HamSphere 4 info

Handy information for HamSphere 4 station operators.

CQ or CQDX must only be used ON A CLEAR FREQUENCY.

*** CQ or CQDX must only be used ON A CLEAR FREQUENCY.***

There seem to be many operators who will reply to a call or try to call into an ongoing QSO on an already occupied frequency with ‘CQ CQ’ and then their call sign. This should NOT be done..

CQ and CQDX calls MUST only be used on a CLEAR frequency…

When replying to another stations CQ or CQDX call you do NOT say CQ or CQDX back, you should say your Call Sign only ONCE, that is all that is needed.

When You have transmitted your call sign, WAIT for the other station to call you in to make contact. There may be other stations also replying to their call so you must listen for them to call you (or another station they have heard) in to make contact..

All information other than your call sign can wait until you are called in for contact.

When you are called in for contact that is when you can give Signal report, Operators Name, location and any other information.. —

CQ or CQDX must only be used ON A CLEAR FREQUENCY.

73 de Hairy Paul 108HS5625

” Working Split ” – ” Split Working ” – ” Split Frequency Operation ”

** Hairy Paul’s Handy Notes for HamSphere 4 operators **

- ” Working Split ” – ” Split Working ” – ” Split Frequency Operation ” -

To make it a little easier to work Split-Frequency operations I added a second VFO Frequency display to my transceiver and selected Receive on one frequency display and Transmit on the second one. This makes it nice and easy to see exactly what frequencies you have selected for Rx and Tx.. Of course this can also be done on the standard transceiver with one single frequency display.. If you look at the Band Scope (or waterfall display) you will see the Transmit and Receive frequencies are marked with separate vertical lines, One is Green (the RX frequency) and one is Red (the Transmit frequency) — [Note: the Waterfall also shows the same Green and Red lines for Rx and Tx frequencies]

Image below is one of my HamSphere 4 transceivers set up for Split Frequency working with Dual LCD frequency displays. As you can see in the image I am receiving the DX station on 18.150 and have selected 18.155 as a clear frequency to transmit on — (You do not ‘Need’ to have multiple LCD frequency displays and can easily operate split with the standard HS4 transceiver but I prefer to have two LCD frequency displays so I can see my RX and TX frequencies at the same time)

split-working on HamSphere 4.0

split-working on HamSphere 4.0

- Easy way to work Split on HamSphere 4.0 transceiver -

You select the small [R] button near the bottom left of either the band scope or waterfall and then click on the band scope (or waterfall) to set the frequency you want to receive on. (where you are hearing the DX station)
Then you click on the small [T] button on the band scope (or waterfall) and click on the frequency you want to transmit on. (where the DX station has said he is listening) — If the DX station says ‘Listening UP’ this means that he will look at/listen to frequencies ABOVE the frequency you can hear him transmitting on. He is expecting stations to find a Clear frequency ABOVE his TX frequency and transmit Only their call sign.. He will watch for signals above his TX frequency, select a station that he can hear clearly and call them in to make contact.

Split Frequency operation can be a very effective way of operating in a pile up situation. By using the option of ‘Listening UP’ the DX station is spreading out the pile up of stations calling him to make it easier for him to hear the stations calling — The MOST IMPORTANT THING is that YOU MUST LISTEN TO THE DX STATION so you know what frequency the DX station is listening on and if he says ‘Listening UP’ you should find a clear frequency UP and transmit your call sign there so the DX operator can pick out your call.

The frequency the DX station is LISTENING ON will be YOUR TRANSMIT FREQUENCY.. and of course Your RX frequency will be the one you can hear the DX station on…

- NOTE #1: When a station is working SPLIT, He CAN NOT HEAR anyone calling him on the frequency he is Transmitting on, so calling on the same frequency you hear the DX station on will only cause QRM and stop anyone from being able to hear the DX station which ruins it for everyone.

- NOTE #2: When returning to any CQ or QRZ call from any station It helps greatly if you ONLY SAY YOUR CALL SIGN ONCE when calling AND NOTHING MORE — Long drawn out calls just cause unwanted QRM and make it much harder for the DX station to pick out call signs – operators who give their call more than once and those who give callsign, name, location etc are just being inconsiderate to everyone else and making it harder for everyone including the DX station to make contact -
I Hope this helps more operators understand what Split-Frequency Working is and How to use your HamSphere 4 transceiver to operate with Split-Frequencies —

73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625

How to use Propagation Predictions

** Handy Notes for HamSphere 4 Operators ** – Propagation

Following the propagation is possibly the most important thing to learn when using HamSphere 4 or ‘Real world’ HF radio equipment as It will enable you to know which bands will give the the best chance of hearing contacts in any particular part of the world, and of course this will give any stations in that area the best chance of hearing You calling!

Question:- How do I know which is the best band for me to use ?

Answer:- Being on the Best band to make a contact depends on four main factors…Your location, where in the world you want to make contact, Propagation and Time..

The best way to be on the right bands at the right times is to look at propagation predictions from Your location. This will allow you to see which bands are open from your QTH into different parts of the world as the day (or night) goes by. — The example image below shows propagation for today from My QTH in Scotland (IO75sj) into Latvia. (Using VOACAP online ”http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html”)

Example Image: Propagation into Latvia from Scotland

Example Image: Propagation into Latvia from Scotland

– If I wanted to make contact with stations in Latvia at 18:00 UTC  I would be best to try calling for them on 40m, 60m, or 80m bands and would have a reasonable chance of contact on 30m band. — But If I wanted to make contact into Latvia and I was only going to be on the air from say 10:00 UTC until 12:00 UTC I would be best to try calling for stations in Latvia on 15m, 17m, 20m or 30m bands. — And if I was to going to be on air from 22:00 UTC until 00:00 UTC calling on 15m, 17m, or 20m would be pointless as there is no propagation from My QTH into Latvia on those bands and 30m would be possible but not as strong at 60m and 80m bands, So I would be best to use 60m or 80m bands to make contact into Latvia at that time. -

73 de Hairy Paul 108HS5625

How to give a proper Signal Report.

Signal reports are normally reported as using R S T This refers to ‘R’eadabilty ‘S’trength and ‘T’one When operating in Phone Mode (Voice) it is normal practice to report only the Readability and signal Strength. Readability is reported using the following ‘scale’

1 = Unreadable
2 = Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.
3 = Readable with considerable difficulty.
4 = Readable with practically no difficulty.
5 = Perfectly readable.

So a perfectly readable voice reception would be reported as a ’5′. If the received voice is maybe quiet or has a little noise along with it but is still readable and all words are still understandable you may give a reading of ’4′. When you are having trouble making out what the transmitting station is saying but still hearing enough to just make out what they are saying with a fair bit of difficulty you would report a ’3′ etc..
Signal strength is usually read from the S-Meter. EG: Looking at the LEFT S-Meter shown below: You are receiving a station and you can make out all that they are saying but the audio is not ‘Perfectly readable’ due to the audio being quiet or having some noise along with it you could report that their signal was 42 or 43 if the needle on the S-meter moved up to the ’3′ as they were speaking. Looking at the RIGHT S-Meter shown below: You are receiving a station ‘Perfectly’ with good clear clear audio you could report that their signal was a 55 or ‘five and five’ – If you are receiving them as ‘perfect’ audio and the S-Meter needle is past the 9, for example at the +20 mark, you would read the S-meter as 59 plus 20 dB. Of course if the audio was ‘Perfectly’ good and clear and the S-Meter needle was at the mark between the +20 and +40 you would report the signal strength as 59 plus 30dB. – The ‘T’ of ‘RST’ is for reporting the received signal Tone and is only used when reporting CW (Morse) signal reception. This is done according to the following scale with a range from 1 to 9 something like this:

1 = Sixty cycle a.c or less, very rough and broad.
2 = Very rough a.c. very harsh and broad.
3 = Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered.
4 = Rough note, some trace of filtering.
5 = Filtered rectified a.c. but strongly ripple-modulated.
6 = Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation.
7 = Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation.
8 = Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation.
9 = Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind.

So when using Phone mode (voice) you only report the R and S as described above and you do not use the ‘T’one part of the report… Accurate signal reporting is an important part of radio communications procedure and It is very easy when you get used to it. I hope this helps operators to give correct signal reports..

S-meters

S-meters

73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625

Note about the ‘Custom Nameplate’ plug-in modules.

For those of You that have the ‘Custom Name Plate’ – Pop into the editor and you will find there is a new feature available on this plug-in module. – You can now select TWO colours for the text – one for Receive and one for Transmit.  See images below:- Upper image: In editor (RX colour displayed) – Lower image: On radio when Transmitting (TX colour displayed) – Very Nice! -

Custom Name Plate in Editor showing buttons to set text, font, shadow and select colours. The TX=RX sets both colours the same for those who do not want the text to change colour when you transmit.

Custom Name Plate in Editor showing buttons to set text, font, shadow and select colours. The TX=RX sets both colours the same.

For anyone who does not want the colour to change when you Transmit – click on the ‘TX=RX’ button when in the Editor, that will allow you to make the RX and TX colours both the same.

Custom Name Plate on transceiver 'Illuminated' Red in TX mode

Custom Name Plate on transceiver 'Illuminated' Red in TX mode

There is also a new smaller version available in the HamSphere 4 shop now. It can also be setup with 2 different colours for RX and TX modes.

73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625

 

DX Monitors and how to make use of them.

The HamSphere 4 DX Monitors are wideband receiver stations around the world that operate 24 hours a day, they ‘listen’ continuously for signals on all bands. To make use of the DX monitors you will have to turn on the ”DX mon” report feature using the button at the bottom of your ‘DX Monitor module’ on your transceiver. (see image below) When any DX monitor station receives your transmitted signal they will send a report to you that will be displayed the DX-Monitor module on your HamSphere 4 transceiver where you will see their report in Red text. They report their ID and Signal strength EG: [DXMON] AUE:S2, EUC:S4 ASE:S2 This shows that the DX monitors located in Australia, Europe and China are receiving my transmission at the signal strength shown after the DX monitor ID This gives a good indication of the current propagation conditions between your transmitter location and each of The DX-Monitors. The locations of the DX monitors are shown on the map below: – 73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625

HamSphere 4 DX Monitor switch (ON)

HamSphere 4 DX Monitor switch. Shown in (ON) mode.

Map of HamSphere 4 DX Monitor stations.

Map of HamSphere 4 DX Monitor stations.

HamSphere 4 HF Band Plan

- HamSphere 4.0 Band Plan – Change to BandPlan 02 April 2015 -

The Image below is the Current HamSphere 4.0 Band Plan – PLEASE replace your old HamSphere 4.0 Band Plan with this current version. :

Notification was posted on 2 April at 17:14 UTC
” As of today we will allow CW on all HS 4.0 bands except BC. Max 10 Watts carrier power below 10 MHz and Max 5 watts CW power above 10MHz. There are no frequency restrictions in place.” –
Please take note of the power restrictions, stick within the power limits and ‘You have the power to go forth and CW on All bands’ (except BC and 2m /70cm repeaters) – Enjoy the new frequencies !

HamSphere 4.0 Band Plan

HamSphere 4.0 Band Plan

: NOTICE :THIS BANDPLAN IS FOR HAMSPHERE 4.0 ONLY :

: HamSphere 3.0 band plan Has Not Changed..

73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625

HamSphere 4 is a realistic Simulation of HF radio.

I use both RF radio equipment (Transceivers that use RF and physical antennas) and IP radio equipment (HamSphere 4 that uses Internet Protocols and virtual antennas) and the way I see it is that they both do the same job. Both systems allow people to communicate around the globe, both systems require knowledge of antennas, propagation and operating procedures. Both systems are used by licensed HAM operators, BUT.. HamSphere can also be used by un-licensed operators and many people who start out on HamSphere do go on to get their HAM license.. It is a shame that there are people who feel the need to put down the HamSphere system even though they have not actually tried using it. I would like to point out that this has happened many times in the past with many new innovations, indeed when Nikola Tesla was promoting the use of AC power distribution as the most efficient means of transmitting electrical power over a distance there were many who tried to put down the system with many derogatory remarks and claims of how bad or dangerous it was. Modern society is now reliant on AC electrical distribution systems and equipment and Nikola Tesla is remembered by many as a great inventor and innovator of many AC electrical systems and devices still in use today. — I personally think that the HamSphere system is a great innovation that allows many people to communicate across the world using ‘Simulated HF radios’ and an incredibly complex ‘propagation simulation system’ that behaves very like RF radio. There are also many licensed HAM operators on the system that would otherwise be unable to use any form of radio communications due to antenna erection restrictions at their location, physical restrictions or medical conditions. for these people the HamSphere system provides them with a simulated ‘radio communications system’ that allows them to continue with their hobby. — For anyone who feels the need to put down HamSphere on the grounds that it ‘does not use RF’ so ‘it is not radio’ I would like to point out that if they were to actually look at how internet connections really work they would find that every internet connection is reliant on AF (audio Frequency) and RF (Radio Frequency) hardware to exchange data between systems, nodes, switches, routers, servers etc.. So I would say that although the HamSphere transceiver does not generate RF itself as it is a software application the HamSphere system does indeed use RF to communicate. — If you insist that it has to use RF to communicate to be called Radio, Well It must be Radio as it Does use RF to Communicate over long distances — Just think about it — 73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625

Why One CQ call is often not enough..

Just putting out one CQ call is often not enough…  There are many stations that will need more than one call in order to see the spike on their band scope, change to that frequency and adjust their beam to ‘find’ a strong signal from you before returning to your call. Some operators may also see the signal, change to that frequency, listen for and take note of your call sign, look up your location and turn their beam to your heading before returning to your call. There have indeed been many times when I see a single brief spike on the band scope or a small ‘blip’ on the waterfall display and I go to that frequency and listen for a while, but hear nothing… Sometimes I have had to call CQ for several minutes before someone returns to my calls.. A quick scan about and a couple of calls is often not enough to to make any contact, just like on RF radio… — It may appear that there is ‘Nobody there’ but often it just takes a little patience for another station to hear (or see) your call and make a contact.. — Just a thought — 73 de Hairy Paul 108hs5625