How to Program a Radio

This is another question that folks frequently ask: How do I program my radio? Well, this page won't give you all the answers but will have suggestions. So, let's begin.

First of all: Believe it or not --it really IS a good idea to read the instructions that came with your radio! Sometimes that is all you need. Of course OMs are not usually 'into' reading instructions - sigh -- But, we YLs probably are.

However, alas and alack -- the instructions don't always cover all the bases -- so there are some other things to consider IF the instructions that came with your radio didn't fill your need.

And speaking of the instructions / manuals / etc. that come with the radio -- another thing you probably will want to do is -- download the manuals or whatever to your Smart Phone or iPad or Tablet. They usually are available on the website and elsewhere on the internet and can be downloaded as PDF Files. That way you have the information with you at all times since most folks have at least their phones with them at all times.

If you have the PDF files on your phone or tablet, then you don't have to remember all the details or take your manuals with you when you are helping at an event and need to change something. I have found having the manuals on my Smart Phone to be very helpful.


Also, many folks program their radios (especially HTs) using computer programs that the Radio manufacturer provides or sells (along with cables to connect the computer to the radio). There are also commercial programs that do the same.

But some folks actually (believe it or not) program their radios by hand -- and this can be done -- it is not as hard as you think.

So if you don't have the programs or cables -- try reading the instructions and program by hand.

In fact, the more expensive HTs such as Yaesu, Kenwood, ICom, etc. automatically do part of the programming for you. For example, they 'know' when you type in, for example, the 2 meter or 1.25 meter or 70 cm repeater receive number -- they 'know' whether it is going to be a + or - offset and how much ! Astounding! Then about all you still have to do is enter the tone (if one is required) and save it to memory and you are good to go.

So it is really simple to program the more expensive HTs. This is another example of "you get what you pay for" : )

But The el-cheapo radios (some of which are good in spite of being cheap) are not as smart -- and that is probably why they are 'cheaper'. I am referring now to such HTs as the Baofeng UV5R and others. I have one of those and at first thought it was difficult to program without usuing a program such as CHIRP which you can download off the internet and with the cables program a Baofeng. Several of us have done that.

But, I have since discovered that it really isn't all that difficult to program a Baofeng.

How did I discover that?

Well, that leads me to another thing your really need to know when it comes to learning about Ham Radio and "How Tos"

And that is YouTube !!! If you go to YouTube and type in your subject -- such as How to program a Yaesu or How to program a Kenwood or .... well you get the idea -- you will get a zillion things to look at.

Some of the results you will get are great-- others not so great -- but you can learn a lot about all kinds of Ham things on YouTube.

Just between you, me, and the gatepost -- YouTube has been my Elmer. I have learned a lot on YouTube.

And after viewing a zillion "how to program a Baofeng" videos on YouTube, I finally found one that is WONDERFUL.

So to save you time --- here's what I found:

Here's the best video I have found on How to Program a Baofeng UV 5R (though I think this probably will work for most if not all Baofengs.)

Be sure to watch it all the way to the end because a very important and essential element that I haven't found in any of the PDF documents or in any of the other "how to" videos is shown -- and voila it works !




As for other Radios (Yaesu, Kenwood, etc.) go to YouTube and see what you can find. The Baofeng is such a 'bear' I thought you would enjoy this video.