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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | Hamsphere Help


Reviews Summary for Hamsphere
Hamsphere Reviews: 10 Average rating: 4.3/5 MSRP: $30 to start and Free after Award
Description: HamSphere is a virtual shortwave tranceiver client that works in Windows, Linux or Mac or any other Java driven system. It is a communication system simulating shortwave propagations over a virtual Ionosphere much like CQ100. The system is based on SDR (Software Defined Radio) technology such as digital local oscillators, filters, balanced mixers, carrier wave suppressors, modulators etc.

The system uses big servers in continents such as Europe, North America and Australia to generate the virtual simulated radio world of HamSphere.

Operators using HamSphere will get the look and feel of a real Ham Radio shortwave Transceiver and the system is suitable for both licensed Ham Radio operators as well as radio enthusiasts.

Hamsphere users are able to Log Contacts and exchange QSL cards in real time right through the transceiver. A Bonus is the Awards Program for DX Contacts that allows users to work up to a Free Life Membership.
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.hamsphere.com
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KK4OAB Rating: 5/5 Jul 1, 2014 14:35 Send this review to a friend
Excellent on all fronts  Time owned: more than 12 months
I hold a General ticket in FL and have been on Hamsphere since Jan of 2014. I accept the fact that it is not "real radio", however I have a hard time finding out what real radio is limited to. Hamsphere does everything my TS2000 does so I guess it is at least a form of real radio. Some of my Ham club members poo poo it or just refuse to discuss it. I am not sure if their Ham egos are so fragile that they cannot stand progress. And yes, it is progress, just like PSK or FLDigi, or SDR is. Phone was a great leap over CW, but I betcha there were the same negatives voiced there too. Then when CW was dropped as a licensing requirement, the same bunch hollered. To me I cannot see limiting my Amateur Radio experience to conform to someone else's concept of communication. I am sort of an oddity...I am 79 years old but only a Ham for only 18 months and I sure wish I had been using Hamsphere as a protocol teacher if nothing else. I am not a contestor, but a rag-chewer and Hamsphere is the perfect medium for this. No weather worries, no propagation problems, no sun spots; just plain turn it on and begin chatting with other Hams around the globe, something my HF antennas will not let me do. And that to me is what Amateur Radio is all about. No restrictions other than the FCC stuff. Ham Radio must be a fun hobby or find something else that is. I can use Hamsphere from my motel room...bet you can't with your HF. Or from a Condo or Retirement Home...try putting up an antenna. So, relax and enjoy yet one more option in our wonderful hobby. Try it free for 5 days and if it is not for you...cancel out. But don't tell someone else what they should enjoy.
 
AB9PM Rating: 5/5 Aug 6, 2013 14:26 Send this review to a friend
Good option  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have read all the reviews and they follow most of the average thinking hams in America. Not radio, my right to free speech, of course no one else has rights, and bring back 50 wpm morse code, in short, backward looking people who cannot accept change or diversity.

I find Hamsphere quite interesting. They do have what appears to be a client base all over the world. Yes there are unlicensed personnel using the system. I think it is a good tool and learning grounds for future amateurs. One of the most positive aspects with the system, anyone with broadband coverage, can access the system that has a restrictive living environment, whether it is no antennas, or living in a nursing home.

I have started using it, and maybe my thoughts will change in a year, but for now I will give the wheels of progress a try. Operators are quite polite, as most foreigners are, however the system is moderated and some person's antics that occur on the real ham bands will not be tolerated here. Can there be an issue with an operator not following accepted Amateur protocol, sure, but we know that NEVER happens on the real bands does it?

If you have a complete unrestricted station on hf would I tell you to switch to Hamsphere, no I wouldn't, you would always feel cheated, but when you are faced with limited options it is worth a reasonable try. If you have an amateur friend who has come into a restricted environment, you may supplement your station with this program so you can keep in contact with him. You never know, your day may come also. Non-licensed persons are trying to learn protocol, and you can mentor them.

I have found far more persons using the system than CQ 100. Certain US times will have what appears to be low usage of the system, but as areas of world wake up the system really takes off. For the cost of $40 per year US, most Americans throw that much away needlessly away in a week.

Give it a try and see what you think, but only if you have an open mind! I'll give it a year and see what I think.



 
KA4PNV Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2013 09:40 Send this review to a friend
Hamsphere Rocks  Time owned: months
I use Hamsphere and CQ100 Virtual Transceivers
AKA SDRadio'along with ramotehams.com software.
No doubt Hamsphere leaves them in the dust as
far as users and ease of performance.For instance before the writing of this message I checked CQ100 there were only 4 users on all bands,This is pretty common most of the time,seems like they all gone.Hamsphere 193 users 30 Hams 12 US and there
the rest of them.I have worked PSK31 RTTY.
Its good to have the best of both worlds Virtual and Authentic I have them both.It's all in the theater of the mind ka4pnv.com 73's
 
KD4LEC Rating: 3/5 May 30, 2013 18:52 Send this review to a friend
Not radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I actually thought it involved RF when I first downloaded this program.
It is not radio, it is not a radio and antenna operated by me to theirs. I am on the trial and I can't see paying more than a few $$ to purchase this.
As a General on 20m I have to be on 14225 or higher. Not so here.
As far as collecting QSL cards, that is silly IMO.
 
WA2ASB Rating: 4/5 May 13, 2013 10:10 Send this review to a friend
If you can't use anything else...  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
My wife is on temporary assignment in India. I split my time between being here in the USA and in VU land.

ALthough I thought of trying to take the Yaesu 450D and going through the paperwork, plus take the Buddipole, I decided that it would be just too much hassle.

Prior to my February trip, I was supposed to set up the Slingbox so it could control the DVR and I could watch TV in India. I forgot.

Being bored out of my mind sitting around the hotel I also soon got bored with the Internet.

Upon discovering Hamsphere I tried signing up for the free trial. Everything seemed to work until I tried using it. I got suspended for logging onto it from a country different then where I subscribed. It didn't take long to figure out the reason was because my browser was using a proxy so my bank in the US wouldn't reject me.

After complaining to Kelly about it, he informed me (all by e-mail) that he did that because certain 3rd world poor countries could use it without paying a fee, but some people tried to beat the system. He also offered to give me a new "call sign" with a VU suffix.

After him explaining to me that if you were a paid member you could log on from anywhere, I decided that was the route I should go.

Most of the time I was just listening to people rag-chew, but I did have some interesting conversations with some people that just live north of the home QTH. (Yes, I still have a '2' call sign, but after living in Texas - no more Syracuse winters).

No, it isn't the same as actually being on the air. What does a '59' signal tell you on Hamsphere? You can always turn up the power.

I've been licensed continuously since 1957 and used a lot of different equipment over the years. I think Kelly came up with a good idea and I owe my life to him: he saved me from dying from boredom.
 
ONAIR Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2013 14:01 Send this review to a friend
GREAT for travelers or HOA restricted residents!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A REALLY fun alternative if you live in a very restricted HOA community or are a frequent traveler! No need for antennas, power supplies, or even cables. Thousands of operators from all over the world, who you can chat with any time of the day or night. Just a laptop, tablet, or smart phone will get you connected and working the world in minutes! Just give it a try!!
 
N2RRA Rating: 1/5 Jan 14, 2013 10:20 Send this review to a friend
Part 1: Beware purchase! Flawed!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This program has so many flaws and corruption I had for the first time review a product in two parts. Beware purchase!

There is another review column that shows this program for what it is and has the programs owner's pets here leading you to some what false hopes. This review catagory is fishy!

You are controlled and bullied by admins. I have proof from the owner and program of Hamsphere himself in part 2 of this review. You might wanna visit the other review down the "catgory list" from others in version 2.0.

I have to echo some of the same views unfortunitely as others in the very recent older version by just a month ago in the "other" review catagory list which doesn't have good reviews for a reason. In my years I've always been in good standing in any web site forums and on the air. I have a good reputation with all my ham colleages and others associated with me.

First the negatives!

Gave this program about 3 weeks and as a 23 year experienced ham nothing can replace real radio. Plus, If you like to be bullied and forced to choose their topics of discussion on VOIP then this is for you. It's communismn at its best!

First off this program is filled with brainless babbling unlicensed operators (non-hams) so sharing my ham imformation and not having anything in common plain sucks.
There are more non-licensed operators than hams and most I found admitted to not being able to pass the ham exam, or simply couldn't afford and put up antennas so you have an idea what caliber of operators you'll come across. There are hams ,but quite a bit of them share the same in common with non-licensed operators except they passed the exam in various degree in class's.

I was able to connect with a couple great hams and a few non-licensed operators ,but far few in between with the amount of subscribers. Gets rather boring real fast ,because you can't find enough operators to share a worthy conversation.

* Forced to keep the topics of dicussion based on weather, contact information, and nothing of importance which limits the topics to hams because there just aren't enough hams with experience and real radio capability to have any discussions with on the program.

* There are connectivity issues at times that will make you shut down and restart that can drive you insane.

* SSTV - Most of the time it'll only come out as clear as you would get one from real propagation in a S-5 QSB signal on real radio from the same operators daily. Maybe an S-8 signal. Kinda lame!

* CW - There are maybe 5 or 10 CW operators out of all the subscribers. In those three weeks I hit hard the only digital band allocated for the program and that gets boring real fast when each day you find the same operators.

* You will find frequencies used as a
"call frequency" that gets unrulely real fast and very disrepectful that aren't labeled as call frequencies in the programs band allocated list. Well, that may change after this review.

* You get splatter real bad from adjacent frequencies and there's nothing you can do about it but QSY to another band. Kinda gets annoying some times, but have options.

* Admins "do not" enforce good operating practice other than your topic of discussion.

* No common courtesy by other operators that park 1 Khz during a QSO from you even worse than what you will find on real radio. Even far more common on hamsphere and even worse.

They do try to follow the ham rules, regs and protocals, but (Owner) Kelly Lindmen's admins are on a big power trip. There are one too many administrators most not even hams and all have the power of kicking you off if they don't like who you are and how you express your opinion. Kelly in the end will take their side even if their actions aren't justified so you will lose your time and money. Fact!

If they deem any of your opinions objectional to their satisfactions despite them not having anything to do with breaking the programs rules and regs they will forcefully have you change your topic of discussion by warning you first. Then kick you off the system if you don't comply. Till the point where they can banned you entirely redering the paid program useless. When this happens you either crawl back to Kelly Lindman begging to get back your privalges ,or asking for a refund. I don't crawl back to anyone!

You will hear the bashing of hams and ham world encouraging trial users to pay for membership because VOIP is better than real ham radio. That's till the grid goes down! Then what?

Do what you want but this program is not for me and I'm glad it happened the way it happened. Read part 2 of my review if you don't believe me.

73
 
KD8TUT Rating: 5/5 Jan 13, 2013 11:02 Send this review to a friend
Made me a Ham...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Started using Hamsphere in May 2012, and never stopped. It motivated me to get licensed. I'm sitting for the general upgrade 1/19/2013.

Comments:

It probably gives you 30% of the ham experience. It's easier than real radio. The simulation leaves out all the equipment issues and the knowledge needed to deal with them. But... it's a good training ground for new hams from the standpoint of "being on a radio".

The numbers of licensed individuals using Hamsphere has been going up. Which is a good sign of it's success. And I've noted 5 Hamsphere inspired new licensees among the QSOs and NETs I've participate in.

Like the real world- 11 meter is a mess. Huge DX pileups happen on 40 meter.

Sadly 80 and 160 meter are very unused- but are the most difficult frequencies on Hamsphere.

The simulation itself is pretty impressive. The bands open and close periodically. Signals fade, signals bleed, and weird phase/echo effects can be heard. Free tuning is somewhat realistic.

It's a good environment to get time behind a microphone before keying a real radio. It's certainly fun.

Yes there are problems with non-hams. It is rare... But most of them are people with a CB or pirate background. The majority of those people are willing to adopt better practices when instructed properly- and do. People who abuse the system are banned. But still... there have been a number of nights where activity on a frequency was negatively influenced by someone whistling into a microphone. Admins promptly ban these types.

The integrated log and QSL system is very good at getting you trained to log. Although with the automated system you are asked not to send QSL cards SWL activity. A shame, since I remember sending cards to stations I simply listened to as a child.

The "DX Cluster" on the software is a cheat sheet. It's a combined chat and displays call signs online and the frequency they are on. I'm not sure how I feel about it. I tend to ignore it in order to remain ignorant of who is on band and just work a frequency.

In closing, I think the Hamsphere system is great. It deserves a 5 rating. My personal hope is that systems like this are embraced by the ham community as an alternative to non-hams running pirate, training of new hams off-air, or for non hams who just want to enjoy themselves. It's also a way for hams to "get the word out" to the general public- who are slowly catching wind of Hamsphere.

My suspicion is that the amateur bands will always be there. Systems like this may represent an interesting entry point for new talent into the ranks of the hobby.
 
KD8JUF Rating: 5/5 Jan 12, 2013 19:09 Send this review to a friend
Hamsphere is a great software system  Time owned: months
I would like to respond to several of the reviews on HamSphere. First off let me say that I am a US Ham who holds a General Class license. I am also very involved in the ARRLís field organization and serve as a District Emergency Coordinator in their Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) organization and am also a ARRL VEC and W5YI VEC. So I am well versed with FCC and ARRL regulations as well as operating many bands and type of radios. I also as of April of 2012 serve as an Administrator for HamSphere. This is a volunteer position and I do not get paid by HamSphere. So my views are my own.
I found HamSphere a few years ago. I was forced to not put up a real HF antenna due to local zoning regulations and was limited to only using local repeaters on the 2M and 70cm bands. The only way to get on HF was when I was at a friendís house or at a club function. In doing some research on VoIP I found info on HamSphere, CQ100 and Echolink. I began to research them and ended up joining both CQ100 & HamSphere. Although both seem similar, HamSphere seemed more realistic to HF operating after working with both. As I began to learn more about HamSphere I learned that it was a very complex program that worked on Double-sideband suppressed-carrier transmission or DSB as the default mode of operation where the operator uses speech audio/phone. Propagation is simulated and is very realistic. Kelly Lindman the owner and founder of HamSphere uses a mathematical algorithm for the wave propagation and is based on a stochastic model and pre recorded signal envelope. Multipath propagation is achieved by inducing multiple simulated electromagnetic paths digitally thus producing signal fading and audio distortion. Signals are received and converted into audible form by using a product detector mixing the local oscillator signal with the received signal, very similar to Software-defined radio. The digital artifact of the decoded audio signal is later filtered with a 17-order FIR filter with a bandwidth of 2.8 kHz.
So thatís the technical but letís talk about what sold me and then led me to become an administrator. HamSphere is non-dominational which means you donít have to have a ham license to use the software. This is one of the biggest complaints since systems like Echo-link and CQ100 only allow licensed hamís to operate on their system. Kelly Lindman has chosen the opposite approach by allowing non-licensed individuals to operate on his system. Since there is no RF signal, there is nothing lost with allowing the non-licensed ham to use the system. Many individuals around the world have chosen to get their license after using HamSphere. Does this mean we will not have idots using the system, no on the ham bands with real RF, we have clowns as well. Thatís why the FCC uses OOC ( Official Observer Coordinatorís) to patrol the airways. HamSphere Admins do the same thing.



HamSphere 3.0 which is the current version costs 30 Euroís a year. This is apx. $48 US. This is a very cheap investment for what you get. There is a built in logging program and during contests it does the automatic tracking for your points. You have the opportunity to work DX and there are several awards just like the real HF world. There is even an electronic QSL card system. Over 200,000 cards have been sent in the past year alone.
There are nets, digital modes and even CW should you chose to work it. What I donít think most realize is the support you get. If you have a problem there is a ticket based assistance system where someone will get back to you in a short amount of time. There are also many users who love to Elmer and assist new users. There is good documentation and blogs that also help the users. Many controls allow the user to chose what serve they want to use or to send instant messages to one another.
Lastly, there are over 40 Admins who monitor the system 24/7. Are they on all the timeÖ no as a volunteer you put in as much or as little time as you want. I started off elmering people and then was made an Admin. Many of the reviews take a negative view of Admins and say we are power hungry. This is not true. I usually spend a few hours each nite as my time permits. On the weekends, I try to spend more time on the system.
Is HamSphere perfect, NO! I would like to say that after N2RRAís review the founder adjusted some of the Admin polices that the Admins enforce. So he does listen to what his subscribers say. I would also like to note that I do not know Kelly personally. Iím not one of his personal friends. I do however have a love for Ham Radio and believe in elmering people to help build the hobby.
I have used HamSphere to demo the real ham radio world to boyscout troops and even ham radio clubs in my ARES District. It sure saves the trouble of setting up a rig for a 30 minute talk. HamSphere can also be used as a great training tool to teach future hams how to operate.
There have been some very exciting accomplishments in the past year by the owner kelly Lindman. He has completed getting an iPhone based system running as well as an android version. Contesting is taking off as well as the log book and QSL cards.



To summarize and conclude, I challenge you to not take my word or any of the other reviews but to try HamSphere for yourself. There is a free 7 day trial period. Try and see if you like it. Many will and Iím sure there are others who will not. Donít be influenced by just one individualís comments. Make your own decision. If youíre on the airways look for me KD8JUF, Iíll be working the bands.

Mike Voleski - KD8JUF - Cleveland, Ohio
 
KA9OFM Rating: 5/5 May 18, 2012 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Just Like A Real Transceiver  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The Hamsphere Transceiver sounds and feels like the real thing. Signals are just like those on the real radio. Yes, there is QRM, QRN, and QRB everything you would experience on the real ham bands. There are often pile-ups when an operator from a smaller country is heard. There always seems to be a lot of people listening as compared to the people that talk. Depending on the time of day the bands can get awful full. There are getting to be a few regular nets and that adds to the experience.

The latest version of HamSphere 3.0 is very stable and packed with features that add to the simulation of Real Ham Radio.

I never thought that I would like it as well as I do. Besides making new friends all over the world, this is DX Heaven. I have been able to have long QSOs with DX Countries that I have never even been able to contact on the Ham bands.

Another Great feature is that Hamsphere allows Older Amateurs that live in retirement communities, or apartment residents, or people that live anywhere that restricts antennas the chance to have the Ham Radio Experience via Hamsphere's simulation.

Another Plus is that Hamsphere is a recruiting tool. I have heard many users become enthusiastic and obtain their Amateur License. Just the boost Ham Radio needs. Also many users claim they are thankful to practice the English language and to enhance their communication skills.

I have been involved with HamSphere for just a short while but have met many users with well over 3 years involvement.

Knowledge of World-wide Country Prefix's will help you identify DX Countries in the Cluster. Some of these DX Operators do not remain on the bands very long so it is important to be at the right place at the right time when they are active. Thus making the DXing not only very interesting, but challenging as well.

You can try Hamsphere for free for 7 days and then you will have to pay for 365 days at around $30 but Hamsphere is a step better than CQ100 because Hamsphere offers FREE time as a reward for using the program often. The Awards start out with 25 DX Contacts giving you 30 Free Days, 50 contacts gives you 3 months, 75 gives you 6 months, 100 give you 1 year free. At 150 contacts you receive a free life membership. You can't beat that!!!

Hamsphere has a built in Logbook and QSL exchanges to confirm your contacts is very easy.

I also use CQ100 and I would have to say that Hamsphere is a far better experience. Don't get me wrong CQ100 is very good too, but they don't have a Logbook or an awards program.

I think anyone that gives Hamsphere a try is going to like it.
 


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