HamSphere 5.0 news
2023-01-19 16:34

HamSphere 5.0

The pre-release

* * * UPDATE 28 Jan 2023 * * *

You can now download HamSphere 5.0 from https://hs50.hamsphere.com

HamSphere 5.0 pre-release will be launched as soon as possible. We had a brief pre-release on the 28 Jan, but it had to be cancelled as we ran into technical issues. The idea is to replace HamSphere 3.0 and 4.0 over a transition period. Since we cannot shut down the HS3 and HS4 just yet we are releasing HS5 on a 3-server setup (Server 6, 10 and 12). This is done together with HS3 and HS4 running alongside using the rest of the network capacity. This means that we will have limited capacity for HS5 as the entire HS network will utilize three different systems which is of course massive data and CPU demanding. The pre-release should still be seen as a beta release and is in no way a final product.

All your HamSphere 4.0 plug-ins and antennas are fully compatible and accessible within the HamSphere 5.0 editor. The HS5 editor is now equipped with a "revert to default rig" button, so if you mess up, just start from scratch

The transition

When the pre-release of HS5 is in play, we will first stop the existing HS4 servers. One HS4 server will remain active so that it can point the existing HS4 software out there to the new 5.0 release. This will happen when we feel that the HS5 system is working according to the specifications. Then the HS4 servers will be converted into HS5 servers and the HS5 system is launched in full scale utilizing like 7-8 servers.
Once the HS5 network is fully deployed, the HS3 network will be shut down for good. One HS3 server will remain active for the existing software pointing it to HamSphere 5.0.

Very important. HS3 and HS4 will remain fully active during this transition period. No stress. Just use the systems as you like.

New HS5 Web Portal

During the transition there will be three web sites HS3, HS4 and HS5 (Plus the web shops). The HamSphere 5.0 website (probably named "HamSphere" in the future) is brand new, using a new modern CSS based code built for all platforms using the excellent "bootstrap" framework. During transition, the original website "www.hamsphere.com" and the HS4 equivalent will remain as is and serve as the entry point for the HamSphere products. New registrations will still be made on that main web address as well as support etc. Shops will be open as usual and all purchased items are fully compatible with HS5.

The HamSphere 5.0 portal will open as soon as possible and it is fully synchronized with the HS3 and HS4 websites. This means that both users, QSL templates, legacy data is available on the HS5 portal.

The HamSphere 5.0 paradigm

HamSphere 5.0 has an old/new paradigm. It is designed to embrace the true Amateur Radio Spirit and focus on Ham Radio communication as it was supposed to be maintained. It is basically a merge between HamSphere 3.0 and HamSphere 4.0 meaning that it will appeal to the hard core DXer using its skills to master antennas, HF DX skills, contests as well as the Radio enthusiast using the system as a newbie and newcomer.

To fulfil the demands of all our operators we have created three new bands such as 6m, 2M and 70cm.

The 6m band

The 6m band has free antennas; The 6m omni directional and the 6m Beam. The 6m band is the entry point for HamSphere 5.0. It provides a 100 watts USB/LSB/CW transmitter using a virtual Ionosphere but where the rules are slightly bent. This means that wherever you are in the world, your signal will be picked up anywhere, but it can be enhanced by using the beam antenna. In that way, newcomers and non HF operators can learn the skills of using a YAGI antenna. The advantage is also that the directional 6m beam can be used to deflect strong QRM signals. So it is a lot of fun, and actually quite realistic.

The 2m band

In contrast to the 2m band on HS4, the new 2m band for HS5 is fully opened up into 39 channels. From 145.025 to 145.975 with 25 kHz spacing. There are no repeaters on the 2m band for HS5. They have been moved to 70 cm.
The 70cm band
434.100-900 carries 10 repeaters, just like HS4. But the difference here is that the frequency around them can be used as 28 direct channels.

The HF bands

Before any user can enter the HF portion of the HamSphere 5.0 system it needs to accept and understand a few properties of the Shortwave band. So when you start HS5 for the first time and select any HF band there will be prompt pop-up window.
The HamSphere virtual HF band is an extremely accurate simulation of a real shortwave band from 160-10m using real sun spots and solar flux data. It is a challenge using the HamSphere HF bands as many of our HS4 users have experienced already .

The Awards

HamSphere 5.0 has a new set of awards which are both different in style and design. They are all designed to reflect true Amateur Radio workmanship and vary from skills in countries, antennas, distance to propagation and bands etc. The awards are ONLY issued for HF work. No awards will be available for the semi or non simulated bands.

The Contests

We have about 15 new contests being created in a completely new Contest Management system. The system is fully automated and will launch the awards and collect Log book data fully autonomously. Award results are presented on your log stats panel and each award issues three diplomas (1st, 2nd and 3rd) also available from your log stats panel.

Legacy data

The HamSphere 5.0 portal provides all legacy data (private and public) from HamSphere 3.0 and 4.0. You have access to all old QSL cards, awards and private/public statistics from the past. Nothing is lost.

QSL Card Templates

This will probably be the most appreciated function of all. Once you login to the HamSphere 5.0 portal, all your HS3 and HS4 QSL templates are carried across from the old systems. No need to make new templates. You can start QSO-ing right out of the box.

The HamSphere 5.0 Logbook

Yes, it is true. Your HamSphere 5.0 log book is a clean slate. You will start fresh with new log entries, new awards, new contests etc.

The Software

At the time of writing HamSphere 5.0 is available for Windows and Android.

Release dates:

iPhone: As soon as possible. Beta tests are in motion. HS5 Software basic framework is up and running on an iPhone XS.

Mac/Linux: Within weeks.