[CQ-Contest] New Reverse Beacon Network Feature Released for Beta Test in IARU

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Fri Jul 9 05:28:20 PDT 2010

The Reverse Beacon Network team is pleased to announce that a new and 
(we hope) exciting feature is being released for beta testing during and 
after the IARU Contest.

The Spot Analysis Tool, written by Nick Sinanis, F5VIH/SV3SJ, can now be 
found at <http://reversebeacon.net/analysis>.  In a nutshell, it is 
intended to provide easily usable comparisons between multiple stations 
over an entire day at a glance.  You can select a date and a Reverse 
Beacon station on any continent, then enter the callsign of a station, 
and in seconds all the spots of that station made by that Reverse Beacon 
are displayed graphically, with either Signal to Noise Ratio SNR) or 
frequency on the vertical axis, and the 24-hour time on the horizontal. 
  Add another callsign, and spots of that station are superimposed on 
the first.  Click the "i" icon at the upper right of the page for 
step-by-step instructions, if you need them.

If you select SNR, you will immediately be able to see which station 
opened the band to the area represented by the Reverse Beacon, which had 
the better signal during the middle of the opening, and which fared 
better in the waning hours.  Select a time period and zoom in to get a 
close look at comparative signal strength.  Selecting frequency to plot 
will show whether stations changed run frequencies often and which 
frequencies they were (or were not) able to hold, and when.

A few cautionary notes.  This *is* an automated system.  It only spots 
stations that it believes are CQing.  The SNR for a given spot can be 
heavily influenced by QRM or QRN, so general trends are a lot more 
instructive than individual spots.  If Slim decides to sign somebody 
else's call, and it's heard, it will be spotted, and the frequency 
calibration may vary (though we're working on that) depending on the 
Reverse Beacon's individual setup.

As we said, this is a beta test version.  There are a few limitations 
right now - most important, it does not yet work with Internet Explorer, 
so you will need to use Firefox or Chrome to test it.  While Nick is 
working on that problem, we'd like to get comments about the usability 
of the tool, reports on any bugs you encounter, and any other input you 
want to provide.  While we're not averse to comments on CQ-Contest, you 
can avoid a glut there by sending your comments to us at 
skimmer at dxwatch.com.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Nick, F5VIH/SV3SJ, Felipe PY1NB, and Pete, N4ZR

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