Reverse Bean Network skimmers and problematic callsigns?

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AA4OO, Mar 9, 2016.

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  1. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd say they really suffer with beautifully sent code. They only do mediocre with machine code.
     
    KC9UDX likes this.
  2. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you tried CWSkimmer recently? I used it for a month last year and the only time I saw it not be able to accurately decode was when the station was barely audible... or they were using a Bug/Cootie. It seemed to do fine with straight key stations and stations using a keyer, even when they had lousy timing. It just couldn't handle bugs/cooties with a lot of "swing", but neither can I :)

    I agree that other decoders I've seen don't work well unless the signal is relatively noise free and well sent but CWSkimmer's algorithm astonished me. My understanding is that most RBN stations use CWSkimmer to decode the calls. Look at the RBN calls being decoded and the dB ratio to noise is often as low as 4dB to 8dB. That's pretty far in the dirt.

    A local ham uses it in CW contests to listen across the spectrum simultaneously decoding dozens to hundreds of ongoing CW conversations. It acts as a local DX cluster feeding the calls to his contest logging software allowing him to computer control his QSY to the next un-worked station.

    aa4xx.com/tag/cw-skimmer/
     
  3. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Me Vs CW Skimmer, YES:

    "the only time I saw it not be able to accurately decode was when the station was barely audible..."
    ME I can STILL copy when barely audible above noise floor and decoder gives up.

    "It just couldn't handle bugs/cooties with a lot of "swing", but neither can I :)"
    But I can, and that is real Morse. ME 100% easy copy, DECODER 10% copy.

    "Look at the RBN calls being decoded and the dB ratio to noise is often as low as 4dB to 8dB. That's pretty far in the dirt." Not nearly as far as I can go, and not anywhere near PACTOR.

    "A local ham uses it in CW contests to listen across the spectrum simultaneously decoding dozens to hundreds of ongoing CW conversations." I can listen to 3 CW QSO simultaneously, more than enough for me.

    "It acts as a local DX cluster feeding the calls to his contest logging software allowing him to computer control his QSY to the next un-worked station." I can't do that and don't want to. That's the exponential DCW problem.

    Soon all torture will be automated. Time for us to QSY to the top end of the bands, and you to learn CW :)
     
  4. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    RBN started reporting my call this morning.

    I have no idea what changed. My power was 1 watt for the last CQ and I still got 10 stations reporting me. Go-figure.
     
  5. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Was your call blacklisted or something?
     
  6. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not according to the RBN administrator. The MASTER.SCP list is used by some reverse beacons which is a partial call list of only contestors which I'm not on but that wouldn't explain Zero spots for a week and then Wallah the floodgates open.

    I'm going to do a little write-up on my website but briefly: I scheduled a QSO with the writer of CWSkimmer (VE3NEA) last night (at his suggestion) just to confirm that the skimmer software used by RBN was correctly copying my call. After sending my call a few times he sent me screenshots showing his station running CWSkimmer and reliably copying all my CQs. He was baffled as well that the calls didn't get picked up by RBN. He and I were going to schedule another session for him to watch the logs in the RBN aggregator but since it started working this morning that's no longer necessary.

    VE3NEA is a good guy and was willing to help me even though I don't own a copy of his software.

    We have a great hobby because of the great people in it.

    73
    Rich AA4OO
     
    W5BIB and KC9UDX like this.
  7. KC9UDX

    KC9UDX Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Just FYI, it's voilĂ , not Wallah.:)
     
    AA4OO likes this.
  8. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    Band conditions, at a guess. A fair bit of auroral activity earlier in the week, too. At QRP levels your signal will suffer more...
     
  9. AA4OO

    AA4OO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think so because I sent my previous call once as a test and it was picked up fine.
     
  10. VK5EEE

    VK5EEE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, M0LEP is correct, it's band conditions. Since 2 days now the conditions are UFB with signals 2 S points or more up on what they have been for the past week previous, and exactly coincided with AA4OO getting more RBN, as expected. Conditions are now excellent since just over 2 days. 6dB is a lot when it comes to decoders and QRP.
     

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