Baofeng Receives but Will Not Transmit (Easy Solutions!)

The Baofeng UV-5R is a popular and versatile handheld radio used by many amateur radio enthusiasts and professionals alike. However, like any electronic device, it can sometimes encounter issues.

One common problem users face is when the Baofeng UV-5R receives signals perfectly but will not transmit.

This issue can be frustrating, but with some troubleshooting steps, you can often resolve it. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to diagnose and fix this problem.

👉 A related problem is when Baofeng Transmits but will not receive.

Step 1: Check the Basics

Power and Battery

  • Ensure the Battery is Charged: A low battery can sometimes prevent the radio from transmitting. Make sure the battery is fully charged.
  • Battery Connection: Check that the battery is securely attached to the radio. Loose connections can cause power issues.

Antenna Connection

  • Verify Antenna Attachment: Make sure the antenna is properly attached. A loose or faulty antenna can affect transmission.
  • Antenna Type: Use the correct type of antenna for your frequency band. The Baofeng antenna connector is SMA-M. Using the wrong antenna can lead to poor transmission performance.

Step 2: Settings and Configuration

Frequency and Mode

  • Correct Frequency: Ensure you are transmitting on the correct frequency. Double-check that the frequency is within the permissible range for your license and the radio’s capabilities.
  • Mode Settings: Ensure the radio is set to the correct mode (VFO or Memory). Sometimes, incorrect mode settings can prevent transmission.

Transmit Power

  • Power Level: Check that the transmit power is set correctly. The Baofeng UV-5R allows you to switch between high and low power. Ensure it is set to high power if you are trying to reach a distant station.
  • To change the power level:
    • Press [MENU].
    • Navigate to menu item 2 (TXP).
    • Use the arrow keys to select HIGH.
    • Press [MENU] to confirm.

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Step 3: Check for Lock Features

Transmit Lock

  • Keypad Lock: Ensure the keypad is not locked. A locked keypad might prevent you from changing settings or transmitting.
  • To unlock, press and hold the [#] key until the lock icon disappears from the screen.
  • Busy Channel Lock-Out (BCLO): This feature prevents transmission if the channel is already in use. Disable BCLO if necessary.
  • To disable BCLO:
    • Press [MENU].
    • Navigate to menu item 37 (BCLO).
    • Set it to OFF.
    • Press [MENU] to confirm.

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Step 4: Advanced Troubleshooting

CTCSS/DCS Settings

  • Tone Settings: Ensure that your CTCSS (Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System) or DCS (Digital-Coded Squelch) tones match those of the receiving station. Mismatched tones can prevent successful transmission.
  • To set CTCSS/DCS tones:
    • Press [MENU].
    • Navigate to menu item 11 (R-CTCS) for receive tone and 13 (T-CTCS) for transmit tone.
    • Use the arrow keys to select the correct tone.
    • Press [MENU] to confirm.

PTT Button and Microphone

  • Check PTT Button: Ensure that the Push-To-Talk (PTT) button is functioning correctly. If it feels stuck or unresponsive, it might need cleaning or repair.
  • External Microphone: If you are using an external microphone, ensure it is properly connected and functioning.

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Step 5: Firmware and Hardware Issues

Reset the Radio

  • Factory Reset: If all else fails, perform a factory reset to revert the radio to its default settings. This can resolve software glitches.
  • To reset the radio:
    • Turn off the radio.
    • Hold down the [MENU] button while turning the radio back on.
    • Follow the prompts to confirm the reset.

Hardware Inspection

  • Internal Damage: Inspect the radio for any visible signs of damage. Internal hardware issues might require professional repair.


If your Baofeng UV-5R receives but will not transmit, the issue can often be resolved through careful troubleshooting. By checking the basics, verifying settings, and performing advanced troubleshooting steps, you can usually identify and fix the problem. If the issue persists after trying these steps, it may be necessary to seek professional repair services or contact the manufacturer for further assistance. With proper care and maintenance, your Baofeng UV-5R can continue to be a reliable tool for communication.

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