Programming Radios

Our sqn is currently researching new radios as our Motorola’s are more than past their best.

Someone recommended the Baofeng range due to their extensive options and cheap price £26.

I purchased a Baofeng Bf-f8+ (similar to UV-5r) for myself to test the radio. I must say the quality of the construction for a radio that costs £26 is rather good and if anything goes wrong its cheaper to buy a new unit rather than replace old ones. I am in the programming stages at the present moment.

Does the ACO require any other settings other than the Rx and Tx for the UHF and VHF (obviously excluding the project channels V10 & U10).


The build quality of Baofeng radios has improved, but is nowhere near that of Motorola (as you say, they are certainly cheap to replace).

Unless you’ve already bought a crate of keypad radios, stop, and buy the best/simplest keypadless radios you can, with a rotary channel selector knob. Keypad radios will be okay for most staff, and a few trustworthy Cadets, but avoid making them the norm for rank+file Cadets…they will muck about with every setting.

So programming:

The radios will need (in addition to channel frequencies) the CTCSS/tone squelch programmed in.

They will also need power levels set. Therefore, use an approach that works well, is simple, and easily understood by users. Programme the channels more than once (for example U5LowPwr as CH1 and U5HighPwr as CH2 etc)

Disable anything like DCS or soft scrambling, as neither are permitted (unless recently changed?) and avoid any duplex offsets for TX/RX, as these are for your back-to-back non-TANGO use. If they’ve got anything like inbuilt broadcast band receivers, try to disable them within settings (or Cadets will be listening to Calvin Harris instead of SUNRAY MINOR)

Any problems, give me a shout via PM or Facebook etc


We originally looked at Motorola CP040 but these are at least £120 each. We are not able to give this amount of funds for radio spending. We are a relatively small sqn but we marshall quite big events that require many mobile handhelds. That is the appeal of the cheap radios.

You mentioned the CTCSS, have you got any additional info on this, all the info I can find is the frequencies themselfs. Nothing about the CTCSS that should be used.

These are the radios we are replacing. They are battered and well used the battery’s lasting all of 10 mins. Due to their age the battery’s are going to cost more than a new radio to replace.

Can’t disagree with that logic. We’ve got a small stock of Kenwoods that have been re-batteried, but have recently bitten the bullet and bought a large quantity of rotary-selector cheap radios for the same reason.

I had to re-read that a couple of times, but I think I follow what you’re saying…correct me as required.

  1. You know from the manual what programmable CTCSS frequencies the new radios can support;
  2. You don’t know from ACP44 what the selected CTCSS freqs should be (I suspect it doesn’t specify). Will check.
  3. However - (and this assumes you don’t have access to a Wg Radio Team) it should be the case that your existing Motorolas are running with CTCSS. So with some experimentation, and the radios on the same U or V channel, you should be able to work-out what the squelch tone is. Be careful, because if you’re close but wrong, it will nearly seem to work ok right up until you try using them at a distance. This also presupposes that you’ll want the new radios to be interoperable with the old ones (and perhaps also want them to work with identically-configured radios on a nearby/sector squadron).
  4. BUT…If this gets you nowhere, say so, and I’ll suggest to you what CTCSS tone to programme all the new ones to, as a default. Especially if you are going new-only, out with the old, and inter-sqn interops is not a factor. Maybe you know what that default squelch frequency will be already before I tell you??


2. You don’t know from ACP44 what the selected CTCSS freqs should be (I suspect it doesn’t specify). Will check.[/quote]

I found details in ACP44 on the 5 CTCSS tones used in the ACO and that they are to be used on ‘Project Tango’ only. Also the tone to be used will be decided by UHF/VHF advisor (I’m assuming at wing level).

Many thanks in this matter!:slight_smile:

[quote=“gregzy_97” ]
I found details in ACP44 on the 5 CTCSS tones used in the ACO and that they are to be used on ‘Project Tango’ only. Also the tone to be used will be decided by UHF/VHF advisor (I’m assuming [/quote]
Hmm, most simplex UHF/VHF kit I’ve seen in use within the Corps has had CTCSS running on it. Good grief, even PMR446 rubbish has it.

I shall make further enquiries on this.


It is interesting to read that the Baofeng is maintaining popularity, if only because of its price.

we bought the Wouxun (a mid range radio between the Baofeng and Yaesu) radio and the programming was as easy as setting a washing machine.
CTCSS is not required, your Wing Radio Officer should be able to advise.

I know it is used at RIAT given the systems they bounce through though but the frequencies used are not in the standard ACP44 format

The baofeng despite its reputation is well built and feels surprisingly weighty despite its size.
It was also a breeze to programme with simple computer software.

On the down side the Boafeng software can be a complete b***** to set up and does not work on all newer computers - read Windaz 8.

I do not use the baofeng software its is rubbish. I use CHIRP, works really well:)

CTCSS is great on business radios to cut out the chatter you’re not interested in. It’s great for fooling the average buyer into thinking that they’re getting more than 8 channels on their PMR446 radios.
But it’s use in the ACO is only of value in tone-guarding the repeaters (I’ve no idea why we call them “projects”…).

There’s no need to use CTCSS/DCS on the simplex channels because the whole point is that we are all using them and we should all be able to hear and speak to each other.

Has anyone got a chirp .img file already set up for Baofeng on ATC frequencies? I have most of the channels programmed in but some are beyond the ranges it appears. Also, I can program some in as both High and Low power, but others only one or the other.

I have an .IMG file and will send it on after I am home from work:)

Awesome, thank you.

PM Sent

Our SQN recently bought some Baofeng GT-3 radios. They’re cheap and can be programmed in the field, but the computer software is painfully annoying to use. Good build quality also.

Have you tried Chirp?

Good evening All,

Does anyone have a current file for Chirp they would be willing to share for Baofeng handunits? Thanks in advance

I’ve got one for U1,2 & 5 that I’ve used on the BF-888s’
throw me an email and i’ll send it to you.

I know this is resurrecting an old thread but does anyone still have the.img Chirp file for the Baofeng UV5r’s?

I’m being lazy instead of doing all the work myself.