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Using hack green - with WebSDR poll


#1

Is using hack green as the shack receiver to complete a sota contact, as a chaser allowed ,


#2

If it’s the only receiver you use, nobody will be upset. i.e. you use your shack receiver or you use Hack Green but not both.


#3

Sorry Andy don’t agree with that I believe the signal reports should be confirmed direct
or you may as well accept third party reports like the contact I rejected today with Martyn
when someone repeated my report.
I have heard others using Hack Green you can tell they are using it as there is a delay
in their response to clarify the report,
Just my opinion.73 Don G0RQL.


#4

I don’t think it’s in the spirit of the programme. Using a remote receiver is not the same as completing a contact…

What if the remote receiver is very close to the activator, and the activator’s QRP signal has no other chance to make it to the chaser otherwise ?

What if the activator is in Australia, the chaser is in UK, the activator uses a remote receiver from UK and the chaser uses a remote receiver in Australia ?


#5

I can not accept this to be correct; using it to hear other chasers must be OK but surely not to complete an otherwise failed chase.
73,
Rod

Edit :-1:dont understand why this is in “Old Reflector” section - now corrected to Rules


#6

Don’t think it should be allowed to be used as a valid contact. Contacts should be from mountain to shack and from shack to mountain.
To be honest- I do not like the idea of a remote station at all. Had a QSO with someone recently. He gave me good reports and I was busily taking notes in my log book. At the very end of the QSO my QSO partner somehow confessed by accident that he used Hack Green. I was interested in a real propagation study- not a sort of repeater contact. When I asked your man to listen with his own equipment, he told me that he cannot hear me at all that way.
The biggest joke was that he gave me a description of his antenna…he was not using at all for listening.
Contacts via a remote like Hack Green devalue any contact and make propagation studies impossible.
Why not do the honest thing and do SOTA via Skype on a smart phone…


#7

ربما إذا كانت باللغة العربية سوف تقرأ ما هو مكتوب ليس ما تظنه مكتوب؟


#8

لو كنت أعرف فقط كيف أقرأ اللغة العربية!


#9

Ed, have a :rofl:


#10

I strongly sympathise with this and other dissenting opinions…

BUT:

Since I took up SOTA in 2003 my noise level on the 80 - 20 metre bands has increased greatly, by several S-points, having gone from two to eight or nine on 80 - 40 metres and 6 - 7 on 20 metres. I am persevering but I can well understand somebody giving up and using a remote receiver, in the worst cases it is that or give up on the legacy modes altogether. In my opinion, with the scourge of urban noise as it is and likely to get worse before it gets better, we should allow the use of remote receivers. I would make the proviso that only one such receiver be used - no switching around to find the best one for any given chase.

Then there is the question of remote transmitters. Again, I find the idea distasteful, but there are people who are prevented from putting up antennas, who cannot use indoor antennas due to the use of metal in construction, and there are even “quiet zones” where no transmitters of any type are permitted. Again, I feel that if the choice is between remote transmitters or QRT, then the use of just one remote should be permitted.

The spirit of the program has to be reconciled with the realities of our modern world. The above are my suggested compromises. As Andy says - “discuss”!


#11

My view is Hack Green is part of the “Alert” and “Spot” tools. i.e. You know the activator is working stations but you still need to work them for real with your station. If you hear the activator go QRT on Hack Green then there is no point in winding up the tower etc. at home.

Sometimes it is just nice to listen to someone having a good time on a summit somewhere !

73 de

Andrew G4VFL


#12

Possibly some light at the end of the tunnel - we now have Fibre To The Premesis so have got rid of ADSL, as have the neighbours - I seem - roughly to have lost about 5 s points of noise on 160 (now about s4 noise in the dark), 80 (now about s6 noise at night) and 3 s points on 40 (now about s3 noise) (We were ADSL 2 rather than the more common UK VDSL which has a different and lower frequency range) I can also use Hack Green as my signal on 160 usually made the modem disconnect and start the whole sync process again. So for my pennysworth ( and the Fibre Upgrade was cost free ) I am now in a position to work stations directly and I would consider myself cheating if I counted a remote SDR contact, but I can understand that if you are in a noisy urban environment it is the only possibility of getting a contact you might not have a choice… In the future there will be more fibre and hopefully less RF noise so things may well improve. ( No Chasers - No SOTA ).

Paul


#13

I find this topic particularly interesting in these days because I’m currently starting to prepare things to set-up my own remote station for chasing SOTA.
I have a pretty good HF antennas in a QTH I own in a village 18Km out of the city (you can see them on QRZ.com), but we moved due to family reasons and I currently live in a rental apartment in the city.
I managed to install an endfed wire antenna in the balcony of the rental apartment but, although this allows me to chase several SOTA, I can’t hear and chase as much as I did when I lived and used the good antennas in the village out of the city, particularly the activations from NorthAmerica I used to chase in my evenings. This antenna in the balcony lets me do something but it’s clearly suboptimal and I miss being able to use my TH5DX yagi more often.
I have an IC-706 in the rental apartment and I would keep the front pannel with me in the apartment, while the rest of the rig will go to the QTH in the village connected to the antennas I have over there. My intention is purchasing Remoterig interfaces RRC1258MKIIs to be used one at each side.
I currently don’t have internet in the village QTH where I want to set up the remote station and that’s something I obviously have to sort out. I’m wondering how well satellite internet would perform for me on this particular purpose of the remote station.
I’ve been talking to skyDSL customer service today and they warned me about a certain delay of between 700ms to 1s. I’m not sure how bad this will be for the remote station operation used for chasing SOTA.
Has anyone here ever experienced or used satellite internet?
Has anyone here ever used a remote station connected to satellite internet?
Has anyone ever heard about working ham radio remotely with such delays.
How was it?
Thanks for sharing.
73,

Guru


#14

I wish I could share your optimism, Paul! I use Virgin fibre and have no trouble from that, but my flanking neighbours use Openreach and the 100 Hz AM buzz shows that they are part of my troubles here. In time this problem might go away, the technology is inexcusably stupid, but that won’t affect the other noise sources, which will probably get worse. For a start I currently have no near neighbours with solar panels, which is a problem for many hams. This is certain to change. Then there is LED lighting, some LED lights are OK, others are great noise sources. So are some fluorescents. There is also the mains charger units, the “wall warts” - there are many of them in every house and some of them radiate a LOT of noise. In my case I have a very strong noise source that appears at sunset and continues until after midnight, when it finishes as the floodlight about 80 metres away in a car park go off. I have even heard of people getting QRM from fish tank heaters and grow lights - and even touch controlled lamps (I had one that was terrible, I gave it away - well away!) Again in my case I used to have a lot of trouble from a neighbours plasma TV but at least that has gone now!

The curse is cheap and badly designed or executed electronics - I don’t see that changing much in the years left to me.


#15

Exactly. It will not get better in the next decade or even longer. Only worse. Every single electrical item we bought in the last 5 years is a major source of QRM. The last item was a printer-luckily this is only used once in a while. Loads of chargers around- all producing noise all over the place. I am living in the countryside. Nearest house is 250 metres away. But the low noise floor I had years ago is disappearing more and more. I cannot see it going down again in my lifetime. HF is more or less being given up by the authorities.We will get no help from them to keep it clean.


#16

I suppose I am lucky living in a rural area - and had not realised how much noise came from ADSL and VDSL until it went away. With 3 kids (aged 10-15) we have an impressive collection of things that need charging (and are therefore almost always flat) and other things that with the right lead (which no-one has ever seen) will charge them. We also have almost all LED lighting and a neighbour 25m away with a roof full of solar panels - but it seems to have been ADSL which came via overhead telephone cables that gave me an extra 30dB of noise, so on this occasion I remain optimistic - and I also have decent broadband - faster than most of my urban friends ( 100Mb/20Mb)


#17

This ties in with the (now closed) slightly acrimonious correspondence in Radcom concerning internet radio. It seems to me that any true radio contact is broken because the final step in the journey is neither radio nor under the direct control of the call-sign holder.

However, I would consider Guru’s plans to be truly radio as he has the control of both TX and RX and retains the option of actually operating the equipment on-site.

As I suffer quite badly from noise at home I had considered using Hack Green myself - and rejected the idea as not legitimate.

I suppose it is impossible to frame rules to cover every eventuality (except by specifying what you MUST do and excluding everything else) so we each set our own parameters - just as some activators apparently always park outside the AZ because that is what feels right to them.
73
Rod


#18

On the occasions when I have resorted to websdr for RX I have not logged this as a chase (and informed the activator accordingly) - so just to say “hi” really.

I would make a distinction between your own remote equipment and “public” equipment. Surely a public websdr is equivalent to half of a repeater and therefore not aligned with the rules.

There was a question recently about websdr for the SWL award. Perhaps in that case lowering the threshold for what counts is useful for widening participation. But to me it seems a 2-way QSO has to be completed through your station (satellites excepted). Scoring for an AR award scheme surely is a measure of your station’s performance as well as your operating performance. Otherwise what are we testing ourselves against?


#19

Conditions, the state of the Sun-Earth mechanisms, the troposphere, etc.

The MT have discussed this very problem on a number of occasions, extensively in 2016 and most recently at the end of July this year. No complete agreement has been reached, it isn’t a simple question.

Take the case of Hack Green discussed above (which I have never accessed) - last time I checked there were 162 accessible web SDRs available world wide, mostly in Europe. There are probably more by now. This raises the possibility that a chaser could switch from web SDR to web SDR in his region until he finds one receiving an activation that he has seen posted, and procedes to call this activator in the hope that his higher power will be heard. So if we permit the use of a web SDR for receiving, which some people with noise or antenna restrictions would find desirable, should we limit the use to just one nominated web SDR, and how could we police this?

Then look at remote stations. There are a number of remote stations that you can rent time on, and some people are able to set up their own remote to combat home QTH problems. All well and good, but a wealthy or well-connected ham might be able to set up more than one remote in different regions, would this be permittable? Would it be permittable to rent time on more than one remote? Bear in mind that there is the case of shared stations, we don’t blink an eye at working two activators or chasers sharing a mike at one station (many an activation has been saved by this stratagem!) but does it change the case if they are in different locations and sharing the use of a remote? Bear in mind that a remote can be regarded as a station with a very long mike and speaker (or headphone) lead!

I won’t go further into the labyrinth of the MT discussions, but bear in mind that as things stand the use of Hack Green and remotes in general is not specifically against the rules. Some may regard it as outwith the “spirit of SOTA” but until the MT can arrive at a ruling, I repeat that the use of remotes is not forbidden. When will the MT arrive at a ruling? Who knows, but it is only one of many matters under review, and perhaps not the most important one. Please continue to discuss the matter, the MT will take into account any useful points that may arise, and if a change in the rules emerges then it will be announced on this reflector.


#20

One basic principal of the SOTA scheme is inclusion, therefore to change the rules to ban the use of remote stations (whether just Rx or Rx & Tx) would go against this principal for the cases you mention Brian. I am sure there are other reasons that stop a chaser from setting up effective equipment (living in an old peoples home, comes to mind). Before someone decides that all “acceptable” situations be listed and then have someone managing and controlling this (and more rules in SOTA will only drive people away from the sceme) - I would rather fall back on the position that chasers should use their own judgement of what is “right” and what is not.
After all the only person you are “competing” against in this award scheme is yourself.

73 Ed.