Saturday, February 18, 2012

Baofeng UV-5R: New Baofeng Model

Chris (NH7QH) at Hawaii Radio Sales sent me the following about the new Baofeng UV-5R. (On a side note, Chris is now also selling ham equipment via eBay.)
"Just got this email - looks like it is a TYT TH-F8 - same marks and all mono band, already FCC approved since a TYT."
He also included a couple of pictures - see below. The styling looks more like the UV-3R +. Other obvious features are the charging connectors on the battery pack (so a drop in charger) and the keypad. I am not as familiar with the TYT radios, but it looks like Baofeng is willing to leverage the success of the UV-3R to build its brand by buying radios from multiple companies (Vero Telecom and now TYT). This model also more directly competes with the Wouxun. (I felt like the UV-3R was more of niche radio than a direct replacement for the Wouxun's.) These Chinese radios are keeping it interesting for sure. Maybe Baofeng needs to rebrand a mobile and steal the thunder from the much anticipated KG-UV920R.

Pricing on the TYT TH-F8 is around $50 to $75 on ebay. Here are the specs for the TH-F8.

 Single band, dual display, dual standby
■  A/B band independent operation
■  128 groups channels storage
■  FM radio and 25 stations storage
■  Wide/Narrow Band(25kHz/12.5kHz)
■  0~9 grades VOX selectable
■  Chinese/English voice prompt
■  CTCSS/DCS and scanning
■  1750Hz tone
■  Priority transmit selectable
■  0~9 grades squelch level setting
■  LED display mode
■  Keypad beeper setting
■  Transmit over beeper
■  Dual watch/monitor
■  Receive saving function
■  Auto keypad lock
■  Power-on display
■  Battery power voltage
■  Power-on message
■  Repeater offset function
■  Channel name display and setting
■  Reapter shift direction
■  VFO step function
■  Shortcut menu operation mode
■  Emergency Alarm
■  DTMF encoder & decoder(optional)
■  8 groups scrambler(optional)
■  2/5 tone encoder & decoder(optional )
■  Remote skill/stun/activate(optional)
■  High/Low TX power selectable
■  Busy channel lock-out(BCLO)
■  Transmitter time-out timer(TOT)
■  Voice companding
■  Tri-color background light selectable
■  PC programmable
■  Wire clone


  1. It's important to say that the TYT is a mono bander, dual display and you can buy either the VHF or the UHF version.

    Look at this blog to see pictures side by side:
    (In this picture the UV-5R looks like a dual bander).

    1. Agreed. And it does look like it is a dual-band radio based on that pic. Look out Wouxun!

  2. Looks really interesting!
    Do you know where the pictures originally come from? Leaked from baofeng?

    1. They were e-mailed to Chris (NH7QH) at Hawaii Radio Sales ( by his contact in China.

  3. Is the UV-5R SDR based just like the UV-3R or a conventional (super-heterodyne) design?

    It's gonna be difficult for me to let go of the UV-3R considering its superior sensitivity compared to conventional design.

    1. I don't know about the SDR vs. super-heterodyne. I did some quick searching but didn't find the answer about the TYT TH-F8. Even if I did find the answer, the UV-5R might be different. Speculating can be fun, but it will be even better when we get our hands on one.

    2. Thanks Brick. Hopefully you will get your hands on one so we can see what it looks like inside and how it performs.

      As for speculating, it would be interesting to see who will be the first to introduce part-90 cert HTs using MC13260. It's unbelievable the kind of power that is installed in the home these days...

    3. I'd be lying if I said I understood a lot of that PDF, but I do agree that we are living in interesting times. We use VMWare at work to do server virtualization and I continued to be amazed at what sometimes seems like magic. Faster, smarter, smaller chips make for lots of fun!

  4. is that the 2/5 tone encoder & decoder(optional )?
    the dtmf coder/decoder?

  5. nice set look at the price £38 for a 4 watt dual bander incredible value for the money no dought some hams will morn

  6. some hams will moan hehehe your right there

  7. look out all the other big companies i will be buying one pity no airband... 446 rules BETTWS 446 NET

  8. Hi All,

    I got my UV-5R from 409Shop but didn't order the programming cable with it. After much frustration I realized how much you need that programming cable. So I ordered one from NH7QH on ebay and got it quickly. I run OSX and Windows XP in a virtual machine but never had any issued with the VM programming my FT-60.

    So I got the yellow bang code 10 and after much reading I figured that could be due to a counterfeit prolific chip. Being the resourceful person I am I hacked apart my FT-60 cable which has a working prolific chip and is working to program my FT-60 and soldered the Baofeng's connectors onto the TX/RX/GND pads and gave it another shot. This time the software said "fail connect to transceiver."

    So back to the drawing board I came to this group, tried everything else everyone has posted but I cannot get the computer to talk to the radio. I decided to get out of the VM and grab a laptop that has WinXP installed and installed the driver file from this group, the program from this group, and tried it again but still got the error "fail connect to transceiver."

    I don't know what to try next at this point. Is there some step I am overlooking? Is there a button I need to press like on the FT-60 to get it into programming mode?

    1. No programming mode on the UV-5R. Just turn it on and plug it in. With the Wouxun especially, but some Baofengs, people have had problems getting it plugged in well. It took a lot more force then they were expecting. Based on the other steps you have taken, I doubt that is your problem, but I figured it was worth mentioning - just in case.

      Have you checked Device Manager/COM Ports to know that you have the correct port selected in the software?

      If you get the driver working, it is usually downhill from there.

      Also, I just posted the Ed has a new version of the software available for download. Worth a shot.

      Hope this or someone else can help!

    2. Hi Brick,

      I downloaded the com port tool from the site and found it was on COM6. Still no luck though. I am on my netbook right now that has Ubuntu Linux and installed CHIRP on there but it only has support for the UV-3R right now and didn't work.

      Thinking about what you said needing more force for the Baofeng radios it looks like the pins are not being inserted fully into the radio. I might need to shave down some of the plastic for a better fit. I'll give that a shot and let you know.


    3. Success! I shaved a bunch of plastic off of the connector and I was able to program the radio. I updated my blog with a picture of the connector.

    4. select drivers 2007

  9. Good morning.
    Thank you for this page on your site for UV-5R.
    my page in French
    Jose F8BDX

  10. Talking of programming cables, are they basically the same but with different connectors?

    ie if I make a passive adapter for my UV-3R cable so it fits a UV-5R will it work??

    I'm guessing it should as it's just a USB to serial converter, and this would save me buying another one.


    1. I would think so. I don't know why it would work. If you do get it working, I'd be interested to see exactly what you ended up with.


  11. Since this is the newest model, have they fixed the firmware to allow tagging of channels on the display yet?

  12. Yes, you can do alphatags via the software.

  13. how to get rid of the dual display i dont want it too be dual display


  14. There is now a Yahoo group for the UV5R. Somebody, somewhere, is doing daily updates for the CHIRP software to work with it. Also, there is a "known issue" with Chinese cables using cloned chips, and Win7 "updated" drivers detect it, and won't work, you have to "downgrade" to older drivers...still waiting on my cable, sorry I can't provide more info about that, but drivers that will work are downloadable...

  15. BTW, turn off FIFO buffers if you are having trouble reading or writing to the 5R in vista/win7

    That fixed my problems

  16. I went to talk on the radio and after pulling it from my coat pocket, I noticed the button below the push to talk button was gone. This the button to turn the light on and off. Do you know of any way to order the replacement part?

  17. Try Then search for UV5R parts