Ham Radio Deluxe, A History

The Early Years

In early 2003, Peter PH1PH and Simon HB9DRV talked about developing a simple program to control the soon to be released ICOM IC-703. Maybe it was the beer or the desire to give something back to the radio amateur community, on June 6th, 2003 the first line of code was written and Ham Radio Deluxe (HRD) was born. By late 2005, the number of registered users stood at around 20,000. This was an incredible achievement is such a short period of time.


As time went on, more radios were added to the software. Then Simon and Peter began adding more features. Eventually, the software began to handle Logging, Digital Modes, Satellite Tracking, and Rotator Control in addition to the Radio Control.


In May 2010 at the Dayton Hamvention, Simon received the Technical Excellence Award. This award was given to him for developing Ham Radio Deluxe, the swiss army knife of digital modes. This was the basis for the HRD Software slogan, the swiss army knife of ham radio.


Simon continued developement of Ham Radio Deluxe until the middle of 2011 at which time talks were opened with Rick Ruhl W4PC, Mike Carper WA9PIE, and Randy Gawtry K0CBH to purchase the software in its entirety. Negotiations were concluded successfully in November of 2011 and Ham Radio Deluxe was transfered to its new owners.

HRD Software Buys Ham Radio Deluxe

Rick, Mike, and Randy formed a company based upon Ham Radio Deluxe. With over 100,000 registered users under Simon, the clock was ticking to update the software and release a new version for the masses. Rick, with the help of Erik Gawtry, faced a daunting job of going through more than a million lines of code to decipher the software program and enhance it.


The first release of Ham Radio Deluxe by HRD Software occured at the Orlando Hamcation in February of 2012. This release was free with the option to purchase support. Since that time, HRD Software has fixed over 35,000 bugs and added enhancements and new features to the program. In February 2013, HRD Software released the first commercial version of Ham Radio Deluxe. This was version 6.0 which included new radios, DX Cluster support, Awards reporting, and more. The look of the modern day Ham Radio Deluxe is very similar to the last version that Simon released in 2010.