I've started preparing some ideas for Google Summer of Code projects I'd be willing to help mentor this year and one of them is for ham radio, with a focus on software defined radio (SDR).

Can you help?

If you can help as a co-mentor or simply help refer students for this project please get in touch with me.

Ander the terms of the program students are paid a $US 5,500 stipend by Google and source code is fully published under a genuine free software license .

Details about the project and how students can apply

Students applying for this project are invited to submit two applications, one under the GNU Radio project and another under the Debian Project.

The aim of this project is to make ready-to-run solutions for ham radio enthusiasts.

The typical use case is a ham who has a spare computer in his shack, he should be able to boot the computer from DVD or USB stick using the Debian Ham Radio Live Blend or the GNU Radio Live SDR and have a functional transceiver within a few minutes.

A student may not be able to do everything required for this project in one summer. We are looking for a student who can make any incremental improvement to bring us closer to this goal.

Here are some of the tasks that may be involved:

  • survey the existing GNU Radio samples for ham radio, many are listed on the HamRadio page of the GNU Radio wiki.
  • design user interface improvements for the samples to make them more intuitive to new users and traditional radio operators. Consider how they can interact with Hardware such as a VFO tuning knob, PTT microphone switch and even a morse key.
  • look through the other packages in the Debian Ham Radio metapackage list and consider how they could interact with GNU Radio. In particular, we are interested in the use of message bus solutions, such as ZeroMQ or D-Bus - for example, GNU Radio could send alerts on the bus when incoming signals exceed the squelch threshold. GNU Radio could also receive events over a message bus, for example, patching GPredict to send Doppler shift information.
  • developing and packaging libraries needed to process digital voice transmissions
  • look at how one or more of the samples can be deployed as a Debian package so users can just install the package and have a working radio


The following experience is highly desirable:
  • ham radio license
  • GNU/Linux skills (Debian or Ubuntu or another distribution like Fedora)
  • use of version control systems (Git)
  • C++ or Python or both


  • Daniel Pocock (VK3TQR/M0GLR/HB9FZT)

Application process

To apply

  • please introduce yourself on both the GNU Radio mailing list and the Debian Hams mailing list
  • Fill in the formal application for both GNU Radio and Debian
  • Pick some items from the list above or feel free to suggest another piece of work relevant to this theme. Give us a detailed, week-by-week plan for completing the task over the summer.
  • find at least one other member of the GNU Radio or Debian community who is willing to be a co-mentor on the project. Please try communicating with us over IRC or email and give us examples of your existing work on Github or elsewhere.