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I am a beginner in ham radio and am trying to program repeater data into my Alinco DR-635T/E VHF/UHF mobile radio. The manual that came with the radio is so poorly written that I could not successfully enter data using the steps in the manual and had to experiment around until I found the missing step by random chance which caused the radio to accept it. This is very discouraging.

I use CHIRP to program my Baofeng/B-Tech 2m handheld and thereby get around the similarly sucky manual, so I wind up using the B-Tech with CHIRP and ignoring the Alinco.

The Alinco has a "clone" cable which allows two DR-635's to be connected together and the programming in one to be downloaded into the other- but the manual makes no mention of downloading from a computer running CHIRP.

Does anyone know if this is possible? I'd like to put the Alinco into service and using CHIRP would be infinitely better than struggling with the user interface and the manual.

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Yes, it'll probably work with CHIRP

Of course, the first place you'd look would be the CHIRP project page. That doesn't list the DR-635, but it does list the DR-135, DR-235 and DR-435, and that might be a good sign (but clearly not a guarantee, since the hardware might simply be different). In fact, CHIRP's alinco driver has a common DR-x35 base class, indicating that they expect x35 devices to be similar enough!

The fact that you can program your radio according to the official device manual to be in slave mode for cloning is also a good sign, along with the fact that the manual specifies pinout!

Not quite sure CHIRP does much but channel programming though, and I thus don't know whether "repeater data" programming is covered by it, but I'll leave that up to your experience!

Regarding cabling, the same wiki has an entry that states that the 3pin plug seems to be common among all Alinco radios.

But it's not directly supported by CHIRP, so that's something you'll want to change

Looking through the source code, you'd want to try the DR-435 driver first, as it seems to be the most similar. That won't let you do all frequencies of the DR-635T, but that's just adding a copy of the DR435Radio class with adjusted device naming and frequency ranges to that python file, which is text editing (really, aside from copy and pasting text, no programming skills required; but you can then share that addition with the CHIRP community and become a Free & Open Source contributor – how cool is that!).

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I have not found any of the Alinco models in CHIRP to work with the DR-635T. In an effort to add it none of the methods used by the other models returned any useful data. I tried contacting Alinco for information but was ignored.

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  • $\begingroup$ Now I know why the DR-635T was on sale! $\endgroup$ – niels nielsen Jul 23 at 18:42
  • $\begingroup$ Hey, Nate! Welcome to hamSE! It's good to see you here. :-) $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Jul 24 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ I participated when this was still in the proposal stage years (decades?) ago. I've drifted across the hamSE several times since. $\endgroup$ – Nate N0NB Jul 24 at 21:21

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