Baofeng UV 5R Range Calculator

The UV-5R is the most popular two way radio made by Baofeng. It is used by Amateur radio hobbyists and professionals. A question many people ask is how far a UV-5R can transmit.

The answer depends on various factors:

  • How high above the ground is the radio?
  • Is a repeater being used?
  • Propagation environment – how dense is it?

Use this calculator to determine the range of your UV-5R.

How to use the Range Calculator

Enter the following:

  • Height of your radio
  • Height of a repeater (set it to zero if there are none)
  • Operating environment

As an example, a Baofeng radio operating indoors with a height of 5 feet will have a maximum range of only 1 mile.

How to improve the distance of your Baofeng Radio

Here are a few tips on how to increase the communication range of your radio:

  • Make sure your batteries are charged. The electronics in a radio (in particular the transmitter and receiver) will operate at their best when the batteries are healthy and charged
  • Use a better antenna
  • Increase your height above ground – in general the higher you are the better the propagation
  • Operate in an interference and obstruction free zone. This is probably the most difficult to achieve. It’s hard to know what radios are operating near you. As a result you cannot really control the amount of RF interference. And in general the higher the interference, the lower the range. As well, you cannot move obstructions. However you can for instance move outdoors to improve range.

What is the range of other Baofeng radios?

The Baofeng UV-5R transmits a power of 4 Watts. If you are using another Baofeng radio like the UV-82HP or the BF-F8HP which are able to transmit at 8 Watt, your maximum range will be doubled outdoors or in an open field.

Propagation in Free Space

Note that for a practical range calculation the free space path loss calculator cannot be used as it represents an ideal situation.