Quansheng UV-K5

The Quansheng UV-K5 is an inexpensive handheld radio capable of transmitting UHF 400-450MHz (70cm) and VHF 136-174MHz (2m). It is also capable of receiving on the airband (AM), and FM radio stations. Some additional features of note is USB-C charging, and the ability to clone configuration from one device to another wirelessly.

While transmit is limited out of the box, reception is essentially from 50MHz-600MHz, making this very wide-band receive capable.

Table of Contents

  1. Specifications
  2. Recommended Upgrades
  3. Scanning
  4. Cheat Sheet
  5. Basic Configuration File / Code Plug
  6. NOAA Weather Monitoring Feature
  7. Voice Inversion / Scrambling Feature
  8. Expand Transmit Frequencies

Receiving: Transmitting:

Cheat Sheet

A general rule of thumb with inexpensive handhelds is to replace the antenna. There are a number of quality options available from companies like Nagoya or SignalStuff, the latter of which is my recommendation.

When selecting an antenna, I'd also recommend purchasing an SMA male to BNC adapter, then choosing an BNC antenna. The BNC connectors are more suitable for frequent antenna removal.


There are essentially two scan types, which depend on which mode you are in: channel mode or frequency mode. If you are in channel mode, the device will scan through the configured channels on your device, stopping when a channel is in use to listen. When the channel is no longer in use, it will continue to scan.

When in frequency mode, the device will scan through the selected band at the KHz steps configured. To configure the steps, press the button, and select STEP or menu item 02. Press the button again to enter configuration mode, then use the or buttons to choose the desired KHz step. Press the button again to save the configuration.

Up to two scanning lists can be created within the Quansheng CPS software. Within the CPS software, you can add your configured channels to each of the lists. For example, list 1 can contain FRS/GRMS channels, and list 2 can contain MURS channels or your local repeaters.

To configure which scan list to use from the device, enter configuration by pressing the button. Select S-LIST, or menu option 31. Press the button again to enter the configuration, and select the scan list you want, followed by the button again to save your selection.

Basic Configuration File / Code Plug

Quansheng UV-K5 Custom Configuration File / Code Plug (88KB)

This basic configuration file / code plug can be loaded into your Quansheng UV-K5 using the Quansheng software. This will add simplex channels for FRS, GMRS, MURS, Marine UHF and VHF channels, and various Business UHF and VHF channels. All channels are set to low power transmit, and are configured considering the United States as the location of use.

Additionally this configuration file changes the button configuration as follows:

Short press button will turn the flashlight feature on/off.

Long press button will change the transmit power (High, Medium, Low).

Short press button will turn the FM radio feature on/off.

Long press the button will enable scanning of channels or frequencies (depending on which mode you are in.)

Something interesting to note is that the UV-K5 configuration files are in XML format. For kicks I tried configuring extra scan lists to force the limit past two, however this did not work.

NOAA Weather Monitoring Feature

The UV-K5 has the ability to monitor NOAA stations for weather alerts. If a weather alert is issued by NOAA, the radio will sound an audible alarm and switch to that channel to listen to the weather alert.

  1. Press button, followed by the button
  2. Verify display has been changed to an NOAA channel
  3. Verify LED is blinking on the top of the device

To turn the NOAA weather monitoring feature off, reverse the steps.

Note this will change the selected channel (A or B) to the NOAA frequencies. If you want to "work" with the radio on another frequency or channel list, you will need to select the opposite channel with + .

Voice Inversion / Scrambling Feature

The UV-K5 has a voice inversion / scrambling feature. This can be enabled by selecting the channel or frequency you wish to enable to feature on, then entering the configuration menu by pressing the button. Browse to the SCR item, or menu item 11. Press the button again to enter item configuration, and select OFF or 1-10.

What this does is activate one of ten voice inversion/scrambling settings on your selected channel or frequency. Someone else listening in on your discussion will be unable to understand the conversation, unless they have the correct voice inversion/ scrambling algorithm entered in their radio (or are using devices or software capable of reversing the inversion). Note that if you have a second UV-K5 device, you will need to configure that device with the same SCR setting as the first for it to work.

Expand Transmit Frequencies

Using the stock firmware available on the device (as of June, 2023) you are able to permanently enable or disable additional transmit frequencies.

Following these steps should enable transmit from 136-600MHz:

  1. Verify the device is turned off.
  2. Press and hold the and buttons.
  3. While continuing to hold the buttons in the previous step, turn the device on.
  4. When the settings menu appears, release the buttons.
  5. Press the button to select 350TX.
  6. Press the button to edit the setting.
  7. Press the button to choose ON.
  8. Press the button to save the setting.
  9. Repeat the steps for 200TX and 500TX.

If you wish to disable the extended transmit frequencies, repeat the steps. When you reach step #7, select OFF.