How to Program a Ham Radio with CHIRP Software has been live since September 2011, we specialise in both expert prepper guides, and a daily curated feed of the best prepper content online.

Amateur radio, commonly known as Ham radio, is a popular hobby and communication service that brings together people from all around the world. Programming your Ham radio is an essential skill to make the most out of your experience. CHIRP (CHInese Radio Project) is a free, open-source software tool that simplifies the process of programming your Ham radio. In this article, we will guide you through the process of programming your Ham radio using CHIRP software.


Before we begin, ensure you have the following:

  1. A Ham radio (compatible with CHIRP)
  2. CHIRP software installed on your computer (available at
  3. A programming cable compatible with your radio
  4. A list of the frequencies you want to program

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Connect your radio to your computer

Connect your Ham radio to your computer using the programming cable. Make sure your radio is turned off before connecting the cable.

Step 2: Launch CHIRP

Once your radio is connected, open CHIRP software on your computer.

Step 3: Download the radio settings

Before making any changes, it’s essential to download the current settings from your radio. In the CHIRP menu, click on “Radio” and select “Download from Radio.” You will be prompted to select the correct port, radio model, and other communication settings. If you’re unsure about these settings, refer to your radio’s manual.

After selecting the correct settings, click “OK” to start the download process. CHIRP will display a progress bar, and once completed, you’ll see a spreadsheet-like interface with the current settings of your radio.

Step 4: Edit the settings

Now, you can edit the radio settings according to your preferences. You can add, modify, or delete frequencies, change names, and configure settings like power output and CTCSS/DCS codes.

To add a new frequency, click on an empty row in the “Frequency” column and enter the desired frequency. You can also input other details, such as channel name, transmit and receive frequencies, and various other settings.

Remember to double-check your input to avoid errors, as these settings will directly affect your radio’s operation.

Step 5: Upload the settings to your radio

Once you have edited the settings, it’s time to upload them to your radio. In the CHIRP menu, click on “Radio” and select “Upload to Radio.” You’ll be prompted to confirm the port and radio model once again. Click “OK” to begin the upload process.

Step 6: Disconnect and test your radio

After the upload is complete, you can safely disconnect your radio from the computer. Turn on your Ham radio and test the new settings. If you encounter any issues, you can always download the settings from your radio, modify them, and re-upload.


CHIRP software is a powerful and user-friendly tool that makes programming your Ham radio a breeze. By following this step-by-step guide, you can quickly and easily program your Ham radio with the desired frequencies and settings. Now you’re ready to explore the exciting world of amateur radio communication. Happy Hamming!