I just bought a pair of BaoFeng 888s radios and they don't work out of the box. I know they are on the illegal freqs, but I expected them to work.

I got the cable, reprogrammed them to the recommended freqs (does any one has a good *.dat file for USA?) and they still don't work with each other.

What could I possibly do wrong? I select the same channel (1-1 or 2-2) and press button to talk, but I don't hear anything coming from the other radio.

The speaker is working, because I can hear it saying "power on".

UPD: here are the frequencies I'm trying to use by following the Amazon review comment: Out/Simplex Repeater input (use only first column if you don't have a repeater)

  • 462.550 ---- 467.550
  • 462.575 ---- 467.575
  • 462.600 ---- 467.600
  • 462.625 ---- 467.625
  • 462.650 ---- 467.650
  • 462.675* --- 467.675*
  • 462.700 ---- 467.700
  • 462.725 ---- 467.725
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What do you mean by "recommended" frequencies? We're just trying to make sure you have a valid license, and we're not helping a bootlegger. :-) $\endgroup$
    – Mike Waters
    May 25 '17 at 9:58
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You are knowingly transmitting on illegal frequencies? $\endgroup$ May 25 '17 at 14:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @PhilFrostW8II, I looked up the 888s, and found that it comes programmed with non-amateur frequencies in the 400-470 MHz range. $\endgroup$
    – Mike Waters
    May 25 '17 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ You may be experiencing desense, which is explained at ham.stackexchange.com/questions/7582/… $\endgroup$
    – Mike Waters
    May 25 '17 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ Desensitization does not usually occur between two simplex FM transceivers in near proximity, this is when trying to receive a weak signal with a strong signal off frequency $\endgroup$
    – Skyler 440
    May 26 '17 at 3:27

A channel can transmit on one frequency and receive on another. When you push the PTT button, watch the display to see if the frequency changes. If so, pick a channel for testing where this does not happen.

Radios can also encode tones in the audio path that must match on the transmitter and receiver or the receiver must be programmed to ignore these tones. The tones go by a variety of names such as PL, CTCSS, DCS, or tone. Pick a channel for testing that does not use tones.

If you are testing on frequencies for which you are not licensed, you should transmit into a dummy load instead of an antenna to prevent violating the regulations or law.

  • $\begingroup$ The 888s don't have displays, which makes the troubleshooting a bit more, well, troublesome. $\endgroup$
    – MoTLD
    May 25 '17 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ The OP can look at the tables used to program them. The same information should exist there. $\endgroup$
    – Glenn W9IQ
    May 25 '17 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ Presumably they used the same table/file to program both radios, but you might be on to something with the CTCSS/DCS. If they're both programmed to expect a tone on receive but not to send one on transmit, that could be the problem. I'm not comfortable giving any more advice until OP answers the question about which frequencies they're using and if they're legal, though... $\endgroup$
    – MoTLD
    May 25 '17 at 18:03
  • $\begingroup$ @MoTLD I'm using the frequencies that someone recommended on the Amazon reviews amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1QHHDAAXZHRDW/… Out/Simplex Repeater input 462.550 ---- 467.550 462.575 ---- 467.575 462.600 ---- 467.600 462.625 ---- 467.625 462.650 ---- 467.650 462.675* --- 467.675* 462.700 ---- 467.700 462.725 ---- 467.725 $\endgroup$
    – alexsalo
    May 26 '17 at 4:57
  • $\begingroup$ So I followed the video here youtube.com/watch?v=S1yiaNhU38g and added just one frequency on the 400-470 range with 462.575 for both RX and TX on both radios. Still don't hear each other. $\endgroup$
    – alexsalo
    May 26 '17 at 5:50

Does any one have a good *.dat file for USA?

Try CHIRP (chirp.danplanet.com). CHIRP goes out and downloads the "recommended" frequencies, offsets and all, for your area.

It's the best software I've seen for programming my wife's Baofeng UV-5R, MUCH better than the software that Baofeng supplies on that CD.

EDIT: A Google search reveals that this is a common problem with the 888s. Here is a link to a thread about this (way too long to post here). Basically, common fixes are changing the device driver and/or the cable. http://chirp.danplanet.com/issues/4249

  • $\begingroup$ I'd love to use CHIRP, but I get an error like "Can't enter the programming mode" when try to download from the radio. $\endgroup$
    – alexsalo
    May 26 '17 at 4:55

You have to program the ctcss codes or the dcs codes. Like say your on channel 8 on both radios but one is on channel 8 127 and the other radio is on channel 8 134, they have a certain amount of privacy codes per channel and if the codes aren't the same on both radio they will not work properly.


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