My experience so far with a Baofeng UV-5R.

I have a Baofeng UV-5R, Baofeng USB programming cable, handheld MIC and speaker.
It also has an ear + MIC cheap headset.

The first thing I realised is that the manual does not tell you everything.
For starters, to get the Firmware version you hold down 3 and power on. There are many more secrets.

Many of my answers are found on

So, this all came with a CD disk of drivers. Throw it away. Not only are there no instructions, confusing folder names on it but it is in Chinese.

The next hard lesson …. the handheld MIC/Speaker and USB cable do not work. It turns out they do not mate with the handset correctly.
This is a well known issue so the next step was to use a packing knife and whittle down the plastic connector end so that it plugs in better. (Glad it is a cheap radio as I am already voiding my warranty).

Now I install the Beofeng VIP programming software and get the error “Fail connect with transceiver”. This is also a well known issue caused by 2 things.

1) The wrong USB to Serial drivers for the programming cable (Not my issue this time)
2) You need the exact correct software for the firmware on the unit.

I had to download BF5R_VIP_v120725_BFB291_ENG(VB6).zip (You can find this on Google search).
I am using a Baofeng UV-5R Firmware BFB297, N5R-213.  (I see many others online with this firmware are looking to solve these same issues).

I also had to decrease the Serial speed from 9600 to 1200 bps (In the com port settings in device manager).

Using this software I proved the radio and programming cable are all working. Using any other Baofeng software with this radio failed to work. Interestingly Chirp worked well, straight away, no modifications.

So now I need to actally play with the radio. So if others out there have the same problems, I hope that this will help you realise
1) Almost everyone that has bought these has had to whittle down the plugs
2) Almost everyone has had to seek the right software

your unit is not likely faulty.

You just have to get everything right for it to work 🙂