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I bought a Baofeng UV-5RE Plus, which presumably is an improved version of the basic UV-5.

There is lots of information online on the UV-5. Any idea where I can find out what are the differences and new functions for this plus model?

Where can I get a good manual?

How can I check the firmware version that is installed? For example, by pressing some key during power-up?

Is there any other 'special function' that is activated by, for example, pressing some key during power-up?

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See This Chart at BaofengTech.com.

Really the UV-5RE is just a cosmetic variant of the UV-5R.

As to your firmware version you should check out this page at Baofengtech.com. Sadly it is not very helpful with your firmware version:

BFB297, BFB298 Unknown Changes

But it is still a great reference.

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The main differences with these units is FIRMWARE! The firmware can be checked by powering off the unit and holding the "3" key down as you power it on.

This number however does not always reflect the true firmware version and I recommend using CHIRP and a programming cable to find the firmware listed on your exact radio.

For reference I recommend you check out the yahoo groups page for Baofeng UV-5R.

There is a ton of information listed there for users.

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    $\begingroup$ Hold key 3 and power up, it shows VER BFB297 $\endgroup$ – EEd Oct 23 '14 at 3:30

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