The Baofeng UV-5R radio has been very popular in the amateur radio world recently. For the low price of $30-$40 dollars, this handheld packs a lot of features. Unfortunately, due the documentation from the manufacturer is poor. As a result, many useful features of this radio aren’t immediately obvious.
One example is the Baofeng’s ability to handle cross-band splits. That means listening on a UHF frequency and transmitting on VHF (or the other way around).
Normally, repeaters are set up “in-band”, meaning that the output and input frequencies are on the same band, often shifted up or down 600Khz or 5Mhz apart. In that case, programming the Baofeng is easy: type in the output frequency and use the OFFSET and SFT-D menus to program the appropriate shift.
But some repeaters are cross-band and have their input and output on a different band entirely, separated by hundreds of megahertz. In this case, programming OFFSET won’t work. This is annoying because many mobile radios now come with built-in cross-band repeaters that can be very useful for temporary situations.
Fortunately there is a way to make this work.
CHIRP is a piece of Python software for programming radios. It has drivers for the UV-5R and can let you store named frequency channels on your device if you have the Baofeng USB cable. There are many guides out there on how to connect to your Baofeng through CHIRP, so I’ll assume you can get to this screen:
Clicking on a cell in the Duplex column provides this context menu. One of the options is “split”. This allows you to enter any desired transmit frequency into the offset column and your radio will automatically switch over while you hold down the PPT button. When you’re not transmitting, it listens to the main frequency, 146.34 in this case. Tones work the same way as before. Tone is the TX tone, and ToneSQL is the RX tone.
It works! But what if you don’t have the programming equipment or you need to configure a cross-band split in the field?
Using Keypad Entry
It’s possible to do this using only the keypad. Here’s what you have to do:
- You must be in VFO mode and have display A selected (top line).
- Menu 7 (TDR) should be set to OFF.
- We are going to program into a memory slot, so make sure you have an empty channel. We’ll use CH 100.
- Let’s program the RX frequency.
- Type whatever frequency you want to listen on.
- If want to set a receive tone, set that now as well.
- We can now store the frequency by pulling up menu 27 (MEM-CH) and enter 100 to store this frequency in channel 100. Now you can exit the menu.
- Program the TX frequency
- Now type in the transmitting frequency.
- Once again, you can set the transmit tone at this point.
- Here comes the trick: We’re going to save this frequency in the same channel as above. This does not overwrite the old one. Instead, this registers as transmit frequency! Go to menu 27 (MEM-CH) again and enter 100 (or whatever channel you chose last time).
- You can now switch over to MR/channel mode and scroll to the channel you just created. The split should be programmed! You should see both the + and – symbol on the LCD.
These steps have been adapted from http://www.miklor.com/COM/UV_ProgMem.php
I am currently unaware of a method for programming cross-band splits in VFO mode only.