I got the radio as part of an emergency supply kit, I have no experience with ham radio either then wallie talkies at work. It says it needs programmed but I dont know how,nor do I know what to program. It has a ton of features and I’m trying to make sense of it all but I cant even seem to talk with truckers or anyone for that matter. I just get static as of now…please help. I dont really need to use it now but I would like to be able to in case of emergency. Any replies would be appreciated.
A few things about the UV-5R. Apart from the fact the manual is terrible.
First it doesn’t cover the CB bands and there is no way to program it to use those frequencies.
Second it uses frequencies that you can only transmit legally on if you have an amateur or “ham” radio license. Even if you are trying to use the FRS/GMRS frequencies and have a GMRS license the radio itself isn’t certified to be used for that by the FCC.
Third it is unlikely it would pick up the frequencies used by emergency services in your area.
People do buy them for emergency situations where they can listen to what’s going on. Also people figure that the FCC isn’t going to come looking for them in an emergency. So if you really want CB capability you should look at something specifically for that. Or maybe get your license and get some good advice on programming and use from a local radio club.
To add to what Jackdaw said, handheld CB and FRS radios are both license free options worth checking and either could work for an emergency kit. GMRS requires a license, but it doesn’t require any sort of test or training to obtain and it covers your entire family. There there are some higher powered GMRS radios available, so it is also something to consider. My son and are hams, but the rest of the family is not, so we keep several emergency FRS radios in our emergency kit for such use. Since FRS and now share the same frequencies, so the chances of being picked up on an emergency call increase. Some hams scan FRS/GMRS for emergency traffic, as do groups such as REACT International.
Also, if you go CB, Channel 9 is the designated emergency channel.