Programing Radio with a MAC?

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by JOHNKOBECK, Aug 29, 2016.

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  1. JOHNKOBECK

    JOHNKOBECK QRZ Member

    In my search for a mobile dual band radio and deciding between Kenwood, Icom etc I was doing some research about programing. I have a MAC and no desire to change that. So I need to be able to program what ever radio I buy with a MAC. It looks like the CHIRP software will work with a MAC. But I have read that there are cable issues. Anyway, the software and programing will be the driving factors now. I do not want to run parallels on my computer either. Anyone else tackle this with MAC?
     
  2. KE0RG

    KE0RG XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wouldn't ask you to get rid of your Mac either.

    I do have a couple alternatives, should your combo of radio, software, computer, cables, and ports not match-up.

    1. Find a cheap/free Windows XP machine just for programming the radio - could even be a laptop sans battery.
    2. Find a friend or fellow ham that can help with the programming - it shouldn't be needed often.

    But I hope that you are able to get / make it all work with the Mac. You could check with the Linux in the Hamshack guys, they're PC, but the Mac and Linux OSes might be related closely enough to get there with a few tweaks.
     
  3. KK4PP

    KK4PP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am an OS X guy and honestly, for months, I used my MBP as my shack PC. I got just about everything to sort of work, but it always felt like an uphill battle. In the end, I bought a used PC laptop on Craigslist and turned it into the shack PC. It was a great investment, and I no longer feel like up trying to paddle upstream. Now that I have it, I use the PC for the digimodes like PSK and JT65 (which basically require a full screen) and use the MBP for everything else and they sit side by side on my desk. It's like having dual monitors with dual keyboards.

    I gather that at this point, you are new to the hobby, and I can understand not wanted to buy a PC just so you can program a radio with frequencies. I did figure out the driver issues, and get the cables to work after hours of experimenting. The problem is that every new revision of OS X broke the workaround I had in place. Each time it got harder and harder to find another fix. You'll get the cables working with El Capitan, but a year from now, you'll pull the same cable out to make some programming changes and it won't work again because your workaround broke when you upgraded to Sierra and you're starting over from scratch.
     
  4. KL5A

    KL5A Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have found that the programming cables, and the USB/serial cables in general, need to be the genuine FTDI chipsets and not the clone. The bad news is that you can't tell (usually) until you buy to find out if it's the real deal, the good news is that the cable are cheap and I'm about 50/50 so far.
     

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