Ham Radio Deluxe has announced that the final free version of HRD will be removed from their servers September 1, 2013.  After the HRD freeware product was sold by its author, it was converted to a commercial software product.  The current owner, W4PC, has stated that the freeware 5.x version will continue to be free, however they will no longer host the files for download and there will be no further development on the 5.x version.  Others may host the files for download free of charge.

I hate to keep sounding like a broken record, but the situation with HRD, and in particular with the 5.x freeware version, illustrates just why freeware is a problematic software model and ultimately a technological dead end for a hobby like amateur radio.  Luckily with HRD, development is continuing with the commercial product.

Do you use other freeware amateur radio programs?  Ask your favorite program authors if they would consider open sourcing their software.  If they don’t, ask them why not and what do they have to lose.

Anthony, K3NG, is a regular contributor to

5 Responses to “Freeware”

  • Dirk, DB6EDR:


    as I haven’t found a decent ADIF editor, I’ve coded one myself in C# 5.0. Of course, it is open source software. You can find the source code at

    For those interested in OSS licenses: I’ve used the MIT license.

    73 de Dirk DB6EDR

  • Paul, W3FIS:

    Here is a link for future reference

    Has current and older version of HRD/DM780 free ware.

    /paul W3FIS

  • Frank K4FMH:

    Amateur Logic TV (amateur will also host this free HRD file.



  • Alex, g7kse:

    I do feel its sad that programs like HRD which started out as freeware become paid for. I can understand that some things need to be commercial in order to move development forward and cover costs but I haven’t seen anything that warrants the cost in HRD. To me its about x5 overpriced.

    I’ll be sticking with HRD 5.xx until I find a suitable alternative.

  • Kyle N4NSS:

    Hams are notoriously cheap! The commercial version is not expensive. Consider all the work and combined programs that are included. You guys that continue to use to free version are really short-changing yourselves in the long run. Bright minds are behind this fantastic product which allows a progressive ham many operating functions for the station. But, then again if you are satisfied with just getting bye…stay stuck in your old program.

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