Ham Radio Setup: Part 1

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Having 2 Baofeng handhelds, I want to quickly setup a simplex network in order to test comms. Here’s my recipe:

  1. Install CHIRP
  2. Connect a radio to computer using a Baofeng programming cable
  3. Turn the radio on
  4. Start CHIRP and select Radio/Download From Radio
  5. Set Port, Vendor, Model and press OK
  6. Optional: Delete everything
  7. Select File/Open stock config/US Calling Frequencies
  8. Highlight Loc 2 and 4, Press CTRL+C to copy
  9. Navigate back to (Untitled) tab, select LOC 0 and paste
  10. Click on vertical Settings tab, specify the following:
    • Basic Settings, specify the following:
      • Backlight Timeout: 5
      • Beep (unchecked)
      • Display Mode A: Name
      • Display Mode B: Name
      • Standby LED Color: Purple
      • RX LED Color: Blue
      • TX LED Color: Orange
    • Advanced Settings (optional)
      • Voice: Off
    • Other Settings (optional)
      • Power-On Message 1: BAOFENG
      • Power-On Message 2: (Model)
  11. Select Radio/Upload to Radio
  12. Save configuration to a file named something like baofeng-(model)-v1.img (optional)
  13. Repeat entire process on other radio

It would be good to periodically copy these images to an external encrypted usb drive.

Now that each radio has 2 simplex channels programmed, it’s time to test.

Turn each radio on and ensure the usb programming cable is not connected. Use the VF0/MR button to toggle the radio into Channel Mode. The display should show the names of the 2 channels we progammed in ealier. Don’t worry if you see the same name on both lines. That just means line A is set to the same channel as line B. Select line A with the A/B button and use the up and down arrows to select our 70CM CA channel.

Repeat this on the other radio. Press PTT and say hello. If you don’t hear yourself, turn up the receiving radio’s volume and double check that the programming cable is not attached.

Here’s a great article to help move things along: http://www.backdoorsurvival.com/how-to-set-up-a-ham-radio

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