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Using GNU Radio for Amateur Radio

Ham radio operators are given a license by their government enabling them to make radio transmissions for the purpose of scientific investigation, experimentation and non-commercial communication. Ham radio provides great opportunities for learning, education, disaster relief and making interesting discoveries.

Ham licenses typically offer access to frequencies in every significant portion of the radio spectrum, including HF bands (between 1MHz and 30MHz), VHF (144MHz - 148MHz), UHF (420MHz - 450MHz) and many microwave bands. The license authorizes many different transmission modes (FM voice, SSB, digital, TV) and significant power levels (over 1kW in some countries).

To get started, you may need to search for the organization responsible for amateur radio in your country. They may be able to advise you if you need to complete an exam to qualify for a license or if your existing qualification, such as an electrical engineering degree, automatically qualifies you for a license. A starting point may be the International Amateur Radio Union or Wikipedia

Getting started

If you've never touched GNU Radio before, these pages will get you started with a running installation of GNU Radio and will show you how to take your first steps with this software radio tool.

Hardware components for HF

Hardware is not part of GNU Radio, which is purely a software library. However, developing radio and signal processing code is even more fun when using hardware to actually transmit and receive, and GNU Radio supports several radio front-ends, either natively or through additional out-of-tree modules.

For a list of supported devices, see our Hardware page.

Additional items for HF use (below 70MHz) will be listed here (TBD).

Transmit / Receive and station control


GNU Radio Amateur Radio monthly meeting group

  • On-line video meeting
    • a host / moderator will present a topic with a demonstration
    • BigBlueButton - link TBD
    • limit to one hour
    • a time on the weekend might be better - something like 20:00 UTC?
  • Continuing HamRadio chat room on Matrix #HamRadio:gnuradio.org