A very interesting talk on new technology in contesting was given last week at the Friedrichshafen hamfest in Germany by Tobi, DH1TW. It featured the Reverse Beacon Network, and contrasted the number of spots generated by RBN during the recent WPX CW contest with those delivered by the conventional spotting network. You can see it (in English) at hhttp://www.dh1tw.de/how-new-technologies-affect-the-art-of-contesting.
It's pretty breathtaking - the RBN delivered about 837,000 spots from 41 reverse beacons in 21 countries, while the conventional spotting network delivered less than 40,000. The RBN also collected two and one half times as many callsigns, and about 35 percent more total prefixes during the 48-hour contest. Not bad.
The RBN is very close to the perfect information tool for WPX, but it offers the same benefits in every contest - huge volume, no subjective "to spot or not to spot" judgments, and spot quality as high or higher than conventional DX clusters. Now, thanks to K4TD, you can even apply full filtering to the spot stream from the RBN. The Telnet server at telnet.reversebeacon.net port 7000 uses the DX Spider cluster server, and you can set it up to deliver a very high level of specificity - filtering out all spots except those from your own area, for example, or spotting only stations from Europe (WAE is coming, after all).
Stay tuned for a major announcement, coming soon - the RBN Signal Analysis Tool, developed by Nick, F5VIH/SV3SJ. It's in test now, and once a few last bugs are smoothed out, you'll see why Felipe and I are so excited about it.
73, Pete N4ZR