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What is Ham Radio Deluxe

Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) is an integrated suite of software products for amateur radio. The five modules in the suite provide rig control, logging, digital communications, satellite tracking, and rotator control.

Rig Control

Ham Radio Deluxe Rig Control provides rig control through a richly featured full screen interface and other products in the Ham Radio Deluxe Suite via a direct connection or TCP/IP remote access.


Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook provides QSO logging, DX cluster connectivity, callsign lookup, awards tracking (with integration to LoTW, eQSL, and Ham Radio, and contesting. Microsoft Access and MySQL are supported with strong features for backup and recovery.

Digital Master (DM-780)

DM-780 provides most popular sound card digital modes with direct integration to Ham Radio Deluxe Logbook.

Satellite Tracking

Ham Radio Deluxe Satellite Tracking provides satellite operations with rig control and Google Earth integration.

Rotor Control

Ham Radio Deluxe Rotator provides control for 15 popular models of antenna rotators.

How it all began

In early 2003 Peter Halpin (PH1PH) and Simon Brown (HB9DRV) talked about developing a simple program to control the soon to be released ICOM IC-703.

Maybe it was the beer, maybe the desire to give something back to the radio amateur community, however on June 6th, 2003 the first line of code was written, Ham Radio Deluxe (Ham Radio Deluxe) was born.

By late 2005 the number of registered users stood at 20,006 – quite an achievement in such a short time.

This Guide

If you are only going to read one more section, then go to “Getting Started” now.

Please report errors and omissions to HRD Software Technical Support

As this guide matures further it may flow differently than it currently does. Please check the table of contents for the new evolving layout. Note that this document has some sections that are still in DRAFT mode which means that it can have lots of old or wrong information.

System Requirements


Ham Radio Deluxe will run on any version of Windows supported by Microsoft that meet the minimum hardware specifications provided by Microsoft.

A link to that information can be found here:

Supported Radios

The list of supported radios for Ham Radio Deluxe can be found here:

Internet Connection

Not absolutely required but really is essential to fully utilize all the features. The best connection is a full time connection such as cable or DSL. Registering the program is much easier when done online.

Radio Interfacing

Ham Radio Deluxe is designed to be used with one of the rigs listed above. Some modules, however, can be used without a connection to a rig. Logging will work but will not be as automated. Satellite tracking is still fun without a rig connected. In fact, there are only a few of the above listed rigs that “really” work fully with the satellite module.

Some of the rigs listed above do not fully avail themselves to all the features of Ham Radio Deluxe. A number of the rigs do not provide Tx control easily. That is the limit of the rig, not Ham Radio Deluxe.

For CAT control, all radios require some sort of SERIAL connection between the radio and the computer. Some of the newer model radios are equipped with a USB port on the back of the radio. All that is needed there is a USB cable from the radio to a USB port on the computer.

Other radios have a standard DB9 serial port on the back which either connects directly to a DB9 Serial port connector on the back of the computer or through a Serial/USB converter to a USB connector the computer, while others connect from an ACC or DATA plug on the back of the radio through a Serial/USB converter to the computer.

Many of these cables use the serial port. If you don’t have a serial port all is not lost – USB serial converters are widely available. Also, there are options available that are USB based.

One of these is HamLink USB from Timewave. This will allow rig control with most of the radios listed above.

Note: If you need a Serial/USB converter be especially aware of the type of chips and drivers that are in the converter you choose. We recommend ONLY converters with FTDI or SI Labs chipsets and drivers. We have found these to perform exceptionally well with HRD and other radio related software.
Beware of Prolific chipsets and drivers. There are many of these on the market which are counterfeit and the chipsets are of poor quality. The drivers are also poorly written and will not work properly with HRD, especially if trying to use them on a Windows 7 or 8 system.
Some of the problems you may experience with these chipsets and drivers are system crashes, BSOD, program lock-ups, drivers won't install properly, com ports disappear for no reason, just to name a few.
If in doubt as to what you need to connect your radio to the computer running Ham Radio Deluxe, contact or Timewave either through their website at or phone them at 1-651-489-5080. They can provide you with cables and connectors to meet your needs.

The future trend in radio control and interfacing is the USB connection. More and more radios will only have USB ports and not Serial or Parallel ports. The USB port will even pass audio as rig control with a few of the radios.

For the majority of the radios listed above, you will need to have a more robust interface if you need to send or receive audio. The audio recorder and PSK31 are two examples of this need.

For more interfacing information visit the Downloads page at for a basic guide to CAT and audio interfacing which contains many designs for both CAT and audio interfaces for use with Ham Radio Deluxe.

Check out the cable and interface solutions from:

Public Interfaces

Other (non-Ham Radio Deluxe) programs are supported via a DDE interface (see DDE Support) and a serial port (see 3rd-Party Programs).

Logbooks typically use these interfaces; for example - contest-oriented logbooks.


Ham Radio Deluxe is designed to run on the 32-bit or 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10. Internet Explorer 6.0 (or higher) is required. Ham Radio Deluxe is supported on Windows versions which are supported by Microsoft.

The Logbook uses MS Access by default or you can use MySQL, see Database for more information.

Ham Radio Deluxe can be installed in under a minute. Special knowledge is not needed – the kit does everything for you!

You will not need to reboot your computer, Ham Radio Deluxe does not update your system files or change your system’s configuration in any way.

You may or may not see the following screen depending upon the update status of your machine.


You will see this or an updated version of this screen to get you started with the installation.


When you start the installation the first screen shows the release and build you are installing.


You must accept the licensing conditions.


Select the folder where Ham Radio Deluxe will be installed, the suggested default is usually sufficient.


Select the folder in the Start menu where the Ham Radio Deluxe entries will be added, the suggested default is usually sufficient.


Click Install to start the installation.


The progress of the installation is shown while the software is being installed.


When the software has been installed select the programs to be started, then press Finish.

First Steps

Product Activation

Ham Radio Deluxe has an improved registration system. The following instructions should get you up and running without any problems.

When you first start Ham Radio Deluxe you will be presented with the following welcome screen.


Pressing Next at this screen will continue on with the registration process.


This screen asks for your call sign. Enter ONLY your assigned call sign. Do not enter any prefix such as KR6/N4XXX or modifiers like /P or /?.

After you have entered your call sign press Next.


If you purchased Ham Radio Deluxe from a distributor and received a CD or if you purchased online and were sent a key, here is where you enter the 16 character Main Activation Key. The activation key may be copied and pasted from the e-mail you received to avoid any mistakes in entering. Just highlight the entire purchase key in the e-mail, right click and select Copy. Place your cursor in the first box of the above screen, right click and click Paste. Once the key is entered, press Next.

If you do not have a Activation Key and would like to continue with the 30-day trial subscription, just press the Next button when you reach this screen.

Note: If you already have a registered subscription and are installing Ham Radio Deluxe on a second computer or re-installing Ham Radio Deluxe for any reason, entering your call sign in step 1 and just clicking next on the above screen will also bring up the following screen. However, when you click Finish it will automatically change to a full registered version.


If running the 30-day trial you will now see the above screen.


If you entered a activation key you will now see the above screen with your callsign and activation key. Just click the Finish button to continue to the next screen.


Those who have purchased the software with the support will see a screen like this, showing your call sign, telling you that you have a Subscription License and indicating the expiration date.

Those running the Trial version will see their call sign, Trial License, and an expiration date 30 days from the date installed on your computer. At this screen, just click on the Continue button at the bottom of the screen to continue on to the Rig Control setup screen.

If you have any problems or questions about the registration please contact support either by phone at (813) 434-4667 or send an e-mail to


You can dive into Ham Radio Deluxe using a demo radio or your radio. A good way to explore the program is with a demo radio first and then connect your rig.

Dem-o-matic Radio

Now that you have installed Ham Radio Deluxe you can try it out using a Dem-o-matic radio. This is a reasonably accurate simulation of the real thing, designed for use during presentations and while developing Ham Radio Deluxe when a radio is not available (on the train, in a plane, in an airport, stuck in a hotel room in Finland etc.).

From the Start menu select Programs > Ham Radio Deluxe. Once the splash screen has closed you see the Connect window. If you do not have the correct connection cable, select one of the Dem-o-matic radios so that you can open Ham Radio Deluxe.


The Dem-o-matic radios do not need cables – simply select Dem-o-matic in the Company drop down, select an option in the Radio drop down, and then press Connect.


They are ideal for demonstrating Ham Radio Deluxe when you do not have a suitable radio available. It is also the only way that you can open Ham Radio Deluxe if you do not have a supported radio or the correct connecting cable.

Your Radio

TIP: Read your radio's manual to find out exactly how it is supposed to be connected to a computer for CAT control. Some radios require special drivers to be loaded in the computer to access certain model radios. These drivers can usually be downloaded from the manufacturers website. All this information is in your radios user manual or from the radio's manufacturers tech support system.

Please refer to See Radio Interfacing to review the requirements for Ham Radio Deluxe interfacing.

Configuration Options

To connect your radio you will need to connect the necessary cables and install drives if needed. You must also do some configuring within Ham Radio Deluxe. This is usually a one time exercise.

Once you have all your cables in place it's time to turn on your radio, boot up your computer and start Ham Radio Deluxe. The next screen you should see is the radio connection setup screen. This is where you select your radio and set some parameters to allow the Ham Radio Deluxe Rig Control software to connect to your radio.

The New Tab


Notice there are four tabs at the top of this display. The one currently showing is the NEW tab. This is where you configure the setup for any new radio you want to connect to the Ham Radio Deluxe software. We will continue with this setup in the next section.

This is where you actually configure how Ham Radio Deluxe connects to your radio. It also allows you to configure what modules Ham Radio Deluxe loads, by default, on start-up.

The Preset Tab


Once you have a radio configured properly and it starts from the NEW window, the configuration is saved in the Preset page. As you can see here, there are several radios configured both real ones and demo-o-matic ones.

Serial Ports Tab


The Serial Ports tab displays all the comports available on your computer. You will notice just below the window near the center it has two radio buttons. One says Show All ports and the other says Only ports connected to PC. These buttons come in handy when you are trying to figure out which ports are actually being used by the Ham Radio Deluxe Software and which are just available for use.

The Connection Process

Each radio must be on a different comm port from the computer. This allows you to actually operate two or more radios at the same time and switch between them with a couple clicks of the mouse. We will also show that in another section of this manual.

If you have a radio configured in this screen which you no longer own or have connected to Ham Radio Deluxe, you can easily remove it from the Presets by clicking on the setup line in the display window, to highlight the unwanted configuration, and click on the "X Remove" located on the left just below the slider near the left center of the dialog box.


Select your radio manufacturer from the drop-down list. The Dem-o-Matic radios do not require a COM port, they are for demonstrating Ham Radio Deluxe when you do not have a suitable radio available.

FlexRadio: you must install the vCOM virtual serial port drivers from Philip Covington (N8VB). These are used to provide the connection between Ham Radio Deluxe and the PowerSDR software that must be running before you try to create the connection with Ham Radio Deluxe.

Note: It seems that vCOM will not run on Vista/Windows 7 64bit because the 64-bit version is very insistent on having signed drivers. A signed 64 bit versions might be available for a few dollars from VSPE. More information is available from http://www.flex-, to install the vCOM drivers see N8VB vCOM.


ICOM: disable the CI-V Transceive option for best performance.

Kenwood: make sure Packet communication mode is switched OFF (if supported). Most Kenwood radios require CTS and RTS to be ON for flow control.


Select your radio model from the drop-down list.


If your radio does not appear in this drop-down list there is a chance it can be supported by the commands of a different model from the same manufacturer. Contact HRD Support or the manufacturer of your radio for information on about compatibility with another models firmware CAT command set.

COM Port


The COM port on this computer where you have connected the radio interface cable. Make sure that you do not have other programs using the same port, for example mobile phones and personal organizers. It is recommended you NOT use the Auto-Detect. The Auto-Detect can sometimes fail to detect the port. To see the COM ports on your computer select the Serial Port tab to see a display.

COM Port Speed

The speed used for communicating with the radio, check the speed setting via the radio's configuration menu. Again, it’s not recommended to use the Auto-Detect. Also remember that “FASTER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER”. Sometimes faster speeds can cause timing problems when sending commands back and forth between Ham Radio Deluxe and the radio. The important thing is that you set the speed in Ham Radio Deluxe and the port speed in the radio the same. Check your radio manual to find out how to set the com port speed. A 4800 baud connect speed is normally plenty fast enough to support most radios.

CI-V Address

ICOM only: the address assigned to the radio, consult the radio's documentation for the default address. This can also be configured via the radio's configuration menu.


Enables the CTS flow control, required for Kenwood radios.


Enables the DTR line when the COM Port is opened and leaves it on, usually to provide power for an interface cable. For Yaesu CT-62 and ICOM CT-17 interfaces this can be left unchecked (off).


Enables the RTS line when the COM Port is opened and leaves it on, usually to provide power for an interface cable. For Yaesu CT-62 and ICOM CT-17 interfaces this can be left unchecked (off).

Next, put a check in the boxes for DTR and RTS. Some radios don’t require both of these settings checked so they can be unchecked if there is a failure to connect to the radio.

Note: If you will be connecting more than one radio to Ham Radio Deluxe and you would like the current one to be the default radio, place a check in the box where it says “Always connect to this radio when starting HRD Rig Control”.


Press Connect to connect to the radio. If you see the error below then the COM port is currently held open by another program or the radio is not turned on.


Check that you have not started another radio control program. Other culprits are PDA and mobile phone connections. Even if you have disconnected a device from a COM port you must make sure that the software is no longer running.

Once connected Ham Radio Deluxe reads the radio’s frequency to ensure that the options you selected are correct. If you see the error below then Ham Radio Deluxe failed to read the radio’s frequency:


If Ham Radio Deluxe can read the frequency the Connect window is replaced with the main radio display – you are now using Ham Radio Deluxe!

If Ham Radio Deluxe cannot read the frequency then check:

  • Correct COM port is selected,
  • Speed on radio is the same as the speed selected in Ham Radio Deluxe,
  • Your cable – you may have a NULL modem cable when a normal serial cable is needed,
  • Cable is connected correctly to your PC (you may have more than one COM port),
  • DTR / RTS are selected if required to power an active cable such as CT-62 or a cable from third-party provider.

If you still can’t get started refer to:

  • Command Tester, and
  • Portmon.

Icom CI-V Details

Icom's CI-V Protocol

ICOM's CI-V protocol is based on a relatively simple bi-directional, single-wire TTL level signaling system. The single wire consists of a communications line (DATA) and a ground reference (GND). The DATA line is held high when there is no traffic. As long as the DATA line is high, any device can initiate communication by pulling the line low and sending the Icom attention command (FEFE). When the line goes low, the other devices see this as a BUSY indication, allowing the single DATA line to offer some amount of basic flow control. Multiple devices may connected across the CI-V port in parallel, as long as each device is set up with a unique hex address. All in all, it's quite elegant in it's simplicity.

Default Icom CI-V Addresses

Each Icom model has its own, distinct default address. As a general rule, Icom used only even addresses ($02, $04, $06 ...). Each model was given a new default address when it came out. The user can change the default address if required. On older rigs this was done by (re-) soldering some diodes, on newer rigs the address can be changed by setup through the front panel or even by CI-V commands. Addresses can be selected from $01 to $EF, giving 239 distinct addresses. The following is a nearly complete table of all known addresses from CI-V capable rigs, not only by Icom.


What's Next

It is time to play a little Ham Radio Deluxe to see what it does. Even if you can connect to a radio, let’s start by connecting to a Kenwood TS-2000 through Demo- matic.


You should now have something that looks like the display below. The Rig Control Display (GUI) is a generic representation of an HF radio's front panel. It contains most of the operating functions and controls of the actual radio it is connected to. This display does not in any way and can not be made to actually depict the front control panel of your actual radio.

Below is a screen shot of the Rig Control Display representing a Kenwood TS-2000 all band, all mode radio.


This is the default appearance for Ham Radio Deluxe. For the sake of quality documentation we will change the appearance to LCD which is a reverse of what we now see.

Multiple Radios

HRD has the capabilities to display an operate multiple radios from one screen. In the image below we see a Kenwood TS-480 displayed and controlled by the top pane while a Kenwood TS-2000 is being displayed and operated from the bottom pane.

Each radio can be accessed and operated with just a few clicks of the mouse button.


Each radio must have it's own dedicated COM port on the computer. It can be either through USB/Serial connections or you can have a multi-port serial card installed in your desktop.

To configure your setup for multiple radios, once you have your first radio installed and connected via the connection manager, adding a second or third radio is quite simple.

In the main Rig Control screen of the first radio installed either click on Files > Connect or click on the icon that has the round green circle with the white arrow in it. This brings up the Radio Connection screen that you have seen before when you set up your first radio.

In this screen you configure the second radio, just like you did for your first in the initial setup of Ham Radio Deluxe. You select the Manufacturer, the radio model, the COM port and the comport speed. You also select the flow control used to communicate with this second radio.

Note: Make sure you don't have a check mark in the Always connect to this radio when starting HRD Rig Control. This will allow you to select which radio you would like to connect to first.

Click on the Connect button to allow Ham Radio Deluxe to connect to and control this second radio. Once in the Rig Control screen you can click on the Windows menu option and select with radio window to display or configure the display to show both radios in the same window, as we did earlier in this section.

After you shut Ham Radio Deluxe down, and restart it, when the Connection window opens, select the Preset tab on the window. This shows you the radios you have connected to your computer and allows you to select which radio you would like to start first.

To change the appearance:


1 From the View menu select Color Schemes, 2 Select the Schemes tab if it is not selected. 3 In the Schemes list locate LCD and double click on it. 4 Your display should have changed to a white background with black text. If you want to keep the change, press OK otherwise press Cancel and your display will revert back to the default appearance.

Congratulations. You have made your first of many modifications of Ham Radio Deluxe.

Like many features of this and other well designed programs there a several ways on doing the same task. For example, you can get to same customize menu by any of the following methods.

  • From the View menu select Customize and then Radio Layout.
  • From the Toolbar select Customize.
  • Right click over most locations except the frequency display and select Customize Layout.
  • Press [Ctrl+F8]

You will find this to be true for most of the functions within Ham Radio Deluxe. Use whatever process that you like the most. That’s it for the introduction. Let’s move on to learning more about Ham Radio Deluxe.

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