Programming Your Hand Held (HT) Radio

Do you feel comfortable programming your hand-held (HT) so that you have all the settings for the repeaters in memory? We do that so that we don’t have to fumble around setting frequencies and tones when we need to switch operations.

You can find another ham with the same equipment, but the chances are that they will be wondering about the same problems as you – we don’t use the features on our radios often enough to become proficient.

I recently spent several frustrating hours with an ICOM HT. It’s a dandy little radio but a “bear of beast” to program. Even following the instruction book word by word did not produce good results. The internet indicates that the model I have is one of the easiest to program! So I wonder what some of the others are like!

Before I was about to give up I found that it is possible to purchase after-market cables for most brands and models. With drivers for the cables, and software, programming my HT and my Yaesu base station each took about 15 minutes. I have all the repeaters in Central Vancouver Island and on the Sunshine Coast entered into the radio memories.

Suddenly my equipment has become versatile, flexible and useful. What a joy! And if I need to amend the file I have it on my computer and can amend and update anytime.

The company RT Systems based in Broomfield, Colorado produces US-made products. Look them up online. I have purchased the software and cables for both of my VHF/UHF radios and am more than pleased with the service and quality. The downside though is that they are priced in US$ and the shipping is expensive.

 I tried the freeware Cricket and a cheap cable purchased through Amazon. I wasted my money there – it simply didn’t work – and I advise against it. Some people report good success but I had a dismal failure with it.

 So if you are frustrated trying to control your gear – here is an alternative to try. It will help you become more radioactive!

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