HamCall DVD - Installation
HamCall DVD - General
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
This page answers many of the common questions about the HamCall DVD Disc and the HamCall database in general.
If you have any questions not addressed here, feel free to contact us.
HamCall DVD - Installation   Back to top
Q:I am trying to install HamCall.
The instruction sheet says that the HamCall Main Menu should appear shortly after
the HamCall DVD is inserted, but it doesn't.
A: On some installations of Windows the AutoPlay function doesn't work.
You can run the Menu directly from the DVD. First, double-click the My Computer
icon in the upper left corner of your desktop. This will show you a list of
drives on your computer, HamCall should be one of them. Double-click on HamCall, and the Menu may appear.
If it doesn't, you'll instead see another window that shows a list of files on the HamCall DVD.
Find HCMENU on the list and double-click it. From there on just follow the on-screen instructions to install HamCall.
Q:I went through the HamCall setup and I think
it's installed on my computer, but now I don't know how to run it.
A: You will find a HamCall icon both on your Windows desktop and in your Start
Menu under Programs, HamCall Callsign Lookup.
HamCall DVD - General   Back to top
Q: Where do I download my HamCall Database updates?
A: The HamCall Callsign Lookup software will take
care of the downloading for you. First, start the HamCall Callsign Lookup program and read
the start-up messages to see if you need updates. If so, pull down the
Options menu and pick Download HamCall Updates.
Q: When I try to download updates I get a "Error #10060" or other error message.
A: Most likely you have a firewall,
anti-virus, or some sort of "Internet security" or "system protect" software running. Those programs prevent HamCall from communicating with the Internet. Some popular ones are Zone Alarm, Norton Internet Security, and the firewall that is part of Windows XP Service Pack 2. That sort
of software can prevent HamCall from communicating with the Internet or downloading files.
To fix the problem, temporarily disable (don't uninstall, just disable) that sort of software until you've
downloaded your updates. Or, if you can figure out the rules of the program, set it to allow HamCall to access the Internet.
If there were a way for us to work around this problem we would, but by design firewall programs block programs from accessing the Internet, and they sometimes don't know what is a "good" program and what is a "bad" one. If HamCall could break through the firewall then so could viruses.
Q: Can HamCall be used with my logging program or other software?
A: Yes, many logging programs will look
up callsigns from HamCall and fill in the name and address information into log entries automatically. HamCall and a logging program integrated together is a powerful combination that will save you lots of typing while keeping your logs. You can view a list of logging programs that we know support HamCall here: http://hamcall.net/thirdPartyHamCall.html
There is a single file called HAMCAL32.DLL that enables software to look up callsigns from HamCall. Most logging programs come with HAMCAL32.DLL, but it may be an older version that doesn't support the HamCall monthly update files. If you download the monthly update files to ensure your system is running the latest version of HAMCAL32.DLL, follow these steps:
For the HAMCAL32.DLL to recognize monthly updates, you must have installed the HamCall software to its default location, C:\HAMCALL. If you did the default automatic install, then that is the folder HamCall installs to and you will be fine. The DLL interface spec was created before monthly update files were though of, so it initially just needed a database path. Rather than ask all the logging programs to update their programs to support an updates path as well, we just hard-coded C:\HAMCALL as the location for the DLL to look for HamCall updates. If installing the HamCall software to C:\HAMCALL is not possible or desirable for you we can easily make a custom version of HAMCAL32.DLL that looks for updates elsewhere.
- 1. Search your system for HAMCAL32.DLL (Start Menu, Search.) Note there is only 1 "L" in HAMCAL32.
- 2. Delete all found occurrances of HAMCAL32.DLL.
- 3. Download http://hamcall.net/hamcal32.dll, save it into your c:\windows\system32 directory. Your system will then have just 1 correct copy of the DLL, and all applications can access it in the c:\windows\system32 directory.
Q: If I buy HamCall now, what happens when the listings are out of date?
A: Each $50 HamCall disc comes with 6 months of free updates via the Internet.
A HamCall DVD can download up to 12 months of updates. A HamCall DVD with 12 months of updates is $80, or you can upgrade a $50 6-month disc to a 12-month disc for the $30 difference.
At this point we don't offer more than 12 months of updates for a DVD. There is a limit the efficiency of looking up data from each update file, and periodically you need an updated DVD to get the new photographs, supplemental files, and new software features that we've added to HamCall.
You can also buy a multiple disc subscription to HamCall, view the details at: http://hamcall.net/haminfo.html#subscription.
Q:I can look up callsigns from HamCall, but
I'm not getting beam heading and distance.
A: You first need to tell HamCall where you are
located, so it can use your location as an origin point for the beam heading/distance
calculation. Pull down the Options menu and pick Configuration. On
the window that appears, you will see a blank at the top that says "Enter
Callsign:" Type your callsign in the the blank and hit the Enter key on
your keyboard. You should see your name and latitude/longitude appear. Then
press the Close button at the bottom of the window. From then on, every callsign
you look up that has a latitude/longitude will also show a beam heading/distance
from your station.
Q:Can I use HamCall on my Mac or Linux?
A: Our DVD does not run directly on Mac or Linux, the software only works with Windows.
However, there is software that will allow you to run Windows programs on a Mac. Crossover is a commercial program that looks easy to use, but we haven't had any HamCall user reports. Also check out Parallels which will allow you to run a complete copy of Windows inside a Mac window. If you are an advanced user try the free programs WineBottler or Wineskin.
If your Mac logging program supports HamCall.net Internet lookups you can use your HamCall Gold password to look up callsigns from the online HamCall database.
On Linux look for a program called Wine to run Windows programs. HamCall has been reported to work well with Wine.
HamCall Database   Back to top
Q: My USA callsign address is incorrect, how can I change it?
A: We strive at all times to keep our HamCall database in sync with the FCC database. If you update your address with the FCC then we and most other callsign databases will get the changes automatically.
The FCC issues and administers all USA callsigns, they are the official source for USA callsign data. As a condition of your license, the FCC requires you keep your address current with them.
You can update your address by visiting the FCC at or using our HamCall/W4VEC service at http://buck.com/vec.
Q:How do you get the latitude and longitude for my station?
A: When your callsign or address first enters our database your lat/long is automatically calculated on-the-fly from your 5-digit ZIP code. Grid squares are calculated directly from lat/long.
A couple times a year we do special database processing that calculates a very precise lat/long/grid square from your actual street address. Assuming your FCC address is where you operate from, these values are usually within a few hundred feet of your actual location. Some other databases seem to use the center of your 5-digit ZIP code to calculate your lat/long/grid, so don't assume other databases are more accurate just because they show a consistently different set of coordinates than HamCall.
Q:My latitude/longitude and map location is wrong, can it be corrected?
Usually if your FCC address exactly matches the address your post office
has for you, and you haven't moved recently, we'll have a very accurate
lat/long for you. However, addresses with PO boxes or "rural routes"
often can't yield an accurate lat/long. Other than your published street
address we don't have any special way to know where you live, but if you
wish to obtain a more accurate lat/long with a GPS receiver, Google Maps, or other means, feel
free to enter it into our updater form at
For stations outside the US, the lat/long is based on your city name. You
may determine your exact lat/long yourself with a GPS or some other method,
and then enter the values into our updater form at the address mentioned
Q:How can I add or update my biography?
You need to be logged in to edit your biography. First go to http://hamcall.net/call. Look in the upper right corner, to see if you're logged in, if not Log In or Register.
Once you're "Logged in as (your callsign)" click the link that says "[Member Options]", then click the "Update Biography for (your callsign)" link.
Q:Is there a way to link directly to my callsign information page?
Yes, structure the URL like this (replace W1AW with your callsign:)
Q:Why don't you have my original license date
A: We would like to have that information, but
there is no source for it that we know of. The FCC started keeping track of
licenses on computers in the early 1980s, but they only store the issue date
and expiration date of your current 10-year license.
Q: Where are all the birthdates?
A: The FCC no longer publishes birthdates, but
the old FCC ones are still in our database. That means new callsigns or ones
that are upgraded will not have a birthdate. Birthdates are often useful to
distinguish between many people with the same first and last name, such as John
Smith (over 180 in our database) or Robert Jones (over 150 in our database).
If you know about how old the person is, you can narrow down your search quite
a bit. Many hams choose to enter their birthdate through our Internet updater. These
birthdates are then available as part of our database.
Q:You've got my birthdate or other data listed, and I would
like it taken off.
A: You can send us a letter or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to have data removed. For birthdates, please specify whether you would like the entire birthdate or just the month and year deleted, we can do either. For US hams, we don't delete or alter FCC information,
but we can delete your entire record to show nothing at all for your callsign.
Some people are concerned that having their e-mail address listed in HamCall will
lead to spam (unwanted commercial e-mail). Spammers use automated programs to surf the Internet and gather e-mail addresses. We display your data as an image so that automated computer programs
cannot read any of your information from our website, even though it is perfectly readable to humans.
So, your e-mail address is very safe on our site, unless the spammers run some sort of OCR (Optical Character Recognition) process on the image. For that matter they could also hire people to manually type in e-mail addresses if they're that desparate. We never sell e-mail address lists to anyone.
The e-mail is only in our database to facilitate communication between ham radio operators.
Unfortunately just by e-mailing someone your e-mail address can get harvested by spammers. If you or anyone you've e-mailed gets infected by a virus that reads standard e-mail address books, then
the spammers have your e-mail address along with all others in that address book. Then the spammers combine e-mail lists and sell the lists to each other, often as "targeted" mailing lists on various subjects. It appears
a lot of the money being made from spam comes from people selling e-mail lists to each other.
Q: Why don't you have my new FCC update? Their ULS lookup shows the correct information but HamCall does not.
A: We can't manually check the FCC website every day for every update of 700,000+ US hams, so it's up to computers to process the thousands of transactions that take place every week. The FCC makes two types of database files available.
Their daily files contain the transactions that were processed in the last day. Their weekly file, released each Sunday, contains all 700,000+ US amateur records.
We process the latest daily file every day, and in theory last week's complete file plus all the daily update files should equal the next complete weekly file. However,
for whatever reason, the daily files do not contain absolutely every FCC transaction. But we process the complete weekly file each Monday night, so any discrepancies are fixed then.
Q: Why don't you have any information for (callsign)?
A: To obtain data for the HamCall database, we research or contact the licensing authority for each country (over 230 of them), by mail,
fax, e-mail or even phone. Many times we do not hear back from them, or they
are unwilling to release the list for various reasons (such as Germany and the UK.) It
is something we work on all the time, and even though HamCall is the largest callsign database we will probably never be finished
since callsigns are being added/updated all the time in every country.
However, there are things you can do to help. First, if you know any reliable information about
the callsign, you can enter it into our HamCall Instant Updater at: http://hamcall.net/updates.
Dozens or hundreds of other hams will likely benefit from your update. If you have access to an official,
non-copyrighted list for the country, please send it to us. A plain-text computer
file is best and can be added the quickest. If you wish we will give you a free HamCall
DVD with your data on it for significant contributions.
Q:How do I get my photograph and/or QSL card onto HamCall?
A: Email it to us at: email@example.com.
Be sure to include your callsign! If possible, use your callsign as the file
name and put a dash (-) after the callsign for a QSL card.
Example: "N1BIC.JPG" for a small photo and "N1BIC-.JPG" for a QSL card.
We will not publish photos that are inappropriate or are copyrighted material.
There is no charge for including your photograph, and it will remain on the HamCall DVD and website
during all future updates. If you change your callsign please tell us to move
your photo from the old call to your new one.
Please include a short note giving Buckmaster permission to use
your photo(s) in their products. The signed permission can be just a short note
saying something like:
"I give Buckmaster Publishing permission
to use my photograph or QSL card in their products".
Please do not send the same photo more than once, due to the volume of submissions it can take up to 30 days for the next batch to be processed so
please be patient. As long as you don't get a bounce message, we have received your photo. We will send you an e-mail when your photo has been processed.
If you don't have your photograph in digital form, you can mail it through regular
post office mail. However, it will usually take longer to get your picture online if we have to scan it.
6196 Jefferson Hwy
Mineral, VA 23117
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