Topband: VU2GSM webSDR use

Wes Stewart wes_n7ws at
Sun Jan 14 17:31:23 EST 2018

There has been some related discussion on the Clublog group.

I'm 76 years old (this is my 60th year in ham radio) and two away (SV/A and 
FR/G) from top of the Honor Roll.  I don't think I'll make it in this lifetime.  
In these years, I've had a local DXer (SK) call me on the telephone to let me 
know that "I" worked TYA11, when I most assuredly hadn't.  He thought he had 
done me a favor by using my call, without permission of course, to make the 
contact.  I read him the riot act. I believe that another "Honor" Roll member 
used a similar "contact."

I made a recent, now abandoned, foray into FT8.  I quit that when I got a text 
message via JTAlert from my QSO partner, who was being badly QRMed at that 
point, telling me he had my report and just needed RRR.  Some, I suppose would 
think of this as a good QSO.  Not me.

 From my QRZ bio: "All of these contacts have been made with modest stations, 
personally constructed and operated by me and located within 10 miles of the 
center of Tucson."  This is the way I do it; however, I'm not about to try and 
impose my personal ethics on anyone else, each to his own.

Wes  N7WS

On 1/14/2018 8:23 AM, Bill Cromwell wrote:
> 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.
> 73,
> 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.)
>> <> 
>> <> 
>> 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
>> _________________
>> Topband Reflector Archives -

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