Amateur radio goes hand in hand with great amateur radio software. There are some great tools designed to aid in all aspects of our hobby. Listed below are some of my favourite software packages. I’ll add to this list as I come across different programs, so this list is just a start. No doubt it will be indicative of what I’m currently playing with.

RSP Spectrum Analyser - Amateur Radio Software

RSP Spectrum Analyser

Every shack needs a spectrum analyser of sorts, whether you’re just monitoring the local spectrum, or hunting down some QRM, this tool is invaluable. If you have a SDR be sure to check out Steve Andrew’s spectrum analyser software.


This is a very much upgraded version of the original alpha release and includes many new features as well as removing the limitations imposed on the previous version. New features include multiple traces, a versatile marker system with maths, peak find and display functions, Zero or non-zero IF options and an upgraded tracking generator system.


Currently support SDR models:

RSPduo (single tuner mode)

This terrific amateur radio software is very much under development at the time of writing. Visit the SDR webpage for the latest downloadable release and documentation. There’s also a pdf which has operational hints and tips as well as known bugs and future features.


SDRuno is an advanced Software Defined Radio application. It’s made to work with SDRplay’s range of Radio Spectrum Processing receivers. This means that the specific features of a particular SDRplay RSP receiver model are enabled automatically within SDRuno.


SDRuno will follow the VFO of most modern amateur radio transceivers which has a computer control option. As a result, this will give you a waterfall for the band you’re currently using, therefore, a ‘must-have’ for contesting or DXing. To use this feature you need to download and install Omni-rig as it’s the go-between. You can even run Mike Subocz’s VK contest logging software simultaneously. It’s really handy if your PC has dual monitors. One for SDRuno and the other for VK Contest Logger.


Above all, SDRuno makes a great stand-alone shack receiver. If you haven’t ventured into the world of SDR, I’d thoroughly recommend this software. Download the latest version from the SRDuno site. It is easy to install and get going, however, if you do hit a hurdle, help is not far. There is a great range of youtube videos to help you make the most of the software.

SDRuno - Amateur Radio Software
N0GSG DMR Contact Manager

N0GSG DMR Contact Manager

DMR Contact Manager is a custom-designed software package designed for use with Connect Systems CS700/CS701/CS750/CS800/CS801/CS800D radios, as well as the Tytera MD-380/390/390GPS, TYT MD2017/MD9600, AnyTone AT-D868UV and AT-D858, Retevis RT3, and similar radios that use the RDT/RDB file formats. These units are MOTOTRBO-compatible DMR mobile radios suitable for both commercial and amateur radio applications.


Contact Manager makes it easy to maintain channel, zone, contact and call group information in these radios. It is fully compatible with the Ham-Digital and RadioID database systems and allows instant codeplug updates from a wide variety of sources.


Download the software at N0GSG DMR Contact Manager page.


Contact Manager also allows codeplug data to be easily moved between different radio types. Create one master codeplug and easily distribute it across platforms. The Structural Import feature allows you to move data instantly between different codeplug families – – for example, you can populate an AnyTone AT-868UV codeplug from the contents of a Connect Systems CS800D codeplug – – all zones, scan lists, channels, and contacts will be moved and will work identically in the target codeplug.


So you’ve conquered Echolink and you’re up for a new challenge. Introducing Peanut, a Windows and Android-based digital radio! If you’ve ever been curious as to what’s out there on the digital platforms, wonder no more. Visit David PA7LIM’s site for software and how to videos. http://www.pa7lim.nl/peanut/


Like Echolink, proof of license is required. On the Peanut, you can talk with HAM amateurs around the world via an Android device or network radio. Some of the ROOMS are connected to DSTAR reflectors ( XRF076B, XRF076F, XRF71L, XRF070C, etc… ). You only need an Android device to use DSTAR. DMR is not supported yet, but you’ll find a way with linked rooms and reflectors!

Peanut Desktop
WSJT-X Program working screen


WSJT-X implements communication protocols or “modes” called FT4, FT8, JT4JT9JT65QRA64ISCATMSK144, and WSPR, as well as one called Echo for detecting and measuring your own radio signals reflected from the Moon.  These modes were all designed for making reliable, confirmed QSOs under extreme weak-signal conditions.

JT4JT9JT65, and QRA64 use nearly identical message structure and source encoding (the efficient compression of standard messages used for minimal QSOs). They use timed 60-second T/R sequences synchronized with UTC.  JT65 and QRA64 were designed for EME (“moonbounce”) on the VHF/UHF bands; JT65 has also proved popular and effective for worldwide QRP communication at HF.  JT9 is optimized for the LF, MF, and HF bands.  It  is about 2 dB more sensitive than JT65 while using less than 10% of the bandwidth.  With either JT9 or JT65, world-wide QSOs are possible with power levels of a few watts and compromise antennas.  JT4 and QRA64 are optimized for EME on the VHF and higher bands, and especially the microwave bands from 2.3 to 24 GHz.


Download the software at WSJT-X page.


FT4 and FT8 are operationally similar but use T/R cycles only 7.5 and  15 s long, respectively.  MSK144 is designed for Meteor Scatter on the VHF bands.  These modes offer enhanced message formats with support for nonstandard callsigns and some popular contests.

As described more fully on its own pageWSPR mode implements a protocol designed for probing potential propagation paths with low-power transmissions.  WSPR is fully implemented within WSJT-X, including programmable “band-hopping”.

AirScout - Software for Aircraft Scatter Prediction
AirScout - Software for Aircraft Scatter Prediction

AirScout – Software for Aircraft Scatter Prediction

The use of Aircraft Scatter is to enhance distances of amateur radio contacts on VHF and above. Aircraft Scatter, or Aircraft Enhancement is very popular in Australia. The theory and practical use of AS has been described in many articles since the end of the 80s.

A new quality in prediction and online surveillance of AS contacts came up with the roll-out of ADS-B in 2006. The automated, undirected beacon transmissions of aircrafts contain position reports which are primary intended to increase air traffic safety, but can be received by every person having a suitable receiver for 1090 MHz. Following the timetable of roll-out, in 2020 each civil aircraft must be equipped with ADS-B. In 2013 most of the civil aircrafts used for public transportation are already equipped.


The aim of AirScout is now to put all these information together in one easy applicable tool for ham radio operators. It provides the following functionality:

  • Calculate a propagation path as a cross circle path between two QSO – partners
  • Calculate a path profile between both QSO – partners using a Digital Elevation Model (DEM)
  • Calculate the mutual visibility of an aircraft from both QSO – partners for each point on the path using their elevation and any possible obstruction between them.
  • Calculate a “hot area” in which an aircraft is mutually visible from both QSO – partners where a reflection is theoretically possible
  • Show calculated path and aircrafts in real time on a map
  • Predict Aircraft Scatter potential for each single aircraft according to position, track and altitude


Download AirScout