[chirp_users] Kenwood TH-F6A issues

Michael David
Wed May 22 21:36:53 PDT 2013

On May 22, 2013, at 11:13 PM, Tom Hayward wrote:
> On Wed, May 22, 2013 at 8:51 PM, Michael David <macd81 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Greetings,
>> I just recently picked up a TH-F6A and love chirp!  However, I've got a few issues:
>> 1) Entering Live mode.
>> With the radio in PC mode, sometimes I can't get it to download / enter live
>> mode.. but it's flaky. I have fewer issues with 0.3.1 stable and 20130510 than I do
>> with the newer dailies. When it fails, the screen stays empty after initiating download,
>> and then if I try again, it says access denied and I have to quit the program.
> FWIW, the TH-F6A code hasn't been touched since 0.2.3.
> There's nothing at Chirp's communication level that would generate
> "access denied". This must be coming from your operating system, and
> it is probably raised by your USB serial driver. If I were you I would
> replace the cable with one of higher quality. WA8LMF recently did a
> good write-up on the differences between USB serial chipsets:
> http://wa8lmf.net/ham/USB-Serial-Dongles.htm

Thanks for the feedback. I believe the cable to be solid.

I'm using a DB9 radio programming cable connect to a USB Keyspan dongle 
that I've had for a few years and use to configure Cisco devices. The same dongle
and cable work flawlessly with the Baofeng UV-5R and chirp. Also, I don't notice any 
issues when using the Kenwood MCP-F6F7 software.

I believe there is a bug somewhere here, but it's a minor issue since once Chirp
successfully downloads / connects, it's smooth sailing. 

>> 2) Tune Step on Import.
>> A friend took time to put various freqs into CHIRP for his UV-5R and sent me a copy of
>> his file. The file includes frequencies that do not land on a 5kHz step, for example FRS
>> frequencies. The file from the UV-5R does not include a tune step field, while the
>> Kenwood TH-F6A has a tune step field.
>> If entering one of those frequencies into Chirp individually, setting a frequency that doesn't
>> fall on a step will return error 93 "radio refused". However, if by import, the import screen
>> doesn't realize it would be a problem entry and gray it out. When the import runs, the
>> affected channels are skipped quickly (while successfully programmed channels are
>> programmed at a slower pace.)
>> For successful imports, the tune step is defaulted to 5kHz. A workaround could be to
>> take Freq in MHz and divide by .005 and see if (floor(freq) != freq) then default the tune
>> step to 6.25, or otherwise calculate it.
> Chirp does try to guess the step size during import, and if your radio
> doesn't support the step it guesses, it will gray out that memory and
> not import it. You're welcome to look over that code and see if you
> can improve its intelligence.

I'll take a look.  I've been meaning to dig into Python more anyway. 

>> 3) Mode on import:
>> NFM is specified for some entries in the UV-5R file. The Kenwood does have an FMN
>> mode though. If NFM could be mapped to FM at the user's discretion, that would be useful
>> rather than kicking it out.
> IMHO, it's never okay to transmit FM on a NFM channel. You'll annoy
> anyone receiving your signal. Outside the amateur service, you may
> even be violating the license (for example, in the US Part 90 VHF is
> all NFM). To avoid accidental interference, Chirp will not
> automatically change the mode during an import. If you want to
> manually change the mode for a set of channels, use the batch editor
> by selecting multiple channels and right clicking "Edit". This is best
> done in a CSV file before import.

I agree with you, of course. However, In this case, these are frequencies that are outside 
of the TX range of the radio. I just want to scan / monitor them. And also the TH-F6A does 
have a narrowband mode, however it's set for the A and B VFOs rather than per channel

I can edit the CSV (as I've done) but I figured I'd mention this anyway as a stumbling block 
I had as a new user.

Thanks again,

Michael A. David -- macd81 at gmail.com

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