The HamSphere 17m band on HamSphere 3.0 has hosted many nets/groups over the years particularly on 18.155 MHz.
Starting as of 29 Aug 2018 Robert G0MOK will be operating a new group/net.
You are invited to come and join the Official 17 Meter Net on 18.155kHz on HamSphere 3. This net is run by G0MOK Robert on Sundays and Wednesdays at 18:30 to 20:30 UTC with a completely new format. Your input is important as we want to do something new this time with activities including Quizzes, Competitions and Guest speakers.
Congratulations to all winners. Thank you to all participating contesters.
HamSphere 4.0 SSTV Contest 2018
Here are the results of the HamSphere 4.0 SSTV Contest 2018 that was held 25 Aug.
The results are based on a properly filled out logbook. We had a total of 27 participants.
Congratulations to Wojtek, SP4QCU who won with the score of 1750. Well done indeed!
Wojtek managed to complete 50 valid QSO's and 34 multipliers and wins the prize of 50 Euro HS Credits. Congratulations!
In second place came Jean Claude, 14HS4560 with the score of 1176. Well done!
Jean Claude managed to complete 42 valid QSO's and 27 multipliers and wins the prize of 25 Euro HS Credits. Congratulations!
In third place came Robert, 14HS5569 with the score of 735. Good work!
Robert managed to complete 35 valid QSOs and 20 multipliers and wins the prize of 15 Euro HS Credits. Congratulations!
Very often people believe that higher the gain of an antenna, the better it is. This is a false notion which does not usually apply to HF communication antennas. For instance, a large 8-element Yagi or a 2x2x5 Stacked Yagi may not be as potent or versatile as what one may think. Smaller HF antennas with lesser gain may outperform these monsters quite often. Let us try to understand the typical characteristics and associated strengths and limitations.
Typical characteristics of high gain antennas.
1) High forward gain only in a narrow forward beam.
2) Low take-off angle on the elevation plane.
3) Generally, secondary or tertiary higher angle lobes are absent.
4) Suitable for long skip (DX) but inadequate for short/medium skip.
5) Excellent rejection of signals from all azimuth directions other than the beam heading.
The above characteristics render such antennas as excellent for long range DX but only in known direction of the DX station towards which the beam is headed. Hence, these antennas are fit for Point-to-Point fixed radio circuits but not for HF ham Radio where signals may arrive from any direction and an operator usually has to search for these signals before trying to establish a contact. These high gain antennas are simply deaf and blind in all directions apart from the direction of its narrow forward beam.
Practical limitations of high gain HF antennas.
1) You may start your transceiver and switch to the Stacked Yagi but find no activity.
2) Although there may be several active stations on the band but your narrow antenna beam would often miss them.
3) You may erroneously conclude that either the band is dead or there is no activity.
4)) Even if you see a cluster spot and turn your beam, you may not get the DX contact because he too may be using a narrow beam antenna pointed in a different direction.
5) In the above scenario, your calls to the DX would be in vain and you may falsely conclude that the other guy is ignoring you.
6) Since these antennas have low take-off angles, ops especially in Europe and continental USA may not be able to establish solid contacts within their regions.
7) The reason for the above is the need for higher radiation take-off angles and short skip. These high gain antennas fail miserably in this aspect.
Antenna recommendations for HF Ham Radio operators.
1) Never start your sessions by using a narrow beam (high gain) antenna when you browse the bands.
2) Search for activity with a wide beam antenna or preferably an Omni-directional or a Cardioid pattern antenna.
3) Ideally, start by using the IDC or V-Collinear or Cardioid.
3) If you prefer a directional antenna, then use the VU2NSB Fishbone array or 3-El Yagi and gradually rotate it around while listening or calling.
4) When you hear a station or someone answers your call, then listen carefully to identify his callsign.
5) After having found his approximate location from his callsign, swing your antenna in his general direction.
6) If the DX is very weak for a comfortable QSO, then switch to a higher gain antenna in your possession.
7) While listening, swing your antenna slowly by a few degrees in either direction to maximize his signal.
8) Do not waste your time in finding his exact bearing. A few degrees of offset error doesn't matter the least on HF.
9) After the QSO, switch back to the wider beam antenna before calling or listening for other stations.
10) After establishing the next contact, repeat the steps (4) to (9) during QSO.
11) Reserve your very high gain antennas like the Stacked Yagi only for rare occasions. Use them only for step (6) if conditions are really difficult.
Finally, here is an illustration to demonstrate some of the above facts in context of directional antennas. A hypothetical operator in Germany is beaming into Florida, USA. The HI Gain antenna pattern barely covers the east-coast of USA and Canada, a small part of Mexico and Central America. Whereas, the LO Gain antenna pattern simultaneously covers not only what is covered by the HI gain antenna but also entire USA, Canada, Mexico, full Central America, Caribbean, Venezuela, Columbia, Bolivia, Peru, French Guyana, Surinam, large parts of Brazil, Greenland, Iceland, UK and east-coast of France and Spain. The bottom-line is that although the DX signals on a lower gain antenna may not be as strong as what you might get with a high gain antenna, but it lets you hear (and work) a lot more of radio traffic. On the other-hand, over-dependence on HI gain antennas may render you oblivious to a significant amount of radio activity which in turn will make you feel rather lonely and isolated in the world of HF Ham Radio.
HamSphere 4.0 Show Your RIg
The HamSphere 4.0 Tranceiver is a great looking rig straight out of the box but when you start adding Plug-Ins to your Transceiver the combinations are many. We have many new Plug-Ins available in the Shop to make your Transceiver stand out. Create your own style that you feel comfortable with. Design one for DXing, one for Rag Chewing or one for the 2m band.
Custom 4.0 rig designed by Bjornar, 20hs758, Norway
You can utilise the Group Switcher to have on screen what Plug-In you need for what ever the purpose at a click of the switch. No matter how many different designs you come up with, they are yours to be proud of. We have a Facebook Group set up for showing your Rig so we would like to see your creations: