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Operating HamSphere

Sometimes we get stuck using an application and we don’t know the shortcuts:
To list the commands in HamSphere, just type /help in to box, and this is what you get:
——————————————————–
KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS
==================
F1 PTT ON/OFF
F2 Filter 1/2
F3 VFO/Memory
F4 AGC slow/fast
F5 Sim on/off
F6 Help
F7 Dir freq input
F8 PTT Hold on/off
F9 Bring up audio Mixer
F11 Quick key /USERS
F12 Quick key /USERS ALL

In CW Mode
F1-F8 short keys with programable QSO phrases.

DEL Delete mem pos
down = 1 kHz down
up = 1 kHz up

CHAT COMMANDS
=================

/help – This text
/chatmode 0 – Set global chat.
/chatmode 1 – Set band chat.
/chatmode 2 – Set Freq chat.
/invisible – Invisible mode
/visible – Visible mode
/agc1-3 – set different AGC
/clear – Clear cluster
/users – Get total number of users
/users all – List all users on the system
/users band – List all users on this band
/users qrg – List all users on my frequency
/private callsign msg – Send a message to a user
/cluster msg – Send a message to all servers.
/lookup callsign – Get info about a callsign
/devices – List available audio devices
/play 0 – Set playback device 0.
/record 1 – Set playback device 1.
/qrz callsign – Lookup callsign on QRZ.com
/dsb set DSB mode
/cw set CW mode
/f1-8 Store CW fast keys. i.e. /F1 CQ CQ CQ DE 5B4AIT K
/speed WPM (where wpm is words per minute between 10-34)
/offset hz (where hz is the tone offset between 100-1000 hz)
Special CW keys
+ = AR
@ = SK
() = ? ! /
All above work.
Final bye can be keyed as TU EE

Set maximum mic level to end ALC scale.
——————————————————–
So if you are on a Frequency and want to know who’s doing the Talking or who on that Frequency type:
/users qrg

If you want to know who’s on that band, just type:
/users band

 

Good luck

EasyPal and Hamsphere Settings

Do you know how you sound on HamSphere??

If you are setting up your system or even testing your system, then read on. Most operators are not not aware they sound bad on the system. It’s not easy to hear yourself and few operators are willing to give someone an honest report on their audio quality for fear it would be offensive to do so.

There is the  Echo Server at 1.82345 which offers a short playback to get a good idea what you really sound like.

MMSSTV – Creating and Using Templates

MMSSTY automatically generates a few templates based on the call-sign that you typed specified when you installed and setup the program.

To view these, just click on the ‘S. templates’ button.

Double clicking on a template box will place it in the picture window and make it the “Current Template”.
Now whenever you turn on the “Use Template” button that is the template that will be superimposed on the TX picture.
Lets create a template to display your call sign on the picture.

  • 1. Click on the Template TAB
  • 2. Double click on a blank template box. This will set the current template to this blank.
how to create new templates

New Templates

  • 3. Click on the “Draw Text” button
  • 4. Place your mouse pointer in the picture window, hold the left button and drag the mouse to create a text box of about the size you want
  • 5. Release the mouse button and type in your call-sign in the drop down box
  • 6. For now accept the default font and colors by clicking “OK”
  • 7. Use your mouse to drag and resize the text box as needed
  • 8. To save as a stock template, left click the mouse anywhere in the picture window and drag it down to an empty stock template box

Good Website explaining the slant on SSTV

Using google search is good and we often come across a lot of junk, but here is a good site explaining the SSTV slant and how to resolve some issues.

SSTV Image Slant Adjustment:

and a sample of the WWV time signal

What is slant?

Slant is a distortion of the received image due to differences between sample clock of the PC at the transmitter and frequency of the sample clock of the PC at the receiver. This distortion skews the received image as shown in the figure below.

What causes slant?

Slant is caused because analog SSTV protocols such as Martin or Scottie use an asynchronous transmission protocol. This means that the clock in the soundcard of the receiving PC is not synchronized to the soundcard clock of the transmitting PC. Because of the difference in clock rates, the effective display width of each pixel received will be effectively different from the intended width. The result of this is that with each line the image will be increasingly displaced. If the transmit clock is faster than the receive clock, the image will become slanted towards the right, and if the transmit clock is slower than the receive clock the received image will appear to slant to the left.

How bad can it get?

In MMSTV, the decoder uses the sync pulses at the start of the picture to align the start of the picture to the top left corner of the display. The horizontal sync pulses are then ignored (except if lock is lost and re-lock option has been selected). The time discrepancy between the transmit and receive clocks causes a displacement error that accumulates for the entire picture.
In the previous figure, note that the slant was due to a frequency difference of only 1 Hz (90 ppm) between the TX and RX clocks (nominal clock frequency 11,025 Hz.). Martin and Scottie modes each have 320 active pixels per line x 3 (R,G,B) and after taking into account sync width, this is about 1000 pixels per line. Since there are 256 lines per frame that means there are 256,000 clock cycles per frame.
An error of 90 ppm will then cause an error of 256,000 x 90 x 10-6 = 23 pixels. Over 256 lines, this is a skew of more than 5 degrees which is pretty impressive for a 1Hz error.

How can I correct slant?

You can manually compensate for the error in your PC clock with a clever alignment procedure built in to MMSSTV.

Additionally MMSSTV can be set to automatically correct for small differences in the sample clock of the transmit and receive ends of the communications link. This process is known as Auto slant. The Auto slant process measures the average time between sync pulses and since this should represent a known number or pixels (320 active pixels per line plus the width of the sync pulse) the clock rate of the original signal can be estimated and the difference can be compensated for. For greater accuracy this averaging is performed over a number of lines.

Even if you have calibrated MMSTV to compensate for the offset in your sound card clock, you may find the signal you are receiving has not been compensated so it is generally best to keep this feature turned on.

MMSSTV Setup for Hamsphere.

I was battling with the slant on most RX pictures and W1GNS suggested the following setup:

March 2017
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