Aliasing for radio clones

Version 2 (Pavel Milanes, 06/29/2016 01:34 pm)

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h1. Aliasing for radio clones.
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If you have a question like the following this page has info you need to know about, keep reading:
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<pre>
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My FooBar-300 radio shows itself as China_radio-100 once I opened a saved image of it, it’s that normal?
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</pre> 
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Since June 2016 Chirp support a feature called radio aliasing, and it’s used to represent a clone of a real radio in the user interface for the users convenience. This is more a trick in the guts of Chirp for the developers but it has a quirk the users need to know about.
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h2. The problem.
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Some radio manufacturers – mostly from Asia – are assembling some re-branded radios by request with custom names, at the end this radios are no more than perfect clones of a previous existing radios from the Chirps point of view. The perfect example for this is the Baofeng UV-5R with all the [[Baofeng_UV5R_Variants]].
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This is no problem at all for using the radios in the day to day work on it’s features and performance, but for Chirp developers it’s: we need that every radio has it’s own and unique identification code or ID to get it clearly identified.
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Before the alias feature implementation you have to know before hand that your Juentai JT-6188 Mini was just a clone of the QYT KT-8900 and so on with other vendors/models. 
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This has brought a lot of confusion and problems on the user side, the site issues and the user mailing list are prof of that; with users asking about support for specific radio models that are no more that just clones of others.
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h2. The fix.
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The first approach was to educate the users by putting comments on the [[Supported_Radios]] page about the clones and the right radio to select, and answering issues on the site and emails on the user list. That proved to be just a partial fix, as newcomers keep asking the same questions all over again (Who read the manual anyway?)
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Then, in a debate in the developers list, Dan came across with this alias feature. with this feature developers has the option to register the radio clones as what they are: clones (technically aliases for a real radio) and allow to show them on the users interface as it’s own VENDOR/MODEL for the users pleasure and peace of mind.
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h2. A quirk you will notice and a workaround.
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This alias feature has a issue we can't fix in software: when you download and image of a radio that it’s a clone and save it, that image will became the real radio once opened again in Chirp and you will found yourself asking a similar question to the one on top of this page.
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For example, if you read and save an image of a Juentai JT-6188 Mini, when you re-open it from the file in your hard drive, you will found Chirp telling you that this image is for a QYT KT-8900, not the Juentai JT-6188 Mini, this is completely normal and you are safe using it for your clone radio.
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It’s confusing, we know; but remember that Chirp’s team always encourage to keep a few images for every radio and do not cross use them with other radio models or variants. For that reason we have implemented also a suggested naming schema on the saving of a img file to cope with that.
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Once you want to save a copy of your radio data you will find Chirp is suggesting you to use the {vendor}_{model}_{date}.img schema, for the above example you will receive the suggestion to use this: Juentai_JT-6188 Mini_{date}.img
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So when you look for and old image file of your radio you will always know that this image was for that particular radio vendor & model as it’s stated on the file name, this will help you with the mentioned quirk in the aliasing feature.
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h2. Present and future.
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So far we have just a few clones or aliases listed on Chirp, we hope other developers jump to implement it for the remaining aliases, specially for the Baofeng UV-5R huge family of clones, we know its’t a huge task and will take time.
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So far this radios are implemented as clones or aliases:
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* Juentai_JT-6188 Mini (clone of a QYT KT-8900 variant)
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* Juentai_JT-6188 Plus (clone of Waccom Mini-8900)
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* QYT KT-UV980 (clone of Waccom Mini-8900)
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* Jetstream JT2705M (clone of Waccom Mini-8900)
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* Sainsonic GT-890 (clone of a QYT KT-8900 variant)
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* Luiton LT-588UV (clone of a QYT KT-8900 variant)
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We will update this page with more clones as they are implemented or ported to Chirp.