878UV+ Mode Change

Proceed at your own risk

May 11, 2021

I would like to share this hobby with my wife but she is just not interested. Hey, I'm not trying to convince her to justify my purchases =). Anyway I've read up on GMRS and found out that the license extends to immediate family members. Ok, so I went to FCC website and applied for my license.

Since I already have a UV-5R and 878UV+, I don't need to purchase another radio to use for GMRS. If you are going to use these radios, be aware of power requirements. I believe that you can use GMRS with a license on any radio that is capable of RX/TX on the GMRS band.

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I am going to use my radios for GMRS. Look at the table above, be careful on channels 8-14. Max power is only 0.5W to transmit legally. Since both of my radios' maximum output is 5W, I won't have any issues with the other channels. Programming my UV-5R is straight forward. Just use CHIRP and your programming cable and you are good to go! The 878UV+ is another issue though. This is what I did to my radio.

878UV+ Mode Change
When I received my 878, it was configured for Mode 7, Amateur US Mode:000007

Mode 7 can RX from VHF 136-174 MHz and UHF 400-480 MHz but can only transmit from VHF 144-148 MHz and UHF 420-450 MHz. I want to ulitize all the frequencies that my ht offers. This is what I need, since on mode 7, you cannot transmit in GMRS.

Mode 0, you can RX and TX on all the frequencies that is available in your ht. Is it legal? I'm in no way an expert on FCC regulations but all I know is that anybody (with or without license) can listen to any frequency on air. You need a license to transmit. Based on your license, you must know which frequencies and power you are allowed to use. I'm doing this because my family is not interested in getting their own Amateur license, and we need radios to communicate whenever we go off-grid, so I got my GMRS license (WRMN978) and it extends to my immediate family members. That solves my legal issues.

This is what I did to change the mode to mode 0. Connect radio to your computer. Get your codeplug from your radio by reading from your ht to CPS. On the menu, click on Model -> Model Information. That will show you the mode your ht and your codeplug is in.

If you are already in mode 0, then you are good to go. If not, continue on if you want to change your mode.


Your ht and your codeplug MUST have the same mode. If you have a mismatch on mode between your ht and codeplug, you will get a "Band Plan Error."

Since doing this process will wipe out your radio and your codeplug in CPS, I guess it's best to update your digital contacts as well. Digital contacts is similar to caller id. In digital mode, you will see the name and callsign of the one talking. Without the digital contact list, you will just see the dmr id. I downloaded my list from KF5IW's website. I chose the Worldwide contacts (Extended) becuase I frequent TG 91.

The process of changing your radio's mode differ from even the same model. The PTT+1key option upon boot up does not work on my radio. So I used a small app to change the mode on my ht. You can get the app and all relevant information on this website. Or you can download it here AT_Options_v7.zip. I am making this available here because I know that this particular version works on my radio. Before using this app, be sure that you don't have password enabled on your ht. Connect your radio to your computer, then launch AT_Options, select the port, then READ your radio.

Just select the mode you want. Then WRITE to your radio. You will lose every customization on your radio. Settings and codeplugs will be reset. After this your radio is now in mode 0.