Baofeng UV-5r Not Transmitting: 4 Top Reasons And Solutions!

An outdoor concert at a park or the most rugged industrial environment, the Baofeng UV-5r radio is very popular and widely used for instant communication. As with any other electrical device, this team connecting the radio faces several technical difficulties. Transmitting problem is one of them. 

So, why is your Baofeng UV-5r not transmitting?  

Baofeng UV-5R not transmitting mainly indicates incorrect programming of the radio. Different CTSS or DCS codes in the receiver and sender’s device will also trigger this problem. Other reasons include a damaged antenna, the battery not being fully charged, etc. If an antenna is damaged, replacing it with a new one is the best solution. Furthermore, Allowing your battery to get fully charged often reduces the chances of this issue

Only knowing the reasons won’t help you much, so stick with the article to the in-depth solution of each reason. Also, you’ll receive an extensive maintenance guide.

Baofeng UV-5r Not Transmitting: An Overview of Common Reasons And Solutions

Baofeng UV-5r is notoriously difficult to use. So they do require some technical knowledge and experience to operate effectively. Baofeng UV-5r sometimes goes through transmitting issues, which is also one of the common problems of Yaesu-ft920.

If you’re a user of Baofeng, you’ll face some issues regarding transmission. So, there are some specific reasons for not transmitting. Let’s have a glimpse of them first. 

Reasons Solutions 
Incorrect programming Provide correct programming 
Battery is not fully charged Recharge the battery
Different CTSS or DCSMake sure they’re the same
Damaged antenna Replace the antenna

Detailed Discussion of Common Reasons And Solutions

baofeng uv-5r not working

You will not be able to solve the problem quickly if you know the reasons and solutions. Therefore, it’s time to discuss them in a broader context.

Reason 1: Incorrect Programming 

Despite its great features, the Baofeng UV-5R is notoriously difficult to use. The first reason for the walkie-talkie not transmitting is incorrect programming. Proper programming is the first step to properly using the device. 


Programming UV-5R can be done in two ways. You can do the programming using CHIRP software or follow the steps below for manual execution.

Steps For Programming For The Simplex Channel System:

  • By pressing [VFO/MR], you can access Frequency Mode.
  • Press [A/B] to choose A Side (top display).
    (Channels must be programmed into the radio using the A-side. The B Side will not save any programming data you enter.)
  • To choose a frequency band, press [BAND]. Switch [BAND] to either 470 MHz or 136 MHz. (UHF).
  • Make sure TDR is disabled (Dual Watch/Dual Standby). Press [MENU] 7 [MENU] [press up/down arrow keys] OFF [MENU] [EXIT].
  • Tap the keypad to enter the frequency.
  • Assign the frequency to a channel.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]

Steps For Programming For The Repeater Channel System:

  • Do all the previous steps from the previous procedure except the last one, up until entering the frequency.
  • Enter the frequency offset for the repeater.
    To enter the offset for the 2-meter repeater or 70 cm repeater, press [MENU] 26 [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Set the Transmit Frequency Shift.
    Select [MENU] 25 [MENU] [Enter 1 for a positive shift or 2 for a negative shift] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Use the keypad to enter the repeater output frequency.
  • The identical channel is to be allocated to the receive frequency as the transmit frequency.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Use the [*Scan] button to activate Reverse Mode and display the transmit frequency.
  • Designate the transmit frequency to the channel.
    Press [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter the same memory channel in step 27] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Select the [*Scan] button to exit.

Reason 2: Battery Not Fully Charged 

A battery that is not fully charged is another leading reason. The proper function of a handheld radio is directly related to the battery charge status. This also includes transmission issues. If the battery is not properly charged, it simply won’t transmit.


Always make sure the battery is charged to the max. UV-5R has an LED light indicator for showing the charging status, so follow the table below.

Voltage LevelLight Signal
Standy (no-load)Red Light flashes, while Green glows
ChargingSolid red light illumination
Fully ChargedSolid green light illumination
ErrorRed Light flashes, while Green glows

Now follow the steps given below to correctly charge the Baofeng UV-5R.

  • Connect the power cable to the adaptor.
  • Attach the AC connector of the adapter to the AC outlet socket.
  • Connect the adapter’s DC connector to the DC socket on the rear of the charger.
  • Place the radio with the battery attached, or only the battery in the charger. Both ways are feasible. When the Red LED light is visible, the charging procedure begins.
  • After about 4 hours later, the Green LED light will show, indicating the battery is fully charged.
  • Finally, remove the radio with the battery from the charger.

Reason 3: Different CTCSS or DCS codes

Having these codes different in your transmitting and receiving radios will result in failure of transmission. DCS (Digital-Coded Squelch) and CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) are methods of encoding and decoding a signal.

As Baofeng UV-5R is a two-way radio, if these codes don’t match on both ends, you will not be able to transmit.

Different CTCSS or DCS codes


Ensure that your transceiver’s undertones (CTCSS) or code (DCS) are the same as those that are programmed in the transceivers of the other members of your group. First of all, clear out any previously saved codes and then input the same ones in both ends of communication devices. For a thorough answer, adhere to the actions listed below.

  • Clear any CTCSS/DCS codes previously assigned to the channel.
    (set the menu items listed below to OFF for first-time programming.)
    • RX DCS – [MENU] 10 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • RX CTCSS – [MENU] 11 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • TX DCS – [MENU] 12 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • TX CTCSS – [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter 0 (OFF)] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Enter the same transmit CTCSS/DCS code in every radio.
    • CTCSS – [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter/choose code XXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • DCS – [MENU] 12 [MENU] [choose code XXXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]

Reason 4: The Antenna Is Damaged

The fourth and final possible reason is having a damaged antenna. A major part of the Baofeng UV-5R radio is the antenna. A damaged or broken antenna can significantly impact the performance of the radio and can cause it to not transmit or receive signals correctly.

Antenna Is Damaged

Especially a damaged antenna may not be able to radiate signals efficiently, resulting in reduced signal strength. This means that the radio’s transmission may not reach as far or be as clear as it should be. 

Then a damaged antenna may cause an impedance mismatch, which results in signal loss. Moreover, damaged antennas may pick up unwanted interference, such as noise or other signals, which can interfere with the radio’s ability to transmit and receive.


The solution is pretty obvious for this particular reason. First, check the antenna properly. If you see any visible tear or damage to the antenna, you have to replace it without wasting time. 

Now follow the guidelines below to install the new antenna on your own.  

  • Make sure the radio is off and the battery is taken out.
  • Locate the old antenna at the top of the radio and unscrew it in a counterclockwise direction.
  • Install the new one by screwing it onto the radio in a clockwise direction. Make sure it is screwed on tightly but don’t overtighten it.
  • Turn on the radio and test the new antenna by transmitting and receiving a signal. 

Similar to Unider Bearcat 980 mods, you can also tweak this radio by opting for a different antenna instead of a stock one. To improve performance while using a third-party antenna, make certain that the SWR is 1.5:1 or less., to protect the transistor in the radio from harm.

Maintenance Guide of Baofeng UV-5R

The Baofeng UV-5R is a popular handheld radio transceiver used by amateur radio operators and professionals alike.  Maintaining your UV-5R on a regular basis is essential to keeping it in good functioning condition. Here’s a maintenance guide for your Baofeng UV-5R. 

  • You need to conduct regular battery inspections and replacements. Also, this prevents damage caused by old batteries that leak and corrode terminals within devices.
  • Make sure the ventilation area is fully clean. Because this radio has small vents that facilitate heat and airflow. Keeping them clear of pocket lint or other debris can prevent overheating.
  • Storing is a great factor. You have to store your devices safely to protect them from damage due to drops or hard contact with other surfaces. Then, store them in a secure location, such as a cabinet, when not in use.
  • Always make sure to keep your device away from water. Even though waterproof it’s wise to avoid exposing them to water. To prevent water damage, store them in a dry place.
  • Also, cleaning your devices regularly to prevent dust and dirt from accumulating inside is necessary. Make sure you wipe down the buttons to prevent dirt from interfering with their function.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Is the Baofeng UV-5R illegal?

In the United States, Baofeng radios (particularly the UV-5R model) are not inherently illegal. However, if they are used or sold for illegal purposes, it would be illegal then. These radios can transmit on a variety of frequencies, including those which are not intended for use by amateur radio operators.

How far can a Baofeng UV-5R transmit?

The Baofeng UV-5R radio has a range of up to 3 kilometers or 1.9 miles in optimal conditions. And it can operate on frequencies between 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz. Nevertheless, with regard to several elements including the topography, the weather, and obstructions in the communication channel, this bandwidth accuracy may change.

Can Baofeng radios be tracked?

Yes, the Baofeng can be tracked when transmitting like any other radio. However, when it is solely in the receiving mode, it functions like any other device that receives radio signals and cannot be tracked.


Hopefully, this has clarified your issue with Baofeng UV-5r not transmitting

Since it’s a very helpful device, you must go through the reasons and solutions explained in the article. You’ll be able to fix the issues yourself. If anything seems intensely complicated, you must go for professional assistance. Otherwise, the condition can be worst. 

Wishing you all the best in your endeavors!


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