Baofeng UV-B6 programing.

First off, I am new to the site and I am sorry if these questions have already been asked. I looked but may have missed them. Sorry in advance for being a noob…

I"m a Paramedic working in a very rural area of West Virginia. The company provided radios are ****, cell service is ****, and I’ve been put in a bad, unsafe situation one to many times due to not having communications with the 911 and my company’s dispatchers. So… I looked up better specs and knowing my price range I got the Baofeng UV-B6. I’m using the stock program and can read to my laptop, this is about all I know. I use a regular scanner at home and just need to put in frequencies to hear, but I do not know how to program a radio where I can also transmit. Below is a pic of the program screen. A friend at the office will program it for me in the morning but I would very much like to know what all this means for my own knowledge.

What is the difference between RX and TX frequencies?
Actually, what do all of those things mean on the top… I would think the Power is what output wattage? The W/N wide or narrow band? Thats all I think I know.

OH, not sure if it matters but I need pretty much every EMS and 911 for southern West Virginia. I can get the scanner codes online from various places, but as stated have no idea what the rest of the things mean.

I really appreciate any info you all can give. :slight_smile:

Welcome to the site!

I think I can tackle a few of these as well as maybe impart some recommendations here.

First off what does everything mean!
TX refers to your transmit frequency, or what frequency the radio will broadcast on when you press the PTT (Push To Talk) button. The CTCSS/DCS tones are the carrier tone that separates conversations on the same frequency.

Just as any conversation goes there is the transmit side as well as the receive side. The RX in this case is the receiving frequency. And just as you have the CTCSS/DTC on the transmit you will end up with that on receiving side.

The power does refer to the output power as you mentioned.

BCL - I am not familiar with and may be a feature on the radio that someone else can explain.

W/N refers to whether the frequency is wide or narrow.

Scan in the traditional sense either includes that channel in the scan group or removes it.

The remaining selections should be simple enough to figure out with a basic web search.

Now for the second section: What to actually program.

If you have the scanner frequencies for the different dispatch / EMS calls those will all go into the RX or receive side of the radio. If all you need to do is listen, then you should be good to go. However if you need to be able to communicate or transmit that will be something different.

The majority of emergency response / public service systems use what’s known as a repeater to boost the signal for better range. (For a better explanation there is some podcasts that are produced by that go into depth how this works). The short version is that dispatch transmits on Frequency A, that transmission is then picked up by the repeater that then rebroadcasts it over Frequency B. Frequency B is what you pick up with the scanner and can program your Baofeng to listen to. However in order to send a transmission back to dispatch you must transmit on Frequency A where the repeater can pick up your signal and rebroadcast it back on Frequency B where dispatch will be able to hear it. Hence why you need to have a different TX and RX frequency.

So the trouble comes in getting Frequency A. Here Frequency A is also commonly called the repeater input, and that is usually never the same as Frequency B or repeater output. Your best bet will be to get a hold of every single municipality / service dispatch center and obtain that frequency and tone as repeater inputs usually include a DTC/CTCSS tone to access the repeater. Repeater inputs are never published to keep people from using the emergency repeater without prior approval.

Having worked in the fire service for 29 years, I would highly recommend that you get a far better quality radio for your comms in the medical field. Peoples lives potentially depend on your reliable communications.

I realize that radios can get a bit on the expensive side and that the Baofeng has a lot of capabilities but the Baofeng is not a radio I would use for professional comms, especially in an area with marginal signals. There are Motorola portables and other better performing radios available for very reasonable prices on the auction sites.

All of the abbreviations in the programming are explained in the user manual or via a web search.

Please take this seriously and reconsider your choice for your work use portable.