[Skimmertalk] Soliciting New Patterns for the RBN

N4ZR n4zr at comcast.net
Thu Dec 26 17:00:10 EST 2019

During January, I plan to publish an updated patt3ch.lst file for the 
Reverse Beacon Network.  Forgive me if you know this already, but the 
purpose of the pattern file is to improve the accuracy of CW spotting by 
the RBN, by distinguishing between the "shape" or pattern of legitimate 
callsigns and other strings that may appear on the air that look like 
callsigns, but are not.  Cw Skimmer Server does this by comparing each 
string of received CW with a pattern file that lists "real" patterns, 
which includes prefix, the first number following the prefix, and then 
wildcards for additional numbers (#) and letters (@).  Depending on 
whether a pattern is rated by the file as common or less common, or is 
omitted from the file altogether, Skimmer Server will require two, three 
or more repetitions within a specified-length string of characters 
before it decides "Yes, spot that call."

Call-sign patterns should be included in the pattern file if they have 
been used or will be used in the future - for example, the pattern 
PJ4@@, had been in use for years, but when active contesters were 
granted calls in the pattern PJ4@ , we were happy to add that pattern to 
the file.  We'll treat similarly any administration's publishing special 
callsign patterns that it is willing to issue for future operations, 
such as contests.  Conversely, we will be more skeptical about an 
unusual pattern that has been used in the past for a particular 
commemorative event, for example 8J##@@@@, or a similarly complex 
pattern for a one-time commemorative event in the future.

The reason for this "drag on the system" is simple - if every possible 
pattern from A@#@ to ZZ####@@@@ were included in the pattern file, then 
the pattern file's usefulness would dissipate, since every "string" 
would fit one pattern or another.

So, help us do a better job, and help yourself by reviewing the current 
pattern file (at http://www.reversebeacon.net/pages/patt3ch.lst+36)and 
letting us know what needs to be added.

73, Pete N4ZR
Check out the Reverse Beacon Network
at <http://reversebeacon.net>, now
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