bird in hand is safer than one overhead. FAQ

Below are some of the frequently asked questions we receive about the site. If your question is not answered below, please email the webmaster at the address at the very bottom of the page.

Last update: 5-Mar2011

My eHam

DX Spots


Product Reviews

Using the Forums and other Features

Banner Ads

Using eHam material on other sites

Other issues

The DX spots page doesn't seem to be working/updating properly. What could be wrong?

Are you a paying subscriber?

Much of the functionality for the DX spots page has been reserved for our paying subscribers. This was necessitated by the sheer amount of bandwidth that the spots pages consume. In approx August 2002, after much consideration, we decided to insist that users would have to be paying subscribers in order to access the full-featured DX spots page (with filtering and auto-reload). For unpaid users, the filter area appears grayed-out; to paid members it appears fully functional.

To become a paying subscriber of eHam, click the "Support the site" link in the left menu area.

If you are unsure if you are actually subscribed, be sure to be logged in, then look in the dark highlight bar across the top of all the eHam pages for "Subscribed since..."

Have you made some changes to the filter settings?

If you are subscribed, and are still having trouble, most likely your settings in the filter area are causing the appearance of reduced or no updates. Be sure there is nothing in the "callsign" field - this is a filter callsign, not your callsign. Clear all the fields with a "reset".

When finished modifying the filter parameters, be sure to click the "update" button - do not use your "ENTER" key.

The network is having problems

Last but not least, it's possible that one or more of the sites feeding us spots, or our system has had difficulty. Feel free to make us aware by contacting the site at the contact email address at the bottom of every page.

How do I filter DX spots?

First, realize that the "Filter Callsign" field is generally NOT for your callsign. It is there to allow you to filter the spots for specific callsigns. You can enter your own callsign there, however, that will have the effect of filtering out all spots except those with your callsign.

Generally, users enter a specific call, such as K5K, in the "Filter Callsign" field of the Customize area, then click "Update". Only exact matches will be found (K5K only).

To view a broader range of callsigns, such as all N2M* stations, use the multiple character symbol, % (percent sign) in the following format: N2M% This would get hits on calls like N2MG, N2MM, N2MFZ, etc.

To filter on a single character, use the _ (underscore) symbol in this format: N2M_ This would find calls like N2MG, N2MM, but not N2MFZ.

You can use multiple symbols as in N%M% or N%M_. Try it out.

Why is the DX spots format so ugly?

The information presented on the DX spots page is done so in a standard format that has existed for many years. Some background information might help...

On a spotting network, the spots might appear in real-time like this:

DX de N2MG:      28430.0  HC8N       CQ                             2114Z
and if you ran the SH/DX command, it might appear like this:
28430.0  HC8N      27-Feb-2004 2114Z  CQ                            <N2MG>

So you can see on the regular spotting networks, the format changes a bit between spots in real-time and spots shown via the "SHOW" command. In real-time, the date is somewhat superfluous - not so when showing historical information.

The same spot on eHam always looks like this:
N2MG             28430.0  HC8N  CQ                   02/27   2114

The first column is the station doing the spotting (the spotter), the next is the frequency (in kilohertz), followed by the station being spotted (the spottee). Next are the comments, then the date and time.

How do I delete, edit or mark sold my Classified ad?

When you placed your Classified ad, you were emailed instructions for editing it; you kept that, didn't you? If not...

First be sure you are logged in. Then find your ad. (see just below if needed)

Click the "subject" of the specific ad to get its complete listing and near the bottom center of the ad will be a link for editing. If you wish to remove the ad, you can change the "status" to sold/remove.

Finding your ads

Go to the Classifieds main page (click the Classifieds link in the left menu area). Then search for your ad using the "Search" link at the top and your callsign as the search criteria. You should then be served a list of your ads.

What's with the old ads; don't they ever expire?

When we set up the classifieds we thought we'd do something differently from other online swap pages. We decided that leaving the old ads up on the site as a reference and allowing users to mark them "sold" was better than automatically deleting old ads after some arbitrary time (like 90 days). This way, our visitors could browse older ads, looking at prices, descriptions, etc. We felt our visitors would easily realize the obvious fact that old ads were indeed, "old".

We have received numerous "thank you" notes for this unique feature. However, like most things, there are trade-offs. Visitors to the site need to realize that months-old or year-old ads are indeed stale and not expect them to still be valid.

Why did I have a Product Review deleted or edited?

Our Product Reviews manager takes care of maintaining the integrity of the reviews. Our Product Reviews rules are described in detail on the far right of main reviews page. The most common violation is when users drift off the topic of reviewing the product and instead start talking about the manufacturer or its customer service.

I have a radio-related question. How do I post to the Forums?

If you have a ham radio-related question, feel free to post it to one of our Forums. First, be sure you are logged in, then click Forums in our left menu area, then choose a forum (say Elmers and then look for the "Create a new topic in..." link near the top.

How do I edit my post in the Forums?

We believe that threads on should be like discussions in real life - one can't change what one has already said, only attempt to clarify by saying more. Deleting or modifying words already posted would interrupt the natural sense of the thread. So there is no way for users to delete or edit comments already posted; one can only make another post and attempt to clarify what's been said.

In other words, you should think twice before you click that 'Submit' button because once you click it, you won't be able to Undo it., however, reserves the right to summarily, without warning or notice, delete any posts we deem inappropriate.

How do I edit text from a preview page?

I entered a comment into Speakout/Articles/Strays/Forums and I clicked "Preview". Now I see an error - how do I edit it?

Normally, this is a common web operation - and one would simply click the "Back" button in one's browser and be taken back to the previous page. However, often (depends on the OS, browser, settings) when one does this with a form, the text disappears (can anything be more frustrating?). We recommend a cut-and-paste operation: save the text first, then do the browser "back" operation, then paste the text back in and edit.

I submitted an item (Article, Spotlight, Shacks or Strays) and I received an email confirming this and yet it's not appearing on the home page. Where's my submission?

The email acknowledges that we have received your item. Although many of our features allow "instant gratification", some require manager approval before items appear on the web site. Many submitted items must be edited before they can be published. It will take time to edit, categorize, and publish them. Should there be any question about the originality of the material, research may be mandatory and permission to use the material obtained prior to publishing. Some items may be inappropriate for publishing on or may be similar to another item. Also note that some items (e.g., Spotlight) appear on the homepage in a random fashion and there is no way to predict when your entry will be displayed. Please be patient.

How do I print an article?

Here's what seems to work using MSWord 2002 and IE6. (Different word processors, browsers or versions will work differently, but newer one should behave similarly.)
1)Select the entire article Move the mouse cursor to the exact start of the article (just to the left of the first letter) and click the left mouse button (you won't see anything happen). Then scroll the page down using the wheel mouse or the scroll bars until you get to the end of the article (above hte comments). Then press the SHIFT key, hold it down and move the mouse cursor to the exact end of the article and click the left mouse button. This should highlight the entire article. Then copy it to the Windows "clipboard" (press CTRL-C, or right click the mouse and choose "copy")
2)Paste (copy) into MSWord Open MS Word to a new document. Paste (using your favorite method - CTRL-V or "Paste" from the edit menu or right-click the mouse and choose paste). This will paste the entire article into Word
3)Resize the page (optional usually) In Word, choose "File" then "Page setup" and look at the margin settings - you may want to change it to have 0.5" on left and right margins. This is up to you.
4)Resize any large diagrams On any diagram that seems too large, either a) Left click your mouse on the drawing and grab the drawing's "border" to resize, or 2) right-click the drawing and choose "Format picture", then choose "Size" from the tabs and change the size.
5)Save the file

Some of those banner ads are really annoying. What can I do?

We at actively pursue only radio-related ads. These currently do not generate enough revenue to "balance the books", so we are also asking for your support.

If you find flashing ads truly bothersome, try hitting the "escape" key after the page has finished loading. This will stop all current animations. For a more "permanent" fix, in IE5/IE6, for example, go to: Tools | Internet Options | Advanced then scroll down to the "Multimedia" section and un-check the item, "Play Animations". If you have multiple browsers open, you may have to close them down and restart for this to work.

For Netscape4, there seems to be no way to permanently prevent animations. One can click on menu item "View" then on "Stop Animations", but this acts like the "escape" key.

Why am I nagged to install Flash player?, like many other sites on the the Internet, uses flash, mostly for animated advertisements. If you do not have the flash player installed and your browser encounters an animation that requires flash, it will generally ask you to install it. Some browsers (e.g., Firefox) and IE6 on WinXP handle the missing player elegantly (perhaps only asking you once if you wish to download) - others (e.g., Internet Explorer running on Win2K, and Win98) are quite rude: they nag you to download the player every time another flash animation is encountered - sometimes several times per page.

Workaround to squelch the "nag"

Look for (or create if needed) a file called "hosts" (no extension). In Win98 it's located in C:\WINDOWS; in Win2K it's in C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC
It's likely to have localhost
as an entry.

Add this line to the file (on its own, new line):

After saving the file, close all browser windows and open a new browser. If you still have trouble, reboot.

That should do it.

I've heard that the Adobe Flash player was spyware. Is this true?

In a word, no. Please see Adobe's website for their Privacy Policy FAQ:

I'd like to reprint some of the information on I may use it in my club newsletter or my web page. What's your policy?

On your website

All material found on may be linked to from your site without any special permission required. You may not, however, copy the material itself on to your site. Don't worry; the links won't change.

In your newsletter

If you wish to reprint in a written format (such as in your club newsletter) you may do so if you receive permission from us.

I love your site and want to include a link to it on my own website. Is this allowed?

Non-commercial users may create a textual link to any page and/or use our logo on their website. Spread the word!

Commercial customers wishing to place links or advertise on should visit our advertising info page.

Many of pages, especially the homepage, are dynamic pages, changing each time they are viewed. After clicking on an item and seeing it, I want to go back to the original page - but it has changed and I can no longer find something I wanted to read. What can I do?

There is a standard browser operation using the "right-click" features of your mouse that will "solve" your dilemma.

After the page fully loads, select the link you want by RIGHT-clicking on it. In the pop-up menu, LEFT-click on "Open in New Window". This will cause the new page to open in a new instance of the browser, leaving the original browser with the original page. After reading the new page, close the new window - your original browser window is still there with the original page. For a Mac, use the "Options" (Apple) key when clicking.

Note: This trick is a powerful tool for web browsing. Try it the next time you run a search (e.g., Google, Yahoo).

Does cost me anything to use?

The site is completely run by volunteers. We do have bills to pay, of course, and work hard to pay them with revenue from our advertisers. Still, nearly everything about the site is free to our users. Only the Classifieds and the bandwidth-hungry DX spots page requires one to be a paid member to fully utilize. We do, however, ask all our members to pay what they can to help support the site.

Why do I see black areas on some of the pages?

If you are using Netscape, it could be because you do not have support for style sheets turned on. You can enable them by going to Edit, Preferences, Advanced, and checking the box "Enable Style Sheets". The default setting is to have style sheets enabled. There is no danger to using style sheets and you will find that they will dramatically improve your web browsing experience! If you insist on no style sheets, then your only choice is to manually select a specific text color (see Edit, Preferences, Appearance, Colors). Pick a color that would show up on both a black and a white background, e.g., light blue or light green.

If you are using an older browser (version 3.0 or below) or WebTV, these browsers do not support style sheets. We encourage you to upgrade to a newer version if possible while we look for a solution.

Sometimes I see what appear to be old, outdated pages. What causes this?

The earlier versions of used to allow your browser to "cache" pages. This resulted in a "stale pages" problem that some of our users have found. We spent a lot of time fixing this, but unfortunately the old pages in your browser are still there, cached.

In order to get rid of these old pages, please do the following: For Internet Explorer, go to Tools, select Internet Options, and click "Delete Files" under "Temporary Internet Files". Alternatively, for Netscape, go to Edit, choose Preferences, then Advanced, then Cache, and clear the cache(s). We don't expect that you'll ever have to clear your temporary files again, as we now specifically prevent the browser from storing old pages.

Why do the pages load so slowly?

Please read the instructions immediately above for getting rid of outdated pages. Sometimes older, cached pages cause loading to stall. This seems especially true with Netscape.