Sunday, January 13, 2019

CHIRP, Kenwood TH-D72 and WWARA DB Extract

How to use the WWARA coordinated repeater DB extract, Excel or LibreOffice Calc, and CHIRP to program a Kenwood TH-D72 - or any other CHRIP supported rig. Noting this to remind my self how to do it in 17 easy steps!

  • CHIRP - Free programming software
  • WWARA > CSV Database Extract [includes CHIRP formatted file] 
  • LibreOffice - Calc / Spreadsheet - used to edit the CSV file [CHIRP sucks at this]
The Process:
  1. Create backup of the rig to be programmed, in my case I use Kenwood's MCP-4A application.
  2. Download and unzip the Database Extract from WWARA.
  3. Open the CHIRP formatted file in CHRIP, and export it as a CSV file.
  4. Open the CHIRP formatted CSV file in Calc or Excel.
  5. Delete the rows you don't want. In my case I remove the 6m, 220MHz, everything above 70cm, and anything that is not an analogue FM repeater - for that I use the custom column sorting to group repeaters marked as digital together for deletion, and column sort Location numbers again when done to get whats left back in order.
  6. Optional, the Location column numbering can be fixed using the fill down function to sequentially number the memories we are keeping.
  7. I add in my custom APRS, IRLP nodes, and other things starting around memory location 980. The Location column can skip unused memory locations out, e.g. mine jumps from 266 to 980.
  8. Save it as a CSV file again and close Calc / Excel.
  9. Open CHIRP.
  10. Connect the radio to be programmed.
  11. Perform a read/download, and save it as backup.
  12. Open the edited CSV file.
  13. Eyeball it to make sure nothing is out of place, if so, close CHIRP and fix the CSV file.
  14. Clear/delete everything from the tab containing the information from the read/download, copy and paste from the CSV file tab. The exact steps to do this have changed at least once between CHIRP versions.
  15. Write the config back to the radio.
  16. Done!
  17. Not so fast, I then read the config in the Kenwood MCP-4A application again, and save it as a backup.