While operating in WAE SSB I set up my cluster filters so that I was only
getting spots of EU stations. I could then click on spots in the Packet Spots
window and try to work EU stations that had been spotted by others.
Once I'd worked all the spots that could hear me I went from click-and-pounce
mode to search-and-pounce mode. This ended up being much less efficient than
it could have been because of my cluster filters. As I tuned across stations I
could easily skip the spotted EU stations as I'd see the callsign in the
bandmap and a quick listen to a full or partial callsign would verify it was
someone I'd already worked or who didn't hear me.
Too much time was spent trying to decipher the callsigns of stations with
auroral flutter, as most EU stations had, only to discover I was listening to
9K9Z, 7Z1SJ, P3F, 5B4AIF, or a ZS, 4X, 4L, etc. Voices with European accents
or stations with big pileups also attracted my attention but many of these were
non-EU such as PJ4DX, NP2X, VY2/JR..., VA2EW, YV, KP4.
I'd spot these stations locally and often to the cluster and then immediately
delete them from the Packet Spots window. That way they would be in the
Bandmap and next time I tuned across I could quickly re-identify and skip over
them. I didn't want to change my cluster filter settings as that would add
even more clutter into the Packet Spots window that would need to be ignored or
After repeatedly going through the cycle of spot locally then remove from
Packet Spots window it occurred to me that what is really needed is an option
in WriteLog to put all spotted callsigns in the Bandmap but to only put the
subset of spotted callsigns into the Packet Spots window that have value in the
contest, either by giving QSO points or as a multiplier. If this option were
available then the cluster filter could enable all callsigns to go into the
Bandmap but WriteLog would limit what appears in the Packet Spots window.
I mostly use the Bandmap to help identify the station I hear on a particular
frequency. It's also useful for selecting a CQ frequency since a frequency
that sounds clear may show a spotted station in the Bandmap to which there is
no propagation. The Packet Spots window provides a much better interface for
There are many other contests in which this feature would be useful - ARRL DX,
state QSO parties, All Asian, CQWW (once you've worked your own country and
zone). Even contests such as NAQP where non-NA station don't get points for
working other non-NA stations that may be CQing.
With RBN this is less valuable for CW and RTTY while operating assisted, but
I've still found value in tuning the band because there are sometimes stations
that are not picked up by any of the skimmers, particularly on 160 and 10
meters. While operating unassisted I always put all callsigns into the bandmap
as I tune across them and it would be useful to omit the zero-pointers from the
Packet Spots window so that it could be used to click on and return to stations
that couldn't be worked when first encountered.
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