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Andy's Cluster

OK Ian - Windows user here. No Apple products. Out of my price range! Logger 32 used for what must be 20 years. A very expensive well supported station management program (FOC).

Hope you can fettle it… now lets see if we can hear the Sysop on Millfore…

73 Phil

have got back in now! first time in 4 days!

Great glad its working for you now Ian - null signal from Millfore at my QTH on 60/30/40m. I’ve given up on him… Activated and chased some years ago so no worries…

73 Phil

Bah! I’m back at the hotel so I can check things just in case. The cluster had been up for 38888mins, that’s just over 27days. OK, I think Ian was blacklisted for too many failed logins. Everything looked good so instead of detaching and letting it run I hit quit and shut it down :frowning: That’s why everyone was disconnected. Sorry for that, put it down to visual overload today on Millfore.

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I recall seeing Ian’s callsign logged in about 5 times in the SH/USERS list a few days ago and wondered what was going on, I must say. Its good as a user being able to see who’s in there at the same time, nosey-parkering so to speak!

73 Phil

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I got in using elgur.crabdance.com 7300, but as soon as I tried to enter my call at login, the connection failed. This happened multiple times. The current message now says I’m now on the blacklist (apparently too many failed tries) ;-).

In the absence of a logging program that can suck the data from the telnet site, what is the use case for this site? Is it simply an alternate to SOTAWatch in case that goes down, or am I failing to understand some features?

73 Paula k9ir

HI Paula
Without combining Andy’s cluster with a logging program and CAT control I cannot see a use for it.

The main benefit I see in using it is speed by using a CAT connection from PC to Transceiver meaning there is partial station automation and less spinning of the dial. So I click on a SOTA spot in the DX Spots window of my logging program without further maunal intervention of the radio. CAT control puts my transceiver on the frequency of the SOTA spot with the radio set to the right mode based on the frequency of the spot. Hopefully if I get through first call the activator is in my log within 30 seconds and I can look to work somebody else. That’s it.

AS a DXer as well as being a SOTA enthusiast I also connect to the VE7CC filtered DX cluster at the same time using a proxy connection to the CC User program, which I also leave running 24/7, so mingled with the SOTA Spots in the logging program window are the filtered DXCC Countries I am hunting on all bands from 160m up to 6m. Those (much fewer) DX Spots are distinguishable from the SOTA Spots as they are in red text. Andy’s cluster is an effective tool in the armoury of my station for sure and helps me work a lot of stations quickly.

73 Phil

Strange Paula but there is probably an easy explanation. What software are you using to connect (program and OS)?

It was written to provide a cluster like interface to SOTAwatch for logging programs but you can use it just to monitor spots without taking up a browser tab.

The original version used the deprecated RSS feed for spots but now it is using the new API that Jon has been working on. This is the same source for spots that both SOTAwatch uses (really SOTAwatch 2) and the new SOTAwatch 3 in development uses. So it is an adjunct not independant of SOTAwatch.

The blacklist probably needs relaxing now I have significant runtime logging. It was added to stop people connecting and disconnecting. You get 10(I think) connection attempts per hour and then you can’t logon until 1 hour has passed. It can probably be removed now. There was a nagging bug that would cause it to crash randomly which I just could not find until there was a seperate problem with SOTAwatch one day, found and fixed in 5 minutes then. I think the longest it has run is 39days before I had to reboot the server due to security updates. It’s now so reliable with the new API and that fix, I no longer check it is working!

Many thanks to G4OBK and MM0FMF for their replies. I should have been able to figure out that I can add this site to the list of cluster connections in DXLab (the logging, etc. software I use), and then be able to click on the spots it generates in SpotCollecter to pre-populate the DXKeeper log page.

I am using Windows 10 Pro 64 bit. I activated Microsoft Telnet, then went to the command prompt to verify its activation. MS Telnet doesn’t use the “usual” telnet commands, it seems, and once I decided to enter ?/help to RTFM, I learned the connect command is “o” followed by the site, with a space (not colon) between the site and port used.

I have the same connect issues today. I can connect to the cluster, but as soon as I type “k” to enter my full call at the login prompt, I get “Connection to host lost. Press any key to continue…”

Is MS Telnet not a good option? What is a good substitute under Windows 10?

73 Paula k9ir

Paula. look closer into your DXLab software. I only know Logger32. Most logging progs have a telnet window built into them, so that telnetted info from DX Clusters like Andy’s is integrated into the ham radio software being used. I don’t think a telnet window within Windows 10 will integrate the way we need it to.

Maybe if there is a DXLab Forum they can help you with their specialised knowledge…

73 and TNX for QSOs we had on 20m CW earlier in the year.


Absolutely no problem setting it up in DXLab’s SpotCollector, and now I have the spots displayed. Very cool.

And as a bonus, I enabled and learned a few things about MS Telnet along the way!

Tnx for the very nice cluster. That’s 2 new SOTA-related tools I’ve learned about in the last 2 weeks.

73 Paula k9ir

Cool it is Paula getting those spots into your vision on screen… like the Sysop, cool guy also, probably on his way back home now from Gallivanting in Galloway, SW Scotland.

73 de Phil

Heh heh ;-). And many tnx to you for those 20M Qs!

73 Paula

Sigh… Hang in there with me… I used to be smart…

I got it to work on Putty but it disconnects immediately on Log4OM.

What am I doing wrong?


Kent K9EZ

You’re in according to my admin console.

Via Putty.

Well I got in that time. Lots of storms around. Perhaps a local issue. Thanks!



To configure SpotCollector click the Config button near there top right of the SpotCollector Window:


On the ‘SpotCollector Configuration’ Window Select the ‘Spot Sources’ Tab
Use any one of the 4 ‘Telnet DXCluster’ lines to enter the details - here is mine (just put your call instead of mine):

Close the ‘SpotCollector Configuration’ Window

If you want to filter the spots to only show SOTA ones at the bottom of the SpotCollector Window you will have a set of buttons like ‘SQL 1’, ‘SQL 2’ etc. Hold the Ctrl Key and Click one of them to get the ‘Spot Collector SQL Filter Window’
In one of the unused sections enter:


Close the ‘Spot Collector SQL Filter Window’

If you click the Button that now has ‘SOTA’ you will see only SOTA spots.

Double click a Spot in the list to change to the correct frequency and you are ready to log a contact (as long as the currently selected radio is the correct one).

To get all the spots back - Click the ‘X’



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Anyone else having any problems with the cluster at the moment? I haven’t been able to get in today or yesterday.

Hi Ester,getting in ok but slow response for me. Don.

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