Topband: VU2GSM webSDR use

Doug Renwick ve5ra at
Sun Jan 14 21:35:19 EST 2018

The recent changes to DXing has belittled the efforts many of us have made
in the past. The honor of completing real contacts on challenging bands has
disappeared. Now there is little point on working hard to add countries from
ones needed list. It has gotten to the point that the award is closing in on
meaningless. Cheating has become so common that my interest in DXing and
contesting no longer exists. I have a friend who asked me to work Bouvet for
Over 40 years I have built a robust station which now attracts little
interest. I sit at the top of the DX honor roll but rankings within these
awards have become meaningless. The best are the memories of real 160m DXing
like during the last peak working EY8MM twice from SK.

I suggested this some time ago. Why not just do away with all this useless
DXing. Instead just exchange cards with a $5 or $10 bill and be done with
it. Why even bother making a FAKE QSO or a half QSO? Think of the time and
money that would be saved. You wouldn't need a rig or antenna. No more upset
neighbors. No more expensive DXpeditions. But then the ham radio industry
would disappear. I guess that is why there is little push back.

In closing, ham radio of the past was very exciting. Ham radio of the
present (internet radio) and the future is not for me.  


"Political correctness is a weapon used to silence people who tell the
truth" - Ayaan Hirsi Ali 

-----Original Message-----

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

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