13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Very pleased - but read on!, 18 Mar 2013
Delivered in two days, excellent service from the supplier.
Great radio - here are my early experiences that may help other purchasers.
Attempts to manually programm the memories and settings of the UV-5R could be a step too far, at least for me! Not very intuative at all. So I also ordered the programming cable. I fully recommend this!
The mini disc that comes with the cable contains no (or only Chinese) instructions. Look for the 'DRIVERS' directory and go from there. But, you may not get the driver to install first time.
I grabbed the Baofeng UV-5R software from the link on [...] and installed it. There was an initial problem, because the programming lead installed itself as COM27 and the UV-5R programming software only went up to COM8. I managed to convince the cable to be COM1 and then fired up the software. Be prepared to install and uninstall various versions of the cable driver for your particular platform before it finally successfully loads without that annoying yellow 'warning' tick in Windows>Control Panel>Hardware>Device Manager. Look on the web for the latest driver software for your platform, don't always rely on what comes with the disk as it may not load on your particular PC as I found.
Next Hurdle was trying to get the software to actually talk to the radio - Although now recognising the COM port correctly, all I got was an error message telling me that it had failed to contact the radio. Clearly thinking this was a user error, I spent a good hour reloading later versions of the cable drivers and found newer version of the UV-5R software - all to no avail. It just wouldn't talk. I may have been unlucky here, as reviews on YOUTUBE showed this software working perfectly so it may have been a configuration conflict on my PC perhaps?
A bit of google detection work pointed me to a product called 'chirp'. I downloaded this software instead, pointed it at the correct port number, selected the correct radio, and hey-presto I managed to get the computer to read the UV-5R and download the memories and settings into the programming software. From there, it was relatively straighforward to modify the memories and settings and upload them back into the radio without incident.
Second point, since I already had an IC-2E radio I was curious about the antennas. I swapped the IC-2E antenna onto the Baofeng. Where I had struggled to blip up GB3WS on 145.750MHz with the Baofeng antenna, it worked better with the IC-2E. So it may be that the UV-5R antenna is worth replacing - although it's certainly adequate. The IC-2E antenna is slightly longer and more flexible.
All good fun and an interesting experience that kept me busy for best part of the evening. You have to do a lot of your own detection work to finally get everything in place - don't expect any decent documentation or hand holding. None is available in the box. All you need is a good working knowledge of GOOGLE and YOUTUBE to review varying stories of success or failure from other users of this radio and you should get the software working in time.
However, for less than the price of a tank of petrol (actually, half a tank), this is a great buy. If you are not interested in reprogramming the memory channels or internal settings, then it works perfectly out of the box. Just be prepared to do a bit of legwork to realise it's full potential if you want to use the radio software interface and program it accordingly.
Four stars from me. It only loses a star due to the inadequate (for me) documentation supplied with the unit.
Now, did anyone mention Packet operation?!