Thursday, 5 September 2019

UV9RPlus - Programming the water proof Baofeng radio for HAM use

Baofeng UV-9RPlus

Advantages of the UV9R Plus over the UV-5R series

Quick review of the Baofeng UV-9R Plus: I had an UV5R for quite a while now as my primary handheld for HAM radio. There is a lot of documentation about the UV5R out there and I quite like it for it's long battery runtime.
Waterproof connector

But as an outdoor enthusiast, rain, dirt and moisture was a concern. So I went for the UV-9R Plus when Banggood had a promo. It feels quite a bit more rugged than the 5R. The higher output power (the label on the back claims an unlikely 15W) and the 8000mAh battery (well, that has to be seen, I haven't measured the actual capacity) were not really a factor for me. But it is sure nice to have three power levels to choose from.
Banggod has a promo from time to time when it sells for about the same price as the uv5r.


Programming the UV9RPlus with Chirp in Windows 10

The programming cable

Thr programming cable with its odd connector

I got the programming cable from Banggood:


The cable was a little over 5 bucks at the time of writing. It has a Baofeng label (unlike my UV5R programming cable described here) and has the Prolific USB2Serial bridge chip, which requires a driver, of course. My windows found the driver itself with the "update driver" function of the device manager.
The USB Vendor ID identifies it as a Prolific bridge

Once the driver has installed, it comes up as a serial port

Chirp settings

There has been some controversy in the Chirp forum whether or not the UV9R Plus was supported or not. My finding is, that while it is not explicitly listed as a supported device, it appears to behave like the UV-82WP.
The first thing to do in Chirp is to download the radio's original configuration, and save that, just in case, and then work from that configuration.
Your COM port number will probably be different
The cool thing is that you can copy your channel memories from your UV-5R over to the UV-9R Plus, with a simple copy/paste.
My memory channels
I recommend the following basic settings for HAM radio operations. The other settings are mostly irrelevant.
Basic settings UV9RPlus

Final remarks

Why Baofeng advertises it's otherwise decent product with false specs is most likely a very questionable marketing stunt. A quick web search indicates, that the actual RF output power ist around 7W max, which does not make that much of a difference from the usual 5watters.
Keep in mind that doubling the power adds only one S-level on the receiving side. It might give you a bit of an edge over the UV5R, with it's 4 watts.
I still have to measure the battery capacity. For a 8000mAh it seems a little light to me.
The case has "Digital Mobile Radio" engraved in it. - It's not DMR. It is a traditional analog FM radio. It is CPU controlled and has a LCD display, but that does not make it a "Digital Mobile Radio".
In Germany most repeaters have been modified to conform with the 12.5kHz channel spacing. Therefore the N-FM (2.5kHz) is the FM-deviation of choice for repeater operation, whereas for other applications like the SO50 satellite, 5kHz wide FM is still correct.

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