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Award for Top Homebrew Heroes Announced:

Frank M. Howell (K4FMH) on July 10, 2019
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For Immediate Release

Award for Top Homebrew Designers in Amateur Radio Announced

Homebrew Heroes Award to be Given Annually

Ridgeland, Mississippi” July 8, 2019 Today, the ICQ Podcast ( announced a partnership in the founding of the Homebrew Heroes Award by three members of the podcast. This annual award is to recognize persons, groups or organizations who help define the frontiers in amateur radio technology through the long-standing tradition of home brew construction. It is housed at the separate website,

We felt that with all of the technical homebrew activity in amateur radio today that there should be a means by which to identify and highlight those whose technical creativity has made a clear impact on the hobby,¯ said Frank Howell, FCC Call Sign K4FMH at ICQ Podcast ( Our recent visit to the Hamvention conference in Xenia, OH convinced us that the traditional homebrew craft and science is alive and well, said Martin Butler, M1MRB from London. But there was no clear means to bring additional and independent attention to the fruits of their labor,¯ added Colin Butler M6BOY, of County Kilkenny, Ireland. My background in strategic marketing and information technology led me to believe that the time was right for such an award, he added. Howell stated, If you look at some of the workbenches for many successful homebrew entrepreneurs, their equipment is vintage, to say the least, so our awards program may assist them in getting corporate support through donated products to enhance their future ability in this maker-space.¯

The new awards program is independent of the ICQ Podcast but these three podcast members comprise the Steering Committee for the annual award. These include Martin Butler M1MRB, Colin Butler M6BOY, and Frank Howell K4FMH. The ICQ Podcast is a promotional partner in this endeavor while the Homebrew Heroes website is maintained by Howell. The idea for this awards program originated while we attended, for the first time, the Hamvention in Xenia, OH. It struck the three of us that this was another way to give back to the hobby,¯ said Martin Butler.

Other podcasters in the homebrew electronics maker space have applauded this new program. Jeremy Kolonay KJ7IJZ, co-host of the wildly popular Ham Radio Workbench ( said, When I heard about this new award program, I was very excited. The homebrew electronics community in amateur radio has grown tremendously as our biweekly podcast has attempted to track and encourage. Its really important to have a way to recognize and promote excellence achieved by the most successful participants.¯

Commercial companies have begun signing on to donate prizes to the future recipient,¯ said Howell. Digilent Inc., a National Instruments Company, immediately told us that they would contribute their highly successful Analog Discovery 2 test device. Kaitlyn Franze, Software and Hardware Product Manager with Digilent, said, When I learned that this was being planned, I immediately said that Digilent would like to be a corporate prize sponsor. Our market base has been significantly impacted by amateur radio operators who design and build equipment in this maker space. Digilent is proud to be on board with the Homebrew Heroes Award Program.¯ Other companies have expressed positive interest and are evaluating the right product to donate. Howell added, We anticipate that this donor list will grow with the awareness of the awards program.¯

Founded in 2008, ICQ Podcast ( is one of the more successful amateur radio podcasts in the world. It is published every two weeks and has a team of a dozen international presenters on the podcast, based in the United Kingdom.


For more information on the Hombrew Heroes Award:

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