Why downloading the latest free version of Ham Radio Deluxe is now so difficult, but not impossible.
My ugly story with the latest freeware versions of Ham Radio Deluxe
Ham Radio Deluxe was a popular free to use and distribute amateur radio program suite that allowed remote control of most popular transceivers using CAT interface.
Along to a logging program, Ham Radio Deluxe 5 offered DM780 a multimode decoding encoding software that allowed CW RTTY PSK and more operating modes.
Many other features were offered by this amazing ham radio program, developed by Simon Brown GK4ELI (HB9DRV) and Peter PH1PH (sk) under the freeware licence.
In 2011 Simon released the very last free version of ham radio deluxe, the version 5.0 Build 2893. Only this version can be considered the last free build completely compiled and distributed from Simon Brown HB9DRV.
At the end of 2011, Simon sold to the code to a private owned company that continued for some months developing new versions releasing builds from version 5.11 to 5.24.38 and kindly made available free from their web site.
After some years, this private company discontinued supporting and distributing older versions and released a new commercial version 6.
Now this company is asking everyone that is sharing the old binaries from their site, to remove every copy of it.
I used to share those files from this page but, two years ago I had to remove them from my hosting space, after being “kindly asked” from W4PC. I’ve learned that this happened to several other hams wanting to share the freeware version, and probably with the same, non courteous approach used with me.
Well, after having even kept in contact with Simon GK4ELI, and with other hams, I’ve recently decided to unlink the binaries from my web site. As far as I known, they are working hard contacting all other hams and asking to remove old Freeware files from their web sites, declaring to be “the sole owners of every single version of Ham Radio Deluxe ever created”, practically changing the History.
I don’t know if this is legally correct or not, I’m not a lawyer, but certainly I don’t want troubles. This is just a hobby for me, and my goal is just to help other hams, in pure ham-spirit.
The Licence Agreement I accepted
For common reference, this was the original Licence Agreement of the last free version compiled by Simon Brown version 5.0.2893. This is the version authorized to be distributed for use by Radio Amateurs.
“IMPORTANT: Before commencing using this Product, carefully read the following terms and conditions which have been accepted by your company (“Licensee”).
1. DISTRIBUTION. This Product may be distributed for use by Radio Amateurs, but it may not be sold. The maximum charge allowed for the distribution medium is 10 euro or $10.
2. GRANT OF LICENSE. Simon Brown HB9DRV hereby grants to Licensee (“You”) and You accept a nonexclusive license (“License”) to use the this Product delivered pursuant and subject to this Agreement.
You agree that You will not assign, sublicense or otherwise transfer your right under this Agreement without the prior written consent of Simon Brown.
3. TERM. This Agreement is effective from the day Simon Brown grants this License, and continues until terminated. Simon Brown may terminate this License if You fail to comply with any term or condition of this Agreement. You agree upon such termination to destroy this Product together with all copies in any form.
4. TITLE; CONFIDENTIALITY. You acknowledge that title and full ownership, trade secrets, copyright, patent rights to this Product furnished under this Agreement remain with Simon Brown, whether or not any portion thereof is or may be validly copyrighted or patented. By accepting this License, You are only granted limited license rights to use the Product. You agree to treat the Product as Simon Brown’s proprietary information.
5. LIMITED USE: Ham Radio Deluxe – You may use this Product at no cost for non-commercial purposes. If you want to use this Product commercially you require a license from Simon Brown. You may not modify the product or merge the product into any other computer programs. You may not reverse assemble or decompile the program, in whole or in part.
You may not modify the product or merge the product into any other computer programs. You may not reverse assemble or decompile the program, in whole or in part.
Other Programs (PSK31 Deluxe, Digital Master 780, Mapper) – You may use this Program at no cost without restriction.
6. LIMITED WARRANTY. Simon Brown warrants that he has the authority to grant this License to You.
THERE ARE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
7. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY. Simon Brown shall not be liable to You or any other party for any amount whatsoever.
In no case is Simon Brown responsible for any indirect, incidental, or consequential damages, such as, but not limited to, loss of anticipated profits or benefits.
8. GOVERNING LAW. This Agreement is to be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland.
The place of jurisdiction is the place where Simon Brown resides.
Simon Brown is however also free to institute legal proceedings at the place where You are situated.
If any provision of this Agreement shall be declared invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be deemed to be deleted, and it shall not affect the validity of any other term or provision of this Agreement.
9. TERMS OF PAYMENT. No payment is required for non-commercial use of this Product.
10. WHOLE AGREEMENT. This Agreement is the complete and exclusive statement of the Agreement between us; and supersedes any proposed or prior agreement, oral or written, and any other communications between us relating to this specific granted license and the related obligations; and may be modified or supplemented only by a document signed by both parties to this Agreement.”
Can you spot the article where it says that the terms can be changed? Article 3 refers to failure to comply with any term or condition… that’s all what we can read. However, this is just legalese lingo… subject I do not really master, but some doubts I have are certainly legitimate.
I feel now in right to distribute this version, but I’m feeling embarrassed and I’ve decided to refrain from distributing more.
Please note: versions higher than 5.0, have a different license agreement, and different owners, and as stated before, can’t be distributed anymore.
Is it still possible to download it ?
The answer is, yes it is…
As per August 2018, on the web, and not only on google, but also on P2P file sharing systems, I’ve recently found lot’s of working copies of the setup binary files. But sorry I will not directly post links here 😉 not anymore.
As suggestion I can tell you to not waste time looking for Ham Radio Deluxe Free version on google, you will end up with a lot of broken or removed links, search instead for the HRD_5.0.2893.zip file name, this will sharpen your search results.
I still have installed on some PC the old freeware version, and probably many other hams, like me, still have the setup files. So, ask your friends.
Alternatives to HRD ?
Well, unfortunately there is not yet a free all-in-one product like HRD, but you can always look for other Ham Radio Software
Below the list of latest builds of version 5, built and made available by the private company that can’t be distributed anymore.
|HRD Version 5.24.38
|HRD Version 5.24.36
|HRD Version 5.24.28
|HRD Version 5.24.25 (Notes)
|HRD Version 5.24.3 (Notes)
|HRD Version 5.23
|HRD Version 5.22
|HRD Version 5.21 (Notes)
|HRD Version 5.2 (Notes)
|HRD Version 5.11a (Notes)
At the end…
My intention was just to help other hams, running old PC, to continue to take advantage of the great work Simon did, for our community, in the pure and genuine ham spirit, and not to create any damage or issue to anyone.
I’m sorry, if this sad story will put in bad light someone, but this is exactly what happened (at least, in my opinion).
Take your own conclusions, and remember.. ask your Ham Friends, this will solve.