The HamSphere Story
2009-12-02 23:28
Hi fellow Ham operatiors and Dxers.

Back in year 2000 I got an idea about a virtual ether where digitized SSB signals could be sampled into a big digital pot. Of course, the CPU resources to do such thing weren't even possible back then. But in late 2006 I installed a quad 2.4 GHz server and made the first tests.

I wanted to create a replica of the real Shortwave band. I wanted the phase distorsion, fading, QRMs and QRNs, propagation etc.

Imagine creating a Digital Local oscillator, a digital modulator and carrier suppressor as well as digtal filters and in real time mix it all together in a big metling pot called HamSphere. And then on top of all that apply a living and constantly shaping digital Ionosphere. It was something new.

The scenario was mindboggling. People wrote to me asking how this was even possible. The sceptics said to me: Give up, it is impossible. You will never be able to pull this off etc etc.

The first application HamSphere 1.0 took about 3 months to complete. It was extremely CPU craving and relied on the UDP and TCP protocols. It lasted for over a year. 13 Oct 2009 version 2.0 was released. It had a new tasteful skin, based on the Icom 7600 rig. People reacted well. About 5800 users helped testing the system.

I am proud of the system. It seems very stable and rigid and it works for both Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 as well as Linux and Macs.

Kelly Lindman (5B4AIT)

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So what is HamSphere all about?

For those that can’t afford radio gear or who are restricted from erecting antennas for whatever reason, HamSphere does let you realistically keep up your radio skills.

HamSphere is a community for Ham Radio operators and other radio enthusiasts. Amateur radio equipment is not needed. Transceiver uses java technology. HamSphere covers many Ham Radio and Amateur radio bands such 6-160 meters even including an 11 meter band.

HamSphere is not a real radio as many have suggested. Everything you see and hear is simulated on a big server. When you push the PTT, no RF (Radio Frequency) is emitted on any real shortwave band. It is therefore completely safe to click the PTT even if you are not a licensed radio amateur or operator.

The project was done to simulate a real Shortwave band with QRM/QRN, fading etc.
All bands are built in this way. If you want a noise free band, no fading, full signal, no white noise etc HamSphere has something called "Simulation Off" mode.

HamSphere on WikiPedia