[CQ-Contest] Reverse Beacon Network News - hopefully ofgeneralinterest

Jim Neiger n6tj at sbcglobal.net
Tue Aug 14 21:45:00 PDT 2012

It's interesting the replies offered since my original posting.  Of course, 
I'm always in the UP or DOWN listening mode, and those who have pretty well 
figured me out over my past 50 years of operating from DX generally  have to 
call no more than once or twice.

Two points:
 It's the many stations calling, usually when the band is on the way out, 
many of whom are only S4/S5, that ultimately suffer.  And because they 
couldn't make it earlier when the big guns calling dominate my RX passband, 
wunnerful RBN puts them all zero beat with one another.  And they don't seem 
to know I'm most likely listening up a couple.  Undoubtedly better operators 
than I can pull them out from the (sometimes) hundreds calling 
simultaneously.  I will work some; but the rate suffers greatly, so most 
probably I will go to a higher rate band, or to a different part of the 
world.  Sadly (1) these guys don't know they're weak or even more probably, 
that they're among many all calling on the same frequency, and (2) contrary 
to what N4ZR seems to think:  if I'm the only station in the multiplier, 
those trying to compete need me more than I need them, to win.
 Stations that make it into the log are workable because they call in the 
right place, at the right time.  Like my friend N6AA opined some 40+ years 
ago when he couldn't lose from 9Y4VT:  "the perfect pileup has one station 
calling at a time".  RBN, skimmer, packet really works against the less than 
unique or skilled operator calling.

(2) What I find most disturbing about all of these so-called technological 
advancements is the patently obvious diminution of operator skills.  For the 
sake of quantity, quality has gone out the window.  Point and shoot. 
"What's his call?  I have neither the time, skill, or care to really hear 
what he's sending.  RBN/skimmer/packet will (maybe)  ID him for me.  Oh boy, 
look how many guys I worked, and I can't really copy faster than 15 wpm". 
Like what I call "the trivialization of (pick your country):" The end always 
justifies the means.  Skill?  What's that?  This never-ending quest for 
bells and whistles will ultimately result in the end of  meaningful radio 
competitions.  Just like the internet, it will be computers talking to 
computers.  Hams won't even get callsigns.  It will be IP addresses to IP 
addresses.  Let me know how that works out for you guys.

Now on the other side of the equation, I almost became a Packet Believer 
last year when operating from NH7A.  Major pileup on 10 to the Mainland 
Sunday morning.  What the heck is going on?  Who really needs Hawaii 40 
hours into the contest?   Then someone comes on frequency and asks "Jim, are 
you really on Wake Island?"  Aha, some Packeteer busted my call as NH9A or 
something like that, and instant pileup.  Note to Holder:  I will be back @ 
NH7A this October.  Please don't spot me as Midway, or Kure, or Johnston - 
unless, of course, I sound like I need the help.

Fraternally Yours,

Jim Neiger   N6TJ

From: "Joe" <nss at mwt.net>
Sent: Monday, August 13, 2012 7:16 AM
To: <cq-contest at contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] Reverse Beacon Network News - hopefully 

> Sig
> On 8/13/2012 7:20 AM, Martin , LU5DX wrote:
>> I surely also understand Jim's concerns about gigantic pile ups with
>> all stations calling exactly in the same frequency due to the RBN
>> spots. I hope it is just a matter of time till ops realize we need to
>> start calling stations a little off the spotted frequency.
> Really?
> I'm not a BIG contester, But have been contesting since 1975, LONG
> before any of this existed. And as soon as I heard a pileup made by a
> RBN spot I did notice how everyone was "Spot On" (pun intended)
> And my first thought if I was to use this RBN network, I would at the
> same time turn on my XIT to slide a tad off the mess some. I thought
> everyone would do that and that this was not a unique thought.  But I
> guess not.
> Joe WB9SBD
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