Strange Decisions on Hamsphere
2015-05-15 14:22
Right let me start be saying, I absolutely love Hamsphere.

There's always a but...

I have been using HS as a training aid during my Foundation License course and it has helped me no end, I took the exam on 1 May and I'm happy to say I passed. My certificate arrived on the 12th and I registered a call sign on the OFCOM website almost immediately. I am now able to use M6FLF.

I contacted Hamsphere Support to ask how to change my call sign and how it would affect my HS account, the reply was nothing short of stunning. If you change your call sign you lose EVERYTHING. Your log book is cleared, you lose all your QSL cards. Your position in the top 2000 user list is reset. The worst thing that happens though is that you lose any and all awards you have received.

This is ludicrous. In the "real world" If you change your call sign, you keep your existing log book, QSL cards, awards and ranking in any contest charts. How can Hamsphere expect to be taken seriously if this kind of obvious error isn't addressed.

I have been using 26HS5759 for a few months and am now quite proud of my new M6FLF call sign. I am however carrying on with the tuition and will hopefully have the Intermediate License in or around November. This will involve another call sign change to 2E???. Once I have successfully attained this license, I will then be taking the Advance Amateur License and guess what, yes, another and final call sign change.

So here's the issue, I have worked very hard to become a proficient user of Hamsphere and have gained some awards to prove this, now that I know I will lose everything every time I pass a new exam, Hamsphere has become what would appear a complete waste of my time. I am gutted about this as I love the program and enjoy the challenge of the Work All States Award and gathering as many countries as I can.

Surely this is an easy database amendment, even if it isn't easy, it should still be adjusted as I will not waste time gathering awards and contacts on Hamsphere while all the time thinking "I'll lose this log book entry when I get my next license". I have spoken to other licensed operators who have quit Hamsphere because of this very issue.

I see Hamsphere as "another radio" and not "fantasy radio" however this kind of silliness can only harm the realistic view Hamsphere has of itself.

Additionally, if I buy a new radio, again I get to keep my log book and QSL cards, not so with Hamsphere 4. They have chosen to separate the two "radios" in a wholly unrealistic way which again outlines the difference between Hamsphere and real radio. These choices seem to be an attempt at classifying HS3 as CB radio and HS4 as Amateur radio with no regard to how users feel about the integration of the systems. A shame at the very least.

One last thing, How about being able to send a confirmation QSL card from the Hamsphere website, then operators who go "portable" with a smartphone or tablet would be able to send cards directly from the handset. The biggest advantage of this would be DX Users who get Hamsphere for free and are using these type of devices because they can't afford a computer would also be able to join in the fun of sending and receiving QSL cards, adding another level of realism to the Hamsphere experience.

These things are NOT hard to address but even if they are hard and would involve a lot of work, there is no excuse for not addressing the few but glaringly amateur failings in the Hamsphere program.

I do hope Mr. Lindman reads this post and instructs his team to put Hamsphere 4 down for a few days and fix the things that would make Hamsphere the complete Virtual radio experience and not just another VOIP with false interference.

Craig - Hornsea, East Yorkshire.
15 May 2015
Re: Strange Decisions on Hamsphere
2015-05-15 20:04
Hi Craig,

really... I can't believe that you will lose all this information, awards, entries and so on, because the Callsign ist JUST a name, not more!
Normally a user-account in a database has additionally a USER-ID, and this will be the same like before. In database software it is possible to change ONLY the username, without any other changes if the ID is still the same.

So in a database you can store all this information, e.g. Locator-Grid, logbooks, age, registry-date, nickname (like callsign here) and many more.
If you change only the name, you will keep ALL other information!
The worst case would be, if you change the complete account into a new one. But not only by changing just one thing in the database.

So I think this answer from the support was not correct (maybe it was from a person who is not familiar with computers/server-systems and so on).
You should ask Kelly directly for that.

73 and good DX from Jörg :-)
Bochum / Germany
Re: Strange Decisions on Hamsphere
2015-05-15 20:18
Thanks for the reply Jorg, it does seem strange that the database has been written without the ability to be amended.

The support ticket reply was as follows:


Dear Craig

If we will change the callsign you will lost all off your awards. Please make the decision.

161HS363 Martin


There is no explanation or additional information, I may send Kelly a link to this post and see if I get a reply. It's a shame, this has already stopped me using Hamsphere as much as I was because I would be wasting my time if I'm just going to lose it all. I am genuinely gutted about losing everything, I have 33 US states, I've worked my way up to 931 in the top 2000 and I have over 200 QSL cards, I really don't want to lose them.

We'll see what happens.

73's Craig
Re: Strange Decisions on Hamsphere
2015-05-15 21:08
Craig, on awards it could be possible, because your callsign is written on this graphics. Same at received QSL cards.
But not at logbook entries and not on the card templates.

For example: a fiew weeks ago I had a QSO with a new station. I thought he is new for me, but he had only a new callsign and we had contacts before. It was the same situation, he had a HamSphere callsign and in the meantime he made his amateur license.
So the old entries were with the HS callsign and the last contact with the amateur callsign.

73 and good DX from Jörg :-)
Bochum / Germany
Re: Strange Decisions on Hamsphere
2015-05-15 21:12
Yeah that's understandable Jorg but to just completely lose everything is just plain silly. There must be a solution.
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