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Saturday, July 2, 2011

WOW! The Reverse Beacon Network

In the European dispatches of Mike AA1TJ I saw mention of this new thing called the Reverse Beacon Network. Then SPRAT shows up in my mailbox (HOORAY!) and I see mention of the RBN there. So this morning I figured I'd give it a little test: I called CQ on 40 meters using my Heathkit HW-8. WOW -- it didn't take RBN long to get me! See above. That's after only about 3 minutes of CQing.

This is a really amazing and innovative development. The network makes use of "skimmers" that use Software Defined Radios connected to the net to search for CQs. When they hear one, they automatically post the info on the web. It is sort of like WSPR, but it is aimed at ordinary CQ calls. Fantastic. Check it out. You will like it!


  1. I must admit to occasionally calling CQ in order to see where I am being spotted, not with the purpose of actually starting a QSO. I feel rather bad about admitting this, but I agree Bill - it's a useful tool and quite illuminating at times when the band is nearly empty yet I am receiving spots, indicating that there is propagation, just no activity.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Bill! I much prefer this sort of beacon operation. My post on the RBN.

    (Yet another reason I should knuckle down and learn The Code!)

    73 de n3jim
    Sacramento, Calif.

  3. the volume of data is staggering on RBN. 1.7 million spots were posted during the 2011 CQ WPX CW weekend.


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