Amateur Radio, Tutorial

How to Set the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

This is part of a series of posts that hopefully will save people a bunch of time.

How to Set the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

Important note: if you wait more than 9 seconds between any step below it will automatically go back to home screen and you have to start again, so work those fingers, baby!

  1. Press Menu button
  2. Press 13 on keypad (T-CTCS).  This will bring you to the section of menu where you can edit the tone frequency which will get you into repeaters.
  3. Press menu button again.  This means “I am now editing this part of the menu”. You’ll see a little arrow appear if you have options to see by using the arrow keys.  In this case, a menu will appear because you can toggle between all the tone options.
  4. Toggle with up/down arrows to the setting you want. You can either press the button repeatedly, or press and hold which will turbo-speed you through the frequencies.
  5. Press Menu again. This means “I am now saving the settings I edited in step 4. If the voice audio is on you will hear ‘confirm’ which means victory
  6. Press ‘exit’ to get back to the home screen or just wait the 9 seconds or more and it will go there for you automatically

Note for this setting: You will *not* see any indication on your home screen that you have a tone on until you transmit.  When you transmit you will then see a CT lettering appear which means you got the tone saved successfully.

Done! You’ve got your tone thingy all set.

Now, you need my tutorial page below to figure out how to remove that little gaffer because it ain’t that simple!

Go to this page for more tutorials as I write them:


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12 thoughts on “How to Set the Tone for Repeater Use in Baofeng UV-5R

  1. Thanks for clean instructions. I am trying to keypad change the repeater tone for a channel that is already programmed. In following these steps (starting in memory mode), I can get in, and following your instructions I’m allowed to toggle to another tone, press menu and get the “confirm” voice. At that point I can see that the new tone is still displaying, then press “exit”.

    Once all the way out of the menu, if I go back in, I see the old tone is still in place as if I hadn’t changed the tone at all. Tried it on a UV-5R and UV-82. Is there any sort of setting I’m not aware of in benchtop programming with CHIRP that allows/disallows keypad programming of tones? I can keypad change the frequency step and that will take. Any ideas are appreciated.

    1. That, sir, is a crazy bug that I didn’t actually know about. I tested and confirmed the same thing. I can’t change my CTCSS tone, even though i hear the voice as confirmed. I believe (although I can’t remember) that this was also programmed by CHIRP. So, maybe the deal is that if you program via CHIRP you have to re-program via CHIRP and not able to change any settings? Seems dumb but then again this entire radio is loaded with dumb! but we love the price tag. Please post your solution here for others to benefit if you find out what’s up. Thanks!

    2. Absolutely same problem. Exercised uv5r as prescribed by hand, r-ctcss st to 100hz and an hour later it returns to 80hz. Grrrr

      1. I had the same issue, my resolve was to delete the channel manually then reprogram the channel manually and it work. Hope this helps

  2. To Delete a Channel: Menu Item #28

    I tried manually entering in a repeater channel to memory instead of CHIRP and it still will not let me edit the CTCSS manually in the channel.

    Sure is a PITA! Especially for listening to the 8 GMRS Repeater channels, which I hoped to have pre-programmed into the unit and then just enter the TONE as required!

  3. Baofeng website says this about the UV-5×3 TriBand:

    The UV‑5X3 comes out of the rut that all other UV‑5 series radios are stuck in. The UV‑5X3, built with the amateur radio operator in mind, allows channel modifications on-the-fly.

    Previously and on other current UV‑5 models, you were forced to delete a channel and then recreate it from scratch if you wanted to alter any settings.

    The UV‑5X3 allows common edits to the channels: Such as adding, changing, or removing the privacy tones (CTCSS & DCS); or changing the power level. You no longer have to delete and recreate the channel over simple channel modifications.

    HOWEVER, I still cannot make this change on my 5×3; I have posted a request for firmware change if needed.

  4. For those who need a programming cable, do not buy an exclusive cable for Baofeng.
    There are better options.

    Some time ago I bought a cable that allows you to program 8 different brands of radios and many models on each one.

    It is an excellent alternative for those who have one or more additional radio brands to Baofeng.

    I leave a review that I wrote about the cable.

    73’s by LU9CNS

  5. thank you for showing me how to use and displaying how to us the baofeng uvr-5r, and how to set the tone for the repeater for the baofeng uv-5 thank you for showing me ken.

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