I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-04-16 22:48
Dear people,

I really love the Hamsphere, it is good old times for me.
Making contacts and talking to people from over the world is fascinating and real easy using HS3.0.

My problem with HS4.0 is that I think it has been made to complex for the users without a HAM license.
It is like those flight simulators that you can only use when you are almost a real pilot :)
Luckily in those simulators you can set the level of realism lower , so you don't crash all the time.
In HS4.0 the setting for realism is ultra realistic and fixed and because of that there are some negative consequences:

1. It excludes people. To be able to use it you should have at least a HAM license because the antenna and propagation theory is above most regular (non-Ham licensed) Hamsphere users like me. I could learn it all if I wanted to, but don't see the fun in that, it's quite complex and I'm not planning on buying a real HAM set anyway (cannot get an antenna up here even if I wanted it.) So what use has that knowledge for me?
2. There are less contacts to be made. The realistic propagation setting means that I cannot make connections if I want to, because of bad propagation. So in the spare moments I have, I cannot use the HS4.0 half-the-time ,I don't see the fun in that.
3. It is expensive. To have a real good set in which you are equal to other HS4.0 user you need to spend quite some money.
4. HS4.0 will always have less users than HS3.0. Because many current regular (non-Ham licensed) users feel intimidated by the cost in time and money needed to be able to understand and use HS4.0 properly and neatly they won't join it and because of that the number of people on HS4.0 will stay very low. Response to HS4.0 until now proves my point. A pity because one of the fun parts of HS3.0 is that there are always 1 or 2 stations present which you can contact.

I understand if there would be settings in HS4.0 for lower realism it would take out the fun for the real die-hards. So I don't see an easy solution. But maybe we can share some thoughts about this and discuss it proper?

With regards
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-04-17 00:37
Hello Gerard,

I can't aggree, that Simulations can be only used from "specialists". I was using the very first Flight-Simulator from Sublogic in the early 80th, long time before I started to make my real Pilot-Licence! ;-) And with a lot of success - so that the Chief-Instructor at my first hour was very fascinated where I learned how to fly an Aircraft.
But most People makes the big mistake, to start with bigger Jets in a Simulation. And then they are wondering why they always crash after a few seconds.... or are not be able to start only one Engine of a Jet and so on. Instead to learn it as real Pilots do - on smaller Piston-Aircrafts first and learn the basics of flying.

And exactly the same is it in HamSphere 4: It is REALLY NOT difficult to work with this program.
But for beginners it is a good idea, to start with HS 3 first and collect some experience under easy conditions.
It is not necassary to match any antennas in HS 4, also not to know something about antenna-building or what a SWR-Meter is and so on.
Also not the law of ham-operating or something like that.
In other words: You don't need any Licence for using HamSphere!

Many not licensed Users are on HS 4 as well, without any problems.
Also my last real Ham-experience is many years ago (90th years and the last exam end of 70th) - and I had no problem on HS 3 or 4 since the very first day with it.
The program is very simple and the frontend absolut easy to use. You don't need the Split-Mode if you don't like it... and you don't need any Pile-ups oder Contests if you don't like it.
But all of this is possible, like CW, PSK/RTTY and other Digi-Modes as well.

I wouldn't compare it with a Flight-Simulator. If you reduce the realism there, you only have "a (Flight-)game" for Kids, not yet a simulator. Do we want that in HamSphere? I believe not. ;-)
In real Aviation you also can't reduce some fader to "make it easier" - and with that we can't reduce the propagation-conditions or other things in HamSphere 4 (or in real Ham-Radios) to make it more easy. The fun would be go away. And in the real world it would be impossible, of course.

73 and good DX from Jörg :-)
Bochum / Germany
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-04-17 08:00
Dear Jörg,

You miss my point.
More realism doesn't automatically means more fun. Especially in Hamsphere 4.0 that is for a lot of people the case.
Because it made Hamsphere more expensive and especially for non-HAM licensed members intimidating to use while for most of the users the experience doesn't get any better. You have to have a knack for tempering with antennas and stuff while most of the non-HAM-licensed users are not in to that. A lot of people just want to make connections and talk with people from all over the world that like to 'play' radio. This I think should be possible on a variety of realism levels so everybody can enjoy Hamsphere the way they like it the most. Why push everyone to use an ultra realistic simulator they never asked for?

With regards
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-04-17 14:00
Dear Gerard,

I see your intention.
But have we not exactly this with the two versions 3.x and 4.x?
HS 3 is not realistic, it's an application like Skype, MSN, Yahoo-Messenger and so on. And much fun for many beginners and quite easy to use.
It's possible to make bigger groups, "rag chewing rounds" and so on there and that all the time on every band.
It's more like some CB-Radio simulations in the Net. Just press the PTT and talk, nothing more.

And we have HS 4 for all Enthusiasts, who wants to get more realism. With different antennas, different propagation and different rigs.
Everybody can decide by himself how realistic he wants to work and if he buy antennas / plugins or not.
It's possible to work with only the IDC antenna and only 1 analog S-Meter as well.
This radio is working "out of the box" for the 30,- Euros/year.

And not all people are able to get a license and some of them want to spend some money for antennas like in the real world.
If there would be a "fader" to select the realism, it would be unreal on the other side for other stations as well.
I think that's the problem.
The whole system is based on VoIP which can't be like real HF, of course. That means, no system can be a 100% simulation apart from the real HF. Ok, maybe a little bit the Echolink, which is a mix of both systems. But that is not possible for non-licensed people.

73 and good DX from Jörg :-)
Bochum / Germany
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-04-25 12:07
Dear Jörg,

Ok, we agree that we should make all users happy.
So that is the reason I hope that HS 3.0 will stay around for a long time with all bands and features intact, like we now have.
Secondly I hope that HS 3.0 will stay in development for all that users that want to play radio and maybe get some software updates: like squelch and a bit more realistic propagation setting so that you can only work DX on a specific band during specific hours.

By the way, I don't agree with you that HS 3.0 is like "Skype, MSN, Yahoo-Messenger and so on" because you can only use those with people you already know With HS 3.0 it is always a surprise who is going to react to your CQ, and where they are from. So that is an important aspect I think.
Furthermore people on HS 3.0 are almost all radio enthusiast in general (90%), former 27mc addicts or (like me) illegal radio amateurs when they were young. I had numerous friends who all did that and it was great. You helped each other out and there was a real community feeling.

I really got that same community feeling here on HS 3.0 and it would be a shame to waste it.

Maybe we find each-other on the band
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-06-30 00:24
hi my name is omri porat and im hamsphere member for about 2 years and im having problom with getting in to hamsphere 3 and 4 some how my password change by it self and i cant get in i need help please call me at 917-692-0804 A S A P
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-07-05 17:38
I think the best solution would be to have the 11m band as the easy mode (Hamsphere 3) and the other bands as the realistic (Hamsphere 4) mode. The software would default to 27MHz for new users and they'd have to enable the other bands via a "are you sure you want to go more realistic?".

Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-07-06 00:43
Hm... I think there are more than enough pure 11 m / 27 MHz CB-Radio simulations in the internet. ;-)
Do we need more of it?

HS 3 and 4 are complete different simulations and both have 11 m included.
We don't should make any difference between 11 m and all other shortwave bands (apart from BC / 48 m and maybe 6 m).

73 and good DX from Jörg :-)
Bochum / Germany
Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-07-06 10:25
Well, real life makes a difference between 11m and the other bands. It's much easier to talk on CB than on a ham rig, since there's no exam involved, so marking this difference by different "realism settings" wouldn't be that weird.

The problem with 2 incompatible software versions is dilution of the user base. I wasn't interested in HS3, I was looking for a more "hardcore" simulation, but it was difficult to find the correct download link. Maybe providing HS4 by default and keeping HS3 in a dark recess of the website would bring more users?

I understand there are 2 different needs: casual chat, and realistic sim, but I don't find HS4 that much difficult. Of course, reaching the other side of the planet isn't always easy, but there are still plenty of people to talk with even with the default rig.

Re: I see problems in the popularity of Hamsphere 4.0
2015-08-20 06:28
I joint Hamsphere yesterday, downloaded and paid HS4, try to "on air", fixed audio issue.
I made some contact last night (thx to VOACAP.COM) , people ask me to send QSL card. Sudenlly realized I don't have QSL yet..:)
So, I made QSL card (thx to Youtube) and sent.

The story is, yes HS4 is complicated for newbie like me. But explore the feature, tria/ error are part of Hamphesre 4 enjoyable.
For me,this kind feel simmilar when I have real Rig 25 year ago, made my own antenna , do some DX test, got complaint from neigbour because their TV got problem when QSO...:) .
I sold all those equipment because I moved to apartment that I cannot install antena.So Hamphere 4 is solution for me to bring back my lovely memory.

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