Monday, March 15, 2010

Tell us what you'd like in the database search interface.

While Felipe and Nick are doing the real work, I'm inspired to try to stimulate some interest by raising some ideas about improving the user interface for the Reverse Beacon Network database.

It might be possible for there to be a single interface for all searches. Alternatively, there may be good reasons, such as simplicity, to break it into multiple forms, depending on the purpose. What I'm trying to do here is suggest some things that it would be good to keep in mind for various fields:

For example:

DE should provide for specifying a variety of different limiters - they might include the specific callsign(s) of the spotters as well as countries and ITU zones. Multiple callsigns or countries should be accommodated.

DX should have the same range of possibilities.

Any Date field should allow for date ranges as well as single dates

The Signal Comparison Tool should, if at all possible, only offer Skimmer sites that have data relating to the comparison that is being run. As it stands now, when you specify a date, the next step in the tool gives you a list of Skimmers active on that date, but many will not have data for the stations or bands of interest for any given search. It would be great if the skimmers could be offered for selection based both on the band and on the stations to be compared, but I realize that may be too burdensome; even just the bands would be a step forward.

What would YOU like to see?

73, Pete N4ZR


  1. Pete --

    I would be interested to see 'time' as a range within the skimmer search database. I could compare propagation predictions against that of real time reporting.


  2. Thanks, Scot - I'm sure that a time range will be a data retrieval option when the guys start working on improvements to the RBN's "front end."

  3. It would be nice to be able to use a wildcard for DX search, e.g. 3D2* .
    73, Yngvi TF3Y