Frequently Asked Question

What do I need to connect my radio to HRD?
Last Updated 3 years ago

The HRD software supports close to 100 different models of radios. Each model is different and has different requirements for connecting them to a computer for CAT control. Your radio owners manual will normally have a information on what is needed to connect your radio to the computer. You can usually find information on the page that shows the rear panel plugs and connections.

Some require only a USB to USB connection from the radio to the computer. These radios usually require drivers to be downloaded from the radio manufacturer which not only facilitate the USB connection, but also contain an Audio CODEC which allows you to operate the digital modes without adding any other hardware or connections between the radio and the computer.

Other radios require an RS-232 connection. These usually have a DB-9 serial connector on the back of the radio which can be connected to either an RS-232 card with a DB-9 connector in the computer, or, through a special cable which has a RS-232 level converter built into a USB/Serial converter cable. This type of cable plugs into the DB-9 on the radio and into a USB port on the computer.

When a USB/Serial converter type cable is needed, we highly recommend using one with an FTDI or Silicone Labs chipset. These have a proven track record with HRD for being very reliable at handling the large volume of data transferred between the radio and computer. We have found that those converters containing the Prolific chipsets, in most cases, can be very problematic in the long run.

Along with the CAT connection, some radios require additional connections or hardware in order to be able to take advantage of the Digital modes provided by the Digital Master 780 software included in the Ham Radio Deluxe suite. Again, there are many options available for this and you need to do a little homework on your own to decide what is best for your type of operating.

If you have any questions about what you need, first, read your radio's operators manual. Normally that will tell you exactly what you need. If you can't find the information you need there, then a call to the manufacturer's support line would be the next step. If you still are not sure of what you need, give the HRD software support team a call during normal business hours at 813-413-4090 and they will be more than happy to assist you.

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