2018 – State of the Union

NW Digital Radio has been evolving over the last few years.  Our initial focus was to develop a 70cm radio focused specifically at higher speed digital communications for the amateur radio market.  This is still a goal, however, due to a series of conditions we cannot predict when this will happen.

While working on the various aspects of the radio we have been able to produce a series of products that have sustained the ongoing efforts of the company.

We have learned a lot in the process and will be taking that knowledge into new products going forward.

We at NW Digital Radio are problem solvers, and like the process of assembling a project from components, both hardware and software, and have delivered products based on that model.

For some products this model works very well, like our ThumbDV™, which has been very successful when used with software like BlueDV, WinDV, AMBEserver, DummyRepeater, XLX/ambed, and more.  Thousands are finding that the ThumbDV™ is just the right product at the right price point and are successfully using it to communicate from computer, over the network, to Digital Voice protocols such as D-STAR, DMR, and more.

Other products, such as the UDRC and UDRC II, have allowed the creation of digital communications systems whether D-STAR repeaters,  fldigi workstations, Direwolf sound modem TNCs, or other soundcard DSP based systems.  Many of these projects have come about by experimentation and integration by individual amateurs working with open source software and our boards.

However, as we talk with customers and potential customers, we find that many are more interested in solutions that are prepackaged with hardware, software, and a case.  Basically, they want a “plug and play” solution that requires little to no integration beyond basic cabling to radios and some minor, guided, configuration.

In 2018, you will see NW Digital Radio evolving from a component provider to a solution provider.  We continue to be dedicated to products that leverage open source software and standard platforms, but will be focusing on delivering solutions that are pre-integrated with hardware, software, and packaging.

We will also continue to provide the experimenter and developer a platform that they can access and build upon.

Furthermore, we intend to use the kick starter model on some products where there appears to be an interest in the community, but where we need to know the level of that interest before proceeding with full inclusion of an idea into our product line.  If you find a product on our kick starter list, please support it, the risk to you is minimal, while helping us bring out innovative solutions.

Some of the projects we have under design at the current time include:

  • A networked, multi-speed, TNC for packet radio
  • An Emcomm workstation
  • A device for combining multiple SDR-RTL dongles into a single platform
  • An integrated low power radio/TNC

and more.

Look for these projects to roll out over the next few months.  We think 2018 is going to be a great year to continue to put “The Amateur back in Amateur Radio” —

Your NW Digital Radio team.

NW APRS Summer Gathering 2017

NW Digital Radio team members will be presenting at The Northwest APRS Summer Gathering in North Bend (WA) on September 9th.

Topics to be presented will include:

  • UDRX™ Status Update
  • A Raspberry Pi Based ~1W Transceiver mentioned at the Dayton Hamvention® (Xenia)
  • NetTNC an EMCOMM Appliance
  • UDR-Tracker an APRS® Mobile Appliance
  • ThumbDV™ New SW and Applications

To learn more about the APRS® event, subscribe  to the newsletter.

Presentations will be posted on the web after the gathering.

Note: NW Digital Radio team members will not be presenting at TAPR DCC in St. Louis this year.

Hamvention 2017 – Dayton

We will be at booth 1105 (Bldg. 1 – next to Bridgecom) on Friday and Saturday this year.

We will not be at the Hamvention on Sunday.
We will have a limited number of ThumbDV and UDRC-II units for purchase, and maybe have a little something new to show you (not the the UDRX-440).

John Speaks at DCC 2015

Bryan Speaks at DCC 2015

Huntsville Hamfest

We won’t have a booth at Huntsville this year, but John Hays (K7VE) will be speaking at the D-STAR Innovations Forum on August 15th.

If you would like to visit with John be sure to catch him at the Huntsville Hamfest.

John Speaks on DV Modes at MicroHams

ThumbDV™: Create a Handheld For Under $200

How would you like a handheld device with a 7″ touchscreen that can get you on the D-STAR network for under  $200?  KG7NKG alerted us that he successfully used a Winbook TW 700 tablet with the ThumbDV™ and we just had to give it a go.

We purchased the Winbook TW 700 tablet for $59.99 (plus shipping) from Micro Center.  Also available at Amazon.

Upon receiving the box today, and going through the basic configuration of the pre-installed MicroSoft Windows 8.1 on the device, a ThumbDV™ was plugged into the standard USB port on the tablet.  After allowing for the automatic installation of the FTDI driver, it was time to give this package a try.  KG7NKG used  G4KLX’s DummyRepeater + ircDDBGateway so we installed DUTCH*Star’s beta Node DV (WinDV) which supports the ThumbDV™.  (Both packages work.)

Once the Node DV software was installed, which took less than 5 minutes, it was configured and a connection was made to REF001C using the built-in microphone and speakers.  QSOs were a success!!!

Cost of project (sans taxes and shipping):

Windows Tablet  $59.99
ThumbDV        $119.95
Node DV   (Please Donate)
Total          $179.94

That is the lowest cost of entry into D-STAR, using new equipment, this author has seen.  Just the right gift for your Amateur Radio Valentine.

Winbook and ThumbDV

Windows 8 tablet with ThumbDV Installed


This unit operates on the 13cm band (WiFi).

HP makes a similar 8″ tablet with WiFi plus 4G cellular networking for life on the T-Mobile network (see site for details). The Stream 8 from HP does not have a full sized USB, you will need an adapter to micro-USB/OTG.

Come by our booth at Hamcation® in Orlando and you can purchase a ThumbDV™ (or DV3000 for the Raspberry Pi/Odroid C1) on-site.




DCC 2014 in Austin

I know many of you have already seen this. There are really 3 Presentations, so I broke them out for you:

UDRX-440 Update

And now for something completely different – The ARETF

John talks about the DV3000 AMBE Applications

Thanks to Gary Pearce of for his videography.

Rag Chew in Portland OR

I’ll be speaking with the hams of TERAC on Thursday evening for anyone in the Portland OR area that is interested in the latest developments on the UDRX.

Pre-Meeting Dinner at 6pm
Meeting starts at 7:30

Max’s Fanno Creek Brew Pub
12562 SW Main St
Tigard OR 97223