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UV-5G/New to GMRS radios


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Hello everyone. I just bought a pair of uv-5g’s. I have both radios working good on gmrs default channels however, i am attempting to use a local backyard repeater without success. I have tried manually programming as well as using chirp as a few on some of the forums have suggested. I am able to hear myself transmit when the ptt button is let go but no response. I can listen in on others talking fine also. I have nobody i know that can help troubleshoot. Any help is appreciated. Let me know what additional information you guys might need to help. I am in Bakersfield CA. 

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There aren't too many things to get right, for it to work. Check the following:


  • Are you too close to the receiving radio? This may be a little counterintuitive. But imagine you have radio A in the bedroom, radio B ten feet away in the same room. Radio A reaches out to the repeater 2 miles away. What will radio B hear? ....nothing, because radio A is desensitizing the receiver in B by virtue of their close proximity. It's like if you are trying to talk to your friend while standing a few feet away from a jet engine. Your friend won't be able to make out what you're saying because of how loud the jet is, even though voice, and jet engine noise may not even be occupying the same frequency ranges in the sound spectrum. The solution is for radio B to be a block away; you'll have to enlist the help of a friend.
  • Are you using the correct squelch tone (PL, or DSC) to open the repeater?
  • Are you (on both radios) set up with the proper squelch tone to hear the repeater? Sometimes it's useful to set your radio to not have a receiving tone set. What I mean is allow the receivers to hear all communications; don't use a squelch tone for receiving. Later on you can add that, but in the short-term, turning it off eliminates one possible issue. -- You do still need the correct tone for transmitting, or the repeater won't even open.
  • Is your signal propagating to the repeater? (antenna height, obstacles, and distance play into this)
  • Is radio B within signal propagation range of the repeater? (antenna height, obstacles, and distance play into this)
  • If radio A and B attempt to reach each other over simplex within the proximity of a few hundred yards, does that work? (Here we're trying to find out if the transmitters and receivers are even in good working order)

Anyway, go through the checklist and see if any of those bullet points help.

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15 hours ago, WRWS633 said:

....... I am able to hear myself transmit when the ptt button is let go but no response. I can listen in on others talking fine also.........

Can you clarify what you mean here?   How do you hear yourself  transmit when the ptt button is released?  

Do you mean you hear the 'tail' of the repeater for a second or so after you stop transmitting?    If that is the case, then possibly you are able to key the repeater, but your signal is too noisy for the audio to be understood.    

Try this:  Have someone listen to the repeater on one of your radios  while you transmit, but do so from another location, at least a few hundred feet from the other radio, and have that listener see if you are actually keying and holding and being understood by the repeater.  The repeater's transmit coverage might be very good, but your low power HT might not have  enough power  to make it in reliably from your location.    Being able to hear the repeater does not mean that it will be able to 'hear' you.

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Thank you guys for all the information. I will troubleshoot the radios as soon as I get a chance. I'll go through all the above provided information.

Just a couple of additional questions. If I hypothetically didn't have a second radio and I attempted to transmit with only one radio, does everyone tuned to the repeater have an opportunity to listen to my conversation and respond? The other morning, I was able to listen to a conversation between the owner of the repeater and a second person. The conversation was crystal clear. Sorry for the newbie question guys.

I'm about to take a road trip with the family and have downloaded several repeaters along the way. Ill report back on my experience. Thanks again for all help. 

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Yes, if you are making the repeater reliably, then anyone who is listening to the repeater will be able to hear your conversation.   Again, even if the repeater was crystal clear to you, your low power handheld might not be actually 'holding' the repeater with a good enough signal to be understood.   Usually though, if you had tried and were very noisy, one of the others in the conversation would mention that there is a station that is not making the repeater, although sometimes the other users just ignore the station, thinking it is only there to cause interference.  The polite thing would be to acknowledge the noisy station. 

Check your settings to make sure that you are programmed correctly; receive freq, transmit freq with correct offset (+5) and if any tone is  needed for repeater access.  (CTCSS, aka "PL.")   Definitely see if you can hear your transmission  using your second radio ( located at least a few hundred feet distant  from the one transmitting)  to see if you are actually making it in.

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