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A sound card, speakers and a microphone connected to your PC is all you need to start using Hamsphere.
Although the look and feel of the graphical interface makes you believe it’s a radio, it’s not. When you “transmit” there is no RF involved hence no license required. But just like real radio, if you “transmit” on a frequency to close to another conversation, you will cause interference to the other frequency. If your “power” setting is to low your received signal is noisey. Your signals can fade in and out, be subject to phase distortion and other typical shortwave problems thanks to the very involved radio simulation which makes it all too real.
You do have to follow basic radio operation such as keeping your audio level correct when transmitting and following basic courtesy used on real Ham radio frequencies.
They do warn not to interface Hamsphere with a licensed service (Ham radio) as that would allow non-licensed persons to operate a real transmitter as there are internet applications that link radios together over the internet.
And yes, you are allowed to “broadcast” a program on the Hamsphere “BC” band. So you could become a “virtual” shortwave broadcaster streaming your Part 15 programs.
The interesting aspect of Hamsphere is how you “tune” across the band to listen in or talk with another user. These conversations are open to anyone just as on a radio. (There is a transmit mode that allows private conversations accessed by command line input.)
Dig in and you will find a short operating manual that details this and more.