Versa Alerto and Versa Hero (Programming Software)

versa-alerto and versa-hero

We are featuring two of the local brands Versa’s popular radio model Versa Alerto and Versa Hero – for civic and amateur radio operator in the Philippines with loyal following due to number of queries we received regarding the radio’s programming software. The programming software is not readily available on Versa’s website but due to necessity my friend DV7FJB (Bon Go) researched the source of the radio and found it to be coming from OEM manufacturer Quansheng from China.




He initially sought the help of Versa through their facebook page and asked them about the radio programming software, he needs to program some units in his possession however the tech support was unable to provide him the software.

So with a little bit of reverse and engineering and looking for clues about the board and hardware manufacturer and trying different version of the software from Quansheng, he decoded the riddle and asked me to share the information he gathered from this adventure in the spirit of Amateur Radio.

Versa Alerto

Versa Alerto

Specifications
Frequencies
VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-470 MHz

Output Power:
5Watts

Modulation:
16K Ф F3E/11K Ф F3E

Receiver Sensitivity:
≤ 0.25/0.28 µV

Programming Software

Versa Hero

Versa Hero

Specifications
Frequencies:
VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-480 MHz

Output Power:
5Watts

Modulation:
16K Ф F3E/11K Ф F3E

Receiver Sensitivity:
-122dB (12dB SINAD)

Programming Software




Firmware Recovery China Radios

Recovery firmware for China radio’s, make sure to back up your radio image before using any of the firmware available here, so that in case of data corruption you can restore your radio from previous state.



Installing Chirp on CentOS 6.9 Linux

Chirp

CHIRP is a free, open-source tool for programming your amateur radio. It supports a large number of manufacturers and models, as well as provides a way to interface with multiple data sources and formats.



If you are on Windows then using it will not be an issue specially if you have an FTDI chip programmer, for users of Prolific chip then it would be another story, since I have a Prolific chip on my programming cable I have an issue on using it on Windows. Using the Prolific chip on Windows 7 upwards to Windows 10 will cause you a lot of issues that need constant attention in order for the programming cable to work.

Since I have a dual boot machine running CentOS 6.9 and Windows 10. I decided to install and use Chirp on Linux. Chirp can be installed on Linux and Mac OS without much difficulty specially if you are using the latest Linux distribution like Ubunto and Fedora, as for me I am using CentOS 6.9 a Redhat clone distribution of Linux mainly for development purposes. So I am stuck with the default install of Python which is required to run Chirp successfully.

Python 2.6
Python 2.6




Following the installation instruction from Chirp website http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home will not let you install Chirp on CentOS 6.9. What is needed is the Python serial access library (pyserial) to enable Chirp to use the Prolific usb chip on the programming cable. If you have the latest version of Python then installing pyserial is just a matter in invoking the install command on your Linux distribution.

Invoking the command: yum install chirp on latest Linux distribution will install Chirp without issues including the installation of pyserial dependency. On CentOS it will cause the system to look for a higher version of Python which can’t be updated unless you risk the stability of your system. So in this case a work around is needed.

I look around for the pyserial and manage to obtain an old pyserial library suitable to the version of CentOS running my system I uploaded this on my Google drive for future use just in case I need to do this again in the future, it can be downloaded from this link: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B09fSUA0v5hRcU5YTXV6NngwalU

The pyserial package is a tar.gz type archive so you need first go to the directory where it has been downloaded in the terminal.

Next give the following set of commands:

Extract the Archive
tar -zxvf pyserial-2.6.tar.gz
Go the pyserial directory
cd pyserial-2.6
Build the package
python setup.py build
Install the package
sudo python setup.py install

Now the package is ready to be use and installed.

Make sure that your Linux username is also added to the dialout user group issue this command if Chirp can’t connect on your radio.

sudo usermod -aG dialout username (replace username with your own)

Once done you are ready to use the latest distribution that can be downloaded on the Chirp homepage extract the files go to the extract directory if you don’t want to install it and just issue the command

./chirpw

If it runs on your system then you may opt to install it permanently by invoking these commands

sudo python setup.py install

To quote Chirp instruction.
“When finished, you should be able to run “chirpw” from anywhere on your system, and (with luck) you’ll also have an item in your distribution’s applications menu.” -source Chirp danplanet.com

Which is exactly what happened on my install. So I successfully run Chirp on CentOS 6.9 and managed to work with my Baofeng UV-5RE radio.

Here’s some screen shots.

Chirp Screenshot 1

Chirp Screenshot 2

Chirp Screenshot 3

Chirp Screenshot 4