I’d like to start writing some “How To” articles, and I would also like others to come in as guest posters and do the same. If you have any interest in submitting a How To article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download the CHIRP software from this link
Most radios these days have programming software of their own; Baofeng, Wouxun, Yaesu, etc. These are probably fine, but rather than having several different programs installed on your computer that basically all do the same thing, the CHIRP software will work with most of these radios.
- Power off your radio, connect the programming cable to the radio and plug it into a USB port on your computer. Then power on the radio.
- The computer should recognize the connection and give no errors. If you get errors about driver installs, you will need to trouble-shoot that.
- Open the CHIRP software and from the top menu click Radio -> Download from Radio. This will read all the current settings in your radio and display them on the computer screen. I suggest saving this file before you make any changes so that you can go back to it later, if you lose any information. Go to File -> Save As and save the file to a location on your computer with the radio name and date. I usually save mine as ‘BaofengUV-82_20140206’ or something like that. But you can choose whatever name you want.
- After you’ve saved the file, you can then start to overwrite the channels and settings. You can do this manually with the repeaters in your area that you want to program. Right click on each channel and choose Edit, then set the Frequency, Tone Mode, Tone, Duplex direction and the offset. You can find this information in repeaterbook.com for repeaters in your area, or from other hams.
- For the purpose of this article, I am going to show you how to import a .csv file which already has all of the repeaters I am using in DFW entered. After you’ve read from the radio, go to File->Import and find a .csv file to import. If you don’t have a file, follow step 4 for each channel you want, then skip to step 6.
- After importing the file, or after you have manually entered the information you want, choose Radio->Upload to Radio. Let the process complete before disconnecting.
- Your radio should now be ready to use. Test some repeater frequencies to make sure you can key them. Always remember to give your callsign when keying repeaters.
- Once you’ve confirmed the radio is working on a couple of repeaters, or via Simplex, save the new file with a new name. This way you can always reload it if something happens to your radio, or if, like me, you have multiple radios.
Thanks, that should do it. Using this software is a great tool because it works for almost all radios, and saves you from having multiple programs installed on your computer.
Here is a .CSV file for a 128-channel HT. It isn’t complete yet, but it should get you all the frequencies, which you can edit and enter later. I will post another update once I have the file completed.