Topband: VU2GSM webSDR use

Steven R Daniel, D.D.S. nn4t at
Sun Jan 14 10:50:43 EST 2018

I am under the impression that most contests have rules regarding the proximity of both the transmitter/transmitters and antenna/antennas used for receiving purposes. At the moment I do not believe DXCC proscribes that. It is obvious that technologies such as remote receivers (although hardly new) and readily-accessible remote operation from within the same DXCC entity (again, hardly new) makes some of us uncomfortable. I understand. I began DXing before there was even a 2 meter spotting network in our area, much less the packet-clusters of the 80's and 90's and the internet versions we have today. At each step there were those uncomfortable with the change. People would say "DXing is now like shooting fish in a barrel.  
Each of these new technologies is disruptive and therefore stress-inducing. I should not even have to say this but I will: amateur radio is a hobby. It is supposed to be fun. So long as operators follow the rules, as VU2GSM is doing, does it matter? If the rules need to be changed they can be changed. But such changes have been called for before. Does anyone else remember when the ARRL DXCC desk was petitioned to disallow contacts made via a list operation? Or the DXAC considering rules to disallow contacts made by remote stations within the same DXCC entity? Fortunately the heat and anger usually dies down and we can get back to working DX. I am 62 now and see more and more familiar names in the Silent Key list in QST. I have no illusions what will happen when my name and call sign are published there: my call will be purged from the DXCC list and my wall full of hard-earned awards will be tossed in the recycle bin. Perhaps if we each keep that in mind we can focus on having a bit of fun and communicating with friends, new and old. 73, Steve Daniel, NN4T

-----Original Message-----
From: Topband [mailto:topband-bounces at] On Behalf Of Bill Cromwell
Sent: Sunday, January 14, 2018 9:24 AM
To: topband at
Subject: Re: Topband: VU2GSM webSDR use

Hi Steve,

I believe it is important to make clear when we are using a distant WebSDR receiver so we do not mislead others to wrong conclusions about propagation conditions nor the performance of their station equipment. I do agree there is nothing inherently evil about using WebSDR. One primary goal of ham radio is to communicate. You can't work them if you can't hear them. But we also draw conclusions about propagation and station performance. In the case of "contests" or activities like DXCC paper chasing use of far remote receivers could undermine the core of the activity. I am not a paper chaser so others must decide that issue.

I have been playing with WebSDR reception and I expect to eventually submit some logs that relies on use of those. The log will always include the information about what receiver was used and it's location. 
I think that is important information. Others may have different motives. I am not a radio legislator and I am not in enforcement.

Do your best to fit your own activities into the 'big picture' and practice good citizenship.


Bill  KU8H

On 01/14/2018 10:03 AM, Steve Babcock wrote:
> I have been "sitting" on this for a few weeks wondering if I should share this information, but after seeing some spots yesterday for VU2GSM on 160m, I decided that others may appreciate it.
> I know I would.
> If you have worked Kanti, VU2GSM recently on the low bands...40, 80 or 
> 160 you should be aware that he was most likely RX using a NA webSDR. 
> The links below are PDF copies of email correspondence with Kanti 
> confirming that this is routine for him.The emails are between both 
> VE5UA, myself and VU2GSM. (Please read the email threads from the 
> "bottom up" to be chronological.)
> ?usp=sharing
> -hrOujs/view?usp=sharing 
> <
> w?usp=sharing
> g-hrOujs/view?usp=sharing> 
> ?usp=sharing 
> <
> w?usp=sharing>
> To be clear, I do not judge Kanti for his desire to augment his rx, and do not think it is wrong. If he chooses to use Ham radio this way that is his choice. However, I myself do not wish to include a "half" QSO toward my own (personal) DXCC count, and perhaps others will feel the same hence this email. I also don't judge others that are good with such webSDR QSOs since each has his own goals and objectives.
> Here is some background. I have been working VU2GSM frequently and with ease on 40m in the morning and evening. He would respond almost immediately to my calls which seemed odd. More typical is Rakash VU2RAK who has a great signal but usually can't copy me, though we have QSOd a few times when conditions are exceptional.
> While at a local ham lunch, I mentioned this, and Don VE6JY said that Kanti is often logged into his webSDR. The following week I copied VU2GSM on 80m in the evening with very light copy with my 2el Yagi and 1000' beverage (diversity rx with K3). He answered immediately and we had a QSO. I was suspicious. I emailed Don VE6JY and he confirmed that at that time Kanti was indeed logged into his SDR.
> I deleted the QSO from my log.
> This then precipitated the e-mail correspondence which I share on the attached links.
> There is little doubt this is going on all the time, and we will never know. We can't undo the technology that makes webSDR possible.
> There are those who who feel that this destroys the “integrity” of the DXCC. However, not everyone cares about DXCC.
> Kanti is not a villan. He is doing nothing wrong. He is not “cheating”. In his email correspondence he is very open and transparent and makes it clear he doesn't chase DXCC, and could care less about it. Why should he?
> From Kanti's perspective, using a webSDR enhances his enjoyment of the hobby living in RFI polluted Bangalore. For others, a "half-VU" QSO is better than none and they are happy.
> Like others, I spend a great deal of effort optimizing both rx and tx and someday when I do make the QSO with VU on 80 and hopefully 160, it will be a true two-way contact. The “buzz” for me is not getting the country counter in the log, its about knowing that my station made the contact via radio….both ways…all the way.
> The purpose of this email is simply to inform those who have worked Kanti recently that it is possible/likely that your TX signal was not actually heard in VU.
> 73, de Steve ve6wz
> _________________
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