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Q1 Update

I hope the new year finds you all well,

Our goal is to provide the best possible digital radio at an attractive price and our efforts the past couple of months have been consumed with component tradeoffs to meet that goal with respect to price, performance and availability. Now with that behind us we have released the beta radio boards to manufacturing and should receive assembled units by the end of March.

Dennis has made great progress on the modulator and Basil has implemented a new interface using WebSockets.

We have substantial work ahead of us optimizing the RF, IF and synthesizer. I am now seeing component lead times reaching 8-12 weeks. Our best estimate is to have beta units in Q2 with production in Q3 (AKA Summer). All Beta units have been allocated.

We will be at MicroHams on Saturday March 23rd in Redmond WA with the new radio boards as well as an APRS demo.


We will be accepting pre-orders later this month. At that time we will release a preliminary Datasheet, User Interface and final discount pricing. These pre-orders will be for planning purposes and we will not be charging any deposit until we have a firm manufacturing slot.

Thank you for your patience,
Bryan Hoyer, CEO

Eclectic Technology Article in the December QST

If you’ve just arrived here from reading Steve Ford’s article in QST, there are a few things you should know that weren’t mentioned in the article:

  • The picture shows the first prototype without the substantial red heat sink
  • The prototype board has two SMA connectors, production units will have a single N connector
  • The UDR56K supports D-STAR DD mode from 4800 to 56 kbps and can be configured as a standalone D-STAR gateway
  • D-STAR DV mode is supported using an optional AMBE vocoder card

Download UDR56K-4 and make sure to subscribe to the website to stay up to date and receive a pre-order discount code. We also have an active Forum on yahoo groups where all things digital and radio are discussed.

Very Low Cost Computing

John’s recent talk at Pacificon



John will be presenting at Pacificon, October 12-13 in Santa Clara CA.

He’ll be talking about low-cost computing platforms for D-STAR and packet radio as well as the UDR56K. Stop by if you’re in the area.

A Hailing Channel for Packet Radio

Just gave a presentation here at DCC on declaring a single channel on 440 as a hailing channel, then QSYing to one of the other packet channels to handle traffic like email.

I thought this might be a natural way to bridge APRS and Winlink, but was nervous about the response from APRS users about using their channel.

Imagine my surprise when I asked the audience what frequency we should use, and none other than Bob Bruninga said:

“Use the APRS Frequency, that’s what it’s there for.”

Be sure to read Bob’s comment as posted on the APRSsig.

The video of the presentation was done by Gary at HamRadioNow and will be posted on the TAPR website.

Live Interview with Linux in the Shack

LHS #090 Live
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
8:15pm Central Time – All Ages
Live Streaming Audio (map)
The Internet, Worldwide

Catch John on the PAPA Net

The PAPA System ( has invited me to participate on their net this Thursday the 7th on D-PLUS REF012C at 8PM Pacific (0300Z).

Apparently there is a lot of discussion about the UDR56K in Southern California.

I will be giving a general overview of the genesis, technology, and applications for the UDR56K, followed by a Q&A for net check-ins.

Since this will be “on the air” over amateur radio, I will not be able to provide any responses to questions related to sales or support.

The net can be accessed for check-in on REF012C. REF012 is also available as an audio feed at

Ham Radio Now

We are featured on Gary’s Saturday Interview. Here’s the link:

NWDigtalRadio Video

You can find all of the fine work of Amateur Radio Video News (ARVN) at:


Forum on

We have added a forum on to handle discussions for people interested in the UDRX. Please go to:

NW Digital Radio


UDR56K-4 New Product Release

For Immediate Release

NorthWest Digital Radio Announces New Universal Digital Radio at Hamvention® 2012

Dayton, OH – NW Digital Radio introduced the UDR56K-4 Universal Digital Radio at the annual gathering of Amateur (Ham) Radio enthusiasts. The radio, which has been designed to support digital data and digital voice needs of both amateur radio emergency service teams and digital radio experimenters The radio will support data rates from 4800-56K+ bps with selectable modulation methods including GMSK, FSK, and 4FSK. The UDR56K will operate in the 70cm band (420-450 mHz.) at up to 25 watts.

Bryan Hoyer (KG6GEU), President of NW Digital Radio said, “The UDR56K is a radical departure from legacy commercial radio offerings and brings a new, open platform, to the Amateur Radio community by providing a stable, integrated, software managed radio for digital communications combined with a tightly integrated Linux based computing platform in a compact package.”

The radio, which measures 4×6 inches and is topped with an eye-catching red colored heat sink, has none of the usual knobs, dials, buttons, or switches. It has one Ethernet jack, four host USB ports, power, and antenna connections. All radio functions are controlled by software, using either a web browser interface or custom application.

NW Digital Radio has already integrated the Radio Messaging System (RMS) and D-STARi gateway and controller software. They are also in talks with noted software developers to provide additional digital radio protocols and applications on the UDR56K platform. Common Linux applications are easily installed using package management tools or may be compiled for the radio. Some applications of interest to the amateur radio community have already been tested, such as AX.25 networking, gpsd, Xwindows, bluetooth integration, wireless 3G/4G broadband, USB sound, and others.

“As we have talked to amateur radio operators, who are interested in digital communication for emergency communication or the development of new protocols, vocoders, and networks, there has been universal excitement for the UDR56K,” according to John Hays (K7VE), Director of Marketing. Mr. Hays further noted that “Many have said, ‘can we pay now, to be at the front of the line?’”

Mr. Hoyer added, “We think we have a winner in this design, and anticipate a series of new products from our company. We want to build on the resurgence of ‘do it yourself’ activity. We will put the Amateur back in Amateur Radio!”

This device is not offered for sale, pending certification and approval by the FCC.

The UDR56K-4 has an anticipated release in the 4th Quarter of this year, with a target MSRP of $395.

For more information contact:

Bryan Hoyer, CEO

John Hays, Director of Marketing

NW Digital Radio Corporation is incorporated in the State of Washington.
Friday Harbor, WA

D-STAR is a protocol of the JARL and is also a trademark of Icom Corporation.