[CQ-Contest] Reverse Beacon Network in the IARU Contest

Pete Smith n4zr at contesting.com
Mon Jul 12 08:47:32 PDT 2010

I'm happy to report that the Reverse Beacon Network made 312,867 spots 
in the 34 hours of the IARU Contest.  On average, each active Reverse 
Beacon was spotting 7-9 stations per minute.  We are working on 
extracting numbers of spots of each WRTC station during the period, and 
hope to have these later today.

In the meantime, I want to remind contesters that the RBN's Spot 
analysis Tool is now available for beta test at 
<http://reversebeacon.net/analysis>.  The new Tool, written by Nick 
Sinanis, F5VIH/SV3SJ, 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!

73, Pete N4ZR

The World Contest Station Database, updated daily at www.conteststations.com
The Reverse Beacon Network at http://reversebeacon.net, blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com,
spots at telnet.reversebeacon.net, port 7000

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