Having bought one of these transceivers recently I was firstly disappointed in the User Manual, it is in extremely small print, barely 4 point and my first searches online brought a pdf of the same manual scanned badly which was not much of an improvement. Also it is a reference guide rather than a how-to. I think many people would prefer to learn how to use the radio as well as which buttons to press with context. I am only covering the basics as I think once you know those then you will figure out the rest using the two manuals I have linked to below. So here we go!
The Baofeng UV-S9 Transceiver, around £25 on Ebay
Caution, two things are very important to know before we begin.
Firstly it is illegal to transmit on any band that you do not hold a license for. You must check with your licencing authority, which in the UK is Ofcom https://www.ofcom.org.uk. PMR446 is not currently legal for a radio which does not have a fixed antenna and it is illegal to use a Baofeng for this purpose. Anyone involved in illegal broadcasting is committing a criminal offence and could face up to two years’ imprisonment, an unlimited fine or both. See sections 36 to 38 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. Lecture over.
Secondly if you use a radio transmitter without a properly matched aerial then you may damage the radio and cause excessive emissions on other frequencies. Using the supplied whip or ‘rubber duck’ aerial is usually the safest bet initially.
So turn the radio on (assuming adequately charged battery) using the combined power and volume knob.
Generally the first place people want to listen is 2 Metres (144-146 Mhz)
For exact frequencies of all Amatuer Radio bands check https://rsgb.org/main/operating/band-plans/
Once you have powered up the radio by turning the combined power and volume knob on the top of the radio it’s a good idea to set the squelch, this will mute the sound when no signal is being received and you may need to adjust this for weak signals or when there is a lot of interference.
Press Menu, Menu then select from 0-9 using the Up and Down keys, press Menu again to store, then Exit to return to the main display.
Tune in a frequency
You can set a frequency by pressing 1,4,5,5,0,0. This will select the 2M VHF calling frequency of 145.500 Mhz. Adjust the volume and you will hear transmissions, this can take some time so it is a good idea to find out the schedules of your local Amatuer radio club or Radio Net transmission frequencies and time and dates are on.
|Nagoya N771 Antenna is a worthwhile upgrade. Be sure to get the genuine article in the green jacket|
Dual Watch Mode (TDR)
You can use the radio in single or double receive mode (Dual Watch Mode). This will switch to A or B according to which is receiving a signal, you will need to ensure that if you reply to a call that you are on the correct channel before pressing the PTT - Push To Talk button!
When TDR is turned off you will need to manually switch between A and B channels or frequencies.
Menu - to change Dual Watch Mode select Menu-7 (Marked TDR) then press the Menu button again, followed by the up or down buttons to make your selection. Then press Menu again to store that setting. If you do not wish to store a setting then press the Exit Button.
Memory/Channel Modes (VFR/MR)
Normally the display shows frequencies, this is VFO (Variable Frequency Oscillator)mode
One way to tune a frequency is by direct entry. Simply enter 1, 4, 5, 5, 0, 0 on the button pad. This is the UK 2M VHF calling frequency V40, which is simplex. That means that the radio will transmit and receive on the same frequency.
Amateur radio repeaters and satellites generally work in duplex mode and transmit and receive on different frequencies, more about them later.
Press the VFO/MR button so that the display shows numbers rather than channels. We are now in VFO or Variable Frequency Oscillator mode. You can tune in small (5Khz by default) increments with the up and down buttons.
Channel mode MR
An easy way to navigate is to use MR or memory recall mode, press the VFO/MR button. It is unlikely that channels are stored yet.
Scanning channels and frequencies.
Select MR or VFO mode and select a channel or frequency to start from. Press the scan ‘*/Scan’ button for 2 seconds and if you are in VFO mode it will increment the entire VHF/UHF band by the preset amount (5Khz by default) until it finds a transmission. Similarly if you are in MR mode it will visit each channel in order of increasing channel number until it finds a strong enough transmission to break the squelch.
**** You can change the direction of scanning in either mode by pressing Up or Down buttons. (not found in the manual!) ****
What happens next is dependent on the Scan Mode setting.
Scan Mode setting
To set the scan mode press Menu, 1, 8 then Menu again. There are three modes -
Time Operation (TO) - the scanner will stop once it receives a signal, and after a preset time it will resume scanning even if the signal is still being received
Carrier Operation (CO) - the scanner will stop once it receives a signal, and once that signal ceases for a preset time it will resume scanning
Search Operation (SO) - the scanner will stop once it receives a signal, then scanning will stop until the scan button is pressed again
Transmission Power Setting
This can be set on a per-channel basis, but if you need to set while using a channel you can press the ‘pound’ or hash key ‘#’ to switch between Low (1W) and High (5W) power settings. This setting will return to the preset seeing when you change channels or frequencies.
You can change the default power for a channel by pressing Menu, 2-TXP, press menu again, select High or Low using the Up and Down buttons and Menu again to store the setting.
You can lock the keypad to prevent accidental frequency and settings being changed by pressing the ‘#’ for more than a second. You will see a key symbol next to the battery level indicator when the keypad is locked. Unlock the keypad by pressing the ‘#’ key again for more than a second.
Programming your radio using Chirp computer software
You can do this from the keypad or using Baofeng Windows 7/10 software from either https://www.baofengradio.com/pages/download and select UV5-RX3 or from Radioddity who actually make this radio at https://www.radioddity.com/pages/radioddity-download and select the RD-5 R, they also have a better instruction manual too. Many people favour Chirp which is free to download at https://chirp.danplanet.com and works on Windows 7/10 Mac and can be compiled for Linux.
There is also programming guideline at https://baofeng-uv-5rx3.s3.amazonaws.com/Engilsh-UV-5RX3%20Programming%20Guideline_201809.zip
Check all the download links as many contain additional software, tutorial videos and information.
Of course you will need a USB adaptor and a computer or laptop to connect to the radio. Try to get a Baofeng branded one as they tend to match the Windows drivers better. You will also need to install the USB340 driver front he disk supplied with your radio of from the Baofeng/Radioddity website.
Suggested frequencies to store
VHF - 144.500Mhz - 2M calling frequency (Simplex)
UHF - 433.500Mhz - 70cM calling frequency (Simplex)
Local repeaters, be sure to store only the analogue voice mode frequencies as not all repeaters support FM voice mode. Many are digital only.
2M Analogue Voice mode repeaters - https://ukrepeater.net/repeaterlist.htm?filter=2M-ANALOGUE
70cM Analogue Voice Repeaters -
It is best to filter the results by locator (like IO92LV), you can find your QTH or home location https://www.levinecentral.com/ham/grid_square.php, then you can find repeaters, say within 50KM.
As repeaters require a frequency, offset, CTSS/CC tone and other settings this is best done using the software package. You should test the configuration during a quiet time and if the repeater opens and sends its morse message back then ask for a radio check. You must use your callsign for these transmissions as many repeaters need to hear 6 seconds of speech before they will acknowledge with the morse code sequence, otherwise they may return nothing or just three beeps to discourage such behaviour! Most repeaters have a website and/or a Facebook page, these give details of operation and who the custodians are. These volunteers are generally happy to assist with any queries or issues that you may have accessing them as will other radio amateurs in your area.
Note: some operators may be using a repeater from other areas in the UK and abroad using LINK software like EchoLink, AllStar or BranMiester which communicate using the internet, so do not assume that a strong signal means that they are local and familiar with that repeater. Check the repeaters schedule for when these links are operational.
I will record a video for both pieces of software.
Online User manual
This is an improvement on the supplied one
Now you have a licence - Working your radio!
Amateur Radio Club - Net or group treanmissions
Amateur Radio Club or Radio Net transmission frequencies and time and dates are on. These are a great place to build your confidence once you have your licence, you must only transmit into the Net when asked and clearly state your callsign phonetically and location and once you are logged into the net they will ask for your contribution as they generally talk to each operator in turn. If you do not get a response you should wait until the next invitation as another operator may have been transmitting at the same time and their callsign may have been logged instead.