Anyone who has a new handheld radio and wants to store the frequencies of the relays and local rounds as channels, which must schedule depending on the menu structure and, above all, have the patience for it. It is much easier with a data cable on the PC. Data cables are now reasonably priced and when paired with the right software, programming a handheld radio becomes child’s play. The manufacturers usually offer software for their devices. Depending on the manufacturer, this software is then free or paid. Sometimes it is included in the scope of delivery. An alternative to the software of the device manufacturers is the free program CHIRP.
CHIRP is a program written in Python that can be used to program hand-held radios. The list of supported devices is long and includes devices from many manufacturers. Of course, the current models from Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, and Alinco are also included. The partly very cheap devices from Baofeng, Puxing, and Wouxon can also be programmed with CHIRP.
The legal framework
- Programming a walkie-talkie is quite simple, the main thing is to allocate frequency bands to 1 or more channels available on the latter.
- Nevertheless, it is necessary to know some legislation before embarking on this type of manipulation.
- Indeed, in France, the legislation on emitter radio receivers is quite clear: only the 446Mhz band is authorized for free use. Other frequencies, lower or higher than the latter are not available and it is appropriate to use them to pay a fee to the ANFR.
- A programmable walkie-talkie will, therefore, transmit on frequency bands outside PMR446 and the use of which will be subject to a fee.
- This is a reminder, let’s look at programming.
- To program a walkie-talkie, it is necessary for the first time to bring a programming cord compatible with your device.
- Most brands have specific proprietary leads that connect most often to the connectivity provided for the headset. We, therefore, speak of proprietary cables, jack with 1 or 2 bits and ending with a serial port or USB.
- Once this cable in your hands, you will need to bring you the software also specific to your walkie-talkie and install it on a PC.
- The walkie-talkie and connected to your computer, you just have to launch the software.
- Most programming software from different manufacturers offers two options for opening: write (to program your talkies) or read (to read the existing radio frequencies).
- The first step is to read the information contained in the device, then appear a table is showing channel by channel the programmed frequencies.
- Charge you then to enter the new frequencies and record them on your radio.
- If the operation seems simple, this is not the case. In fact, in addition to these cases of cord/software/talkie compatibility, the number of customizable options is often significant: CTSS, DCS, key function, transmit power are all parameters that will significantly change the behavior of your walkie-talkie.
So, unless you know and have the budget for the purchase of software and cords, it is better to refer to a professional to be certain to have a functional product, legal and programmed in state of the art.