Ham Radio Deluxe Review: My Take

Ham Radio Deluxe is a software suite that provides ham radio operators with a range of features to control their radios from their computers. It was originally developed by Simon Brown HB9DRV as freeware, but the rights were later sold to HRD Software LLC, which now offers both free and paid versions of the software. With over 40,000 ham radio operators in 130 countries relying on it, Ham Radio Deluxe has become one of the most popular software options for amateur radio enthusiasts.

Ham Radio Deluxe software suite includes five modules that provide features like QSO logging, awards tracking, DX cluster, QSL card printing, and rig control. The software is easy enough for beginners to use but also has advanced features that experienced operators can take advantage of. With Ham Radio Deluxe, operators can control everything about their radios from their computers, making it a powerful tool for ham radio enthusiasts.

What is Ham Radio Deluxe?

Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) is a suite of software products designed for amateur radio operators. It was created to make using a ham radio much easier and to provide greater control over the way that your ham radio works. Essentially, Ham Radio Deluxe allows the user to control everything about their ham radio from their computer.

Features of Ham Radio Deluxe

Ham Radio Deluxe consists of five modules: Rig Control, Logging, Digital Communications, Satellite Tracking, and Rotator Control. The Rig Control module allows the user to control their radio from their computer. The Logging module provides a digital logbook for the user to keep track of their contacts. The Digital Communications module allows the user to operate digital modes such as PSK31 and RTTY. The Satellite Tracking module allows the user to track satellites and communicate through them. The Rotator Control module allows the user to control their antenna rotator.

Ham Radio Deluxe also includes a customizable user interface and the ability to connect to multiple radios simultaneously. It supports over 100 radios, including popular brands such as Yaesu, Icom, and Kenwood.

How to Install Ham Radio Deluxe

Ham Radio Deluxe can be downloaded from the official website. The current release version of Ham Radio Deluxe is v6.8.0.372 (13-Feb. 2023). The software is available for Windows operating systems and requires a minimum of Windows 7. The installation process is straightforward and includes a step-by-step guide. Once installed, the user can connect their radio to their computer and begin using the software.

Ham Radio Deluxe Review

Ham Radio Deluxe is a popular software among amateur radio operators. In this section, we will review the software’s user interface, functionality, and performance.

User Interface

The user interface of Ham Radio Deluxe is intuitive and easy to use. The software has a modern design that is visually appealing. The main window of the software displays various modules such as Logbook, DM-780, and Satellite Tracking. The modules can be rearranged and customized according to the user’s preference. The software also has a dark mode option for those who prefer it.

The Logbook module has a comprehensive layout that displays the user’s call sign, frequency, mode, and other relevant information. The DM-780 module has a built-in sound card that can decode and encode various digital modes. The Satellite Tracking module provides real-time tracking of satellites and displays their location on a map.


Ham Radio Deluxe has a wide range of features that cater to the needs of amateur radio operators. The software provides rig control for various transceivers and can be used for logging, digital modes, and satellite tracking. The software also has a built-in DX cluster that displays real-time information about DX stations.

The software’s logging feature is comprehensive and can import and export data in various formats. The software also has a QSL manager that can send and receive QSL cards. The digital modes feature supports various modes such as PSK31, RTTY, and FT8.


Ham Radio Deluxe is a stable software that runs smoothly on most computers. The software has a low resource footprint and does not consume a lot of CPU or memory. The software’s rig control feature is reliable and can control various transceivers without any issues.

The software’s digital modes feature is fast and accurate and can decode signals even in weak signal conditions. The software’s satellite tracking feature is also reliable and provides real-time tracking of satellites.

Pros and Cons of Ham Radio Deluxe

Advantages of Ham Radio Deluxe

Ham Radio Deluxe is a popular control software for ham radio operators. It comes with several modules that work well with one another, including one of the more advanced logbooks for ham radio operators. The software has one of the best rotor control systems that users have reported as easy to use and reliable. Additionally, the company works with actual hardware manufacturers to ensure the best features.

One of the advantages of Ham Radio Deluxe is its compatibility with a wide range of radios. It supports most of the popular radios and has a user-friendly interface that makes it easy to control them. The software also offers several useful features such as digital mode support, remote control, and satellite tracking.

Another advantage of Ham Radio Deluxe is its customer support. The company offers a yearly subscription price for support and updates, which gives users access to technical support and new features as they become available. Users have reported that the support team is responsive and helpful in resolving issues.

Disadvantages of Ham Radio Deluxe

One of the main disadvantages of Ham Radio Deluxe is its yearly subscription price for support and updates. Some users have reported that the price is too high, especially when compared to other similar software options. Additionally, the software can be resource-intensive, which can cause performance issues on older computers.

Another disadvantage of Ham Radio Deluxe is that it may not be suitable for beginners. The software has a steep learning curve, and users may need to spend a considerable amount of time learning how to use it effectively. Some users have reported that the interface can be confusing and overwhelming, especially for those new to ham radio operation.

Finally, some users have reported occasional bugs and crashes with the software. Although these are not common, they can be frustrating when they occur. However, the company frequently releases updates to fix these issues, and users can report bugs to the support team for resolution.


Ham Radio Deluxe is a versatile and powerful software that allows ham radio operators to control their radios from their computers. It offers a wide range of features and functionalities that make it a valuable asset for both new and experienced operators.

While the software has received mixed reviews over the years, it is clear that it has come a long way since its early days as freeware. The current paid license versions owned by HRD Software LLC offer many improvements and additional features that make it a worthwhile investment for those who need robust and reliable control software for their radios.

However, it is important to note that the software is not without its flaws. Some users have reported issues with stability and customer support, while others have praised its ease of use and customization options.

Overall, Ham Radio Deluxe is a solid choice for those who are looking for comprehensive and powerful control software for their radios. Its wide range of features and functionalities make it a valuable tool for ham radio operators of all levels of experience.

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