PROGRAMMING A BAOFENG RADIO

How To Use And Program a BaoFeng Radio: Guide For Beginners

​It is common knowledge for anyone involved in the radio communication world that Amateur Radios, often referred to as ‘Ham Radios,’ are the best ones to start out with.

Apart from being the market leader, BaoFeng is the most budget-friendly option for ham radios. Despite its low price, the company does not skimp out on any of the features and functions on any of the BaoFeng models. The makers ensure that you get more than your money’s worth.

While every single product that BaoFeng has come out with are extremely user-friendly, some beginners might face difficulties operating the device in the beginning. You will soon realize that you can get the best service out of the device only when you know the ins and outs of it.

But know that there is nothing to worry about as it will get really easy to use once you get the hang of it.  To make it more convenient for you, the radio comes with a manual guide.

Programming a BaoFeng Radio: Step By Step Guide

You can program the radio either by the radio itself or through a computer. In the off chance that you do not fully grasp the instructions, this article will detail the entire method and ensure that there is no confusion left in your mind.

Step 1: You Need to Select the Right Kind of Connecting Cable

Yes, the radio connects to the computer with a USB cable. But you are wrong to think any random cable will do the job. For instance, the radios in the UV Series of BaoFeng requires a specific connecting cable. However, that cable is usually included in the box.

Assuming you have the right cable for the job, we can move on to the following step.

Step 2: Setting Up the Programming Software

To program the BaoFeng radios, you need a software called CHIRP. The version you download and install will depend on the operating system (OS) of your PC.

Once you have that settled, use your cable to connect both the PC and your radio to a 3.0 USB port. Then, power off the BaoFeng radio.

Step 3: Starting the Programming of The Radio

Pulling up the CHIRP software, click on the button labeled ‘Go to Radio’ before selecting the ‘Download from Radio’ option. This will enable your radio to communicate with your computer.

Now, before we go any further, we need to remove any previously programmed in memory channels by resetting its factory settings. So, go back to your BaoFeng radio and reset it by pressing on the ‘MENU’ button. Next, push the Button 40, labeled as ‘Reset All,’ before pressing the MENU button again. That will confirm the factory reset and start the programming.

It is highly likely that you will now find yourself with a radio that is speaking in Chinese. There is no need for panicking as this can be easily remedied.

Just go back to the MENU and then click on Button 14 which is for language settings and change it back to English.

Now, press MENU again. Afterward, select the upward facing arrow button to turn it off completely. Or you can press it for the second time which will bring up the ‘ENG’ option. Remember to confirm this setting by pressing the MENU button again before exiting.

You can now set the frequency you prefer with the VFO/MR labeled button, often highlighted in orange.

Step 4: Setting Up the Frequency and The CTSS Tone

You can set your preferred frequency by going on the MENU and pressing Button 1. Then click on the upward and downward facing arrow keys. For reference, most users tend to set their frequency at 10k, which is the ideal number for Ham radio.

Now that you have decided on the frequency level, click on the MENU button once more to save the changes made.

To dial in your required frequency repeater, press the orange colored VFO/MR button which will return you to the frequency mode. In order to ensure you are at Frequency A, which is the top frequency, enter your desired repeater.

Pressing Button 13 on the MENU will bring forth the settings for the transit CTCSS tone, also commonly known as T-CTCS.

Similar to the process of setting your preferred frequency, use the up and down buttons to find the CTCSS tone you want. Next, confirm the setting by clicking the MENU button again.

Step 5: Setting the Transmitting Frequency and The Memory Channel

Pressing Button 25 in MENU will allow you to select any positive (+) or negative (-) offsets that you prefer with the toggle switch.

Move on by pressing Button 26 and enter 00.600 as the offset as a repeater for Ham radios before setting the memory channel you want.

To open up the options available, click Button 27 before selecting one and confirm it with the MENU button once again.

Unfortunately, BaoFeng radios do not automatically set the transmitting frequency if the memory channel is changed manually. That’s because they are not technically made for being used as a Ham radio. So, that’s the next and final thing you will need to attend to.

You can set up the transmitting frequency you will be working with by pressing the EXIT button. But before that, you need to click on the orange colored button labeled ‘VFO/MR’ which will take you to the frequency mode.

Next, enter the repeater INPUT frequency. Then press the MENU button and select Button 27 in order to go back to your desired memory channel. Click on MENU again and select the memory channel you saved as the repeater output.

Conclusion

While each of the BaoFeng radios differs from one another according to their models, the overall setup of the device is more or less the same.

The steps mentioned above provides you with a general overview that you can implement for any radio you own by this reputable brand.

But having said that, it is vital that you thoroughly go over the instructions manual and user guide provided to follow any steps for that particular model in order to experience a seamless setup and impeccable performance.

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