Until now, CHIRP development has been focused on ICOM products. In fact, you might even be tempted to think that the “I” in CHIRP was for ICOM. Lately I’ve been using my Yaesu VX-7 and VX-8 radios a little bit more for various reasons (i.e. they’re a lot less expensive if I lose one and they’re smaller as well). I’ve gotten so hooked on being able to program the radio via computer, that having to use the (hard to press) interface buttons all the time has been rather annoying.
I’m pleased to announce that CHIRP supports the VX-7 in the latest beta (0.1.10b9) and there will be a formal release coming up soon with it as well:
Reverse engineering the radios’ memory format gives you a lot of insight into how each model is designed. It’s interesting how different they often are, and how tightly they pack bits of information to make efficient use of space. I must say that I have a lot more confidence in the ICOM designs than the Yaesu from what I’ve seen thus far. In the trial-and-error period of figuring out how to program the VX-7, there were many times where writing some invalid data into memory would cause the entire radio to lock up. Often times this was so severe that a full reset was required to get it back to the point at which it would agree to power on into clone mode. The ICOM radios are much more intelligent about it and will abort the clone as soon as you write something that isn’t valid.
I’ve got a VX-8 programming cable on order, so I hope that in a couple of months I’ll be able to claim support for it too. Stay tuned!