How open are we?


This is a good topic and deserves it's own thread.

First off NW Digital Radio is a for profit corporation. We design and manufacture HW and sell it with adequate margins to keep us doing it in the future to the benefit of Amateur Radio (at least in theory). We will provide schematics and assembly drawings to enable repair/modification.

Our products rely on Open Source SW and appropriately, ALL of our software will be open source, which raises a couple of questions.


At DCC last September Bruce Perens talked about how only a chump would use a completely open license and he has chosen GNU Affero GPL 3.0 for his company.  Bruce knows a lot more about Open Source Licensing than I do and I'm inclined to do the same. This hasn't been cast in stone so let us know if there's a legitimate amateur radio need that isn't served by this.


All software that has been written or modified by NW Digital Radio will be in an open source repository most likely GitHub. The software is currently on a private svn repository. Moving it now is not a priority.

Web Interface vs Command Line:

We use Debian Linux 3.x and you can SSH into the UDR and do whatever you want, that's how we develop and test it. Everything you can do thru the web interface has a command line equivalent.

For example, to set the frequency you have to send rather cryptic commands using  2 different and non-standard SPI ports to both the DDS and the LO synthesizer. We have a user level command

freq 440800000

which figures the values out and calls the underlying routines. Commands are documented in the UNIX convention. Typing freq lists the syntax and options. All commands will be listed in a man page. The low level commands are documented in the data-sheets of the chips themselves (and they are ugly).

The web interface uses web sockets to transfer user commands to the UDR where the commands are executed.

The Slippery Slope:

How many companies can you think of that started out as open source then found that they had made something potentially valuable that they didn't want to share? This is why we formed the ARETF to move the software and the discussion away from NW Digital Radio and into the amateur community where it belongs.

Bryan - K7UDR

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