I've been using Repeater Book to manually programme some repeaters in my area, up to fifteen miles. I later started programming some FRS, GMR, and MURS frequencies based on the CSV file that someone had given me. I've been having to do this because Chirp either doesn't recognise the Baofeng UV5R because the only option I see is Baofeng UV5R3, or because I have a Prolific cable instead of a Chipset one.

First, the FRS channels have some odd channel spacing that I can't figure out. For example, one of them is 462.5625. So, I'm guessing I need to set the frequency step (menu 1) and set it to 6.25 kHz (option 2), or enter 462.500, and press up arrow?

Meanwhile, the last column says TStep, which is set to 5 on all frequencies. Does this mean I have to set the frequency step to 5 (menu 1, option 1?

Secondly, I noticed that all the frequencies have a RTone and CTone of 88.5, but when I programmed the weather channel, I discovered that I needed to set the CTCSS tone (menu 11) to 0 so that I could hear the weather forecast, because if it I set it at 88.5, I'd hear nothing.

Similarly, all the frequencies had a single DTSCode of 23, and all had the DTS Polarity set to NN.

I think I programmed some of the GMR and MURS frequencies because they all ended in zeros, so I didn't have to worry about spacing. I just found it odd how all the them had five as the TStep, plus all of the aforementioned characteristics.

So, how would I go about manually programming these memory channels using the CSV file this person gave me

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Are you in the USA? If so, I don't think you can legally transmit on GMR or FRS channels with a UV-5R -- not type accepted for that band. Not sure about MURS. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 16 '19 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, I am in the US. I know that FRS are generally used by walkie-talkies like Motorola, and I think I saw the mark to allow transmissions under duplex, but it was set to off on the weather channels. $\endgroup$ Oct 16 '19 at 12:44
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ It's a regulatory issue -- FRS and GMR are "licensed by type" and if your radio isn't an accepted type, you're not allowed to transmit. You can listen, just as you can listen on emergency and weather channels -- but make sure you set transmit off to remain in compliance. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 16 '19 at 12:57

There are online instructions and YouTube videos on how to program a BaoFeng radio -- it's the same for all or almost all of their HT models, so if you find instructions for a BF-F8HP, for instance, they'll work for the UV-5R.

The radio, however, doesn't really support half-kilohertz precision in frequency entry from the keypad, so you'd be ahead to spend the $20 or so to get the correct programming cable (from BaoFeng USA) and use CHIRP.

Note that, like most amateur radio hardware, it's up to the operator to ensure transmit compliance -- and that radio isn't type accepted for FRS or GMR (probably not for MURS, either). Those bands are "licensed by type" and it's legal to transmit on them only from radios that are "type accepted" -- and the UV-5R isn't for those bands.

  • $\begingroup$ So, what might account for the 88.5 RTone and CTone that I'm seeing on all frequencies? $\endgroup$ Oct 17 '19 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ @HeavenlyHarmony For GMR radio, that's the same reason it originally appeared on VHF commercial radios -- so multiple users could share a frequency and not hear each other's conversations (they could still interfere, but had to have the correct tone to hear or be heard). Motorola used to call it "Private Line". $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Oct 17 '19 at 11:46

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