8 Feb 2011

HamSphere internet ham radio system

How HamSphere works
When band conditions are poor or you feel like a change, you may like to have a go at a different sort of amateur radio experience by trying HamSphere, which is a virtual ham radio service using the internet to replicate HF bands and operation.

User interface is via a simulated HF transceiver presented on the computer screen. The "feel" of the transceiver is remarkably good. Of course, being an internet based virtual amateur radio system, no amateur radio equipment is needed and no RF is radiated, yet the experience is very close to that of operating a real HF radio on the HF bands. For those unable to operate real radios because of planning restrictions or other problems, this system offers some of the fun of amateur radio again. It is like CQ100, but in my opinion better.

The transceiver uses Java technology and simulates all amateur radio bands from 160 to 6 meters. The software, plus a lot more information about this service, is available from http://www.hamsphere.com/ .  The software works in Windows, Mac and Linux.

Using the system I just had a QSO with ZS4CCM in South Africa. It felt like a real "on air" HF QSO. It's no substitute for the real thing, but fun to use on occasions and when HF conditions are appalling.


Julian said...

It's quite realistic, though deader than the real bands when I tried it. But there are so many ways to use real radio that don't require big antennas or good HF conditions that I can't see the need for it really. If you want to have a Voip chat with another ham you don't need a simulated transceiver to do it with.

Roger G3XBM said...

Fair comment Julian. It certainly does a very credible simulation of true HF operating and I guess it depends what "floats your boat". Fun.

Paul - PC4T said...

Hello Roger, it's a possibility to make contact or communicate in some way. It can turn a ordinary Voip contact in something what looks like ham radio. However, I like real radio, I when that isn't possible then I prefer nothing. Even Echolink is not my thing. I tried, but... no, not really. But when someone like to chat that way because there is no other possibility to communicate then Hamsphere could the right thing to do. 73 Paul

GW0KIG said...

Hi Roger

Thee is no doubt it is a clever piece of software. Unlike CQ100 the user does not have to be a licenced amateur. If you are not licenced I believe the software author assigns you a "callsign" of sorts which you use on the system.
That said it is not for me. I use Echolink from time to time and I don't feel totally comfortable with that. Its just not the same as "real radio"!
73 Kevin