CHIRP for Linux: Free Memory Management Program -
- Hello all,
I wanted to give a quick review of CHIRP.
CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a way to interface with multiple data sources and formats.
CHIRP is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Mac users have to install KK7DS Python runtime first (the link is on the main download page also.)
The latest CHIRP builds support the FT-897 / FT-897D in both USA and International models which is what I tried it out on. I highly recommend using the development version as it is most up to date, has bug fixes and new bugs.
The models and manufacturers of other radios that CHIRP supports are listed on this page:
CHIRP supports the following file formats:
- Comma Separated Values (.csv)
- EVE for Yaesu VX-5 (.eve)
- Kenwood HMK format (.hmk) (in daily builds)
- Icom Data Files (.icf)
- ARRL TravelPlus (.tpe) (in daily builds)
- VX5 Commander Files (.vx5)
- VX7 Commander Files (.vx7)
- RadioReference (in daily builds) Registration is FREE
- RepeaterBook Free access - Registration NOT Required
- RFinder RFinder is a paid service ($9.95 a year)
I liked CHIRP, and I was amazed at how fast it worked.
I hooked up my CAT cable that I use with my G4ZIP digital modem, I held down the two MODE arrow buttons and powered up. (See Owners Manual page 63 for explanation of cloning). The transceiver was in Clone mode with the two buttons labelled to receive or send data.
When I pushed the button to send the data to the CHIRP program I was prompted to enter the transceiver type and the connection. With the Windows version the connection for the COM port was complete blank. I put in the correct comport (obtained from Ham Radio Deluxe) and it instantly recognized my FT897D. Then I pressed the SEND button the the transceiver. I only had ten memories in use anyway so if you have 100 memories, I expect it to take a bit more time but it was very very fast.
Transfer took about 20 seconds and CHIRP displayed a moving graph showing my data transfer which disappeared when the transfer was done and the computer displayed a spreadsheet. I saved the spreadsheet as a csv file on my hard drive.
Under CHIRP's menu, under Radio, there is import data - and each of the data sources listed above was listed. I tried
repeater book and selected my state and county and CHIRP opened up a new window with all the information
I needed. I copied the lines I needed and pasted to the other tab and pasted them in. For some reason I didn't paste it corectly and there was a blank memory.
CHIRP has a nice feature for editing that took care of this: If you select the line you wish to delete you have the option of deleting it, or deleting it and moving the data below it up to replace the data. Nice.
The only problem I had was that I could not enter 830 kHz AM reception because I got an error with my entry of 0.830000 but it had no problem programing memories in any mode or any frequency.
A very good program and I recommend it. If you get stuck there is a support email list. I wrote in (I forgot to put the FT987 into "clone" mode :-( but someone came to my help right away!
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