To those who have Baofeng (gasp!) HT , general-purpose radios:
For dependable, computer-based programming of the Baofeng UV-5R and some of the manufacturer's other models:
Go to a reputable download site, such as SourceForge
Search for, and download, the file named Chirp_liveCD-6Feb14.exe
Click on this file to expand it to an .ISO image, then burn this image to a CD (not a DVD)
Connect your computer's USB jack to your unit, using *only* a patch cable containing an FTDI chip (ordinary patch cables will not work).
Reboot your computer from the CD which you just made. Booting will take awhile because the disk has to load the Ubuntu operating system (a flavor of Linux) into RAM. Meanwhile, you'll be regaled by a glorious, living color, picture of the UV-5R
Program the Baofeng.
When finished, log out, remove the CD, and restart your computer. You'll find that the CD has not changed your system at all.
Also, in the Editor's opinion, support from the manufacturer is spotty, at best. For best results, go to Baofeng Tech. This site is also a source of dependable FTDI cables. You can also buy one from Amazon. They usually cost about $15-$20, as compared to about $2-$8 for a non-FDI cable.
Disclaimer: The FCC does not recognize Baofeng UV-5R-based HTs as Ham radios.
Matt, our Webmaster, has an excellent Baofeng Helper page. It deals with programming the UV-5R without using a computer, and also gives programming data for many repeaters.