Welcome to the Oct 2012 Edition of the HamSphere Newsletter.
Lots of stuff, so here we go:
HamSphere has a new look. The old website was created in 2007 and pretty outdated and it was time for a new approach. We have aimed for a modern 2012-ish look. You will now find all our features and functions gathered in one single menu. Easier and faster access to the functions you use often.
With just one click you can reach any of our features. Private Messages and Forum text have been updated for better readability and "Latest news" is now presented in a convenient news-ticker format. The Support board is also easily reached from all pages. Take a quick look
Contests are fun and enjoyable and we have accomplished three official contests so far this year. Basically these competitions are taken place on either one or more bands and operators try to work as many stations as possible over a limited time frame and they are numbering each QSO. All contacts get logged in the HamSphere log book. An automated scoring system then computes and calculates the final score.
Here are the results:
HamSphere Friendly Introduction Contest held 1st Sept 2012 between 09.00 and 21.00 UTC.
1st: 146HS251, Zwawi, Algeria, 8800 points
2nd: UX4CR, Oleg, Ukraine, 8680 points
3rd: 4N1CW, Branko, Serbia, 8398 points
Link to full result list
Statistics: 110 participants, 3160 verified QSOs
"Dia da Independencia do Brasil " that was held 7st Sept 2012 between 12.00 and 20.00 UTC.
1st: 56HS244, Antero, Finland, 1368 points
2nd:50HS100, Luigi, Russian Federation, 1022 points
3rd: 13HS575, Geert, Germany, 1008 points
Link to full result list
Statistics: 55 participants, 1064 verified QSOs
And as a bold initiative we even held an SSTV contest. Slow Scan Television contests are usually very rare on Shortwave and we are happy for the 20 participants who endured this contest.
1st: 50HS1308, Mikhail, Russian Federation, 107 points
2nd:1HS1926, Silvio, Italy, 69 points
3rd: 1HS1977, Pietro, Italy, 51 points
Link to full result list
Statistics: 20 participants, 166 verified QSOs
CANADA Thanksgiving QSO Party 2012 will be held Saturday 2012-10-06 starting 14:00. The contest duration will be 10 hours. The objective is for stations outside of CANADA work as many Canadian stations in as many Canadian Provinces as possible. Stations in Canada may work everyone. Multiple bands, single mode. Please note that the contest bands are 15,17, 20 meters.
We are still testing the new "Contest"-mode in the Log book. If and when you have joined a contest, your HamSphere Log book will automatically turn into "Contest" mode one hour before the contest starts. The contest-mode makes QSO-Numbering very easy. We have also implemented a warning function for Multiplicators and Duplicate QSO's to assist you in the contesting.
PLEASE NOTE! * IMPORTANT INFORMATION *
When you are in "contest-log-mode" during a contest, please avoid logging stations who are not in the contest as that will mess up your QSO-numbering. Just use a note pad and log these stations when the contest is over. And specifically, during the contest window, please do NOT send a QSL card to a non participating user as that will make that user part of the contest involuntarily.
SSTV on HamSphere
We are proud to see so many SSTV (Slow Scan TeleVision) stations on 30 meters. Operators use both digital and analog modes. Some comments from the SSTV Group:
From Malcolm G7VCK: I am thinking of running a MMSSTV workshop day mid October say from 10-00am utc-17-00pm utc on 10.150.0 kHz and get some more interested in digi modes. I can ask them to download the MMSSTV program and go through setup, settings, how things work and try the program by sending pics on 1 to 1 basis. Even promoting the digital program Easypal. If you are interested in participating in such workshop, please contact Malcolm G7VCK, Leeds , U.K.
Jean-Pierre Blanchard from the HS SSTV group has a suggestion if it is possible to keep 10khz between SSTV stations, or ask users to call on 10.110, 10.120, 10.130...
We have a request from the SSTV users on the HamSphere 30 meter band not to conduct any voice QSOs on this band. The band is strictly dedicated Digital modes via SSTV, PSK31 etc and CW modes. (If you ever have been kicked from the 30 meter band, please don't feel bad, you might have been trying to establish a voice contact and our admins will check this band frequently). Please follow our band plan.)
Finally, the iPhone app is on its way to the App-store. Before it can be downloaded from the App-store it needs to get approved by the Apple people. Expect this process anything from 1-3 weeks.
Android app is not ready for distribution yet. It is about to get beta-2 tested by the beta testers group. We are working on the last difficulties such as portable screen sizing etc. Expect a delay of about 3-4 weeks.
In the month of September 2012 sign ups consisted of approx 103 different countries and the ratio between Radio Enthusiasts and Licensed call signs were 68% HS call signs and 32% Ham Call signs. We have seen an increase in the change of HS call signs to legal Ham Call signs. We have upgraded some 600 HS users to Ham Call signs over the past years. Congratulations to your newly acquired licenses.
HamSphere is contributing to many HS Users studying and passing HAM RADIO tests worldwide and getting their own licensed call sign. This is really encouraging to see how educational HamSphere can be.
Rare DX Operators from the following countries have been active (And verified via IP-number) on HamSphere since the last News Letter.
VANUATU, SUDAN, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, ARMENIA, NAMIBIA,
SURINAME, CURACAO, GUADELOUPE, SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
GHANA, FRENCH GUIANA, COMOROS, COTE IVOIRE, BENIN
ZIMBABWE, BRUNEI, SAINT LUCIA, GUAM, YEMEN, ANDORRA
MONTSERRAT, AZERBAIJAN, DOMINICA, MYANMAR, NIGERIA
DX and Pile-ups
A Pile-Up is when a massive number of stations are trying to contact a "rare" DX station.
As new users to HamSphere sign up and are from countries classified as DX to other Users, they may be unfamiliar with Pile-ups. Please take note that they need to get accustom to the communication process of handling QSO’s. Please be patient and try to help these new users, this will all be a new frontier for them! These dx pile-ups could frighten new users from joining in on the fun using Hamsphere.
More encouragements and helping will mean that everyone will get the opportunity to get a confirmation QSL card from the DX countries. As we try to help encouragement & being polite is very important !!
"The key to busting pileups is to listen. That's what the DX experts will tell you -- and they are right. The first thing about busting pileups is not to transmit. You can't listen when you are transmitting. "
We received an email from Jose Fonseca, 3HS1486 who experienced the wild "pile-ups" on HamSphere nowadays. He was worried about the confusion that emerges when unexperienced operators try to catch that DX station in the Pile. These pile-ups are really fantastic as they are often triggered by a rare and remote DX station keying up on HamSphere, but can be a pain for new and unexperienced users who have never heard such a thing.
One of the the advantages with HamSphere is that it is a true Shortwave Radio simulation with a fully open band where everyone can transmit at the same time. It also has fast DX-Cluster and the ability to see transmitting stations with a button-click. But this also has some disadvantages. When a rare station shows up from a remote corner of the world, all operators are alerted immediately to that frequency and a massive "pile-up" occurs. If you have experienced a real DX Pile-Up on Shortwave you know that it can be a real "mess" and HamSphere is no different.
HamSphere official comments on doubling and "pile-ups" is this: Consider it a realistic "training"-tool for the real Amateur Radio world. Operators who eventually will go on real shortwave bands WILL experience this type of communication techniques. And only proper Ham Radio Protocol will help.
The IARU (International Amateur Radio Union) has released an Ethics and Operations procedure manual which is fantastic reading. It will tell you everything there is to know about Ham Radio, Ethics, operating procedures etc. It is "the" bible when it comes to Ham Radio operations.
Currently we have 117 countries on the so called "DX-List". These are countries that we give "free-to-air" access to. The DX-List is mostly based on the PayPal International payment ability shown in their Worldwide send payment list.
1. VE3JAR Vic from CANADA with 164 verified countries
2. 56HS244 Antero from FINLAND with 124 verified countries
3. 2HS3433 Paul from USA with 124 verified countries
4. 16HS222 Luc from BELGIUM with 122 verified countries
5. 93HS101 Joseph from MALTA with 118 verified countries
6. 68HS3965 Kenny from NORTHERN IRELAND with 118 verified countries
7. YV4EOH Gerardo from VENEZUELA with 116 verified countries
8. ZL1KJ Gary from NEW ZEALAND with 115 verified countries
9. UT1ZZ Andrew from UKRAINE with 115 verified countries
10.RA9MRO Ivan from RUSSIAN FEDERATION with 115 verified countries
BC Band 48 meters
Steve Miller is running the DX Power Hour Of Music only found on HamSphere 48 meter Band..
Upcoming broadcasts: October 26th @ 1800 hrs UTC , 06.225.00 MHZ
Darren M6LPD is running Ham Nation on the BC band on Saturdays at 20.00 GMT on 6225kHz.
This Weeks Ham nation Will Be On Saturday 6th Oct 20.00 GMT on the BC Band 6225 kHz.
This week Show The vital role of ham radio in emergency communications.
Hosted By BoB Heil K9EID
Guests: Gordon West, WB6NOA and Brian Short, KC0BS
So Please tune in
Ole Codgers Net, First Monday each month 21:00 UTC 20m 14.290
Latest info from Paul 2HS8000: We had great success on the net 1st of October. At one point we had 31 stations from around the globe signing in to the net. Looking forward to next months meeting.
We remind our operators to confirm real QSO's with one card only. New users now get a "ready to go" QSL-template when they sign up. This makes the QSL process so much easier for them as they can start sending QSL cards without even opening the QSL template editor.
How do I get a new password? We get this question often.
Here are two links to fix this.