RBNHOLE Nuisance

The Spots list on SOTAwatch is awash with duplicate, triplicate and multiple spots for the same few stations today. Most of these spots are created by RBNHOLE.

Surely this is overkill!

My own single spot for an activation at 1350 UTC was drowned amongst the flood of superfluous RBNHOLE spots.

Walt (G3NYY)

I can fully sympathise with you Walt however, RBNHole is only a temporary fix.

As an Activator I appreciate the support it provides.

As a Chaser I engage the ‘Overload Filter’ (the brain) and ignore the dupes.

I am sure we will have the RBNGate online in a due and appropriate time.

73 Glyn

Each to their own, Glyn.

I do not like it, and I opted out of RBNGate too when it was available. Personally, as an activator, I find it unnecessary … in common with the DX Cluster, which has ruined traditional DX chasing on the HF bands.

Walt (G3NYY)

To paraphrase Tweety-Pie

“I tawt I taw a non-sequitur!”


"I did! I did taw a non-sequitur!


Walt, compact spots would have resolved this. It has been discussed before. It’s located here: http://www.sotawatch.org/user.php

If you select the “more spots” option you get 20 compacted spots instead of 10 spots and 10 alerts.

Default view

Compact view

Where is the “more spots” option, Andy, I can’t see it. The “more spots” option on the main page gives 12 hours worth with 28 visible without scrolling.

I never noticed it went for 12 hours rather than a fixed number. I’m sure it used to be 20 unless you clicked 24/48/72 hrs.

I only ever look at the top of the page anyway!


We serious chasers live with Sotawatch in our eyes and monitored popular channels in our ears!:wink:

The number of spots visible without scrolling is a feature of the magnification to which you have set your browser display. In Windows, try Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to change it.


All the huffing and puffing from North of the Border does not alter the fact that the Spots function of Sotawatch is being flooded with unnecessary, multiple spots created by RBNHOLE.

Unfortunately, in common with the DX Cluster, spotting on Sotawatch has come to encourage poor operating by those incompetents who rely upon the spots alone to identify the callsign of a station and to obtain details of its location. This leads to people calling an activator “blind” even when they cannot hear the station, or have not been able to read its callsign on-air.


…which is why the “Compact view” option was introduced Walt. The previous (and hopefully future) RBNgate was also prone to this, perhaps to a lesser extent. Even individually submitted manually-entered spots could flood the page with repeat spots in the default view, especially when a few over-enthusiastic chasers felt the urge to advise the world what filling the activator had on his/her sandwiches - or indeed the flavour of the soup. The compact view was the solution applied to this recognised issue.

So can you not just apply a couple of clicks to achieve the Spots page view that you desire?

There is possibly a valid argument to have the compact view as the default, with the expanded view (multiple spots and comments lines) being the user option. However, the process of switching from one to the other is so trivial that it hardly matters.

I recon the RBNgate / Hole works well it saves me putting on my reading glasses and finding some shade for my phone screen so I can sort of see it among the finger marks on it. So go to cw and just simply call cq sota and it spots for me. Imagine if it was spotting for ssb as well. Preaching to the converted I know I use the Home selection for my screen then the alerts and spots just roll off after about 6 of each. But yes Walt I can see if I hadn’t looked at my phone in that moment your spot was on I may well have missed it. Hope you Qualified by the way .
regards to all
ian vk5cz …

I just take the good (which outweighs) with the bad.

I like to go to remote areas where I do not always have phone service or it is very spotty. RBNGate/Hole allow me continue operating even when I am unable to spot myself.

Just like everything else, I might love something that someone else hates.



There’s none so blind as those who don’t read the display.

Looking at the normal view and counting 5 spots after yours and 5 before show the time covered is 1337 to 1403, or a period 26mins. Compact view 5 spots after to 5 spots before shows the time as 1236 to 1431 of a period of 95mins.

Non-compact 11 spots over 26 mins
Compact 11 spots over 95mins

It also lumps any spots with the same freq/mode into a single spot with a depth count. So the spot next from yours was HA5AZP/P and the [+5] means five similar spots.

But by all means, ignore what is being shown if you want.


Well, perhaps when the long-awaited User Guide for Sotawatch2 is eventually published we’ll all be privy to these intricacies of the system!



A spot is not a pre-requisite to continue operating, Mike. I often activate a summit without spotting myself. A CQ call works wonders! 90% of the time I can qualify a summit without self-spotting and without the assistance of RBN facilities (which I have disabled). If all else fails, you can always resort to replying to someone else’s CQ call.

Walt (G3NYY)

No … no! That information is reserved for Reflector postings by the activator!



You obviously have much greater success than most other activators who find a spot is extremely helpful. From experience in EI/IN (and others) with no way of spotting it takes a long time calling CQ to get the attention of the SOTA fraternity. I have certainly reaped the benefit of RBN spots and hope they stay in existence.

Victor GI4ONL

The filter at http://www.mathieudavid.org/webapps/sotawatchfilter/#/spotfilter will let you ignore RBNHOLE spots, if you like…


Has anyone else noticed how the SOTA Reflector is awash with duplicate, triplicate and multiple complaints about spotting systems from the same station?