During ARRL DX we used both the cluster and RBN. We also run our own skimmer
which has public access, not a closed system.
If skimmer operators choose the "Paranoid" mode it is amazing how accurate
the spots can be. Basically if I understand correctly, Paranoid mode checks
callsigns against the Masterdat.dta files that SCP use in most logging
software before spotting. Second, the skimmer scan be made to only spot
CQing station where a station probably sends the call multiple times so
better chance of the software copying correctly.
Late Friday night working skimmer spots that are only CQs we were keeping a
100+ hour rate S&Ping.
The cluster still helps but Sunday afternoon spots on the cluster really
lack in accuracy.
We have to grab new technology or the hobby will just get old like most of
the operators, not attracting the tech minded younger hams.They want to be
competitive not nostalgic. The cry for cluster-less, skimmer-less contesting
may have it's place and merits but not in most contests.
Running a cluster since 1987, skimmer since 2009 - Dick KB1H
We will continue to use both I am sure and I suspect more tweaking will be
happening that will make accuracy even better.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Fabian Kurz" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, February 28, 2011 4:10 PM
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Is the Cluster losing its Luster
> On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 03:52:09PM -0500, Paul Mackanos - K2DB wrote:
>> 1) Do you use a regular cluster node such as K1TTT ?
>> 2) Do you use the Reverse Beacon network node ?
> My experience is that the RBN is _significantly_ more useful than
> the DX cluster, simply because everyone is spotted and the network
> of Skimmers is now dense enough to give a very accurate picture of
> everything that is going on at a band at a time.
> BUT being spotted on the DX cluster still results in a serious surge
> of callers, because the RBN usage seems to be limited to the "serious"
> guys, and has not (yet) reached the broad masses.
> In most of the recent CW contests at DL1A we had both the RBN feed and
> a normal cluster connected, but the latter mostly to see when we were
> spotted by others. It didn't contribute to the score, really.
> Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK web: http://fkurz.net/ .---.
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