FreeDV is a Digital Voice mode for HF radio. You can run FreeDV using a free GUI application for Windows, Linux and OSX that allows any SSB radio to be used for low-bit-rate digital voice.

If you are a hardware or software developer, you can integrate FreeDV into your project using the LGPL-licensed FreeDV API.

FreeDV is being developed by an international team of radio amateurs working together on coding, design, user interface and testing. FreeDV is open source software, released under the GNU Lesser Public License version 2.1. The modems and Codec 2 speech codec used in FreeDV are also open source.


Check the GitHub Releases Page for the latest information on software releases.

  • Mooneer’s FreeDV Update – November 2023
    This month, the freedv-gui project got several good feature improvements and bug fixes: macOS: include entitlements to allow usage of audio devices on Sonoma. Added the ability to force RX Only reporting for FreeDV Reporter. Operating system usage is now logged with FreeDV Reporter (to help guide future development). New calling frequencies for 160 and … Read more
  • David’s FreeDV Update Nov 2023
    This month I’ve been busy documenting the Codec 2 algorithm. Codec 2 evolved from some code I developed in the 1990s when I studied speech coding. Around 2009 I pulled that code off the shelf and turned it into a practical speech codec, adding bits and pieces over the next decade. So now I’m making … Read more
  • ARDC Grant Project Plan
    In early 2023, we were fortunate to receive a grant from the ARDC, to support a two year program of FreeDV development. This post in an excerpt from our grant application that describes the project plan we are now busy executing. I have a background in project planning, so with the FreeDV Project Leadership team … Read more
  • FreeDV v1.9.5 Released
    FreeDV version 1.9.5 has been released, which contains the following content: Bugfixes: Fix bug preventing frequency updates from being properly suppressed when frequency control is in focus. (PR #585) Fix bug preventing 60 meter frequencies from using USB with DIGU/DIGL disabled. (PR #589) Additional fix for PR #561 to parse/format frequencies using current locale. (PR #595) Add entitlements to work … Read more
  • David’s FreeDV Update Oct 2023
    This post is summary of the work I have performed in October 2023 for our Enhancing HF Digital Voice With FreeDV ARDC grant. Acquisition My deep dive into the OFDM modem algorithms continues, this month focusing on the algorithms used by a FreeDV receiver to lock onto off air signals. The goal is fast sync … Read more
October 2023FreeDV 1.9.4 – Bug fixes and experimental OmniRig support
September 2023FreeDV 1.9.2 – FreeDV Reporter usability improvements and bugfixes
August 2023FreeDV 1.9.1 – TX monitoring support, various bugfixes
July 2023FreeDV 1.8.12 – Frequency change request support for FreeDV Reporter, various bugfixes
June 2023FreeDV 1.8.11 – FreeDV Reporter support, Hamlib improvements
April 2023FreeDV 1.8.9 – Quick Record, callsign history
March 2023FreeDV – PSK Reporter and serial port usability improvements
ARDC awards grant to FreeDV
January 2023FreeDV 1.8.7 – “Easy Setup” to simplify first-time setup
FreeDV is now on Discord
December 2022FreeDV 1.8.6 – UI cleanup, 2020B added to multiple RX support
FreeDV 1.8.5 – first-time usability improvements, build fixes for macOS
October 2022FreeDV 1.8.4 – stats auto-reset, TX audio dropout fixes

FreeDV joins Software Freedom Conservancy
August 2022FreeDV – Codec2 1.0.5, bug fixes, Windows updates
July 2022FreeDV 1.8.0 – PSK Reporter improvements, experimental 2020B mode, modem compression for improved RMS power, doc & build fixes
February 2022FreeDV 1.7.0 – bug fixes, Pulse Audio for Linux, UI enhancements
September 2021FreeDV 1.6.1 – bug fixes and reliable PSK reporter feature
August 2021SM1000 v5 firmware FreeDV 700E and 700D/E Tx band Pass Filter
August 2021FreeDV 1.6.0 with many small bug fixes and enhancements
April 2021FreeDV 1.5.3 with automatic mode detection and Tx level slider
Feb 2021FreeDV 1.5.2 with new FreeDV 700E mode, experimental PSK Reporter, PDF, and HTML User Manual
July 2020FreeDV Technology doc and v4 SM1000 firmware

Why FreeDV?

Amateur Radio is transitioning from analog to digital, much as it transitioned from AM to SSB in the 1950s and 1960s. How would you feel if one or two companies owned the patents for SSB, then forced you to use their technology, made it illegal to experiment with or even understand the technology, and insisted you stay locked to it for the next 100 years? That’s exactly what was happening with digital voice. But now, hams are in control of their technology again!

FreeDV is unique as it uses 100% Open Source Software, including the speech codec. No secrets, nothing proprietary! FreeDV represents a path for 21st-century Amateur Radio where Hams are free to experiment and innovate rather than a future locked into a single manufacturer’s closed technology.

Controlled testing suggests FreeDV is comparable to and, in some cases, works better than SSB on low SNR channels.

FreeDV 2020 is built around leading-edge neural net speech coding (LPCNet), putting Ham radio at the forefront of digital radio innovation. It provides 8 kHz wide audio bandwidth while using just 1600 Hz of RF bandwidth.

Urban HF noise is a growing problem for SSB communications. Hams around the world are using the advanced FEC and modem technology in FreeDV to overcome urban HF noise in channels where SSB is unusable.

FreeDV 1600 and 2020 is being used over the QO-100 satellite and for experimental combinations of Internet and HF radio to overcome poor propagation.

Here is what you need:

  • An SSB receiver or transceiver
  • FreeDV software, download links are below.
  • A Windows, Linux or OSX PC with one (receive only) or two sound cards.
  • Cables to connect your PC to your SSB radio.


  • An SM1000 Digital Voice Adaptor
  • Cables to connect the SM1000 to your SSB radio

Connecting Your Radio

If you don’t have a built-in sound card for digital modes you can use the normal audio inputs and outputs of your radio. The same cables and hardware that you use for other digital modes that are based on PC programs will work with FreeDV, but you will need a second sound interface for the microphone and speaker connections to the FreeDV program. A USB headset of the sort used by gamers is all you need for the second sound interface.

Configuring Your Radio

Turn off as much processing as possible. In general, noise blankers, DSP band limit filtering and narrow bandpass filters are more likely to hurt than help, while compression, DSP noise or carrier elimination, and voice processing are definitely wrong for digital modes. FreeDV’s HF modem does its own DSP, and in general, this is true for other digital programs as well.

You can see the received effect of different settings in the S/N (signal-to-noise ratio) display of FreeDV. A higher S/N is better.

Drive your transmitter to an average power of about 20% of its PEP power. There is an 8-12 dB peak-to-average power ratio in our HF modem. Over-driving will reduce the received S/N. More is not better for DV!


Source Code


Several guides are available:

Who can I Talk To?

Login to FreeDV Reporter (source) to find other Hams using FreeDV.

WorldwideAnyThird weekend of every month (12AM Pacific Saturday to 11:59 PM Sunday)FreeDV Activity Day
Argentina7.045 MHz LSBMon, Wed, Fri 1800 UTCRadio Club Coronel Pringles, listen on the LU4EEC KiwiSDR
Australia7.177 MHzAnytimeCasual QSOs
Netherlands3.625 MHz LSB 700DEvery Sunday 1000 UTCNet
UK3.643 MHz LSB 700DSundays mornings at 09:00 LocalRSGB broadcast by Matt G6WPJ
UK3.693 & 3.697 MHz LSB 700D1600 LocalDaily Net
USA14.236 MHz USBAnytimeCasual QSOs

Getting Help

If you need assistance with FreeDV, you can try the following:

Key Features

  • Cross-platform: runs on Linux, Windows, and OSX.
  • Open source, patent-free Codec and Modem that anyone can experiment with and modify
  • Waterfall, spectrum, scatter, and audio oscilloscope displays.
  • Adjustable squelch
  • Fast/slow SNR estimation
  • Microphone and Speaker signal audio Equaliser
  • Control of Transmitter PTT via RS232 levels
  • Works with one (receive only) or two (transmit and receive) sound cards, for example, a built-in sound card and USB headphones.


FreeDV is being maintained and extended by Mooneer Salam K6AQ and David Rowe, VK5DGR. Richard Shaw KF5OIM maintains the Cmake build system and Fedora packaging. Walter, K5WH is leading Windows testing in the USA. Debian packaging thanks to A. Maitland Bottoms (AA4HS) and the Debian Hamradio Maintainers.

As development continues, many people are helping whom we have not credited on this website, but we appreciate all of their work.


In 2012 FreeDV was coded from scratch by David Witten (GUI, architecture) and David Rowe (Codec 2, modem implementation, integration).

The FreeDV design and user interface is based on FDMDV, which was developed by Francesco Lanza, HB9TLK. Francesco received advice on modem design from Peter Martinez G3PLX, who has also advised David on the FDMDV modem used in FreeDV.

Mel Whitten, K0PFX has contributed greatly to the design, testing and promotion of several Digital Voice systems, including FDMDV. This practical experience has led to the current design – a fast sync, no FEC, low latency system that gives a “SSB” type feel for operators. Mel and a team of alpha testers (Gerry, N4DVR; Jim, K3DCC; Rick, WA6NUT; Tony, K2MO) provided feedback on the usability and design of FreeDV.

Bruce Perens has been a thought leader on open-source, patent-free voice codecs for Amateur Radio. He has inspired, promoted and encouraged the development of Codec 2 and FreeDV.


Adding FreeDV To Your Hardware Product or Software Project

If you are a hardware or software developer, you can integrate FreeDV into your project using the LGPL-licensed FreeDV API.

No license fees are required to use FreeDV. Including it in your project is as simple as compiling a library of C code. FreeDV does not require an operating system, it runs happily “bare metal” on small machines such as micro-controllers. It does require a hardware Floating Point Unit (FPU).

The FreeDV stack is gcc compilable C software that runs in about 1% of the CPU resources on a modern PC. FreeDV 1600 and 700D has even been ported to a “bare metal” STM32F4 microcontroller (168MHz, FPU, 128k RAM, 500k flash).

FreeDV requires a floating-point processor.  While it might be possible to create a fixed-point implementation, there is little incentive to do so since floating-point processors capable of running FreeDV are now available for under $5.