Other SOTA sites: SOTAwatch | SOTA Home | Database | Video | Photos | Shop | Mapping | FAQs | Facebook | Contact SOTA

DX Cluster

I’m a big fan of the DX Cluster a very useful tool when working DX on HF especially when the bands are total pants. My personal preference is DX Sherlock and I’ve been using it for about 18 months.

Just wondering how it all works and whether it would be possible to link the SOTA spots directly into the DX cluster. If this doesn’t happen already, maybe someone can tell me what would be involved. Dunno if there would be a cost factor or not, however, it would certainly prove interesting for the activators.

Any thoughts?

73
M6MMM

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Hi Mike,

From experience, the last thing I would want is every activation appearing on the DX cluster. It has caused some big headaches for genuine SOTA chasers (& activators) in the past.

73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to 2E0YYY:

whether it would be possible to link the SOTA spots directly into the DX cluster

You could use the RSS feed or write your own screen scraper (native or use Beautiful Soup). Martyn does something to put the SOTA spots out on a Twitter feed. Not particularly difficult at all.

I don’t think forcing SOTA spots onto the DX cluster is a good idea. I think I’m probably not the only one with that mindset.

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
Some sota spots end up on the cluster, well I know that some people have spotted me and it’s ended up on my favourite cluster network, www.dxsummit.fi

Adrian
Mm0tai

In reply to MM0TAI:

Hi Adrian,

When I have been the only station that can hear an activator & a spot or two on SOTAwatch doesn’t bring any any more chasers I will spot an activator on the cluster. This would only be after several minutes with no callers & only if the activator had still to qualify the summit. This I would see as a good use of the Cluster for SOTA purposes.

The problem arises when an activator that may already be having to cope with a pile-up of SOTA chasers, suddenly finds themselves inundated with DX chasers too. This can only cause problems for the activator, not to mention the genuine SOTA chasrrs that may now not get to work the activator, or even other activators whose generally QRP stations would not be able to compete with the 1.5 Killowatt + multi beam DX chasers.

Just my opinion, but as Andy says, probably a commonly held one in SOTA circles.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

From experience, the last thing I would want is every activation
appearing on the DX cluster. It has caused some big headaches for
genuine SOTA chasers (& activators) in the past.

Hi Mark,

Maybe the 20m zoo and the other lower frequencies, contacts are easier to find. However, as someone who rarely ventures below 17m, where band conditions have been very difficult for some time now, any help would be quite useful on a SOTA activation.

73
Mike
M6MMM

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Quote “However, as someone who rarely ventures below 17m, where band conditions have been very difficult for some time now, any help would be quite useful on a SOTA activation.”

Give it a another 12 months or so & the situation may well be somewhat different HI!

By all means use the DX cluster, & if you would like spotting on there as well as on SOTAwatch I am sure many chasers would do that for you. As the saying goes, the activator is King (or Queen) so however you wish to solicit contacts is entirely up to you.

Best 73,

Mark G0VOF

In reply to G0VOF:

Give it a another 12 months or so & the situation may well be
somewhat different HI!

I’ve read two articles about sunspot activity, this is one, but I can’t find a link to the other. Seems all is not well with the currant bun :frowning:

By all means use the DX cluster, & if you would like spotting on
there as well as on SOTAwatch I am sure many chasers would do that for
you. As the saying goes, the activator is King (or Queen) so however
you wish to solicit contacts is entirely up to you.

Cheers Mark…

73
Mike M6MMM

In reply to 2E0YYY:

any help would be quite useful

The problem is you can’t please all the people all the time. Sometimes I find I can’t please any of the people any of the time! So rather than mixing all the differing interests automatically I think it’s better left to the users.

That means that SOTA spots appear here by default and if people want to add those spots to the DXcluster or other spotting sites then it’s their decision. Obviously some common sense is needed, the DXcluster is for DX so automatically pushing all SOTA spots would be wrong so you have to hope those posting to the cluster have some clue.

There are quite a few ways to help yourself Mike. But if we assume that you want help in addition to Sotawatch then you can consider the following ideas.

As you don’t wander terribly far from civilisation on your activations to date, you can probably get reliable internet access on your phone and put yourself onto the DX cluster direct. There are plenty of DXclusters that have web interfaces available. I’m thinking of web based access as that will be available on any phone that has net access.

An other way is the phone-a-friend / SMS-a-friend route. This requires nothing more than having a tame spotter you know will be in their shack and calling them with the details.

Everything else spots to Sotawatch using SMS/APRS or remote net access and we’ve already determined you want the spot somewhere in addition to there. So they’re not want you want.

Of course you could do the obvious… when there’s no propagation on the higher bands, come down to a band where there is propagation. :wink:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to MM0FMF:
Sure it would not do any good to post all SOTA spots to the DX cluster.
But on the other hand: Let us admit that after all those successful years of growing, SOTA still remains a niche activity. Compare SOTA to WFF, which becomes widely popular (while it is not my cup of tea indeed) taking over SOTA in a short time. So far nobody complained about WFF spots on the cluster and I believe a SOTA spot there now and then could only promote SOTA among the ordinary hams on the bands.
Just my opinion.
73 Ruda OK2QA

In reply to 2E0YYY:

I’ve read two articles about sunspot activity, this is one, but I
can’t find a link to the other. Seems all is not well with the currant
bun :frowning:

http://aa7ee.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/low-solar-activity-the-beginning-of-a-new-era/

This has to be read with healthy scepticism. The prediction rests largely on two observations: the behaviour of a jet stream and diminishing magnetic fields in sunspots over recent cycles. The jet stream has only been observable in recent years, and as for the diminishing magnetic field - well, there were plenty of naked-eye visible sunspots in the last cycle plus the most powerful flares observed during the satellite era, and the current cycle has already produced sunspots visible without a telescope and powerful X flares. I find myself wondering if the diminishing magnetic fields (as measured, I believe, by Zeeman splitting of spectrum lines) is an artifact of improved techniques, and I wonder if we are extrapolating on the jet stream too soon since it has not been observable for all that long. I’m not saying the predictions are wrong, they may be right, but predicting the course of sunspot cycles has been spectacularly unsuccessful in the past so I wouldn’t put any money on the latest predictions!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

I’m not saying the predictions are wrong, they may be right, but
predicting the course of sunspot cycles has been spectacularly
unsuccessful in the past so I wouldn’t put any money on the latest
predictions!

Well, in my humble opinion, things aren’t what they should be, Brian. I’ve just taken a look at the Sherlock DX 10m cluster at 1430z and there was just five spots on it! Last August and September, was a totally diferent story.

I’ve been following http://www.southgatearc.org/bands/10metres/august2011/august_23.htm for some time now and he’s tearing his hair out :frowning:

It’s all very frustrating for the higher HF junkies :frowning:

73
Mike M6MMM

In reply to 2E0YYY:

10 is as up and down as a manic depressive, most of what has been about has been Es with (I believe) just a smidgeon of F2 earlier this year, and it hasn’t been a vintage Es season IMHO although there has been some good stuff about. Hopefully the sun will become more active and make us happy, maximum is still a couple of years away!

73

Brian