Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nice Articles About RBN

Nice Articles about the RBN in WorldRadio Online and on . Unfortunately, the QRZ post elicited some misinformation about what RBN is and how it works, which prompted me [this is Pete speaking] to write the following reply:

There seem to be some misunderstandings afoot, so let me try to briefly put them to rest.

First, the RBN is not an advertisement. There are far more people using CW Skimmer than are connected to the RBN. Individuals are using it to chase DX. Others are using it as an alternative to DX clusters, for DXing or for contesting. What we have done is to make it easy for people who are already using Skimmer to report their spots to a central point for display and archiving.

There is one critical difference between the RBN and PSKReporter/WSPRNET, which is enabled by the unique combination of CW Skimmer and software-defined receivers. Skimmers report all the CW activity on a band, or up to seven bands at once, *independent of frequency*. During the ARRL DX Contest, in 48 hours the RBN archived over 300,000 spots on 160-10 meters, despite serious problems with the server throughput which suggest that as many as 2/3 of spots didn't get through.

Multi-band Skimmers were operating from Europe, North and South America, Australia and Japan. If you were on during the contest, the chances are very good that you were spotted. You can go to the RBN and ask.

We are very conscious of the fact that the RBN is having growing pains, and that it could be a much better resource for the amateur community with an expanded team working on configuration and code optimization, a more flexible query engine, and similar problems.

With this in mind, we have set up a blog at and intend to use that platform to invite others' contributions. Please check it out.

73, Pete N4ZR and Felipe, PY1NB

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