Episode 496 – Irad Deutsch – 4Z1AC


Irad Deutsch, 4Z1AC, began his ham radio journey at the age of twelve. With a strong foundation in software development and a keen interest in the fusion of ham radio and digital technology, Irad has emerged as a leading voice in modernizing communication methods within the amateur radio sphere through his creation of VarAC digital mode. His dedication to preserving the human connection in ham radio while embracing the advancements of the digital age makes him an influential and insightful figure in the community.



The total amounts contributed as sponsorships and/or donations since Episode 1 in July 2014 are listed below, and only those who agreed to be publicly recognized. This list does not include “Buy Me A Coffee” donations.
New Sponsors and Donations Last 30 Days
Total Sponsorships, Donations, and Transcriptions since July 2014


VarAC Website
CTO of Belong.life

Hometown: Beer Sheva, Israel

First License: 1990, Age 12,  4Z9CCG 

First Rig: 
Kenwood TS-850 HF Transceiver

Current Rig: 
Kenwood TS-850 HF Transceiver
Icom IC-7300 HF Transceiver
Dipole Antenna
TYT MD9600 Dual Band Transceiver
TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band Portable
Kantronics Modem
Funtronics NPR-70 New Packet Modem
Pactor Modem

Dead Sea Works
Cushcraft A4S
VHF AX25 Packet Radio
Bicom Packet Modem
Syncronis ARQ Digital HF Modes
Clover Mode
NLP – Nueuro linguistic programming
AI – Artificial Intelligence
“Fail Fast” – slogan for startup entrepreneurs
VarAC Website
”VarAC- HF/FM Digital ChatReinvented. For fun or for EmComm”- 09/21/2022
FT-8 Digital Mode
FT-4 Digital Mode
Olivia Digital Mode
VARA Modem
VARA Modem
Wine – run Windows on Linux
PSK Reporter
VaraAC Slot Sniffer

Excited most by: software and radio together, SDR, protocols

Advice to new or returning hams: get your old rig working.  Then start to explore.  

The key moments in this episode are:
00:00:00 – Listener Sponsorship and Introduction

00:02:28 – Irad’s Early Ham Radio Journey

00:08:05 – Irad’s First Rig and Antenna Setup

00:11:43 – Ham Radio’s Influence on Irad’s Career

00:13:01 – Changing Landscape of Ham Radio

00:15:26 – Professional journey and army experience

00:16:36 – Building professional networks

00:18:19 – Success in the private sector

00:20:37 – Israeli high tech phenomenon

00:23:12 – Fail fast and pivot

00:30:12 – Irad’s Antenna Setup

00:32:26 – Irad’s Interest in Digital Modes

00:36:47 – Shift to Vara Modem

00:40:03 – Vara Modem Features

00:43:34 – Compatibility of Vara Modem

00:45:38 – Setting up VarAC

00:47:27 – Running VarAC on Mac and Linux

00:49:33 – Ham Radio Workbench Podcast

00:50:18 – VarAC User Base

00:55:56 – Bandwidth Limits and FCC Regulations

01:01:11 – Advantages of VarAC for EMCOM

01:01:58 – Introduction of EMCOM mode in the upcoming VarAC version.

01:05:19 – Attracting new people to Ham radio

01:07:19 – Excitement about software in Ham radio

01:08:23 – Advice for new or returning hams ​

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Irad as teen ham radio operator

4Z1AC Ham Shack

VarAC Screen Shot

4Z1AC Ham Shack Close-Up

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