Friday, July 9, 2010

New RBN Feature Out for Beta Test During IARU Contest

The Reverse Beacon Network team is pleased to announce that a new and (we hope) exciting feature is being released for beta testing during and after the IARU Contest.

The Spot Analysis Tool, written by Nick Sinanis, F5VIH/SV3SJ, can now be found at . In a nutshell, it is intended to provide easily usable comparisons between multiple stations over an entire day at a glance. You can select a date and a Reverse Beacon station on any continent, then enter the callsign of a station, and in seconds all the spots of that station made by that Reverse Beacon are displayed graphically, with either Signal to Noise Ratio SNR) or frequency on the vertical axis, and the 24-hour time on the horizontal. Add another callsign, and spots of that station are superimposed on the first. Click the "i" icon at the upper right of the page for step-by-step instructions, if you need them.

If you select SNR, you will immediately be able to see which station opened the band to the area represented by the Reverse Beacon, which had the better signal during the middle of the opening, and which fared better in the waning hours. Select a time period and zoom in to get a close look at comparative signal strength. Selecting frequency to plot will show whether stations changed run frequencies often and which frequencies they were (or were not) able to hold, and when.

A few cautionary notes. This *is* an automated system. It only spots stations that it believes are CQing. The SNR for a given spot can be heavily influenced by QRM or QRN, so general trends are a lot more instructive than individual spots. If Slim decides to sign somebody else's call, and it's heard, it will be spotted, and the frequency calibration may vary (though we're working on that) depending on the Reverse Beacon's individual setup.

As we said, this is a beta test version. There are a few limitations right now - most important, it does not yet work with Internet Explorer, so you will need to use Firefox or Chrome to test it. While Nick is working on that problem, we'd like to get comments about the usability of the tool, reports on any bugs you encounter, and any other input you want to provide. While we're not averse to comments on CQ-Contest, you can avoid a glut there by sending your comments to us at

We look forward to hearing from you!


Nick, F5VIH/SV3SJ, Felipe PY1NB, and Pete, N4ZR

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