G4NSJ – Programming amateur ham radio gear computer PC


The software:

Programming radios with the correct software and cable should be straightforward but, it’s not. I have two Anytone AT-588 radios. One covers 2 metres, the other covers 4 metres. I downloaded the 4 metre software, it worked on the 2 metre radio but not the 4 metre radio. I then downloaded software which supposedly covered both radios and… it worked!


Software can contain malware and other junk. When you download software for your radio, don’t run the program until you’ve checked the software with an analyser website such as Virustotal. This is a great website for analysing suspicious files, domains, IPs and URLs to detect malware and other breaches. I advise you strongly not to click on any file with a .exe extension until you’ve checked the program!

Com ports:

Then, there’s the problem of choosing the correct com port. Having run the software and connected the radio, I found that com port 13 worked. The next time I connected the radio, com port 13 had disappeared and com port 11 worked.

Connecting cables:

Some cables are genuine, some are fake. Some are genuine but don’t work. Some are fake but do Baofeng-UV9R-cablework. The cable for the Anytone AT-778UV also works with the Midland CT3000. However, the software is different. The cable, and software, for the Baofeng UV9R doesn’t work at all. Perhaps it’s user error?

If you are unfortunate enough to have a radio without a lead, they are available… at a price! You can also buy software… at a price! I’ve seen cable and software advertised for £45 or more! The software is often supplied on a CD type disc.  Who has a disc player on their PC these days?


I like the Chirp programming software. It’s a free, open-source tool for programming your radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a way to interface with multiple data sources and formats.

I’ve just programmed my AnyTone AT-588 2 metre transceiver to cover the VHF marine channels. It took a while as there are over 50 channels. I also named some channels such as fishing, Pilots, VTS, SAR, etc. which took even longer. But, imagine doing that manually on the radio itself. It could be done but, it would take an age! The screen shot below shows the 4 metre set-up.

Anytone AT-588 programming

New External drives:

Memory sticks, flash drives, external drives… they are really useful but always format them before using them. You never know what is hidden away on external drives and USB sticks! Right click on the drive and click format. That will delete everything, including any junk.