Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by KC2WHV, Oct 21, 2014.

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  1. KC2WHV

    KC2WHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Newbie here. Just picked up a BAOFENG 997-S 2 meter/70cm hand held, and have torn out almost what hair I have left trying to figure out the menu programming and data entry (CTCSS tones, +/- offset, etc. let alone the repeater frequency) from what passes for an owner's manual. The small size appeals to me because I travel.

    Has anyone here downloaded drivers from the BAOFENG site? I'm thinking that is the way to go, while I am waiting for my programming cable (the official one, not a clone, with the drivers on a CD-ROM).

    I'm fortunate to live about 1.5 miles from a 2 meter repeater that lights up with five bars. I can hear the ID and offset automated announcements from the repeater on 147.255. It picks up NOAA and our local sheriff's office main quite well.

    I realize the BAOFENG is not a KENWOOD THF-6A. But I want to make all my mistakes on the 39 dollar radio, rather than the 300 dollar KENWOOD.

    What are some of the best practices I should be following?

  2. ND5Y

    ND5Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as I know the 997-S is a cosmetic variation of the UV-5R series.
    Start by reading everything on You can find answers to all your programming questions there.

    What OS is on the computer you plan to use for programming?
    If you bought a more expensive cable that doesn't have the counterfiet Prolific chip in it you should not need to download drivers.
    Most people use CHIRP programming software instead of the Baofeng factory software.
  3. KC1CQC

    KC1CQC Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you want to get talking before your cable arrives, just search YouTube for a video about programming without the cable.
    I have a uv5r and it works well for what it is. I used chirp and it worked perfectly. There are instructional videos on using chirp as well.

    Edit: the signal meter on these radios is useless. Always shows full signal if there is a signal at all.
  4. KC2WHV

    KC2WHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    W8 Pro. Bought the BaofengTech CTDI cable + driver CD, and the Nagoya 15" antenna from Amazon...Again, I'm thinking I'll make all the mistakes on the 997-S before I upgrade. Will look at CHIRP if I am having issues with the other.

  5. KC2WHV

    KC2WHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Looked at the manual programming video and thought I better wait for the cable so I didn't tear the rest of my hair out. Again, for <$40 I'm expecting this will be a learning experience all the way around.

    Now when you programmed your unit, did you wipe all the presets clean, and enter them from scratch?
  6. KC2WHV

    KC2WHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Got the supposed FTDI cable from Amazon/BaofengTech. Little did I know FTDI pulled support of their Windows drivers temporarily. Did download CHIRP; seems straight forward enough, but it would have worked better had the USB cable had proper drivers. Least Amazon will give me $$ back for whiz-bang FTDI cable. Has anyone here had experiences with the RTSystems cables/software? I really hate to pay more for programming software/cables than I did for the unit and mike itself...but, as I said, this is my radio on which to make mistakes.
  7. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I programmed mine with the Baofeng software and that in itself was a trip. Every time you start the Baofeng program, it comes up in Chinese or at least all question marks because the computer doesn't display the Chinese characters. Then you have to go to the second set of question marks from the right on the menu, click it, and then click "English." Because it ALWAYS starts up in Chinese and there's no way to make it start in English. The software has absolutely no settings and no help menu. But, being as intuitive as I am, I somehow managed to set up my Baofeng UV-5R (while snickering at the Engrish dialogue boxes) how I want it, but I will probably download Chirp and check that out.
  8. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have not had the issue with FTDI yet that people are complaining about. I guess all mine are 'genuine' FTDI chips. Until recently, FTDI was what I recommended. We went through these same issues with Prolific chips years ago, and the Prolific driver situation is a real mess. I would expect you can find an older FTDI driver that would work with your cable, regardless of the chip involved. Apparently, if it's a counterfeit chip, the new FTDI driver that Microsoft has apparently withdrawn would actually cause damage to the chip. I'm suspicious of the whole explanation.
  9. N2UHC

    N2UHC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I downloaded Chirp last night and tried it out, and honestly I think I like the Baofeng software better. Chirp didn't have access to all the different little radio settings for the UV-5R like the Baofeng software has, or at least I couldn't find a tab where I could change those settings.
  10. KC2WHV

    KC2WHV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Bit the bullet and ordered the RT Systems software and programming cable for the aforementioned 997-S. The cable will also work with the radio on which I would not want to make mistakes; that would be the KENWOOD TH-F6A. With all the sturm und drang about FTDI pulling support for Windows drivers, and cloned counterfeit chips all over the place, and with me being a wee bit impatient to actually start talking on the radio, and getting my mistakes out of the way, that was the best solution. Now I can start to save for the TH-F6A. Of course I'll share my experiences here.

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