RBNHOLE Nuisance

Several times I failed to post an alert or spotting did not work for some reason.
Once I did it on purpose just to see how it looks like to activate a 10-pointer without RBN generated pileup.

Endless CQing produced disappointing results.
Eventually I DID manage to qualify the summit, but the qso count was very poor.
Back at home RBN search proved that my signal was good all the time - people just do not tune up and down the band as before.

By the way, I am not satisfied with just qualifying the summit (making those 4 qsos and a bit more). I enjoy the pileup and I am satisfied with my activation when I have at least 30 qsos in the log. Therefore I appreciate very much the existence of RBNGate/Hole.

73 Fric YU1WC

Thank you very much. That is very helpful (unlike the sarcastic comments from certain “founder members”). I had not been aware of this application before, and it is very well documented. I shall enjoy using it.

Walt (G3NYY)

In an ideal world, that filtering would all be part of SOTAWatch itself. It’s my first choice if I’m doing serious chasing.

I agree it’s a nuisance. Did my first ever CW activation yesterday and do you think I could get my own software to spot me?? Bloody cheek of it…

I would have loved three CW spots! Luckily I had phone coverage and a spare pair of underwear. Apologies for the bad CW to those I worked

1 Like

Guys, guys, guys, the problem isn’t with RBNGate or RBNHole, the real problem is all these activators using CW. I don’t speak beeps!

But in all seriousness, is there a way that RBNHole can make sure a summit reference is valid before spotting? Or I suppose SOTAwatch could also make sure the reference is valid before allowing the alert to be posted. I’ve seen several alerts and spots go through with summit references along the line of “W9/WI-0xx”. I can see how some activators may like people to know they might be out on a certain day but haven’t decided on a particular summit yet, but people being spotted on non-existent summits isn’t helping anyone.

As I understand it the spots from any of the automated tools are based on a combination of:

a. an alert normally posted in advance by the activator, for a specific summit (or a generic code)
b. the RBN detecting a cq from a callsign that matches the activator’s callsign and approximate frequency

When those conditions are met, the automated spotter posts a spot for that callsign, and assumes that the alerted summit code is correct. It has to spot using some summit code or sotawatch won’t allow the spot (but should it allow the generic code like w7/?_*?)

To prevent generic summit codes, the automated system could either ignore alerts without a valid summit code, or the sotawatch alert posting system could refuse them in the first place.

Andrew vk1da/vk2uh


Very few things are perfect in this world, and as RBN Hole was produced as a stopgap, I think we are lucky to have it.

I have found it very helpful as an activator.

I am sure there are many of us who would like an RBN Hole with all the bells and whistles, but at the moment at least we have the capability, which I am very grateful for.

David (G4ZAO)


Why isn’t this useful? The point of a spot is to tell people about activity on a frequency. You get the summit reference from the activator.



True, with some activators NEVER giving the summit unless you asak for it!


So what you’re saying is that during a contact you ask the activator for the SOTA reference, and the activator gives it to you. What a shocking state of affairs.


Umm, last time I was up on Titterstone Clee Hill, I had a complete blank as to the SOTA reference, despite having been up there many times. I had to ask chasers what it was!

The joys of a new paper logbook with no previous entries in, no phone signal, and getting older… :frowning:

m0hcu (I think ;))