[CQ-Contest] Web SDR's and 'Cheating'

Doug Renwick ve5ra at sasktel.net
Fri Oct 7 07:29:57 PDT 2011

Forwarded from Topband.  The beginning of the end.  How do we stop this?

-----Original Message-----

Hello Brendan,

Perhaps this thread is too old, but I only now came across it, sorry if the
subject has been beaten to death already.

As you may know I have served my Perseus SDR receiver over the internet for
almost a year - it never occurred to me that people would use it for
cheating purposes.   I found the experiment interesting for a variety of
technical issues - it also pleased me to allow remote users to experience
what Zero Noise level sounds like.   Obviously the issues are the same
whether a SDR or a regular remote receiver is used for cheating.

http://microtelecom.it/map/PerseusServers.html  shows a map of remote
Perseus receivers.

However, reading your post on the topband reflector got me thinking that the
scenario was familiar....:

I am hearing a station in the Caribbean on 160m with strong signals and I
start calling him thinking he will be an easy QSO.... I call him constantly
for about two hours without luck.

In the beginning I do not have any propagation to EU, but he is working EU
with a fairly good rate.

When his signals have almost disappeared (RST 339) at my location and
propagation has changed from TF to EU away from the Caribbean (!), he
finally hears me and we had a QSO.

This is cheating on so many levels I don´t know where to begin...

the DX station is listening to a receiver located in EU - and because the DX
has a good transmit antenna on an island surrounded by Salt Water he has a
relatively good signal in EU  - but the DX suffers from high tropical noise
making it difficult for him to hear the weaker signals.

With the remote receiver, he can now clearly hear even the poorest signal
from EU - stations with poor antennas are now able to "work" the DX station
even though their setups should not be able to work any DX contacts at all -
on the cluster the DX is spotted "good ears"  "hears well" "worked with 5
watts and window antenna" and so on....

At the same time, one of the most powerful stations on the planet is unable
to get through since I did not have propagation to EU!

All the effort of building a superb station, trying to make use of elusive
short propagation openings, all of this is flushed down the toilet....and I
 am hearing that contesters have been doing this for years !

So this is the reason that the 599+40 station can´t hear me!  not even a ?

And here  I was naive enough to think there was a rational explanation -
 this might be because the stations were using directive antennas and were
listening in another direction - certainly plausible, I myself have long
Beverage antennas which will have this effect....I have even heard this
explained as "one way propagation"....

I well remember my QSO with KH2L on Top Band a few years ago that was ruined
by HB9... who was obviously using a remote receiver to help him hear the DX
- the HB9 kept calling completely out of sync about 30 seconds off sync
right on top of my transmissions during the QSO, he managed to ruin my QSO
completely and it took me a whole year before I heard and worked KH2L
again.....I remember there was a russian station who was also calling in
sync with the HB9 - both obviously with a similar internet delay.

I have decided not to make my Perseus receiver available over the internet
anymore because of these issues.

Not naming the cheater only serves to create suspicion on other DX stations
and ruins the sense of accomplishment in making long haul DX contacts.

Any contacts made in this manner  are not valid for any award purposes -
after all they are simply contacts over the Internet - only by naming the
cheaters can we put a stop to these practices - at the very least we should
not tolerate this behavior on 160 Meters.

73 Thor, TF4M

Hello all

I have a Software Defined Receiver (SDR) that I make available when I am
not using it for others to use. it's an SDR-14 and is usually connected
to one of my beverages via a multi-coupler so it hears and performs well
Software wise , anyone using sdrradio can connect to it.
the latency is alos very low with sdrradio.

I am happy to make this available to others because in turn I enjoy
using internet connected SDR's provided by others

last night however I took a listen to what the connected user was
listening to, It turns out that the connected user was a DX station
utilising my SDR to work 160m SSB. He had a pileup of EU stations and
was utilising my SDR to better hear his pileup.
Surely this is 'not on' After all the EU stations may have been able to
hear him (although I could not copy him better than about 21 here)
But he was using a receiver within Europe to hear the EU stations calling.

What is the ethical position on this, it sure seems wrong to me

Brendan EI6IZ

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