Beginners Guide

This document should help you get off the ground using chirp and your radio.

Before you begin

Before you begin to use CHIRP with your radio, it is important to understand the two different modes of operation. Each radio falls into one of two categories:

Mode Behavior
Clone The radio's memories are downloaded or uploaded all at once in a single clone operation.
You can download an image of this type of radio, which includes all settings, including memories,
VFO state, etc. The radio enters (or must be put into) a special mode of operation while communicating
with the PC and is typically power cycled after completion of a transfer. Changes to the memories
are made against a saved image, and then are uploaded to the radio.
Live The radio remains on and active during communication with the computer. Memories are
transferred one at time from the radio to the computer or from the computer to the radio. Changes
to memories are made in real time against the radio as they are entered by the user. An image of
this type of radio cannot be saved to disk in the same way that a clone-mode radio can. If you want
to store the memories in a file, you must export them to a CSV or .chirp file.

Note that CSV and .chirp files may also be opened and edited directly, but you will not be able to upload directly from those types to any of the radios. You must always either download from a radio (or open an image of it) first and then Import the contents of your CSV or .chirp file into it before uploading.

Basic Procedure for Programming

Step 1: Download contents from the radio

  1. Start CHIRP and Click the Radio menu and choose Download From Radio
  2. The Clone window opens
  3. Select the serial port you intend to use from the drop down menu
  4. Select the correct Vendor and (if necessary) the appropriate Model
  5. Click OK to start the download process. Clone-mode radios will display a progress bar indicating how much of the image has been downloaded. Live-mode radios will immediately jump to the memory editor and begin to populate it with memories as they are downloaded from the radio.

Note for Yaesu radios: There are series of steps that must be followed in order for Yaesu radios to be properly cloned. The above process is still accurate, but keep in mind the following:

  • The radio should already be in clone mode before clicking the OK button to initiate the download (step 5 above).
  • After clicking the OK button (step 5 above), you should press the button on your radio that initiates the clone transmission. This is usually indicated on the screen by Clone TX or similar.

Step 2: Make changes

Once you have the radio contents displayed in the memory editor, you can proceed to make your changes. This may include manual edits or importing memories from other sources. If you are using a clone-mode radio, you may wish to save a .img file of your radio as and after you make your changes. Live mode radio users will have their changes immediately take effect in the radio and do not need to proceed to Step 3.

Step 3: Upload changes back to the radio

(For clone-mode radios only!)

Once you have made all the edits you need to make, you should upload your image back to the radio. With your image open, go to the Radio menu and choose Upload To Radio. The Vendor and Model are already known, so all you need to do is choose a serial port.

Note for Yaesu radios: Like the download procedure, the upload procedure must follow a particular sequence. Make sure that your radio is already in clone mode and it is already waiting for an incoming clone transmission. This is usually indicated on the screen by Clone Wait or Clone RX.

Other Operations

Exporting To A Generic File

If you wish to save memories from an existing radio out to a generic file that can be imported into other radios or edited by hand, use the Export function in the menu.

  1. Start CHIRP and download a temporary image of your source radio
  2. Use the Export function to choose a CSV or .chirp file of your radio's contents
  3. Choose some or all of the memories to export

Importing From Another File

If you have an image from another radio (even another type), you can import that into an image or live mode radio using the Import function in the menu.

  1. Start CHIRP and download a temporary image of your target radio
  2. Use the Import function to choose a source file (CSV, CHIRP, .img, or .icf)
  3. Choose some or all of the memories to import
  4. Upload the changed image back to your target radio