Manual 3.0
2011-09-18 21:53
Short User Manual HamSphere 3.0
============================================
By Kelly Lindman (5B4AIT) 3 Sep 2011.
Welcome to HamSphere 3.0 (Report bugs to support@hamsphere.com)
Latest news at this link: HamSphere News

MULTI SERVER SPHERE
===========================

HamSphere 3.0 currently consists of a network of 4 servers. USA, France, Sweden and Iceland.
The signal propagation between the servers are based on a spacial Shortwave DX
simulation. Therefore you will notice that stations will have different
signal levels between the servers.

HamSphere 3.0 has a new messaging system. To save CPU power and network activity
the message system is at very low priority so your chat and private messages can
be a little delayed.

Standard chat messages are not relayed between the servers as it would clotter
the chat list. Private messages are however relayed between the servers.
If you want to send a global message to all users on all servers you can use
the /cluster msg command.

The cluster shows all activity on all servers.

BUTTONS EXPLAINED
===========================
CH- : Step 1 kHz down in VFO mode and memory down in MEM mode
CH+ : Step 1 kHz up in VFO mode and memory up in MEM mode
VFO/MR : Set VFO or Memory
FILTER : Set filter 1 (3.8kHz) or 2 (2.8kHz)

VOX :
Set VOX operation which means that the PTT can be triggered by your voice.
You can set the VOX levels with the SETTINGS button.
Adjust the VOX gain so that it triggers the PTT with your voice only.
Set the VOX delay so that it keeps the PTT hold enough for the pace of speech.

DSB/CW : Toggle between DSB mode (voice) and CW Mode (Morse code)
SIM OFF : Turn simulation mode off. Works on 6 and 10 meters only.
AGC : Set Automatic Gain Control to slow or fast. (Receiver)


COMPR :
Powerful microphone compressor/processor. Layman definition:
Makes your audio stronger and more consistant. But should not be used in
the long run as it can make your voice hard to listen to.
So please use in moderation.

For experts:
By reducing the dynamics of the voice signal you can push more
ERP (Emitted Radiated Power) out of your HamSphere Transceiver.
This is an elegant way of overcoming QRMs or bad signal propagation.

The compressor has 3 settings: Attack, Release and Threshold.
Attack is when the compressor is decreasing gain to reach the ratio level.
Release is when the compressor is increasing gain to reach the ratio level.
The higher the number of attack or release, the faster it will adjust the level.
The ratio is set by the "Threshold". By increasing the threshold,
the over all audio level will increase.

The mic input has also a significant impact on the compressor performance.
You will have to experiment with it to get the best values for your voice.
Some rule of thumb settings:
Attach 1, Release 1, Threshold 1300 = Easy compression (High dynamics)
Attach 4, Release 4, Threshold 2100 = Harder compression (Medium dynamic)
Attach 8, Release 8, Threshold 2700 = Extreme compression (Very low dynamics)

CODOFF :
Codec OFF mode will switch the Transceiver to 30 meters and turn off all audio
codecs. This will allow digital SSTV or other data modes to be transmitted.
When the transceiver is in Codec off mode it will require approximately
140 kbits bit speed. Please note that all audio filters are disengaged
in this mode.

PTT :
PTT Push To Talk is used to key the transmitter. It has two modes:
Locked and unlocked. It comes by default as unlocked meaning that
the transmitter will go off once you release the PTT.
By clicking on the left led in the PTT button you can lock it.
While the PTT button is in locked mode, the PTT will toggle the
transmitter and you can release the PTT for more comfortable
"long"-transmissions.

LOGOUT :
You will need to hold this button for a least 3 seconds in order
to logout from the system.

CLUSTER :
The HamSphere radio cluster shows a representation of all current
activity on the HamSphere bands. It will show all active stations
on all servers. Can can click on each callsign to get an instant database
lookup in the chat field.

HELP
This help screeen.

SUBSCRIPTION
All the information you will need in order to subscribe to HamSphere.
There is even direct links to the PayPal payments system.

SETTINGS

Audio settings:
Vox Gain:1-8, VOX Delay 0-3sec.
Mic Comp attack: 1-8, release 1-8, threshhold: 300-3000
Mixer command. The specific mixer command for your operating system.
i.e: sndvol32 for Windows XP and sndvol for Windows7 and Vista.

Programmable F-Keys (F1-F12)
Programmable CW-Keys (F1-F8)

Use #c in texts to replace with clipboard content and #r for Enter.


SERVER SELECTOR
HamSphere has multiple servers. Choose a server nearest you.


KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS (Hard coded)
==================
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 -
[also click upper right corner of PTT button with mouse pointer 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.
(See SETTINGS)

DEL Delete memory
down = 1 kHz down
up = 1 kHz up

CHAT COMMANDS

General commands
==============
/help - This help text
/invisible - Invisible mode - Clicking callsign will trigger this.
/visible - Visible mode - Clicking callsign will trigger this.
/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
/cluster msg - Send a message to all users on the system
/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.

Note! Set maximum mic level to end ALC scale.

You can test the microphone level by using HamSphere's Echo-Server.
Tune the 160 meter band and the frequency 1.823.45 kHz
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 10 seconds of audio will be echoed back.



DETAILED FUNCTION DESCRIPTION
===============================

Latency:

Using TCP protocol may have its advantages. But it is also prone to high
latency especially if the connection have a lot of packet loss.
The Jitter buffer: The newly implemented jitter buffer keeps track of the
audio packets. If the TCP stream halts, staggers or gets delayed,
the jitter buffer will compensate this by discarding packets without
loosing audio drastically. There might be some small drop outs, but overall
it should be a pretty OK experience.

By using the PTT (Transmitting) you allow the receiver jitterbuffer to
work at max. Hence, during transmit, the receiver side is catching up.
So if you experience a lagging or latency when you tune the radio,
just activate the PTT on some frequency and it will catch up quicker.

The HamSphere codecs allow audio to be transmitted on a lesser bandwidth.
This bandwidth is around 45kbit up/down.

Cluster:
You may click on any frequency that pops up in the cluster to be able to
quickly move to a new frequency. You may also copy text from the cluster by
keeping the mouse pointer within the cluster area and do click-drag.
You may click on any http:// link in the cluster and it will open a
browser to that link destination.

BandScope:
You may click anywhere in the bandscope to set a frequency

S-meter:
You may click anywhere in the S-meter to change the color of the needle
for better contrast.

Volume, power and Mic levels:
These knobs have built in limitations depending on your account setting
which are controlled by the admin. If you need to have more mike input
you may email the admin to set the level higher for you.

Filters:
HamSphere 2.0 uses newly designed FIR-Filters. There are two filters awailable.
Filter 1 = 3.8 kHz and Filter 2 = 2.8 kHz. Filter 2 can be used in noisy
environments. 0.8 kHz filter is automatically selected in CW operation.

AGC:
Automatic gain control. HamSphere has 2 different AGC modes. Slow and fast.

VFO:
Swirling the VFO knob with the mouse will instantly alter the frequency
in small increments. If you swirl the VFO slowly, the frequency increments
are smaller. So move the VFO very carefully for fine tuning.
The frequency can be set as low as to the 10 Hertz digit.

CW mode:
Put the transceiver in CW mode by clicking CW or type /CW in chat.
The CW filter will automatically be selected. The CW RX offset is default
500hz plus but can be adjusted by the /offset command.
Select the speed by using the /speed command. Default speed is 18WPM.
Type the CW text in the chat and hit enter.
The tranceiver will automatically go TX and the RX will work in full QSK.
You are de-facto listening to your own CW signals propagated over the sphere.
You may interrupt the current CW transmission by hitting PTT.
You can start typing next sentence and buffer that before the keyer is done.
Just hit enter between each line.

You can program the F1-F8 keys to hold pre-programmed text for CW usage.
These are stored in your settings file and will be kept.
Use the /F1 /F2 etc command to store a text.
Such as /F2 CQ CQ CQ DE 5B4AIT PSE K.
Text storing can even be done in DSB mode.

Special CW keys
+ = AR
@ =SK
(
)
=
?
!
/
All above work.
Final bye can be keyed as TU EE


Frequency memory:
HamSphere 2.0 has 9 memorys. Use the CH- and CH+ to select memory position
and use the Band/VFO to select a frequency to store. Save the frequency with
the ENT key. You may delete entries by hitting DEL.

Direct setting:
You may type F7 and enter the frequency in kHz followed by enter.
If the choosen frequency is within the bands of HamSphere, the radio will
automatically change the frequency and band for you.

InVisible mode:
Click on green callsign

Visible mode:
Click on white callsign

Chat settings (type the command in the chat)