Topband: WebSDR use and other comments.

DXer hfdxmonitor at
Sun Jan 14 20:54:35 EST 2018

Like most of you, my interest in radio started with a tube 
radio/turntable combo, listening to shortwave broadcasting stations back 
in the late 60s. Unlike some of you, my SWLing interest remained after 
getting a ham license in 1980.

WebSDR has been an issue in SWLing circles for many years. While not as 
common as in the past, SWLers still pursue QSL confirmations from the 
stations they hear. Some of these receptions are being made through 
WebSDRs. Unfortunately, not all of them disclose this 'minor detail' 
when submitting reception reports to the stations.

To give you an idea of the difference of opinions regarding the use of 
WebSDRs in SWLing, one SWLer adds an interesting tagline to all his 
logs. It's something like this: "Heard with my own ears, on my own 
receiver, in real time."

The reason for the tagline, is that a number of SWLers, not only use web 
receivers, but are not even at the dials during the reception. They'll 
record entire bands (SW-MW-FM), and go through the MP3 files later, some 
sending reception reports to the stations, after the MP3s have been 

As cogently stated already, it's all a hobby, and each individual will 
decide what is valid or not as his/her own achievements. It only becomes 
a 'problem' when those 'achievements' are compared against others'.

As for amateur radio remotes, a lot has been said already. There seems 
to be an understanding of the proper use of remotes, things such as 
proper identification and the like.

One poster mentioned something that I don't recall seeing here before, 
but crossed my mind many times, as being an 'injustice'. That is, the 
use of a remote station within a country, regardless of the distance, as 
being valid for DXCC and/or contests.

Nothing wrong in principle, until you realize that a ham in Canada, the 
US, and other big countries, benefit a lot more from this allowance, 
than a ham in Andorra, El Salvador, or Hong Kong, for example.

It's no uncommon to see west coast hams claiming to be at a disadvantage 
compared to east coast hams. They may have a point, but it's difficult 
to equalize this perceived injustice. In the case of remote stations, I 
think the 'within national borders' criteria is flawed. A much better 
criteria would be distance based. It would not allow for border 
crossings, even if still within the allowed distance, of course.

Not trying to ressurect an old/bad discussion, but FT8 is in the 
'news'again. Full automation has been achieved through the use of 
macros. Only one more development to sow disagreement in the ham 

The hobby is changing. There are more ways to enjoy it. We may not like 
all of them, but we must find a way to coexist.

73 de Vince, VA3VF

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