USA
MTC Main Trading Co  Located in Paris, TX, USA
Import Communications Located in North Carolina, USA
Q:  Are cables, antennas, spkr/mic, etc interchangeable?
A:  Many accessories are, such as Kenwood / Wouxun.
Q:  Is a radio case a good purchase?
A:  It depends on your use. Refer to Radio Shut Down below.  See FAQ 111

Q:  Is there a Battery Eliminator for the car?
A:  Yes.  It's the E-DC43.   You guessed it, eBay.  
      It is not a battery charger. It replaces the battery for mobile operation.

Q:  Is there a USB charger for the UV-5R?
A:  No.  The UV5R battery has a 7.4 volt battery. 
      A USB port is only 5.0 volt. 
      The standard charger supplies 8.4 volt during the charge cycle.
      At 5.9 volts, the UV5R announces a 'Low Voltage' warning.  See FAQ 104
Q: What would be a good replacement charger for the UV5R?
A:   The TYT BGC-F8 is a direct replacement and seems to be built
       more solidly.  


Q: Are optional batteries available?
A:   Yes. 3600 / 3800 MAH batteries, and AA / AAA cases are available.
       However, most are designed to fit the standard UV-5R only.
       Always check compatibility before ordering.    UV-5R Compatibility

Q: Why doesn't my new battery fit properly?
A:   Some aftermarket batteries are not case compatible and may require
       trimming of the battery due to case design differences.            Photo 
       Verify that the battery you are ordering is an exact match for your radio.

Q: Where can I find replacement parts?  (knobs, switches, screws, etc)
A:   Some links can be found here...      PARTS

Q: Is there an alternative to the Factory software?
A:  Most users prefer CHIRP.  It's easy to navigate and new features are 
     added on a regular basis.
          This can be found on the CHIRP Software & Examples pages.

Q:  Must I load an older cable driver for Vista, Windows 7 & 8 ?
A:  Many bargain cables came through with Prolific chip clones/copies.
          Windows loads the latest driver which rejects these cloned chips.
          This is covered in detail in the  USB Cable Drivers  page.
          These cables work fine if the proper driver is loaded.

Q:  How can I be sure I order a USB cable with an authentic chip?
A:   Programming cables utilizing a FTDI chip will work with no problems.

Q:  Is there software that can 'Open Up' the freq range of my radio?
A:  There is software available that will allow you to enter any number you wish.
      However, even though the number shows in the display, internal filtering
      of the UV5R prevents both TX & RX operation on these frequencies and 
      may cause irreversible damage to your radio. 
   These radios were not designed to operate outside their specified range.
   They cannot be made to work as Tri-Band.     Hacking Software


Q:  Why is my microphone audio is low?
A:   Here's are some suggestions:
         1) Talk directly into the radio, within one inch.
         2) Confirm the audio is set to Wide Band.    5 kHz    (Menu 5 = W)
         3) Try an external spkr/mic to confirm problem is the mic.
         4) Blow compressed air into the spkr/mic jack.
         5) If you have an external spkr/mic, plug it in and out a few times.
                 The issue might be a dirty connector.    
Note: Some have reported the need to open up the microphone hole in the plastic case. This can be done by CAREFULLY using a 3/64" drill bit and twisting it slowly by hand to clear out the opening, but avoid touching the microphone. 
There is approx 1/16" clearance between the inside of the case and the microphone element.  

For an in depth description of this procedure, go to the Yahoo UV5R thread 
"Mic Hole Issue", Staring with Post   

Q:  Why is the audio less sensitive than my Icom or Kenwood?
A:  The UV-5R series was designed as a commercial radio, not ham.
      It was designed to block out background noise in an industrial environment.
      Talking right into the face of the radio cures most audio weakness. 


Q:  Is the PTT switch disabled when a Spkr/Mic is plugged in?
A:  No.  Even with a Spkr/Mic plugged in, the PTT switch is still physically connected.  This is true for most handhelds.    


Q:  Which antenna is best?
A:   It's all personal preference, but a good rule of thumb is:
      The longer the radiator, the better the range, especially on transmit.
      Short stubby antennas use a coil to match TX to 50 ohm, not radiate.
      The closer to 1/4 or 3/4 wavelength in the air, the better the performance.

      A popular antenna for general use is the J0125A (aka The $3.79 special)
      Very flexible and works well on 2m/440.   8" (21cm)  J0125A  eBay
      Also, the Nagoya NA-701, NA-771.
      To mate with the UV5R, the antenna's connector must be SMA Female.

      Just remember, it's only 4 watts into a piece of wire. 
      There is no Magic Antenna out there.

Q:  Can I use an antenna with an SMA RP connector?
A:   No. The RP stands for Reverse Polarity. The outer shell looks the same
but the Male/Female pin sequence is reversed.   SMA Female

Q:  My antenna doesn't screw in all the way.
A:   This is not uncommon on some aftermarket antennas. Purchase a thin 5/8" OD internal tooth lock washer or rubber O-Ring.  Take your HT with you to the hardware store to assure the proper fit.  You may want to superglue it to the bottom of the antenna ONLY.

Q:  Can I build my own antenna?
A:   Absolutely.  If you want to start small, try a simple ground plane.
      Here are the instructions for a GP antenna with a radial length calculator.
      The calculator covers all frequencies from DC to Light.  CALCULATOR
      A great project.


Q:  Display goes dark if I talk too long on Hi power.
A:   This is to be expected from a small radio.
          4 watts creates a lot of heat in a small unvented area.
          Give it time to cool down.  The LCD will return to normal.
          The same occurs if you leave the unit in the car on a hot day.
          Run low power whenever possible. This will also extend battery life.

Q: My display shows + and - at the same time. 
A: This is normal. When the TX and RX frequencies differ, the display shows
     + - to indicate that an offset has been entered. 
     If TX and RX are the same (simplex) the + - indicator does not display. 

Q:  How accurate is the S-Meter?
A:   The What?  There's a signal indicator in the upper left.
       If there's a signal, it appears.  If not, it's gone.


Q:  How do I translate the Battery indicator in the upper right?  
A:   Tests have shown the following:         
(tests by Phil Souza)
       Full charge (approx 8.32 volts) 3 bars
       Battery drops to 7.09 volts, 2 bars
       Battery drops to 6.73 volts, 1 bar
       Battery drops to 6.29 volts, 0 bars 
       Battery drops to 5.91 volts, 
          the radio announces "low voltage" until the battery expires. 
       Note: Measurements can vary based on temperature and load.

Q:  Why does my display disappear if I wear polarized sunglasses?
A:   LCDs function by polarizing the liquid crystal elements in the display.
       Polarized sunglasses will react to the polarized lens.    
LCD Wiki


Q:  Why did my radio shut down when I took it out of my pocket.
A:  If you carry your radio and keys in the same pocket, a case is recommended. If the charging contacts are shorted, the battery goes into the protection mode. There will be no damage to the battery or radio, but the radio will power off. To reset the protection mode, the battery must be removed and reinserted.


Q:  Did I get a used radio?  My UV5R had frequencies pre-programmed.
A:   No.  Your radio is new.  These are channels used for factory testing.
      The easiest way to remove them is to:
       Press Menu, 40 (Reset), Menu, ALL, Menu.
Q:  My radio doesn't speak English?
A:   Press Menu, 14, Menu, Make selection, Menu
        The selection varies by firmware release.
        Older units display ON / OFF, newer display CHI / ENG / OFF
Q:  Why doesn't my volume go completely down.
A:   This was a known issue with earlier versions of the UV5R.  It was a component issue that has been resolved with newer radios. Periodically, however, even a new radio will show up with this issue. 


Q:  How do I lock/unlock my keypad?
A:   Hold the  #   button in for 3 seconds.
       Pressing it quickly changes the power from HI power to LO.
Q:  Where can I get a User Manual and Schematic for this bad boy?
A:   Here are the Links:   User's Manual  and  Schematic  
Note: Only work on this radio if you have little tiny fingers.

Q:  How do I pronounce Baofeng?  
                     (Good to know if you want to impress your friends)

A:  Try this link  Baofeng.  Bow Fung

Q:  Where can I find reviews on the UV-5R?
A:  Reviews going back to mid-March 2012 can be found at

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Article details
Article ID: 12
Category: UV-5R
Date added: 2013-06-12 22:19:37
Views: 746
Rating (Votes): Article rated 2.7/5.0 (7)

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