I'm new to Amateur Radio, just a few months new. I have decided to do two years of HT (hand held radio) in order to learn how the repeaters work and to be able to use my radio on the go. I now have three makes, Yaesu, Kenwood and a single Baofeng. I learned to program each and I believe this has helped me to get to know the radio and to learn the different aspects of programming. I promised myself NOT to buy software to program the radio until I knew how to do it by hand.
Manual programming can be a hassle. Especially if you are entering multiple frequencies with small steps. Twist twist twisting the frequency dial, I get the feeling that it really is wearing out that mechanism.
Recently, I bought a new laptop. I've had Apple computers at home since the 80's and this is my first PC. Most amateur radio software is for PC (non Apple) operating systems. Although the RT systems programming software has versions made for Apple OS, I've decided to do all my radio programming on my new PC laptop.
The Kenwood TH-D74 is my favorite radio and the version of RT systems software that I purchased is for PC. It took me about an hour to learn the commands as some are different on PC than Apple. Having learned how to program by hand really helped.
Basically, the software allows the importation of repeaters from an outside database. I use Repeater Book and select the location and radius around my target area and import the data to the software. I then trim the information as I see fit. I name the repeaters so that I know geographically where they are. After that, I upload the file to my radio and then test it.
It works very well and it's easy and prevents a lot of wear and tear on the buttons and entry mechanism.
That aspect alone could save me the cost of the radio.
I'll use programming software from now on and likely, it will be RT Systems Programming Software.