Well folks we all waited with bated breath for the release date of Hamsphere’s latest & greatest to arrive,and arrive it did “eventually” I got my download link on the 19th of the month.Well I downloaded the set-up file and duly loaded it into the PC.Set -up went smoothly and the updated set-up went smoothly too no apparent problems showed up.
I fired up the program and I must say it looks stunning visually very attractive,all the buttons and knobs worked as they should,setting up the mic was easy so we were ready for that first QSO. I tuned around silence,nothing on any band at all except varying degrees of white noise. I tried all the bands a second time,the result was the same silence.
OK I though maybe it’s just quiet ,so I went to 20 meters and called CQ a few times still nothing,called again and got a faint reply from M1ANX we struggled through a QSO which was up & down in very steep QSB. Allowing for the time of day and allowing for propagation copy should have been much better than it was.Still it let me see that the program was at least working “to a degree”.After this I tuned around some more hearing some very faint signals here & there but none strong enough to copy clearly.
After much listening I called CQ on 40 meters ,no replies,I called again still silence.I was just about to give up when I was called by KD0ETQ Phil in St Louis he was quite weak but came up a lot when he turned his yagi towards me.We talked for a while and then I went QRT. Spent the best part of 6 hours listening to Hamsphere 4 and all I can truly say is that I’m disappointed by what I could barely hear.
From the get go in my opinion Hamsphere 4 needs a better default antenna than the one supplied,which works as well as listening to 40 meters on a cb whip.In it’s present configuration it won’t catch the imagination of many NEW users if they can’t hear anybody to talk to the default antenna should be at least a G5RV which is itself a pretty poor antenna but is still better than whats provided at present.An upside down discone and a bloody poor one at that.
Is it about the hobby of Amateur Radio or is it about building up the bank balance ?
Looking at the cost of these “virtual antennas ” I’m beginning to wonder 45 euro for a virtual antenna ? Is this for real ?
To get a station that works well is gonna cost a LOT of euros ,add the conversion rates equates to way too many dollars at least it does for me.
Update : Hamsphere 4 version 0003 a total disaster,no one can seem to access the transciever,if they are lucky and do get access it lasts for about 10 minutes then crashes.Plus they experience a load of error messages , login fails, not being able to find open ports etc etc etc :
Version 2 was very workable and pretty stable,why the upgrade ? why fix what was not broken ?
Some people have invested a lot of money up-dating their transcievers & antenna’s and such yet only to find they can’t operate the system.
All we can do is wait and see if they get it sorted out,meanwhile there’s a growing number of very unhappy subscribers.