CHIRP vs RT Systems

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by N6WZQ, Feb 10, 2019.

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  1. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    CHIRP is fine. If your radio came with a programming cable, it's the obvious choice. It is several cuts above the software (ahem) that comes with Chinese radios.

    The RT Systems software, IMHO, is, however, easier to use and more full featured.

    And a big deal? With the RT Systems cables you will not be playing the counterfeit FTDI USB-serial drivers game, trying to get your PC to recognize the radio as you will be doing with many of the el cheapo radio cables from China.
     
  2. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What inevitably happens is that Windows will update that "bad" driver. The next time you want to update your radio, you'll be playing the same game, trying to remember what worked and where you got it. ;)
     
  3. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Download vs paid. WHY is there a question? If CHIRP works, that is all that is needed.
     
  4. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I use both. My cheap Chinese radios, I use Chirp. For my Kenwood TM-71A, I use RT Systems.

    RT Systems is a far better product, but you have to pay for it. The question for the user is. What are you looking for? (Chirp doesn't work with all radio either, then again. Neither does RT Systems.)
     
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It may be all that is needed...or it may not be. Does it access all the radio's features? For some just being able to load some repeaters into their Baofeng HT is enough...others need more.
     
  6. N8OHU

    N8OHU Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you build your own cables, you know what the USB to serial chipset is. And for me, having one software application that works with most of my radios, even if it doesn't support all functionality of each radio is important.
     
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not many people build their own USB-serial cables. ;)
     
  8. KD8SLQ

    KD8SLQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the RT Systems cable and software for my FT-897. They had the cheapest cable I could find and came with the software. For that radio, RT vs. CHIRP is pretty much a wash. Both programs operate basically the same and can modify the same information. CHIRP makes it easier if I want to pull data out of the settings for another radio without having to re-key everything. This is also a well established radio. Newer radios commonly take a while to be fully supported by CHIRP.

    CHIRP can be a bit annoying when you first setup a program because you have to drill down though the menu system to get the radio you want out of the couple hundred it supports. That can be a bit annoying. But you only have to do that about once per session. RT's packaging for that radio doesn't have that because it only support two radios. The FT897 and the FT857.

    RT Systems has a license key that you have to put in for every install so KEEP YOUR CD SLEEVE AND DOCUMENTATION! That fine unless you have a hard drive crash.

    CHIRP has versions for Windows, Mac & Linux, so basically everything is supported. Mac support for RT systems is spotty. They have it for some versions but not others. No Linux support. So what type of OS you run will make a difference there.
     
  9. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got numerous versions of RT Systems programs for my various radios. Had a complete file built for the Yaesu 7900 -- bought a Kenwood 710, got the software / cable for the 710, and was able to pretty much pull in the 7900 programming file and convert it to the 710 with minimal hassle. No exporting to CSV, no re-formatting with Excel, nada.

    Found a minor bug on their 817ND software -- documented it and how to recreate it, emailed them, and within a week they had posted a fix.
     
  10. W4EAE

    W4EAE Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly. No one should ever pay anything for software.

    I have never purchased software of any kind. Some people choose to spend their hard-earned money that way, but I do not. If Microsoft's intention with Windows is that their software is so convoluted that it will require paid support after you have already shelled out the money for the OS, that would be about the only thing that would explain their design choices.

    Your only options are not Windows or Mac (although from a basic architectural standpoint, Apple is way head). https://www.fsf.org/ I have a linux server here that has been running non-stop for better than a year with zero problems. The last time I rebooted it was to install an OS upgrade.

    Free Software rant over. :)

    I own several Yaesu radios, several Chinese radios, and one Alinco. I had no problems using the free software from the manufacturers to program all of my radios. Quite few people have called these free programs 'useless' and 'worse than nothing.' I guess everyone is different. Some people buy bottled water. I guess the tap water at the bottling plant just tastes better.
     

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