PA3CLQ's Leuke Linken Nr. 463a


I need help getting Reverse Beacon Network to work.

I go to:

and then I send CQ WA0GOZ WA0GOZ and the spot never shows up.

I search by callsign and it says This filter returned no spot.

Ive tried it on 40M and 17M with 100W to my wire antenna.

I dont know if Im doing things right, but I need help please.

Will someone give me step by step instructions on what Im supposed to do or how to set up?

Google isnt helping me.

Im using IE on a WinXP Pro machine.

I tried retrieving the spot on a Win7 Pro machine to no avail.

Im on this group using digest mode, so I would appreciate direct replys.

Thanks and 73 Henry WA0GOZ

Try 3 CQ's then ur call.

One CQ might not be enough to get noticed..

When I'm working a contest I also have telnet running with a cluster that supports CW Skimmer.

I see my CQs spotted often.

IMO it's not the number of CQs.

In fact CQs are not even necessary.

Example, I just sent "Test Test de W2NRA W2NRA" with 1 watt into a wire antenna and got a post on the second call.

Often, when running stations, I'll just sent "WES de W2NRA" and get spotted.

Just be sure to include your call once or twice and follow up with additional calls after 15 seconds or so.

73, Art, W2NRA

It could be the conditions but when I call CQ I use the following...


I may take a few calls before the spotters pick you up.

I usually notice my spot on the SKCC Skimmer before either the Reverse Beacon or Reverse Beacon on Graph sites...
Rocky Weeks, AF5AF

The following link should take you directly to RBN for your callsign:

It shows some spots of your call between 0230-0245z on 40m on Jun 24.
73, Drew AF2Z

You must have the "DE" in there.

I think the software uses DE to determine if there is a callsign following.

Sometimes I go too fast for my own good and screw up the DE (send DI or BE) and then RBN does not pick me up.

I've also noticed if you hash up the first callsign, it does not pick up from the 2nd or 3rd one, so it looks like it only listens for the first callsign after DE, so you have to get that 100% correct.

If you're sending straight key and your spacing is a bit off, it will pick up incorrectly - I often come up as ZS6S since I tend to exaggerate the space between S and V ever so slightly.
Stephen ZS6SVJ

From the FWIW department...
UNLESS I am actually looking for a QSO, I use "TEST TEST TEST DE AC2C AC2C AC2C <AR>"
As I understand the skimming algorithm, it looks for either CQ or TEST, then a DE, and a callsign - must be copied at least twice as exactly the same.

If you are sending via SK, cootie, or bug be very careful to get the timing as good as possible.

I usually use a key and paddle when TESTing for RB reports.
Ron, AC2C

What I'd like to know is what is the dB in relation to?

I'm all over the board sometimes. 
Roger Meadows
It's the SNR in dB.

For example... An SNR of 5 dB 5 dB = signal level / noise level Signal level = 5 dB x noise level

You're received signal is 5 dB over the noise level.

I would assume local ambient noise level.

I wonder if all RBN sites use a common antenna?

Mark K3MSB

Mark, Anyone can post spots to the RBN; In the past on my flex I've run 4 slices (aka rcvrs) running cwskimmer posting to the RBN.
The only "problem" with doing that is if I'm also working CW, the fact that I've keyed the rig causes the SNR to way too high til the rcvr recovers..
So what should be a signal reporting at say 12db may be reported to the RBN at 78db.. 
-jim NM1W 13718S
It's your signal power in relation to noise power at the reporting receiver.

That's when dBm units are nicer than Watts because, like slide rules, you just add and subtract to multiply and divide.

If he measures your signal at -80 dBm and measures noise power when no signal is present at -100 dBm, then the S/N ratio in -80 dBm - (-100 dBm) = 20 dB.
73, Mike ab3ap
RBN dB refers to SNR, signal to noise ratio.
73, Drew AF2Z

I wonder if all RBN sites use a common antenna?

Mark K3MSB

No there is no standard for RBN sites.

Some use real antennas but most use broadband small (normally active) antennas so that one antenna/feedline can be used for all bands 160m thru 6m.

You can not compare your signal between different RBN sites for anything meaningful.

The way I look at it, if an RBN is reporting me then I know that a human in that area with a simple station should be able to hear/work me.

A couple of things for SKCCers and RBN given our normal freqs RBNs use skimmers and skimmers have to decode your cw, if you have a poor fist or a swing to your bug then youre likely not going to be decoded.

Some skimmers are setup to skip the portion of the band that skcc normally uses.

Some skimmers are setup to look for CQs only, some arent.

If youre looking at the RBN site then youre only seeing what the RBN arbitrator accepts.

After a while you will notice your reports being better/worse from some RBNs than others and youll learn how to use the info.

No there is no repository of RBNs that give station details like radio, antenna, etc.

73, Tim K9TM

That's a bit disconcerting as the listed SNR value is then relative to individual receive antenna gain, receiver noise floor etc.

Mark K3MSB

The first thing I look for on RBN is how many hits I'm getting.

Even so, if there are lots of hits, even during a WES, it doesn't mean there will be a lot of action.

But if I don't get a lot of RBN reports on a particular band I probably won't waste too much time CQing there.
I also look at the geographic areas where I'm being reported.

If you click on the options you can bring up a map of the receiving stations.
Anyhow, for the SNR figure: it's about as useful as an RST.
73, Drew AF2Z

what is nice about the SN number is, whan comparing two different anytennas. cq on one.. move a few KC then cq on the other and you have a true DB difference on how the two antennas are being heard at each station, if you get 8 db stronger at K9XYZ, well then that antenna is 8 db stronger.

Good point, Joe.

But you should probably do at least several comparisons because of course the SNR can vary over short times spans.
For really comprehensive antenna testing though you can't beat WSPRnet. 
I even wrote some scripts to switch antennas on my rig periodically at known times, then logged literally thousands of WSPR signal reports over several days and compiled them all into a spreadsheet.

Can't do better than that for comparing antennas.
73, Drew AF2Z

I will try to find the Map option next time.

I have always (since before I was a Novice in 1961) related the number in a US or Canadian call to a general location, but in my view, the shift to whatever number you want in a callsign, is a RECENT development :D

The RBN receiver info on grid square and ITU and CQ zone is not very helpful to me.

CW is Real Radio 73, John...K8JD is another good option for displaying RBN (and normal) spots.

RBN spots have green callsigns vs normal spots which are black.

You can also filter to show just your call to get a view of where you're being heard.
6 Meter RBN node since 2010
73 Paul N6EV #3358S

Another kink in the RBN net is the receiving stations do not list the location and callsign numbers don't relate to what area of the USA they are in, anymore, so I have to look them up in QRZ to see where I am being heard :D

73, John...K8JD

While at use the nodes button and there is location information for each node grid square, dxcc, continent, ITU zone, cq zone, first appeared, last seen

Some of the packetclusters do the lookup and add a state when they take RBN spots and put them on packet cluster.

This is problematic for situations like mine where I have an RBN K9TM-4 and the packetcluster coder dutifully (but incorrectly strips off the -4) looks up K9TM and sees OH and reports my spots as being from OH.

So to fix this, they hard coded me in with an over-ride to be FL. Which works until I turn on my K9TM RBN from Ohio and then the packet cluster software isnt smart enough to figure out the difference between K9TM and K9TM-4 and it says both are in FL (or both are in OH) duh!

Callsign numbers havent related to where in the USA people are for pretty much my entire ham radio career dating back to 1976.

I laugh every time someone works me and says a 9 in 8 land, why arent you signing /8. Because my license doesnt say /8, it just says K9TM and Ohio.

73, Tim K9TM

Select the RBN map option: it shows the locations of the receiving stations.

No need to look them up.
73, Drew AF2Z

I guess I haven't spent enough time reading the info on using the RBN, I just jump on there for a few minutes to see If I am getting to the receivers on a few bands. :D

CW is Real Radio 73, John...K8JD



Go to your RBN lookup here:

At the top right of the page you should see "options: show/hide".
Click on "show/hide" then under "map (beta version)" you will see options to display the map, with or without grayline.
The map is a little glitchy at times so you might have to disable it and re-enable occasionally.

But it works well mostly.
73, Drew AF2Z


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