HamSphere v4 Information

The 4.0 Assembly Editor

The HamSphere 4.0 editor and its repository consists of a fully fledged assembly editor where the operator can drag and drop “plug-in modules” to the assembly editor stage. Currently we have 43 standard plug-ins for the operator to select from that are included in the subscription.
Other plug-ins will be available for purchase from the HamSphere Play Plug-in Shop. At the time of writing already have 13 different add-on modules to choose from and plug-ins are being developed continuously.

 

The HamSphere 4.0 Transceiver Building Scene.

click here to watch on you tube.


Pictures of Built Rigs

Our testers have been very creative and here we show some examples of their built rigs. The transceivers can be built vertically or horizontally, single module or multiple modules, large or small and with different skins.

Kelly, 5B4AIT with his wide body rig including Oscilloscope, Antenna selector, Digital Azimuth display, UTC and Local Clock, Log Book via Group Switcher plug-in

Flemming, 21HS434, utilizing Digital UTC Clock, Local clock, Dual LCDs with memory and Azimuth display. Dual VFOs, Separate Power and S-Meter readouts. Antenna rotator and Antenna selector. Band scope and Audio setting controller. Band, Filter and Mode keypads. He has created five different sub-views with the Group Switcher tool that enables him to create more functionality in less space.

Dave, KS1K with his double-decker including dual VFOs

Adam, SQ8AMD with his brushed aluminium skin.

Dennis, N8LD with his Copper skin rig.

Gerald, AA5DK with his Wood block rig.

Denver, 4S7DA with his modified standard rig with added features such as oscilloscope etc.

Patrick, ON7VP with his monster rig built on black ionized aluminium skin and his rig includes many features.

Steve, KC3AZT has created a brushed aluminium rig with a small footprint.

Currently we have 8 different skins to choose from; Light Aluminium, Copper field, Blue Stacks, Dark Aluminium, Brushed Aluminium, Wood Blocks, Dirty Look and Wood Tiles.


HamSphere 4.0 Handbook


As HamSphere 4.0 is a new revolutionary concept based on a fully realistic shortwave simulation, the software will come with a comprehensive handbook covering: Introduction to HF Radio Communications, HF Ham Radio and HamSphere, Transmission Lines, Antennas, HF Propagation, etc.

The handbook will thoroughly cover the most important part of Ham Radio communications – The Antenna. The following concepts are important factors in the new HamSphere 4.0 system and to become a good DX operator you need this knowledge, such as:

• Principles of Antenna Radiation
• Antenna Characteristics
• Near and Far Field Behavior
• Polarization of Radiation Pattern
• Basic Types of Antenna
• Antenna Gain and Directivity
• Effect of Ground on Antenna Behavior
• Antenna Radiation Patterns
• Directional Antenna Azimuth Beam Heading
• Antenna Takeoff Angle – DX and NVIS Behavior
• Feed point Impedance and Radiation Efficiency
• Impedance Matching and SWR
• Evaluating Antennas on Air – Simple Tips


HamSphere 4.0 Antennas

For any Amateur Radio Station apart from the skill of the operator the most important thing is the the quality of the antenna. Even the best rig is no good without a good antenna. HamSphere 4.0 is no different. It is a very sophisticated virtual ham radio platform with a state-of-the-art SDR transceiver. But at the end of the day successful HF communication depends largely on the type of antenna used by the operator. HamSphere 4.0 provides option to the operators to select and use variety of virtual antennas which are available in the repository.

Some situations would warrant use of Omni-directional or broad beam antennas to conduct group QSOs while at times one will need high gain directional antennas to be able to contact DX stations under adverse propagation conditions. On HamSphere 4.0 HF bands the propagation conditions are dynamic and vary from band to band at different times of day or night. Propagation conditions are different at any point in time at locations around the world and constantly keep changing as the earth spins on its axis and also as it revolves around the sun according to seasons. Conditions are also different at different latitudes. Sun plays a major role in determining the ionospheric charge densities depending on the SSN (Smoothed Sunspot Number) which in turn reflects on the radio station’s ability to make contacts with other stations around the world.

Proper selection of antennas can often make or break the station’s ability to reach out to distant regions of the planet. HamSphere operator will be spoilt with choice when it comes to antennas. Almost all popular HF antennas will be available to HamSphere users. Unlike the real world where various constraints limit the operator’s ability to erect physical antennas HamSphere being a virtual radio environment has no such limitations.

Some of the most common types of antennas are shown here as preview to what is in store. Eventually many more antennas will be available. This is just a sneak preview.

The radiation patterns of some of the antennas on HamSphere 4.0 are shown below. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, the patterns are put up to provide a glimpse of the capabilities.


Explanation of Shortwave Propagation and the VOACAP prediction software

Unlike local radio broadcasting on the VHF FM band, short-wave reception relies upon the refraction of signals from layers in the atmosphere hundreds of kilometers above the earth’s surface (known as the ionosphere). These layers are ‘excited’ when the sun shines on them,
changing their characteristics: some of them become more reflective to radio signals when subject to solar radiation whereas some start to absorb radio signals. This is why some shortwave frequencies are good for nighttime reception and others for the daytime. Sunset and sunrise present some other interesting opportunities as both the nighttime and daytime layers begin to swap over. This complex interplay of radio signals and layers of the earth’s atmosphere is usually termed “propagation”.

HamSphere 4.0 simulates this phenomenon very accurately and bases its propagation on the so-called sun spot numbers (SSN) as well as solar flux values. In order to understand shortwave propagation there is an excellent tool called VOACAP prediction software. By using the VOACAP software you will be able to determine up to date shortwave propagation for your region and your ability to communicate with other parts of the world. You can reach their online version here: http://www.voacap.com/prediction.html


4.0 Band Plan

Here is the new HamSphere Band Plan for 4.0 (Please note: this plan is only valid for 4.0)

Simulated Shortwave bands:

160 m: 1801-1899 kHz: LSB (Phone), CW
80 m: 3701-3799 kHz: LSB (Phone), CW
60 m: 5301-5399 kHz: LSB (Phone), CW
48 m: 6201-6299 kHz: LSB (Phone)
40 m: 7001-7099 kHz: LSB (Phone)
30 m: 10101-10199 kHz: USB (Phone, Digital), CW
20 m: 14201-14299 kHz: USB (Phone)
17 m: 18101-18199 kHz: USB (Phone)
15 m: 21301-21399 kHz: USB (Phone)
12 m: 24901-24999 kHz: USB (Phone, CW)
11 m: 27501-27599 kHz: USB (Phone)
10 m: 28401-28499 kHz: USB (Phone)

Simulated Sporadic E:

6 m: 50101-50199 kHz: USB (Phone)

Simulated VHF band:

2 m: 145.0-145.9 MHz: FM (Phone, repeaters only)

Simulated UHF band:

70 cm: 434.0-434.9 MHz: FM (Phone, repeaters only)

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