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Reviews Categories | Ham Software - Other than logging | Ham Sphere v 2.0.19 (Jan 2010) Help


Reviews Summary for Ham Sphere v 2.0.19 (Jan 2010)
Ham Sphere v 2.0.19 (Jan 2010) Reviews: 7 Average rating: 2.6/5 MSRP: $21 Euros / year [after 7-9 day t
Description: VoIP program for Internet-based QSO's (similar to CQ100); presents realistic HF signals, with QRM; ARRL audios, "number stations" & a program about the last type; includes 6m & 11m bands & a 6 MHz HF "BC" band, as well as text-based Chat (like EchoLink's).

Extracts from Maker's Feature list:

SSTV and digital modes won't work well on HamSphere 2.0 ...
CW is implemented in this release.

New Features are:

Firewall friendly TCP driven audio.
New S-meter
New progressive VFO
Memory channels
Dual filters 3.8 kHz and 2.8 kHz
10 Ham Bands plus one Broadcast Band (BC) band
Channel step up/down
1 kHz frequency step up/down
Jitter buffer latency control to keep the TCP latency to a minimum.
DSB Modulation. (CW in next real release)
Simulation on/off. Shuts down the noise and QRM.
PTT with PTT hold.
Volume level knob
Transmitter Power level knob
Mic level knob
Chat
Improved DX cluster
Hot frequency select direct from cluster and FFT.
Keyboard shortcuts for most functions
Direct frequency setting with keyboard or keypad.
New codec with a lot lesser bandwidth requirement.


KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
==================
F1 PTT ON/OFF
F2 Filter 1/2
F3 VFO/Memory
F4 AGC slow/fast
F5 Sim on/off
F6 Help
F7 Dir freq input
F8 PTT Hold on/off
F9 Bring up audio Mixer
F11 Quick key /USERS Gives the number of users logged on
F12 Quick key /USERS QRG or BAND (Toggles between them)

In CW Mode
F1-F8 short keys with programable QSO phrases.

DEL Delete mem pos
down = 1 kHz down
up = 1 kHz up

CHAT COMMANDS

General commands
==============
ping - Checks the connection with the server. Only works when logged out.
/help - This text
/invisible - Invisible mode
/visible - Visible mode
/agc1-3 - set different AGC
/clear - Clear cluster
/users - Get total number of users
/users all - List all users on the system
/users band - List all users on this band
/users qrg - List all users on my frequency
/private callsign msg - Send a message to a user
/lookup callsign - Get info about a callsign
/qrz callsign - Lookup callsign on QRZ.com
/dsb set DSB mode
/chatmode 0 - Set global chat, all chat messages are seen.
/chatmode 1 - Set band chat, all chat messages from users on the same band
/chatmode 2 - Set Freq chat, all chat messages from users on the same frequency

CW commands
===========
/cw set CW mode
/f1-8 Store CW fast keys. i.e. /F1 CQ CQ CQ DE 5B4AIT K
/speed WPM (where wpm is words per minute between 10-34)
/offset hz (where hz is the tone offset between 100-1000 hz)
Special CW keys
+ = AR
@ = SK
() = ? ! /

Audio commands
=============
/devices - List available audio devices

/play 0 - Set playback device 0. You can change this whenever. Output will change on the fly.

/record 1 - Set playback device 1. You can change this whenever. Input will change on the fly.

Make sure you use the mixer by hitting F9 in order to assign the microphone and set its level for each device. Audio settings will be stored in the config file.
Note! Set maximum mic level to end ALC scale.

You can test the microphone level by using HamSphere's Echo-Server.
Tune the 6 meter band and the frequency 50.12345
Set the microphone level, press PTT and speak into the microphone.
1 second after you have released the PTT, the server will play your recorded message back so you will get an idea about your audio quality and levels. Up to 1 minute audio will be echoed back.

Product is not in production.
More info: http://www.HamSphere.com
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KD8TUT Rating: 5/5 Jan 11, 2013 10:09 Send this review to a friend
Changed my life....  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
HamSphere created a ham....

I had not keyed a mic since perhaps 1985. My entire youth was radio and shortwave because my father operated a MARS in the army. When I was born, it was all radio and electronics from the age of about 8.

So finding Hamsphere reminded me of the good times as a child. Admittedly, back then it was SSB CB on 11 meter. But to a kid- it was wonderful.

So I purchased a membership in May of 2012.

HamSphere really inspired me. And the hams that do use HamSphere were very helpful and encouraged me to sit for the license exam.

My experience is that it is a great community. As a simulation, it probably hits 30% of a real ham experience.

Not bad HamSphere... Not bad!
 
N2RRA Rating: 1/5 Dec 28, 2012 07:32 Send this review to a friend
Prepare to be treated like a puppet!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have to echo some of the same views unfortunitely as others. 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 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 get unrulely real fast that aren't labeled as call frequencies in the programs band allocated list.

* 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.

* 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.

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. 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!

I refused to change my subject of fishing, suvival outdoor challenges and discussing hunting with fire arms. Apparently they frown on such discussions as hunting with fire arms. That was before they apposed me of walking a grey area in politics so you can forget about anything to do with politics. Which is okay and a good thing I guess because too many people are sensitive ,but they have a zero policy on this so God forbid you bring up anything that has a tad bit of politics like asking what the hunting and gun laws are in other countries. Very critical!

You have to walk on egg shells with this program because most of the programs administrators are the owners friends. So you will lose even if you experience abusiveness of authority by his admins. Even if you are right you are silenced by them. In my experience I was heckled by them and abused by text in the text window before I was executed. LOL! If I sound like I was the victim truely I was in this situation.

Now for the good points!

It's a cool program with very needed improvements ,but could be a good platform for people enspired to become hams.

Is it another bridge of communication of VOIP to enjoy? That depends if you don't mind being a puppet and don't mind getting bored quickly.

It is different from echo link and IRLP? Yes, because on IRLP and Echo Linkfrom a VOIP prospective you are privy and able to have a broader range of discussion with far far more freedoms.

Is it like HF? No it's not and "does not" simulate HF in any way other than the looks and controls of some of the virtual radios features.

Will it ever replace real radio? Absolutely not!

I'm glad to have had this experience with hamsphere and if anybody would like to see the display of abusiveness of admin authority on this program I'm glad to share it with you. I recorded my negative experiences by video with the program.

In a nut shell.....Glad I got back my money!

73!








 
W9JES Rating: 3/5 Dec 27, 2010 11:42 Send this review to a friend
Not bad, but needs improvement  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've been using Hamsphere for almost 2 years on/off. I like the radio interface and authentic sounding qrm, etc. $30/yr isn't a bad price to pay either.

Unfortunately, there are not many FCC registered users talking on the system. I've tried logging on several times and days throughout the week and can only find a handful of registered calls actually transmitting. It would be a nice system to learn about ham radio if more elmers were present. Most of the users are unlicensed, however, many of them are polite with exception of a few LIDS here and there.

I see the big turn off to licensed hams is the fact that there is no separation of licensed and unlicensed users. It would be great if a couple bands could be devoted to unlicensed users and several for licensed folks. I don't want to see the us VS them mentality, however, hams are hams and we devoted time to studying, taking exams, learning code, building equipment, etc. We are in a constant struggle to keep the frequencies we talk on.

On a positive note, I've heard several non-hams received their ticket after using Hamsphere. It sparked their interested in the real thing! This is great news for all of us!

The bottom line is Hamsphere has its place in radio. We need to remember it is a simulator and I see the real benefit of the system is teaching people about real radio and allowing them to get their feet wet. Think of it as test driving a car before you buy it.
 
KE1MI Rating: 2/5 Dec 2, 2010 12:46 Send this review to a friend
Keep It  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I tried this out here about a month ago. Basically I thought it sucked. All I heard were some lids and broadcast and a lot of noise. Certainly not worth the money. I blew it out of my computer. If you use online "virtual ham radio" stick with CQ100, it can't be beat. Try it, then delete it, you'll be glad you did.
73 and CU on CQ100.
 
N0FPE Rating: 3/5 Mar 27, 2010 06:09 Send this review to a friend
Just ok  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have played with Hamsphere since its start and stop the first time around. The new incarnation is pretty good. The fit and feel are pretty good. The allowance of non-amateur (CB) to the system is ok, but would be better if they were restricted to the CB band only. The big put off for me is the cost. Now while I understand server time costs money I am just not going to pay for fake air time. I have a full blown HF station here that I have spent a nice wad of money on and feel no need to spend more for fake radio. I feel the same way abt CQ100. If it is your thing to pretend to be on the air then by all means send in that cash. Just please dont crow abt how you worked DX from your laptop on your back porch next to the pool. Its just a fancy internet chat room. I am sure that will raise the ire of the operator of Hamsphere but its the truth. The designer of Hamsphere has put a lot of work into his creation and it shows. It is just not for me. I came, I played, I deleted. Its that simple. Lose the fee and i might be back, otherwise I am off to play on 17 meters for real.
 
KC2RXV Rating: 0/5 Mar 27, 2010 05:49 Send this review to a friend
VERY BAD  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was a member of the system for a while,i found out true my own experince that the owner/manager of the system are monitoring what you say and wat you post in the forum,if they dont like it you are due for a very bad experince,including treats,verbaly and true e-mails......well:GOOD BYE hamsphere.
 
VK5CQ Rating: 4/5 Mar 27, 2010 01:08 Send this review to a friend
Great look & feel; costly to use  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I'd have given this puppy a 5 - Great! except for the annual cost, which I feel creates a "gated community." It appears that a callsign is required, so would-be hams can't use it to explore our hobby.

What you hear is more realistic than CQ100 (see Description box, above), and the (Off/On) Power switch works like some real radios (eg, must be held down for 3 seconds, to effect Power Off).

Tx Power control is labelled "Power" (which could be confusing); "Tx Pwr" would be a better label-text.

ARRL's & other non-QSO audio feeds seemed canned & old, during my tests.

A worthwhile improvement would be to somehow feed (from the server-farm) several real receivers' audio - from different frequencies (ideally, user-selected) - as well as all the eQSOs, etc. (ie, make it a blend of JavaRadio (at least for SW bands) & itself.

It that's too hard, then an auto podcast fetcher - on the server side - would probably suffice, ie, to freshen-up the ARRL feed; maybe let AMSAT, clubs, etc. offer their news (as podcasts) via the HamSphere server(s).)

Subscription costs will add-up over the life of the users, but some will find it fun & worth it.

PS We've only tried it as a listener... nobody was around when I was "on the [virtual] air" :-)
 


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