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I have been asked to share my information on how to use CHIRP1CHIRP supports Windows, Mac, and Linux to program a radio with frequencies.

I am going to go through the info for my Baofeng UV-5R. A complete list of supported radios can be found on the Chirp website (Check for your radio on their list).

First I have to make some assumptions:

  1. You know how to download a program from the internet.
  2. You know the radio (manufacturer and model) you are working with.
  3. You have the correct cable to hook from the radio to the computer2This cable can be ordered through RTsystems (about $30). The cable for my Baofeng is the USB-K4Y (caution: there are MULTIPLE models of Baofeng)..
  4. You know the USB port on your computer for the download3This may create an issue if you don’t know how to find it. My USB for the cable used is port 3 on my computer..
  5. You know the repeater/frequencies/offset/tones (CTCSS or DCS) you want on your radio4The Members Files section has a spreadsheet with local frequencies. You must be an approved member to access the file.

Once you have the above all figured out, the actual operation is really easy.

Step 1

Fire up the program (you’ll get a blank start up screen)

Default screen when loading CHIRP

Step 2

Choose “Radio – download from radio”

Step 3

Here is where you choose your USB port, the manufacturer, and the model of radio.

Your screen will depend on your cable, and radio.

Step 4

Follow the prompts. (next 3 screens)

You will only see this screen when using experimental drivers for your radio.
Make sure to follow the instructions provided by CHIRP to ensure success.

Hopefully you don’t get this screen. If you do, you may have to start over (maybe even a reboot of your computer).

Hopefully you won’t see this.

This will be the screen you see when it is downloading normally. Takes 15-30 seconds depending on radio.

This means everything is working.

Step 5

This should be the form that comes up. This is where you enter the data you want loaded into your radio. This one has already been filled in for review. “Name and skip” are optional. Not actually sure what “skip” does. “Locations” go up to the highest your radio supports. Blank Locations are OK.

Your initial screen may be empty.

Step 6

When you get all needed fields filled, do an “Upload to radio”.

Step 7

You will get the “cloning progress” again.

Relax, you are almost done…

Wait until the program has finished uploading before turning the radio off and unplugging.

Check the radio to see if your frequencies are set up the way you wanted.

You can “save” your list to print out later or reload if needed.

All done.

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