[CQ-Contest] New Aggregator and RBN Callsign Pattern list

Pete Smith N4ZR n4zr at comcast.net
Fri Jan 27 09:31:27 EST 2017

Thanks to Dick, W3OA and Felipe, PY1NB, we've just made some 
improvements to the RBN, mostly revolving around the patt3ch.lst file, 
which is used to determine how "skeptical" a Skimmer should be about 
whether a given string of characters is a callsign.

First, Aggregator 4.3 is now available on the RBN web site.  The big 
change is the addition of a patt3ch.lst tab, though there are a number 
of less visible improvements and bug fixes. Download Aggregator 4.3, and 
install it. Go to the new tab and tell Aggregator which folder holds 
your Patt3ch.lst file (typically, it will be in 
C:\Users\[username]\appdata\roaming\Afreet\Reference\). If you are not 
using the latest pattern file, which was releasedon Wednesday, the 
Aggregator's status page will warn you of the need to update.  You can 
then go the the Patt3ch.lst tab, where you can download the latest.

A word about the pattern file. In March 2015, we released a revised 
pattern file that had been 3 months in the painful process of 
mostly-manual revision.  This time around, Dick took over, and generated 
the revised file in less than two weeks. To do that, he wrote code to 
extract callsign patterns from 366 daily RBN archives created in 2016, 
comprising over 108 million spots, and to cull out the most common 
busts. 584 new patterns were added.

You will have noticed that pattern files are retrospective.  That's 
really the only way to generate fact-based pattern files, but what about 
brand new patterns?  What if you got yourself a new prefix for WPX, or 
some special purpose? Now that it's relatively easy to produce updated 
pattern files, you can e-mail meto ask for an addition. If you have 
access to a current pattern file, you can check yourself, or I will 
check them against the existing pattern file and every month or so, and 
a week before major CW contests, I'll update the file on the RBN server.

We hope you'll find this a worthwhile improvement.

73, for the RBN team
Pete, N4ZR

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