[CQ-Contest] Hints on Using the RBN in CQWW CW

Pete Smith N4ZR n4zr at contesting.com
Tue Nov 6 16:34:04 EST 2012

Looking ahead to CQWWCW, a few hints on how to get the best out of the RBN.

1. CQWW always draws the most Skimmers and results in the most RBN spots
of any contest.  We think we have adequate headroom on the servers, but
you can help by not connecting to the RBN Telnet servers directly.
Instead, connect to your favorite ARCluster V6 or VE7CC DX cluster
node.  You can select whether to see only traditional spots or both
those and RBN/Skimmer spots.

2.*Do*  use a filter at the node, rather than trying to filter the full
spot stream once it arrives on your computer. Not doing so can cause
problems with delays in starting canned messages and other delights.
For VE7CC nodes, CC User has a very easy to use filter setup scheme that
can be extensively customized.  I generally use a filter, on ARCluster
V6, that limits spots to Skimmers in my area, but lets all spots of my
call come through.  I find this is useful to brace myself for the pileups.

3.*Do*  use a Skimmer-specific filter to reduce the number of busted
calls. With 100+ Skimmers, you need a way to ignore the one that decides
to bust a spot. An approach that seems to work is telling the node not
to post a unique spot - to wait for corroboration from at least x other
Skimmers. VE7CC's Skimmer spot stream has such a filter built in, and is
reportedly very effective. For ARCluster V6, you need to use the
UNIQUE>2 filter in conjunction with whatever other filtering you choose
to do.

For what it's worth, this is my current ARCluster V6 filter setup:
OR spotterstate=pa OR spotterstate=va OR spotterstate=WV).

I program one cluster button in N1MM with this filter and have another
button  for "wide open", mainly for tests.  I don't see much point in getting Skimmer spots that I won't be able to hear.  Sending SET DX FILTER to the node by itself clears out all filtering.  If you do that in CQWW, stand back!

-- 73, Pete N4ZR Check out the Reverse Beacon Network at 
http://reversebeacon.net, blog at reversebeacon.blogspot.com. For spots, 
please go to your favorite ARC V6 or VE7CC DX cluster node.

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