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USB Programming Cables
and Software
What you need to know
about the differences.

Getting Started
Most of the frustration experienced when getting started is the initial Cable and Driver installation. This summary was put together to help get you through these initial steps.
Brief History
Nearly a decade ago, Prolific Technology, a Taiwanese company, developed a USB to Serial chip, the PL2303.  These chips were cloned by some Chinese companies and appear in many of today's  Generic  programming cables. 
Current Windows device drivers have been updated to recognize these 'fake' chips.  When inserted into the USB port, Windows will automatically download the latest driver causing the generic cable to fail.
Deceiving appearance
Some of these cables may even have the Baofeng name printed on them.  These cables can still be made to work, but require using a back dated driver from 2007.  These drivers can be found at  Drivers.
Windows is doing its Job
There are certain things to be aware of when using these cables.
-  Turn OFF automatic updates or Windows will load the latest driver. 
-  Drivers do Not follow the cable.  When you plug your cable into a different USB port, Windows will load the latest driver to that USB port, again causing the cable to fail.
-  If you receive Error Messages during the process, cross reference them to those found at  Error Messages.
FTDI Cables
Cables using an  FTDI  USB chip will not have the above problems. These cables automatically load the proper driver.  These cables are slightly more expensive, but especially recommended in a professional environment as they are Plug 'n Play.

Drivers are not transferable
Specific drivers are written for each chipset. Loading an FTDI driver will not correct an issue with a generic cable.
Software (Factory)
Several software options are available.  The two most popular are the Factory Software and CHIRP.  Factory software can be found at  Miklor  by selecting the desired model of radio.
Software (CHIRP)
CHIRP software is written by and constantly updated by a team of dedicated Volunteers. The software is free, but donations are a great way of saying thank you for their efforts.
CHIRP  currently supports over 80 models of handhelds and mobile radios.  For the software to recognize which radio and firmware you have, you MUST start as follows.
-  Perform a "Download from Radio" to create a template for your radio.
-  Make the desired updates/changes to this template.
-  Perform an "Upload to Radio".
CHIRP Software, Guides and Examples are available at  CHIRP
With the proper Drivers and Software, your experience should be a pleasant one.

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