Let me show you how little I know....

craig333

Expedition Leader
I used this one https://www.ebay.com/p/FTDI-USB-Programming-Cable-Baofeng-Pofung-C150-F-11-Dual-pin/1439796278?iid=162419061777 and windows7 had no problem recognizing it.

Yes you can program it manually. Theres a reason for Chirp, RTsystems software etc. Its faster and easier.

I originally had the RTsystems software. Had a computer crash. Tried to reload the software but after five years I no longer had the serial numbers :( Still had the cables. Downloaded the chirp software. Downloaded the data from my FT-60. Updated it a bit. Imported that data into the Baofeng (backup radio). Saved hours of work doing it that way. Its a little bit confusing figuring out how to get the data from one radio to another but once you figure it out its easy.

As far as entering a single frequency into the radio, not saving it into memory, thats very simple.
 

camp4x4

Adventurer
So I can forget about the little disc, and just download Chirp, plug in the cable and radio and start making changes? That would be cool. But what is the disc for then - why include it?
Maybe yes, maybe no. Unfortunately 9/10 of the cables on Amazon or Ebay use the older generic chips that require an ealier version of the driver (the software that tells the computer how to interact with the accessory). Windows comes with LOTS of drivers already installed, which is why a lot of things genuinely are plug-and-play. And this is the case with genuine Prolific or FTDI chip cables (that big bulge by the USB port houses a little microprocessor that makes the thing work). The problem with the generics is that they don't work with newer versions of the driver that Windows either already has installed or automatically installs when it senses the cable being plugged in. My Hammey senses are telling me that cable isn't a genuine chip (not a problem in general, just requires a little more work).

Another problem you'll see is that the cable will work the very first time you plug it in, but won't work on subsequent tries. Super fun, right?

As for the disc... that disc is in fact probably worthless. You're far better off just downloading the driver you need from somewhere online. Those mini discs are also a PITA unless you have a laptop (which physically clips the disc in place in the tray usually) or a tray that opens flat (as opposed to on it's side as some vertical towers do). If you only have a slot that you slide discs into you definitely should NOT slide this in.. it'll be a hassle to get back out and won't read.

According to the paperwork that came with my RR RH-5R, it says "Unlike most radios, with the RH-5R you can save a custom frequency without a computer and software". So my goal is to drop the lower limit of my radio (which is now set at 150MHz) to around 136-140MHz so I can get on the ham channels like they did on this thread:
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http://dualsport-sd.com/forums/index.php?/topic/20693-need-help-with-my-rugged-radio/
Ugh, I'm sorry, but this is more Rugged Radio marketing bull****. The only radios I can think they could be talking about when saying, "most radios," is other business band radios that have specific frequencies pre-programmed in to them and are "channelized" so you only see "Channel 1" etc on the display, and they don't have the number pad. Business radios do this for various reasons. And since these RR radios come pre-programmed with a bunch of business frequencies... that's my best guess as to WTF that means. BECAUSE... most radios like this one can be programmed without a computer. If it has the number pad it can be programmed without a computer. Is it easy? Eh... yeah once you learn the sequence of buttons you have to push and what information you have to program in.

This is another example of why anyone who knows radios rolls their eyes at these guys - they're just generally full of nonsense.

It will be for simplex use on group runs. I don't think I'll be doing a lot of scanning channels; just set-it and leave-it. They designate a channel, I punch it in (if I understand this radio's ability correctly), and go about our merry way. If all this works, then I'll seriously consider a stronger hard-mounted 25watt or greater dual band radio like the one that was suggested to me on an earlier post. But I've gotta start somewhere (see next post by me).
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And I just ordered a technician book on Amazon: HamRadioSchool.com Technician License Course Paperback – June 11, 2012 by Stu Turner. It had good reviews.
So yeah, for that run with that NWO group you'd need a ham license to operate on that frequency. Glad you're headed in that direction :)

Miklor, as mentioned before, is a great resource for these radios. Here's the reference page on the UV-5R: http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/ including a number of cable troubleshooting guides.

Also, there's a very good step-by-step here: https://www.buytwowayradios.com/blog/2016/08/how_to_manually_program_the_baofeng_uv-5r_from_the_keypad.aspx

Bare in mind you'll need to use chirp first to open up the frequency set to the ham bands.

How to manually program a simplex channel
  1. Press [VFO/MR] and enter Frequency Mode.
  2. Press [A/B] and choose the A Side (upper display).
    The A side must be used to program channels into the radio.
    Programming data entered on the B Side (lower display) will not be saved.
  3. Press [BAND] for the frequency band. Toggle [BAND] to choose 136 MHz (VHF) or 470 MHz (UHF).
    If the incorrect band is chosen for the frequency entered in Step 5, the radio will cancel the operation.
  4. Disable TDR (Dual Watch/Dual Standby).
    Press [MENU] 7 [MENU] [press up/down arrow keys] OFF [MENU] [EXIT]
    It is highly advised to turn TDR off when programming directly from the radio.
  5. Enter the frequency.
    Use the keypad to enter the frequency into the radio.
  6. optional - Enter the transmit CTCSS/DCS code.
    CTCSS - [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter/choose code XXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
    DCS - [MENU] 12 [MENU] [choose code XXXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  7. Assign the frequency to a channel.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Chirp screen.JPGRugged Radio.jpg

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Ok. I got Chirp downloaded and I installed the older version driver to make it all work; I got it to pull the memory from the radio (kinda proud of myself for getting this far), and I sat down to start making some changes on the spreadsheet (see picture).
However, there is no "Settings" option button under "Memory" (see picture) which is where you go to make setting changes to your radio (like high and low frequency limits, etc.). So before I call Rugged Radio, does anyone have any suggestions (besides returning the radio and purchasing something else)?
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This is the Rugged Radio 5watt RH5R-V2.
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And it looks like it has been addressed previously on the Chirp website: https://chirp.danplanet.com/issues/5251
 
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prerunner1982

Adventurer
Hmmm...that's interesting. I am kind of glad to see that honestly. I know it doesn't do much for you but it is nice to see they are trying to keep illegal radio use off the ham bands.
 

camp4x4

Adventurer
And it looks like it has been addressed previously on the Chirp website: https://chirp.danplanet.com/issues/5251
Based on this and your screenshot, I would politely suggest that a return is in order. I feel like you’ve really given it your best to get this radio to work as you want, and you’ve learned a lot along the way, but at this point you’re fighting a battle that isn’t worth it. Return it, pick up a UV-82HP and accessories from Amazon, get your license and be free to do all the things and then some.

Genuinely not surprised that RR has done everything to lock people into these frequencies. It gives them a certain level of insulation from complaints about people unwittingly programming them with amateur frequencies.

But, in doing so they’re really causing exactly this problem you’ve run into: selling a hobbled radio at a premium simply because it is preprogrammed.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
Since my little RH5R-V2 is supposed to be a clone of a BaoFeng UV-5R, I tried to see if Chirp would recognize it as a UV-5R when pulling the RR's programming. Nope.
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So for the record, I have a BaoFeng UV-5R on order. I looked at the UV-82HP in the past, but if I'm going to spend a bit of money, I'll get the hard-mounted 25watt radio suggested to me previously.
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I wonder (and now I'm just playing) if you can pull the memory from the BaoFeng and put it in the RR radio (since the RR is supposed to be a clone). On one of the U-tube videos, a gentleman was describing how you could do that sort of thing with Chirp.
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More to follow I'm sure. I've learned a lot so far.
 
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NatersXJ6

Explorer
It sounds like you are learning a lot, but I haven't seen anyone mention one huge, glaring, and practical problem that you are likely to encounter.

Even if you decide to illegally operate your RR, you are unlikely to be able to talk with anyone else. When a run or group calls for VHF radio coms, they are almost always talking about 2 meter ham bands. You will be the only one on commercial bands, all by your lonesome. Sort of like being the only guy in town with a video phone on his desk.

My ham radio is blocked for transmitting on business bands. I can listen, but not transmit, without additional modifications. In addition to anyone else in the group being unwilling (as I am) to transmit on those bands, they would also be unable to because their ham radios are also blocked.

And to your point about buyer beware or business responsibility, every time I've bought gear from a true ham radio shop, they've asked for my call sign and checked the database to see if my license was current as part of the transaction.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
It sounds like you are learning a lot, but I haven't seen anyone mention one huge, glaring, and practical problem that you are likely to encounter.

Even if you decide to illegally operate your RR, you are unlikely to be able to talk with anyone else. When a run or group calls for VHF radio coms, they are almost always talking about 2 meter ham bands. You will be the only one on commercial bands, all by your lonesome. Sort of like being the only guy in town with a video phone on his desk.

My ham radio is blocked for transmitting on business bands. I can listen, but not transmit, without additional modifications. In addition to anyone else in the group being unwilling (as I am) to transmit on those bands, they would also be unable to because their ham radios are also blocked.

And to your point about buyer beware or business responsibility, every time I've bought gear from a true ham radio shop, they've asked for my call sign and checked the database to see if my license was current as part of the transaction.
I'm confused. Have you read my posts on this thread?
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Right now my RR radio is blocked for ham bands, and it looks like I can't Chirp it to get to the 2M ham frequencies (140's). I've ordered a BaoFeng handheld that has the 2M ham frequencies. I've also ordered a study book for my ham technician's license (because I'm wanting to be legal). Eventually (after I'm licensed and smarter) I'll get a larger hard-mount 25watt (at least) dual band radio for my primary expedition vehicle.
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I didn't know there were ham "business bands" in the 140's. If there are, hopefully my study book will list the business bands and the "free" or open bands that folks communicate when overlanding in simplex mode. What ham frequency (frequencies) do folks use when overlanding with others in simplex mode?
 
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Recommended books for Overlanding

NatersXJ6

Explorer
No confusion intended. I think you are following the right path. The point was that unless someone else has the Rugged Radio, others in the group would be able to hear you, but not communicate with you, and you would be unable to tune their chosen frequency without a ham technician license and 2 meter radio. Most of those Rugged Radio pre-programmed channels are in the "commercial" or "business band" portion of the spectrum.

go join up with a local ham club. They are everywhere, and usually have study sessions for upcoming tests. Check out www.arrl.org for test locations and more info than you ever cared to learn.

The biggest challenge in my opinion for a new ham is not getting overwhelmed by all of the tech talk and jargon. Hams as a group tend to wrap themselves in the cozy blanket of jargon and technical detail and forget the practical side of their hobby. For effective 4x4 communication you probably need to know about 0.01% of what there is to know in the ham world. If you knew 2% you could be an absolute ace and radio mentor in the off road world.
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
The biggest challenge in my opinion for a new ham is not getting overwhelmed by all of the tech talk and jargon. Hams as a group tend to wrap themselves in the cozy blanket of jargon and technical detail and forget the practical side of their hobby. For effective 4x4 communication you probably need to know about 0.01% of what there is to know in the ham world. If you knew 2% you could be an absolute ace and radio mentor in the off road world.
Very true!

My overlanding club uses 146.520 (aka National Calling Frequency) and move to nearby frequencies for trail comms. We try to keep it as simple as possible for the above reasons.
 

BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
My advice to the OP is to get a simple, ruggedized 2M mobile unit such as a Yaesu 1900/2900, Kenwood 281 (great for in-dash installations), or similar.

About all I can say about the Baofeng is it will get you in the game, but it is a PITA to use and has dodgy reliability. Get an external antenna or your transmitting range from inside a vehicle (aka metal box) will be quite limited. I recommend a Tram 1185, it is MUCH better than the little $10 ones. You will need an adapter to use the Tram with the Baofeng.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
WRT a 2m simplex frequency for some reason 146.46 sticks out in my mind. At least that's what I've seen others use.
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Maybe because 146.46 is easy to remember?
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I definitely want a little fixed mount dual-band radio eventually for my Jeep; 25watts, or for a little bit more - 50watts (don't know if 50watts would be overkill though). I really want a little hand-held for when out of the Jeep, and this hand-held thing is allowing me to get familiar with ham-stuff, and the Chirp program. And yes; it doesn't do me any good to have a little hand-held that doesn't have the 2M ham frequencies. This wouldn't be my first "I tried and failed - learn from my mistakes" thread (at least as it relates to my little 5watt Rugged Radio). Seems like there are lots of vehicle hard-mount options out there; I just want a decent radio that is easy to program, easy to add channels when out on the trail, not too big, easy to use, and doesn't cost a ton of money. Oh; and is rugged and reliable. Is that asking too much? I was given a link to a BTECH radio earlier - they look nice.
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25watt dual-band $115: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XD3CQ6H/ref=psdc_912322_t3_B06XCDWT6V
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25watt tri-band $129: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XCDWT6V?tag=viglink20599-20
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50watt dual-band $170: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XK83VRV/ref=sspa_dk_detail_2?psc=1
 
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rnArmy

Adventurer
WRT a 2m simplex frequency for some reason 146.46 sticks out in my mind. At least that's what I've seen others use.
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Maybe because 146.46 is easy to remember?
Airborne! And I've got a 1946 Willys Jeep CJ2A at home, so I definitely think I can remember that frequency!

What does "WRT" mean?

Parade.8.jpg
 
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BigSwede

The Credible Hulk
BTW I don't mean to discourage you from getting the Baofeng, handhelds are useful if for no other reason than to lend to your trail buddy so you have someone to talk to :) I have one that has been used far more by others than by me.
 
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