Monday, November 22, 2010

What if.... the RBN Telnet server goes down during CQWW?

We are monitoring the RBN Telnet server closely in hopes of discovering what killed it during CW Sweepstakes, but we do not have a definitive answer yet. It is hard to be confident that we have fixed it until it gets hit with the traffic that only a major contest can provide, both in terms of the spot flow and the user numbers. Next weekend will guarantee both in spades, but our object is to provide useful information, not a toy, so we thought it was appropriate to offer suggestions on how to make your RBN spot feed somewhat fail-safe.

The most comprehensive solution is probably to use WintelnetX by K1TTT to merge the spot stream from the RBN with those from one or more of the more prolific individual RBN stations' Telnet servers that are relatively close to you. for example, I might use WZ7I plus the RBN. A downside is that the Skimmer Telnet server does not filter spots, so you must contend with everything the local server sends you and rely on your logging software to cull out the ones you do not want. Of course, you can filter the RBN Telnet server's output, as described in the previous article.

Another, much simpler solution is to configure your logging program for the RBN server and a nearby RBN station's Telnet feed, and keep an eye on the spot flow. It will be easy to tell, at >5 spots/second, when or if the RBN server goes down, and an easy matter to switch.

How do you get the IP address of your nearby RBN station? Most of them are on . We are trying to get those guys whose IPs aren't currently displayed to display them before the contest.

Again, we hope none of this is necessary. See you on the bands!

73, Pete N4ZR

1 comment:

  1. If the RBN server goes down, contesters might also try Lee's cluster,, port 23 (use the command "set/skimmer" to turn on Skimmer spots). This might minimize the telnet load on individual Skimmer receiver computers which undoubtedly will be struggling to deal with decoding all the CQ signals. Of course, the cluster provides all the normal filtering tools.

    Just a suggestion.

    Wes, WZ7I