FAQ

Version 37 (Jens Jensen, 01/28/2014 10:08 pm)

1 1 Dan Smith
h1. Frequently Asked Questions
2 1 Dan Smith
3 1 Dan Smith
{{>toc}}
4 1 Dan Smith
5 12 Dan Smith
h2. General use
6 12 Dan Smith
7 12 Dan Smith
h3. What is it?
8 12 Dan Smith
9 29 Mike Agner
CHIRP is a FREE cross-platform, cross-radio programming tool. It works on Windows and Linux (and MacOSX with a little work). It supports a growing list of radios across several manufacturers and allows transferring of memory contents between them.   
10 12 Dan Smith
11 17 Dan Smith
h3. Is my radio supported?
12 17 Dan Smith
13 26 Dan Smith
If it's listed on the [[Wiki|front page]], then it is. If it is not listed, then it is not supported. If you're interested in getting support added, please see [[FAQ#How-can-I-get-my-radio-supported-by-CHIRP|How can I get my radio supported by CHIRP]].
14 26 Dan Smith
15 26 Dan Smith
h3. My radio is on the web page, but not in CHIRP. Why?
16 26 Dan Smith
17 26 Dan Smith
If your radio is listed on the [[Wiki|front page]] as supported, but is not available in CHIRP, you are in one of two situations:
18 26 Dan Smith
19 26 Dan Smith
1. Your CHIRP download is too old. Simply grab the latest version from the download page.
20 26 Dan Smith
2. Your radio is listed as being supported in "daily builds" and you have a regular release. Go to the bottom of the download page and get the latest development/daily build.
21 17 Dan Smith
22 13 Dan Smith
h3. Will this replace the OEM software?
23 12 Dan Smith
24 12 Dan Smith
Maybe. CHIRP's focus is to support reading and writing the memory channels of as many radio models as possible. This provides the ability to exchange your programming information between dissimilar radios. It does not focus on supporting every single knob and setting that each radio supports. Doing so would severely limit the amount of developer time available to supporting a wider-range of models.
25 12 Dan Smith
26 12 Dan Smith
h3. How do I program split TX/RX configurations?
27 12 Dan Smith
28 12 Dan Smith
If your radio supports it, you can choose _split_ in the _Duplex_ column. This causes chirp to treat the _Offset_ column as the transmit frequency. In such a configuration you could, for example, receive (_Frequency_ column) on 146.52MHz and transmit (_Offset_ column) on 446.00MHz.
29 12 Dan Smith
30 12 Dan Smith
h3. What are "stock configurations"?
31 12 Dan Smith
32 12 Dan Smith
These are canned frequency plans, some of which are built into chirp. These include standard US calling frequencies, the channelized 60m frequencies, etc. They can easily be opened or imported into your radio from the _File_ and _Radio_ menus.
33 12 Dan Smith
34 12 Dan Smith
h3. Can I add new stock configurations?
35 12 Dan Smith
36 12 Dan Smith
Yes! Adding your group's frequency plan to the stock configurations can make it very quick and easy to program new radios. Further, putting various configurations into the stock list can make switching your radio between multiple functions or geographical regions easy. Simply save a CSV file into the stock configurations directory and restart CHIRP to have it show up in the list. On windows, go to _Start_ -> _Run_ and type:
37 12 Dan Smith
38 12 Dan Smith
 %APPDATA%\CHIRP\stock_configs
39 12 Dan Smith
40 12 Dan Smith
On MacOS or Linux, the path is:
41 12 Dan Smith
42 12 Dan Smith
 ~/.chirp/stock_configs
43 12 Dan Smith
44 14 Dan Smith
h3. Why can't I upload my CSV file?
45 14 Dan Smith
46 14 Dan Smith
CSV files are generic and not specific to any one radio. Your radio needs an exact copy of its memory to be uploaded to it, and will not accept CSV data. So, you must first download a copy of your radio's contents, modify them in some way, and then upload those contents back to the radio. In order to get CSV data into your radio, you should download, import the CSV file, and then upload back to the radio. See the [[Beginners_Guide]] for more information.
47 12 Dan Smith
48 19 Dan Smith
h3. I get "application configuration is incorrect" when I try to run CHIRP
49 19 Dan Smith
50 19 Dan Smith
The full error message as seen by the user is: "Application cannot run because application configuration is incorrect"
51 15 Dan Smith
52 22 Dan Smith
This is a problem with your Windows XP machine and its standard libraries. Most users seem to be able to resolve this issue by downloading the "Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 SP1 Redistributable Package":http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/confirmation.aspx?id=5582.
53 22 Dan Smith
54 22 Dan Smith
If the above does not help you, Google for this error message and you will find many such problem reports with myriad other applications, as well as suggested fixes, depending on what the root cause of your problem is.
55 15 Dan Smith
56 16 Dan Smith
h3. Can I adjust the port settings for improved communications reliability?
57 16 Dan Smith
58 16 Dan Smith
No, this is a common misconception. Please refer to this more detailed page on the topic: [[FAQ_Adjusting_The_Serial_Port_Settings_In_Windows]]
59 16 Dan Smith
60 25 Dan Smith
h3. How do I upgrade to a newer version of CHIRP?
61 25 Dan Smith
62 25 Dan Smith
Nothing special is needed. Just download the newer version and install it. The install will replace the old version automatically. This applies to the daily builds as well.
63 25 Dan Smith
64 32 Dan Smith
h3. I'm a blind ham. Can I use CHIRP with a screen reader?
65 32 Dan Smith
66 32 Dan Smith
CHIRP uses a graphical toolkit called GTK. This lets it run on all platforms unchanged. Since GTK is native on Linux, screen reading software for Linux will work with CHIRP without any trouble. On MacOS and Windows, GTK is not native and thus screen readers on these platforms will see CHIRP as a blank window. This cannot and will not be changed, as it would mean writing CHIRP three times, once for each platform, or dropping support for MacOS and Windows entirely. Please do not ask about this issue as it has been covered many, many times on the mailing list!
67 32 Dan Smith
68 33 Jens Jensen
h3. How do I print from CHIRP?
69 33 Jens Jensen
70 34 Jens Jensen
Chirp does not support printing directly. One solution would be to export as CSV, and import into a spreadsheet program (e.g., Excel, Google Sheets, LibreOffice, etc) where you can format and print as you like.
71 33 Jens Jensen
72 36 Jens Jensen
h3. What platforms (OSes) does CHIRP support?
73 37 Jens Jensen
74 37 Jens Jensen
Currently only Windows, Mac, and Linux are supported. See the Download page for more information. Note that there are no plans to support iOS or Android, as there are technical limitations. See issue #1369 for a deeper discussion.
75 36 Jens Jensen
76 1 Dan Smith
h2. Cables
77 1 Dan Smith
78 1 Dan Smith
h3. What kind of cable do I need?
79 1 Dan Smith
80 3 Dan Smith
Usually the cable supplied by your radio manufacturer is the highest quality cable you can find. However, it's usually also the most expensive, and is often bundled with software which you may not want or need. There are many 3rd party cables available and they should all work just fine for the most part. Check eBay and "KawaMall":http://www.kawamall.com for cables. Also check the [[CableGuide]] page, which has details about potential pitfalls and some information about cables that are compatible with multiple radios.
81 1 Dan Smith
82 8 Dan Smith
When shopping on eBay, look for the sellers that are regular merchants, and that have fixed price items and full stores of merchandise.  Here are some recommended common cables:
83 8 Dan Smith
84 8 Dan Smith
    * "Yaesu VX-7R cable":http://stores.ebay.com/KAWAMALL-RAD/Other-/_i.html?_nkw=vx7+cable&submit=Search&_fsub=1&_sid=55765193 (works for VX-6R, ICOM IC-Q7A) - $18
85 8 Dan Smith
    * "Yaesu VX-8R/DR cable":http://stores.ebay.com/KAWAMALL-RAD/Other-/_i.html?_nkw=vx8+cable&submit=Search&_fsub=1&_sid=55765193 - $23
86 8 Dan Smith
    * "Yaesu FT-7800 cable":http://shop.ebay.com/i.html?_nkw=yaesu+7800+programming+cable&_sacat=0&_odkw=yaesu+7800+cable&_osacat=0&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313 (works for 7900, 8800, 8900, etc) - $14
87 8 Dan Smith
    * "OPC-478 clone cable":http://stores.ebay.com/KAWAMALL-RAD/Other-/_i.html?_nkw=opc-478&submit=Search&_fsub=1&_sid=55765193 (most ICOM, some Alinco radios) - $14
88 8 Dan Smith
89 8 Dan Smith
Check "KawaMall":http://stores.ebay.com/KAWAMALL-RAD and "Valley Enterprises":http://stores.ebay.com/Valley-Enterprises for other options. See the [[CableGuide]] for more information about which cable to use for your radio.
90 8 Dan Smith
91 1 Dan Smith
h3. What if my computer does not have a serial port?
92 1 Dan Smith
93 1 Dan Smith
For the most part, USB-to-Serial adapters work without problems. These attach to a USB port and create a virtual serial port that software can use as if it was a regular port. Some adapters are very poor quality and can cause you issues, so if you are experiencing difficulty, you may want to try a different one.
94 1 Dan Smith
95 1 Dan Smith
Without a doubt, the highest quality (and most expensive) adapters come from KeySpan, but you may find that it is worth the money for quality.
96 1 Dan Smith
97 1 Dan Smith
On Windows, determine the COM port that is assigned to the adapter by going into _Device Manager_ and looking under _Ports_.
98 1 Dan Smith
99 4 Dan Smith
h3. Can I use a USB cable?
100 2 Dan Smith
101 2 Dan Smith
Typically, yes. These cables simply have a USB-to-Serial adapter integrated into the cable itself, and are easier to manage and hook up. Follow the same procedures as if you were using a separate adapter.
102 2 Dan Smith
103 2 Dan Smith
*NOTE:* Recently, RTSystems has been selling "Version 4" of their software with a "New USB Cable". It appears that they have specifically designed the cable to be incompatible with other software packages. Beware that if you bought this "new" cable from them you may be unable to use it with CHIRP!
104 2 Dan Smith
105 30 Mike Agner
h3. How can I access Device Manager in Windows?
106 30 Mike Agner
107 30 Mike Agner
The answer is dependent on what flavor of Windows you are using. Here are a few common methods:
108 31 Mike Agner
* *XP:*    Start > Control Panel >System > Hardware > Click on the Device Manager button.
109 31 Mike Agner
* *Vista:* Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Device Manager
110 31 Mike Agner
* *Win7:*  Control Panel > System and Security > System > Device Manager
111 31 Mike Agner
* Click on _Start_ in the Taskbar then _Run_ and enter _devmgmt.msc_ in the resulting box 
112 31 Mike Agner
* Press the Windows key+R, in the resulting menu type _devmgmt.msc_
113 31 Mike Agner
* Click _Start_ --> Right click on _My Computer_ and select _Properties_, click the _Device Manager_ link on the left.
114 30 Mike Agner
* Press the Windows key + pause/break key
115 30 Mike Agner
* Set up a .bat file with the following using Notepad or Wordpad. When you want to run this, right click on it, select Run as Administrator (Vista, Win7)
116 30 Mike Agner
<pre>
117 30 Mike Agner
set devmgr_show_nonpresent_devices=1
118 30 Mike Agner
cd %SystemRoot%\System32
119 30 Mike Agner
start devmgmt.msc
120 30 Mike Agner
</pre>
121 30 Mike Agner
122 30 Mike Agner
h3. How can I use Device Manager in Windows to diagnose an error?
123 30 Mike Agner
124 30 Mike Agner
See the "USB Cables and Drivers":http://www.miklor.com/COM/UV_Drivers.php page on the Miklor website which has extensive information on drivers and how to use Device Manager to diagnose errors
125 30 Mike Agner
126 1 Dan Smith
h3. What if I need to use a COM port other than what is in CHIRP's list?
127 1 Dan Smith
128 1 Dan Smith
You can type anything into the box you need, so if your adapter is assigned to (for example) port 15, simply type +COM15+ into the box and you should be off and running.
129 4 Dan Smith
130 1 Dan Smith
h2. Transferring data between radios
131 7 Dan Smith
132 7 Dan Smith
h3. I have two different radios, how do I transfer data between them?
133 7 Dan Smith
134 7 Dan Smith
CHIRP provides the ability to transfer data between incompatible radios by means of the +Import+ and +Export+ functions. For example, if you have opened a Yaesu VX-8 in CHIRP, you can use the +Import+ function and specify an image from an Icom 2820. A dialog box will open asking you which of the memories from the Icom 2820 you want to import into your VX-8. When the import is complete, you can upload the result to your VX-8. See the [[Beginners_Guide]] for more details about this process.
135 5 Dan Smith
136 5 Dan Smith
h2. Connecting with your radio
137 5 Dan Smith
138 5 Dan Smith
h3. Should I put my Alinco, Icom, or Kenwood radio into clone mode first?
139 5 Dan Smith
140 5 Dan Smith
No, these radios are well-designed and allow the software to place them into clone mode automatically. This is far more reliable than manipulating the radio by hand and synchronizing the software. Simply plug in your programming cable, power on the radio, and instruct CHIRP to read it.
141 5 Dan Smith
142 6 Dan Smith
h3. Should I put my Yaesu radio into clone mode first?
143 5 Dan Smith
144 6 Dan Smith
Yes, Yaesu radios do not respond to commands over the serial port and must be manually manipulated. Start CHIRP with the cable plugged in and the radio in the intermediate clone mode (usually entered by powering the radio on with one or more buttons pressed). When downloading from the radio, put CHIRP into download mode (where it is waiting on the radio) before initiating the clone out from the radio. When uploading, put the radio into clone receive (or clone wait) mode before initiating the upload from CHIRP.
145 5 Dan Smith
146 6 Dan Smith
h3. What is a live radio?
147 5 Dan Smith
148 5 Dan Smith
Most of the radios supported by CHIRP are programmed by downloading an entire "image" or "snapshot" of the radio's memory, manipulating it, and then uploading it back to the radio. These are called "clone-mode radios". Live mode radios instead communicate with the computer by sending and receiving individual memories one at a time. That means that when you use CHIRP to program them, changes are sent to the radio immediately instead of held until an upload.
149 1 Dan Smith
150 27 Dan Smith
h3. No serial ports are listed for download
151 27 Dan Smith
152 27 Dan Smith
If you go to download from your radio and find no options in the serial port drop-down box, one of two things is happening:
153 27 Dan Smith
154 27 Dan Smith
1. Your computer has no serial ports
155 27 Dan Smith
2. You are using a USB-to-serial cable and the proper drivers are not installed. 
156 27 Dan Smith
157 27 Dan Smith
Most people will fall into #2 above. Install the drivers that came with your cable or USB adapter and try again.
158 27 Dan Smith
159 10 Dan Smith
h2. Giving or Getting Help
160 4 Dan Smith
161 21 Dan Smith
If you have a question about anything, please join the CHIRP "mailing list":http://intrepid.danplanet.com/mailman/listinfo/chirp_users and ask your question there. Please do not contact the author or developers directly!
162 8 Dan Smith
163 8 Dan Smith
The mailing list has the latest discussion traffic and news about CHIRP.
164 8 Dan Smith
165 11 Dan Smith
h3. Can I report a bug or request a feature?
166 8 Dan Smith
167 11 Dan Smith
Have you found a bug or do you have a good idea for a future release? Please help out by reporting it! The "issue tracker":/projects/chirp/issues provides a way for users to report bugs, generic issues, and request features. Please read [[How_To_Report_Issues|How to report issues]] first!
168 10 Dan Smith
169 10 Dan Smith
h3. Can I help?
170 1 Dan Smith
171 10 Dan Smith
If you are developer, please see the [[Developers]] page for details on how you can contribute. If you're not a developer, but are good at breaking things, then please file bugs and submit reports.  If you can write documentation, please volunteer to help with that as well. Many folks have loaned their radios for the purposes of getting support for them added to CHIRP. Please see the [[Honor_Roll|Honor Roll]] for that list of people and be sure to thank them if their generosity resulted in support for a model you use!
172 10 Dan Smith
173 21 Dan Smith
If you are multi-lingual, please consider translating CHIRP into another language. No developer skills are required for this and it helps make CHIRP accessible to more people around the world. If you are interested in helping with this, please "open a new issue":http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/issues/new for the translation and a developer will contact you with more details.
174 10 Dan Smith
175 10 Dan Smith
h3. Can I donate some money?
176 10 Dan Smith
177 10 Dan Smith
Of course, developing and maintaining the CHIRP software and website is not free. Monetary donations are always appreciated and can be made via the "Donate" link on the [[download|download]] page. These donations go towards hosting costs of the website, as well as to purchasing new radios, programming cables, etc. for the furtherance of the software.
178 10 Dan Smith
179 10 Dan Smith
h3. How can I get my radio supported by CHIRP?
180 10 Dan Smith
181 20 Dan Smith
In order to add support for a new radio model to CHIRP, a developer needs to reverse engineer the clone protocol and memory format of the radio.  This can often be done in a relatively short period of time, but requires physical access to the radio itself.
182 20 Dan Smith
183 20 Dan Smith
If you're interested in loaning your radio for this process, please follow these steps:
184 20 Dan Smith
185 20 Dan Smith
# Look at the [[Wiki|front page]] to make /sure/ that it is not already supported
186 35 Jim Unroe
# Look at the current set of "new model requests":http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/issues?query_id=15 to see if it has already been requested. If it has, do *not* open another issue, but feel free to post comments and pledges to help in that item
187 20 Dan Smith
# If neither of the above applies, then open a "new request":http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/issues/new
188 23 Dan Smith
189 23 Dan Smith
h2. Using the Mailing List
190 23 Dan Smith
191 23 Dan Smith
h3. Should I subscribe from my arrl.net address?
192 23 Dan Smith
193 23 Dan Smith
Only if you send from that address too. If your N0CAL@arrl.net address forwards to foo@bar.com and you send from foo@bar.com, the mailing list server will reject emails you send because it thinks you are not subscribed. Subscribe with whatever email address you are going to _send_ from.
194 23 Dan Smith
195 24 Dan Smith
h3. Why was my mail to the list rejected as a non-member post?
196 24 Dan Smith
197 24 Dan Smith
See the answer to the question above. If you send an email to the list from an address other than the one you subscribed from, the list will reject your post. Please re-subscribe the proper address or change the address you are sending from.
198 24 Dan Smith
199 23 Dan Smith
h3. How do I unsubscribe?
200 23 Dan Smith
201 23 Dan Smith
Every email you receive from the list contains a few links at the bottom that allow you to manage your email delivery preferences, including removing yourself from the list. For reference, that link takes you "here":http://intrepid.danplanet.com/mailman/listinfo/chirp_users. Please *do not email the list or list owner asking to be unsubscribed*.
202 23 Dan Smith
203 23 Dan Smith
h3. How do I change my email delivery preferences?
204 23 Dan Smith
205 23 Dan Smith
Please see the answer above about unsubscribing.
206 28 Dan Smith
207 28 Dan Smith
h3. What if I forgot my password?
208 28 Dan Smith
209 28 Dan Smith
Use the following tool, which will email you your password:
210 28 Dan Smith
211 28 Dan Smith
http://intrepid.danplanet.com/mailman/options/chirp_users