I have a BTech UV-5X3 and if I yell or blow into the mic, the transmit lights (red indicator light and orange backlight) come on as though I'm hitting the PTT button. Is this normal and am I actually transmitting when this happens?
It sounds like you have a "VOX" setting enabled, where any significant sound at the microphone causes the PTT circuit to be enabled, usually after a little delay.
Search for "vox" or "voice" similar in the manual.
To test this, just see if a local repeater responds when you do this. Assuming you can legally try saying "ZZ1ABC testing" to that repeater where you are.
A friend with another radio could also help you test using the free bands if you can't use the amateur bands.
I agree with @clvrmky that the situation sounds exactly like how voice-activated ("VOX") mode works. Basically it's a setting that lets you transmit just by talking, without having to use your hands. (Sometimes it's also used when a phone/computer/etc. is generating digital audio signals but doesn't have a convenient way to control the PTT line directly.)
So assuming VOX is on:
- yes, you are actually transmitting when this happens
- it's "normal" behavior for how the feature is supposed to work
But if you don't want to automatically transmit when the mic picks up sound, you can turn the VOX feature off.
On this style of Baofeng:
- Press MENU and then 4 to go to the VOX setting
- With VOX showing on the top line, press MENU to start editing its options below
- Then press "0" to jump to the "OFF" setting (or arrow up/down until you find it)
- Finally, press MENU to save the new setting (or EXIT to cancel)
- When you're done editing, you can press EXIT to leave the menu (or up/down to browse other settings — see the manual for what they all mean).
When you start at steps 1/2 it will probably show a number instead of "OFF" right now. Any number enables the VOX feature but it activates at different sensitivity levels, so you could choose how little/much mic input is needed to trigger transmission.