[CQ-Contest] [sysops] RBN Announcement on FT8 Spotting

N4ZR n4zr at comcast.net
Tue Jun 12 14:56:54 EDT 2018

The RBN applies the same standard to FT8 as to CW and RTTY - only CQ 
(equivalent) spots and only re-spotting once every 10 minutes on a given 
dial frequency.  However, as our first tests indicate, there is still a 
lot of FT8 traffic.  This *is* an experiment.

73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network
at <http://reversebeacon.net>, now
spotting RTTY activity worldwide.
For spots, please use your favorite
"retail" DX cluster.

On 6/12/2018 12:47 PM, Michael Adams wrote:
> A couple of thoughts on FT8 in the RBN:
> I view the RBN as a multi-purpose tool.  For me, it’s critical in 
> contesting (I like assisted S&P; it might not be as magical as 
> spinning the dial, but rate is fun all on its own!), it’s a valuable 
> tool in DX-award chasing, and it’s useful in monitoring propagation 
> patterns…something I’m particularly interested in before/during big 
> DXpeditions and before contests.
> With a couple of DXpeditions now trying out FT8, and given the volume 
> of activity on the mode…I think it’s OK in principle to keep FT8 in 
> the RBN mix.
> However, the RBN won’t be a usable tool if it crashes under the added 
> burden of a bajillion spots.
> Breaking out the FT8 spots into a separate feed makes a certain amount 
> of sense, but perhaps some additional throttling might be appropriate, 
> depending on how loads develop.  A few ideas:
>   * Does the aggregator attempt to limit itself to only those stations
>     whose exchanges suggest they might be running? Propagation data
>     from non-running stations is interesting, but perhaps that data is
>     expendable if load is an issue.
>   * Perhaps there might be some value in limiting the number of
>     stations that can relay FT8 spots, or in throttling the rate at
>     which they can relay those spots?  If throttling, could there be
>     some logic to prioritize the “most interesting” spots?
>   * Refusing to accept FT8 spots on “big contest” weekends would make
>     sense…but I suspect that encroachment of contest modes into the
>     FT8 watering holes will take care of at least part of that problem
>     naturally.
> -- 
> *Michael Adams*|mda at n1en.org
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