Information for Vendors

If you are a vendor or reseller and realize the value of having first-class support for your radio in CHIRP, we may be able to help.

About the community

CHIRP software is written and cultivated by a group of dedicated volunteers that mostly work on adding and improving support for radios that they own. Since this work is all unpaid, that means that we get many requests for supporting new models that we cannot satisfy. We encourage people to register their interest by filling out a "new model support request" so that we can identify popular radios and sometimes coordinate an equipment loan if a developer is interested in working on someone else's radio. Although loans help get initial support for a particular model on the books, ongoing support and feature development requires continuous access to the hardware. Of course, when a bug is reported, if a developer doesn't have access to a particular model, it may be impossible to reproduce and squash the bug.

The volunteer developers that work on CHIRP are usually professional software engineers who are hams that enjoy working on ham-related software projects in their spare time. They are spread all across the globe, with developers hailing from the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

Why is CHIRP support for my radio valuable?

Many of the new radios being released by Chinese manufacturers with resellers in the US have bundled programming software. However, this software is usually highly difficult to use, often buggy and unmaintained, and is not compatible with other programming software or radios. This can be a serious turn-off both to an aging ham population that increasingly needs to program via computer because of vision and coordination problems, as well as younger hams that wouldn't consider something unless they can easily hook it to their computer.

In short, the value of having your radio supported in CHIRP is:

  • Easy-to-use software that runs on Windows, MacOS, and Linux
  • Ongoing support and development from a vibrant and distributed community
  • Translated into 14 languages
  • Integration with online repeater databases and frequency catalogs
  • Compatible with nearly 100 other models
  • Reduces initial cost of acquisition for small groups that can easily share frequency plans with their existing and new radios

A final value which is very specifically relevant to the Amateur Radio community is the positive perception or "karma" gained by supporting a volunteer grass-roots project. Hams love it when equipment manufacturers, vendors, and resellers support groups they view as doing good things for the rest of the community.

How can I get my radio supported?

Vendors that are willing to donate a "sample" radio to a CHIRP developer can help ensure that support is added in a timely manner, and that support for the radio in CHIRP continues to mature and improve over time. If you are a vendor and are seriously interested in this route, please so that we can get the ball rolling for you. Emails to this address that are not from vendors will be ignored.