I have been using Hamsphere for two years. When I say using I mean mainly listening… I have been a Short Wave Listener enjoying picking up calls from all over the world on my Realistic 2010. The great pleasure I have had is creating ‘long wire’ aerials from odd wire I have had in my house for a number of decades.This listening is hard to break and I feel no urge to talk all the time. There has to be some reason for me to use the microphone. Reasons to use the mike… well… interesting conversations catch my attention; unusual locations make me sit up and listen itching to speak to them. Fortunately there is an abundance of both of these.
I like to run two computers at the same time… one running the cluster and QSL card list whilst the other one houses the program.
I tend to have the program running in the background sometimes all day… waiting for some special call to drag me away from my work. My latest acquisition is my android phone which has Hamsphere downloaded… this makes my journeys to and from work very interesting. Ocassionally I have peddled like mad to reach home in time to catch a certain QSO on the main computer so that I can send a QSL card…
I still continue to listen to HF Ham radio users… mainly far into the small hours of the morning on 80 metres there are a few regular groups who entertain me with tales of motor bikes or sets they have tried but always come back to Icom or Kenwood. There is much talk and tweaking of the new Kenwood TS 990.
My interest in all things radio started as a small boy. I was fascinated by my father and his unusual habit. He would tap on his teeth when in an idle moment. At first I thought it was funny but I soon realised that there was a pattern to the clicks. What the clicks meant was beyond me, but I knew they were something other than simple clicks.
One day my father was doing what he always did: clicking away and from the other side of the room came a quick burst of similar clicks. Shocked does not accurately describe my father”s reaction. He spluttered sending tea all over me and my mother…
We later discovered that the man who was making the noises was an operator from a base station in North Africa very near to where my father had served. Not only did the man know what the clicks were he also recognised the way my father made them. He had listened to my father”s signals as he guided his aeroplane across the desert for two years.
Since that day they have remained friends for more than forty years.
The clicks were Morse code sent to identify position of aircraft and send messages to base and other aircraft. I was eager to learn the skill spending months trying to tap out the clicks I had heard all those years. It was when I visited Birketts in Lincoln that I bought a kit to to make a morse key that things really took off. I was quite quick at sending but hopeless at receiving… My next trip to Birketts saw me struggle to bring home an HRO receiver… A huge metal box with a single dial that operated on the amateur bands. I realised that you could listen to amateurs speaking…
Craving more involvement led me to the exciting world of CB radio. I was in America staying with a family who had CB’s in all their vehicles. I naturally was in heaven as they would drive out every day to talk to their friends from various parts of the county. I had never seen a scanner before so was glued to the chatter that would move along at a rapid rate. Over there they seemed at home with speaking on the radio as part of life. Every time they let me have a turn I was tongue-tied.
With hindsight I then took a wrong turn… I came back home and went down the CB route… Fun for a while but not the same as in America. Yes… a good idea for long distance lorry drivers but I found it difficult to encourage people I knew to invest in a set to talk.
Many years later I took the plunge and sat the full Amateur examination. I passed the first half only. Second mistake was not taking the resit straight away…
I am now in a position where I have discovered Hamsphere. For me this program has everything I need. Worldwide coverage (only available on HF sets) plus local contacts such as UK based people. I am over the moon as I have limited resources to plough into Radio Communications and this program offers all you could ever want.
Stunning to the extreme as almost every time I use Hamsphere there is some new gadget available… QSL cards or this program…
Kelly… You are a star.