CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a way to interface with multiple data sources and formats.
Supported radios can be found on their web site at https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home. This list is updated as the software is updated.
Chirp can be downloaded from the following web site. Should things stop to work or connect to outside web sites, it probably is because you don’t have the latest version. You do NOT need to uninstall an existing version of CHIRP before installing a newer one. Just install the new one and it will replace the existing copy. If you already have an old copy on your PC, make sure you close it first, otherwise you will get an error while installing.
On opening Chirp, it will tell you if an update is available. Simply click on the link, download the latest version that is appropriate to your platform, and then once the file has downloaded, run the file. It will update your software. No need to un-install the old one, and it seems all the settings, such as file locations, stay in the new version.
Chirp list all their known issues online which is great. You can see the current list here:
Download from Radio
I think the first step is to first download what is currently on the radio. This will give you a starting point which can be saved should your upload not work. At the very least doing this will allow you to check communication between your PC and radio works, and you will have a file that you can look at to see how it was programmed.
To do this, go to the Radio menu and click on Download from Radio or Ctrl-D. This will give you a small dialog box where you can select the Com Port, radio and model. Your model of radio may not exactly be on the list, so you may need to do some work to see which one to select as an alternative. For example, I have a Baofeng GT-3TP, but it is not on the list, so I have to select the BF-F8HP model.
You can then either edit what you have and then upload it back to the radio, or start from scratch. If you want to start from scratch, you may want to see what Query Data sources are available first.
If you have trouble connecting your computer to your radio, then first make sure it is connected correctly and all the way into the radio. If this doesn’t fix it, go to Windows Device Manager then right click and select properties. If error code 43 comes up, then right click on it and uninstall. Then from the Action menu, scan for updated devices.
Query Data Source
Chirp can can sync your radio with the repeaters listed on several different sites. This will save you a lot of time getting the latest frequencies, offsets, and tone squelches etc. These sites can be found on the Radio menu, Query Data Source, then you can see a list of them.
I usually use the RepeaterBook option and then from this you can select political or proximity depending on what you want to do. If you select proximity it will put the repeaters in distance and band order, not frequency, however you can change this prior to uploading to your radio.
For me, once I have selected proximity, I sort the list in order of frequency, however this doesn’t change their location channel.
Then select the Frequencies you don’t want in your radio, for example, the ones on bands your radio does not use. Right click and select delete, and move all memories up. You may need to sort again in order of frequency; however, this doesn’t change their location channel.
I then export the tab to a csv file.
I then open the CSV file in Excel and sort in the order I want, frequency. Be sure to re-number the location numbers once in the correct order. MAKE SURE COLUMN K = FM. Make sure you remove any comments in column O & R. You can also add any additional frequencies you want to.
Open the CSV exported file, now you will see the locations are in order of Frequency as set above. You can still make any changes required and save or save as which will update the CSV file.
I will add notes here on how to program your radio soon.
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