[CQ-Contest] [DX-IS] RBN Announcement on FT8 Spotting

Mats Strandberg sm6lrr at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 09:06:03 EDT 2018

See no reason whatsoever for FT8 spots on RBN..... and, yes, I do work FT8

What would be an improvement for RBN is to actually make it possible to
select a few skimmers, instead of selecting a continent's ALL skimmers, as
the amount of spots now create huge data flows.

73 de Mats RM2D (SM6LRR)

2018-06-13 0:01 GMT+03:00 Jim Preston <jpreston1 at cox.net>:

> I agree with Hans. I don't see any need to have FT8 signals spotted on
> RBN. Yes, I do use FT8 quite a bit.
> 73,
> Jim N6VH
> On 6/12/2018 9:32 AM, Radio KØHB wrote:
>> Since virtually all FT8 operations are clustered into their own 3kHz
>> smoking-pit on each band, the mode requires no “searching around the band”
>> for individual signals.  Essentially the entire workable “band” of FT8
>> signals is visible at your own station without an outside feed.
>> That, coupled with the very detailed graphic presentations at sites like
>> pskreporter.info and pskreporter.de, seems to make a traditional
>> CW-style spotting network for of low value to an FT8 operator.  In fact, I
>> would posit that the traditional Spotting/RBN infrastructure is really
>> rather quaint and unsophisticated when compared to the information
>> available at pskreporter.info.
>> 73, de Hans, KØHB
>> "Just a boy and his radio"™
>> From: N4ZR n4zr at comcast.net [DX-IS]
>> Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 1:35 PM
>> To: RBN-OPS at groups.io; sysops at dxcluster.info; WW1ME at arrl.org;
>> DX-IS at yahoogroups.com; reflector cq-contest
>> Subject: [DX-IS] RBN Announcement on FT8 Spotting
>>    As some may be aware, we’ve been debating for some time about whether
>> the RBN should handle FT8 spots.  A few weeks, ago, several prolific RBN
>> nodes began spotting FT8 signals, using the combination of WSJT-X and an
>> unreleased Aggregator, version 5.  The purpose of this limited Alpha test
>> was to get a feel for the load and other implications of carrying FT8 spots
>> on the RBN; it has been very revealing.
>> The most striking characteristic of FT8 spots is their sheer quantity.
>> Here are some weekday statistics from one of the US testers:
>> 23-May
>> CW 4294 14%
>> RTTY 69  0.22%
>> FT8  26318  86%
>> Total 30681
>> 24-May
>> CW  4370  13%
>> RTTY  46  0.14%
>> FT8  29298  87%
>> Total  33714
>> Whether due to the startling popularity of the new mode, or to the
>> ability to spot stations at 22 dB below the noise level, it seems obvious
>> that adding FT8 spots to our spot flow could have a huge impact on the
>> infrastructure of the RBN.  These numbers suggest that if only 20-30 RBN
>> nodes added FT8 spots, those spots could outnumber the total CW and RTTY
>> spots being delivered by the 140-150 nodes currently active on the network,
>> doubling the total required throughput.
>> We frankly don’t know whether the RBN servers will be up to the task, so
>> we decided we had better find out before the fall contest season is upon
>> us.  Accordingly, we are taking the following steps on a Beta test basis:
>> 1. Effective immediately, the RBN’s current spot feed (telnet,
>> reversebeacon.net port 7000) will be repurposed to handle only CW and
>> RTTY spots. telnet.reversebeacon.net port 7001 will be set up for FT8
>> spots only.
>> 2. Operators of “retail” DX clusters are encouraged to offer the option
>> of RBN spots with and without FT8 spots, as they now often give users a
>> choice between spot streams with and without “Skimmer” spots, and to
>> advertise when they begin to carry FT8 spots
>> 3. A Beta test version of Aggregator Version 5 that can handle FT8 spots
>> received from WSJT-X will be made available on the RBN web site, along with
>> instructions on how RBN node-ops can configure their nodes to spot FT8 on
>> one or multiple bands.  Note, please, that doing so will not interfere with
>> your ability to continue spotting CW and RTTY.
>> We will closely monitor how the RBN servers handle this new load, as more
>> and more nodes begin sending FT8 spots.  We also reserve the right to take
>> steps as necessary to protect the core mission of the RBN, including
>> shutting off the FT8 stream on major CW and RTTY contest weekends or, in an
>> extreme case, discontinuing spotting of FT8 altogether.  Even in a worst
>> case scenario, FT8 spots will continue to be carried by PSKReporter.
>> We hope we’re not doing this in a vacuum.  The RBN team has been
>> collecting the views of contesters and DXers on this, and we think that
>> we’re headed in the right direction.  Feel free to let us know what you
>> think of this experiment.
>> 73,
>> The RBN Team (KM3T, N4ZR, PY1NB, SV3SJ, W3OA)
>> __._,_.___
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