Welcome to the December 2014 Edition of the HamSphere Newsletter.
Season’s Greetings for this time of the year!
HamSphere 3.0 News
Due to public demand we have decided to extend the trial period from 1 week to 1 month. As of 8 Oct 2014 we have extended all Trial Accounts to 1 month and are giving new trial accounts the same period of 1 month.
"We have realized that the HamSphere platform has many features and thus new users
need time to explore" said Henrik OZ1HLT, Administrator from Denmark.
HamSphere Grand Master award is now being issued for 200 verified countries. The first operator to get this prestigious award was Martin, 161HS363. Congratulations, Martin.
New operators who reside in EU pay as of 1st of Oct 2014 19% VAT on their subscriptions. This is a requirement from the Cyprus VAT Authorities. This does not affect older EU subscribers with recurring payments. Operators outside the EU-Zone still pay 30 Euro for their subscriptions.
HamSphere 3.0 is currently run on servers in St Louis (US), Frankfurt (DE), Paris (FR), Duesseldorf (DE) and Cologne (DE).
HamSphere 4.0 News
HamSphere 4.0 was pre-released in mid August 2014 to a smaller audience. We have now finally tweaked and calibrated the system to ensure fine performance and stability. 1 Dec 2014 we released version 4.006 which is a stable release. HamSphere 4.0 is available for free for our subscribers and DX-Users (HamSphere DX-Users = Users having free-to-air access from a limited number of countries around the world see http://www.hamsphere.com/dxlist).
We have expanded our 4.0 network and HamSphere 4.0 is currently run on servers in St Louis (US), Miami (US), Los Angeles (US), Frankfurt (DE) , Paris (FR) and Cologne (DE).
HamSphere 4.0 standard edition is included in your subscription and does not cost anything extra.
For those of you without prior HF Ham Radio experience, HamSphere 4.0 may appear to be a bit daunting at first. Unlike HamSphere 3.0, you will not always get very strong signals with 5/9 signal reports. Instead you will be entering an exciting new world of realistic HF radio where propagation conditions based on the Sunspot Numbers will prevail. If you are a shortwave ham radio operator, you know all this already. However, for those who are venturing into the world of shortwave radio for the first time you will find it fascinating. It will take a little time to fully comprehend HamSphere 4.0, but it is going to be a wonderful learning curve for everybody.
Shipped with Inverted Discone Antenna
The standard HamSphere 4.0 Transceiver is shipped with a high performance IDC antenna (Inverted Discone), which is a general-purpose antenna with good standards. You will be able to work the entire world with this standard setup which again won't cost you anything more than the subscription, but it will require some time and patience to learn. Eager operators might want to enhance their rig and can do so by shopping different antennas and plug-ins in the new HamSphere Webshop.
HamSphere 4.0 Webshop
Operators can extend and enhance their transceivers using our fully-fledged Webshop where extra plug-ins and antennas can be purchased using "HamSphere Credits". You can increase your credits using a normal PayPal account.
We also give credits for different actions on the system, such as reporting a DX Spot, etc. In that way you can earn money while doing your favorite hobby. The items that you purchase are delivered to your radio within 30 seconds and you can start using them right away.
The HamSphere Webshop will remember your shopping cart and you can browse around in the shop without any stress. We even have a section for Second Hand goods where operators can sell their used items. Each user has a detailed account statement for full control and overview.
The "Waterfall" display gives you a visual overview of the band. As it scrolls slowly down you get a kind of "memory" of the signals and you can quickly determine where there is activity. Very faint signals that you would have problems hearing also give a visual display.
The Microphone Recorder is a very helpful plug-in that enables you to record your own voice and later transmit it on all bands. By using the playback function you will save your voice when calling CQ or working pile-ups.
The plug-in comes with unlimited recording time and 999 recordings. Each audio clip can be renamed to your liking by double clicking the audio clip file. The recorder has two modes - "R" mode, which is a "dry run" and only plays the sound locally and "T" mode, which is the transmitting mode.
Make your rig uniquely yours with this totally customizable Nameplate! You control the message, the color, the font, etc. Opt for a subtle "engraved" look or go for big, bright, and bold. You decide. Best of all, the look of this never gets old because you can change it any time you want in the HamSphere 4.0 Editor.
Check your transmission with this wonderful Oscilloscope plug-in. It will measure all incoming and outgoing traffic signals with Audio response 1-4000 Hz.
We have collected a set of links to get you started on HamSphere 4.0:
The Standard HamSphere 4.0 Transceiver included for free for subscribers and DX-Users
Here is the standard HamSphere 4.0 transceiver with Inverted Discone antenna for 10m - 160m, VOX, RF-Gain, 8 filters, 15 bands, USB, LSB, FM, 2m and 70cm NBFM band, Analog S-Meter, 9-Bank memory, LCD Display, Log Book and DX Cluster, Big VFO and a Band scope.
Screen shots from some of the 4.0 Operators using extended and enhanced transceivers
Courtesy Father K8AYB
Courtesy Lou N2PKT
Courtesy Hans 19HS291
Courtesy Marko 13HS2402
Courtesy Arthur 108HS7366
This looks all very cool, how can I get my hands on the HamSphere 4.0 Transceiver?
Please ** ONLY CALL 'CQ' ON A CLEAR FREQUENCY ** Calling 'CQ' or shouting over an ongoing QSO is just plain RUDE. Please DO LISTEN when you tune to a new frequency or 'Jump' onto a frequency from the DX Cluster
Listen and Remember: due to propagation You May Not Hear Both Stations That Are In QSO. Listen for a short time, if you still hear nothing, then call 'Is This Frequency In Use' then LISTEN for a while more to make sure you are not going to interfere with other stations that may be using the frequency. If you do Listen, then Call 'Is This Frequency In Use, and Listen again and hear No Reply to your Call, then and Only Then - When you are Reasonably Sure the frequency IS CLEAR, you should be OK to start calling 'CQ'
If all operators can please make sure a frequency is NOT already in use BEFORE calling 'CQ' everyone will be much happier. -- It is not nice to have another station 'Yelling over the top' of your frequency when you are in QSO with another operator. -- If you are in a QSO with another station and someone else calls 'Is This Frequency In Use' a simple reply of 'This Frequency IS in use, Please QSY' should be enough to alert the calling operator that the frequency is already occupied and they should then QSY to another frequency to make their calls. -- Just a little bit of courtesy goes a long way -- Play Nice Folks and make HamSphere better for everyone -- 73 de Hairy Paul. 108hs5625
With the increased number of Trial Users on HamSphere 3.0, it can be somewhat overwhelming for all operators on the system. We all must have patience with Trial Users and help them out if assistance is needed. We (the Admins) are doing all what we can to assist the new user to HamSphere but we also need your help in doing this. Give them a helping hand if you can, I'm sure a great deal of seasoned operators out there will have a tip or two to pass on. Steer them in the right direction with some basic operating tips, mic gain, power level etc. Be patient during a QSO and assist them if you can. If we all help out one way or another, I'm sure it will be appreciated. Just remember, we all started
out like this at one stage.
To all operators hams and non-hams: When a station has been using a frequency calling CQ and working DX stations on that frequency for a period of time that frequency belongs to that station. Please do not jump on calling CQ over the top to work the DX station.
Latest from the India DX Net
India DX Net (IDXN) is in its fifteenth month of regular and uninterrupted operation. This net is run 7 days a week for at least 3 hours each day and has logged more than 1400 hours on air since inception. Starting from its humble beginning on 2nd August 2013, India DX Net has consistently grown into perhaps the largest worldwide Ham Radio Net. Each day this net has an attendance ranging from 55-80 operators who are QRG on the net. In terms of percentage of total operators logged onto the HamSphere system. The active participants who engage in regular discussions range from 15-25 each day. IDXN has participation from all around the world. Over the year, the net has welcomed operators from over 105 countries.
Whenever there has been a rare DX operator on the net, India DX Net quickly changed gears to host the DX operator and facilitate a moderated pileup operation. However, during its normal operation it has been run as a discussion net. IDXN regularly discusses any matter related to Ham Radio, whether it is technical or non-technical. All matters related to HF/VHF/UHF radio, propagation, antennas, etc. are discussed threadbare. Special emphasis is given to matters related to the newly launched HamSphere 4.0 platform. Topics of discussion are started by participating operators.
India DX Net is now all set to take the next big challenge, a quantum leap into the realistic world of HamSphere 4.0 HF radio. The line between the real and the realistic is very blurred. IDXN has chosen to step into an arena that many of its detractors and cynics consider foolhardy. Armed with the strength of its collective HF radio experience, the net has decided to very soon migrate to the HF bands of
HamSphere 4.0. This is certainly not a trivial task. Being a worldwide net, it compounds problems even further. The IDXN Net Controller has to reach out to almost all parts of the world on HF at one time. This is where the skill and experience of operators is stretched to the limit.
India DX Net transition to HF bands on HS4 has undergone three test runs over last few weeks. There have been a few teething troubles, but results have been promising. Net operating methods have been put in place to make this venture a success. On 8th October 2014 a successful pilot run of India DX Net was conducted on 17m band on HS4. 19 stations from across four continents participated in normal discussion rounds. 8 more stations mostly from EU and North America reported to have listened to the proceedings. It is very exciting indeed.
After a fifteen month stint on HS3, India DX Net is ready to spread its wings and soar into the HF world of HamSphere 4.0. This transition may happen quite soon, perhaps within the next 2-3 weeks. All stations from around the world are cordially invited to join the India DX Net. Please do not get dissuaded by the name. It is not a regional net but a worldwide net. At the moment you can join the net on HamSphere 3.0 and subsequently migrate along to HamSphere 4.0 when it happens. IDXN is the only global net in the world to run on HF. It is about to make history on HS4. Come and join us and be a part of history in making!
India DX Net Operating Schedule:
Frequency: 28.455 MHz (10m band)
Net Time: 12:00 UTC onwards
Platform: HamSphere 3.0 (will migrate to HamSphere 4.0 soon)
Net Control Station: VU2NSB
Net Control Operator: Basu
Latest from the Coffee Net Daily
The Coffee Net Daily at 11.00 AM Europe time started Tuesday 21 October 2014 on HamSphere 3.0.
It is a general chitchat net and it will run daily. I hope to see many stations come and join the party. Hoping to see you there to for a quick check in!
Frequency: 18.155MHz (17m )
Time: 11.00 AM European time
Latest from 60m Net HamSphere 4.0
North America 60 Meters Net was formed to bring friends together and rag-chew with each other. The 60 Meter band gives you the opportunity to carry on a QSO with members of HamSphere who live within the proximity of a radius of 500 - 600 miles from each other. In North America we have discovered that the propagation is at its’ best during the evening hours.
This NET was formed to give you the opportunity to be part of a group of individuals that live in Canada and United States.
The NVIS antenna is available for 60,80 and 160 M and works very well for local chat within the range of 600 miles.
The IDC vertical is also a great working antenna for local and DX.
Introducing Latin network on HamSphere
Para los amigos hispano hablantes usuarios de HamSphere®, hemos creado
una página en Facebook, en la cual compartimos temas y aclaramos dudas
en español acerca de HamSphere®. Así mismo nos reunimos en la frecuencia
de 18.180 banda de 17m en HS 3. Son todos bienvenidos. 73
Punto de reunion e información del Grupo de hispanohablantes usuarios
del sistema HamSphere®, co...n informaciones inherentes a este sistema y
nuestras experiencias en el mismo. Frecuencia de la Latin-Net es 18.180,
banda virtual de 17 mt. en fonía (Diariamente a partir de las 22:00 UT
Swedish Breakfast Club
Svenska Frukostklubben kör sitt Net nu på HamSphere 4.0 30 meters bandet 10175kHz varje dag kl 10.00 svensk tid. Välkomna!
73 de SM6LUX
DXpedition Reports and Special Event Stations (SES)
HamSphere will not endorse, support or sponsor any other special activation call signs other than DX-Expeditions so please do not ask for special callsigns for special events.
IMPORTANT! Make sure you plan your DX-Expeditions and have all "Special" call signs prepared and in working order BEFORE you head out. Please contact Martin 161HS363 to provide you with Special Activation call signs.
Our authorized "Expedition" call signs will be very specific. We are starting out with the IOTA (Trademark of RSGB) Island On The Air concept. We will call this IOHS = Islands on HamSphere. Later on we may extend these DX-Expeditions to cover Lighthouses, Castles or other exciting fixed landmarks.
Manager and Moderator for this forum is Martin 161HS363
Jamboree on the Air/Internet 2014 was held on HamSphere 3 and 4 the 18 and 19 October 2014
"The Jamboree-on-the-Internet, or JOTI, is an annual Scouting event sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement. This event utilizes the Internet and the numerous devices that are used to get online, from your home computer to iPad tablets, to link Scouts from around the world. Last year, JOTI had almost 16,000 Scouts and leaders registered in the worldwide JOTA-JOTI database in 146 countries!"
COHS/CF004 Castle of Brissac
14HS1908 Bruno was transmitting from the beautiful Castle Of Brissac.
You will find more info about the castle at: http://www.chateau-brissac.fr/
This event was performed 14 June | Saturday | from 08:00 UTC to 16:00 UTC on 14.260
LOHS/CH104 FARO PUNTA GRUESA
The first activation from South America was LOHS/CH104 FARO PUNTA GRUESA activated by Luis 32 HS 1356.
Operated Saturday 05 July 2014 14:00 UTC at 14.260 MHz.
LOHS/POL13 Krynica Morska Light
Latitude: 54 ° 23 'N Longitude: 19 ° 27' E
Was activated by Martin, 161HS363 2014-07-13
Start and End time of activation (UTC) was: 08:00-10:30
He got permission to transmit inside the lighthouse so he could only work very briefly.
He was using a mobile phone with a paper log in the old school style, no net controllers, no rolling cluster.
Market Reef OJ0AM
September 20th, we saw a party of Juha, OH9MM and Martti, OH2BH Landing on Market Reef to put OJ0AM on the air for one week on all bands. A permanent beam was in place to boost their signals. But not only did they operate on regular amateur radio bands; they also experimented with real and virtual Amateur Radio (HamSphere) coexisting by conducting a first-ever activity from Market in Virtual Reality.
The plan was to be on both HS 3.0 and 4.0 with the aim to provide virtual community their first QSO with Market Reef.
As Market Reef is outside of regular cell phone and terrestrial internet coverage, the team made an arrangement with Eutelsat Ka-Sat to secure OJ0B with a satellite broadband link. They tested the link from mainland Finland and a down link speed of 18Mbit/s and up link of 6Mbit/s was verified. A latency of some 800 ms was experienced, posing a challenge for operators at both ends of the satellite circuit. To avoid any potential problem with the latency, OJ0B had assistance from Marcin, 161HS363 and considered an option to use "list operation".
It was historic as the amateurs entered their virtual platform for the first time from Market Reef and communicated by voice with their counterparts on all continents. More than one hundred people, most new to the hobby, were contacted and the traffic was handled smoothly for all those involved. Voices from New Zealand, Chile and South Africa sounded as clear as if they were coming out of the
I came back home yesterday evening from an exceptional Dxpedition on an exceptional spot. I went there because I wanted to do something for HamSphere, I wished to prove that Hamsphere is exceptional too when people move to exceptional régions and activate places where nobody goes normally. I have been very, very happy and fulfilled with honor because you ALL where on the appointment. The success of this Dxpedition is only due to your presence and your patience.
Therefore THANK YOU to ALL! You answered 310 times to my CQ in 40 hours with continuous transmission while I was only 48 hours in the region. Because of the highly sensitive call 300HS100 in a very sensitive region, and the huge risks of the activation, I did ask strongly to the Admins NOT to announce this exceptional DXpedition. Therefore my personal excuses if somebody missed this region in his award chase.
I activated the 76HS661 call from Morocco and made additional 57 qso and qsl cards sent.
First of all, I want to thank Marcin 161HS363 for following up and the possibility to activate this strange place in the middle of nowhere (SAHARA). I have my deepest admiration for Jim VE2QK, being at my side 24h/24h, and being an exceptional net controller. My special thanks to 6HS22: my friend and teacher Luc. I wish to thank all discrete admins who were active behind the frequency 14.260khz, and my most grateful greetings to you ALL, Dear HamSphere users, who were particularly respectful during 40 hours of activation- you ALL did correctly follow up the rules and the agreements of HamSphere.
We did not have one false note!
THANK YOU, all of you, MERCI a TOUS, DANK u Allen,
4W7C Timor-Leste Activation
Jon K7CO was in East Timor from Oct 19-31. This was a new country for HamSphere.
The DX station had the call sign 4W7C.
As there was an interest in confirming Canadian provinces and territories, Jon K7CO activated HamSphere with VY1/K7CO and VY1C in 22-23 Sept 2014.
Halloween World QSO Party Contest 2014
Here are the results of the HamSphere "4th of July Contest 2014" that was held 4-5 July 2014.
The results are based on a properly filled out logbook and that power limitations were kept. We had a total of 172 participants performing 6233 QSO's.
Congratulations to Fernando 31HS683 who won this contest with the amazing score of 57420. Well done indeed!
Fernando managed to complete 261 valid QSO's and 219 multipliers.
Robert, 60HS164 managed to log the most countries. He logged a total of 42 different ISO2 codes.
To all participants: Good work and all are welcomed back to the 4th of July contest next year.
Here are the results from the HamSphere "Halloween World QSO Party Contest 2014" that was held 2014-11-01 00:00 through 2014-11-01 23:59. The results are based on a properly filled out logbook and that power limitations were kept. Congratulations to Branko, YU4DX who won this contest with the amazing score of 126207. Well done indeed!
Winners have received the following prizes:
YU4DX = 6 months subscription extension
14HS1908 = 3 months subscription extension
LY3BHY = 1 month subscription extension
178HS411 = 1 month subscription extension
13HS511 = 1 month subscription extension
Congratulations to Czech Republic Team of Sarka, OK2SVA (21); Jindrich, OK1NOR (24) and Jan Honza, OK1JD (20)
ETRC 2014 (European Radio sport Team Championship), the youth version of WRTC 2014, was held in Virrat, Finland one week after the Boston WRTC event with 15 three-person youth teams seated in one room in front of their computers and connected to the global Amateur Radio simulator over the internet, all in Virtual Reality. Once again, the latest technology was utilized in Amateur Radio for the benefit of Amateur Radios future and by Amateur Radio operators themselves.
In total, ERTC 2014 activated hundreds of young people and licensed radio amateurs in full harmony within the participating 44 countries. ERTC 2014 was a huge success bringing youth and seasoned hams together around the same fireworks in the spirit of international Amateur Radio.
But Mother Nature added to the excitement as a thunderstorm knocked off electricity in the area and power was restored only 5 minutes prior to the start of the contest. It was a Le Mans type of hectic start leaving many teams in the starting grid. The Head Judge, Hans, PB2T, President of IARU Region 1, ruled the first 22 minutes out to give a level playing field to those slow in booting their contest machines and putting their racing helmets on.
When the dust had settled, the following three teams stood on the podium with their medals:
GOLD MEDAL, CZECH REPUBLIC: Sarka Vavrova, OK2SVA (21); Jindrich Kostal, OK1NOR (24) and Jan Honza Dohnalek, OK1JD (20)
As Silver and Bronze teams were less than three multipliers apart, the fact that the S/W platform (HamSphere 3.0) used in the contest logged all QSOs into the system, gave the organizers full confidence in verifying each station and their exchange. Only seven (7) multiplier uniques were found in the database and they did not affect the final rankings.
WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT ERTC CONTINENTAL WINNERS:
Europe: Gaudentas Mozura, LY3BHY
Asia: Faisal Al-Ajmi, 9K2RR
South America: Jairo Ramos Sansone, PU3JAI
Oceania: Eko, 91HS576 (Central Java, Indonesia)
Africa: Tarek Zeidan, SU1TZ
North America: ARRL Centennial, W100AW*
*W100AW was activated by Martti Laine, OH2BH as part of the ARRL Centennial celebrations in Hartford, Connecticut. Thanks (K1ZZ) and congratulations to the American Radio Relay League.
Here are the results of the HamSphere "Independence Day of Indonesia Merdeka Contest” that was held 16-17 Aug 2014. The results are based on a properly filled out logbook and that power limitations were kept. We had a total of 81 participants performing 643 QSO's.
Congratulations to Sylvain 14HS1305 who won this contest with the score of 29028. Well done indeed!
Sylvain managed to complete 82 valid QSO's, 58 multipliers and 5 Indonesian regions. Sylvain wins a 1 year subscription. Congratulations!
In 2nd place came Amirafandi, 91HS1999 with the score of 16284 and 59 valid QSO's, 45 band multipliers from 5 Indonesian regions. Amirafandi is rewarded a 6 months subscription extension. Congratulations!
In 3rd place came Suyanto, YB2CDA with the score of 16080 and 67 valid QSO's, 47 band multipliers from 4 Indonesian regions. Suyanto wins a 3 months extension of his subscription. Congratulations!
A big Thank You to Eko/91HS576 who organized this contest.
The HamSphere Annual XMAS-Contest 2014 (HamSphere 3.0 Only)
The HamSphere DXHC DX HamSphere Club has the honor to invite amateurs and enthusiasts to participate in the Annual XMAS-Contest.
Each station may be worked one time on 3.5 MHz and one time on 7 MHz on HamSphere 3.0.
The station calling CQ must QSY after the QSO, leaving the frequency to the station that answered his/her call.
Total score = total QSO points x multipliers
1. Requested HS call sign based on your country prefix code http://www.hamsphere.com/countrylist.php
4. Email (Must be different than your normal HamSphere account and not exist in our database already)
5. Coordinates Lat / Long in decimal form
You will receive a confirmation email with payment information.
When the account has been paid in full you will receive the login information.
Please note! We will not change a normal HS account to a special HS account.
Both HS3 and HS4 are included in these accounts.
Digimodes on HamSphere
All digimodes such as EasyPal/Hybrid, Msstv are working fine without any problems with good results from the digi gang. Please see the SSTV pages to see pics and results. Some great digi artwork as well on there with some fabulous pictures, some make brilliant QSL cards. The other side of digimodes such as digipan, fldigi with use of RTTY, PSK31 plus other sending modes all work perfectly without any problems as I have made contact and worked OLIVIER 136HS116 on various occasions using fldigi and RTTY and PSK31. Good strong 559 signals all copied no problems at all. NOW all this does work perfectly 100% on HamSphere 3.
LATEST on digimodes EasyPal/hybrid, SSTV on HamSphere 4.
Yes, they do work but only about 90%. You can receive and send OK. The pictures sending and receiving are still a little fuzzy and grainy so not at 100%. This is used with low audio and low power gain. Please see the relevant pages to see the results in a different quality. The sending and receiving is alright and work is still going on for HamSphere 4. We might need the codec off facility on HS4 in the future.
Malcolm Frederick Robertsson
DX Countries Statistics
DX from the following countries have been heard over the past months:
CONGO, RWANDA, GRENADA, WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS, TONGA,
MADEIRA ISLAND, SOMALIA, MARKET REEF, GABON, AZORES, GAMBIA,
BENIN, COMOROS, NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS, LAOS, MALI, BURKINA FASO,
DJIBOUTI, NETHERLANDS ANTILLES, TIMOR-LESTE, SAINT VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES,
LESOTHO, MYANMAR, UGANDA, AFGHANISTAN, MONACO, SAN MARINO, TURKMENISTAN,
SAINT LUCIA, REPUBLIC OF KOSOVO, BHUTAN, CAYMAN ISLANDS, LIECHTENSTEIN,
NIGER, MOZAMBIQUE, TANZANIA, MAURITANIA, TOGO, PAPUA NEW GUINEA, FRENCH GUIANA,
BOTSWANA, CAMEROON, ANGOLA, FRENCH POLYNESIA, HAITI, CAMBODIA
Use the Support Ticket System
We have a 24-hour support ticket system where you can get support regarding anything about HamSphere.
* Changing call signs
* Technical problems
* General questions, etc.