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Dan Smith, 09/10/2011 06:48 pm

Free software for programming amateur radios

What is it?

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. The current list of supported models is:

Will this replace the OEM software?

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.

How do I get it?

Go to the download page

Where can I get a cable?

There are several ways to obtain a cable to program your radio with CHIRP. Obviously, your manufacturer probably sells a high-quality cable for your radio, although this is generally the most expensive route.

I recommend looking on eBay for cables. I have purchased several cables from various vendors and have never had a problem. 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:

Check KawaMall and Valley Enterprises for other options.