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Author Topic: What is a strong signal on RBN?  (Read 4817 times)
KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« on: July 31, 2013, 09:50:29 AM »

Within the past several hours I got snr reports of 8 dB to 25 dB at different RBN locations on 40 meters.  What would you consider a good, usable signal at the RBN location?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2013, 10:01:25 AM by KA0HVE » Logged
AA4GA
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Posts: 118


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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2013, 12:44:32 PM »

If you're talking in absolute terms, you shouldn't have much trouble at any level reported by RBN.  A lot depends though on the RX station's (the station you're trying to work, not necessarily the skimmer) noise level, etc.  At the S/N ratios you cite, I've been able to make QSOs before without too much difficulty.  I don't recall getting a lot of reports over 25 - 30 dB.
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KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 07:27:34 AM »

This morning I noticed something on RBN.  A call sign popped up as KA0H.  Hmmm...I wonder.  I looked at 3 of them and they were all me, KA0HVE; same day, same time, same frequency, same mode (cw), same wpm.

If my signal is strong enough to get the first 4 characters it would seem to be strong enough to get the last two.

I've only been watching RBN for maybe a week to 10 days.  Does it happen often that RBN truncates call signs?
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AK7V
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Posts: 251




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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 12:59:51 PM »

Computers don't copy CW 100% all of the time.  And there could have also been some fading.  I have never seen my call truncated on RBN, but if my call were truncated, it would no longer be a valid amateur call, so maybe those occurrences are filtered out.
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KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 01:12:25 PM »

In this case KA0H is a valid call sign but I've also looked at one or two calls that came up on RBN that weren't in QRZ but I suppose not every call sign in the world is in QRZ.

I just went back and looked again.  It happened 5 times this morning.  Two more must have come in since I checked.  Five truncations to the same KA0H call sign on 5 different skimmers seems a bit odd.  Anyway, I just thought I'd ask.

Thanks.
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N6EV
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Posts: 4




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« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 05:45:05 PM »

As one of RBN's Skimmers I can provide a little bit of insight.  CW Skimmer is used at each RBN node to decode callsigns.  As with any automated CW decoder, the spacing of the received code plays a big role.  Once Skimmer starts decoding at a specific speed/rhythm, any change in spacing increases the potential for a decode error.   Pay attention to the space you're sending between the H and V in your call.  Make sure it's consistent with the spaces in the rest of your call.  You may be adding enough additional space to 'break the train' of the anticipated rhythm Skimmer has locked onto.  This happens more with manually generated code.. but can also be introduced with iambic keying.

Hope this helps.
73
Paul  N6EV
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KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2013, 11:44:24 AM »

Paul,

Yes, that does help.

By coincidence I installed CWGet on my netbook last night with the purpose of improving my sending using a straight key.  Yep, at times my spacing is definitely off.  I'm certain I've confused the skimmers in these instances but that should change with some more practice.

In my mind the mystery is solved.

One thing is certain, looking at RBN shows me that my modest little QRP station is reaching out farther than I ever dreamed possible.  I had heard QRP works and only recently began trying it.  Now I'm convinced.

I may never set any miles/watt records but I'm having lots of fun.

Thanks all!
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W7AIT
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Posts: 488




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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2013, 12:38:02 PM »

My opinion, right or wrong, I use 6 db/ S-unit using the RBN SNR report data to make a guess in S-units how well the skimmer is hearing me.  The important thing is where its being heard, tells me propagation is working / or working somewhat in that direction.  If I get no return reports, then maybe there is no paths from me or something is broken here.  Usually its the paths aren't open and I just change to a lower band and try again.

I find RBN a VERY, VERY useful tool, even in the gross sense, its tells me if I'm getting out and tells me a lot about my station and antennas. 
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KA0HVE
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Posts: 117




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« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2013, 06:41:02 AM »

W7AIT,

I seem to hit a lot of skimmers to the east and one or two in Texas.  Since I keep myself limited to 40 meters due to time availability that helps me see if my signal is going anywhere or if the band isn't ideal for me at that time.
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KH2BR
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Posts: 103




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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2013, 10:35:18 AM »

The RBN helped me last night working into Finland on a dead 20 meter band. I called CQ many times and saw my signal being heard in EU and also Finland. Plenty of artic flutter on the signal, just wish it was better like in early 70's.
The strongest my signal copied was by a state side station 50db last night on 40 meters.
Robert KH2BR
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KD4TVB
Member

Posts: 81




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« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 07:38:37 AM »

The RBN helped me last night working into Finland on a dead 20 meter band. I called CQ many times and saw my signal being heard in EU and also Finland. Plenty of artic flutter on the signal, just wish it was better like in early 70's.
The strongest my signal copied was by a state side station 50db last night on 40 meters.
Robert KH2BR

I have never used RBN but is sounds like it lets you know where your signal is being heard around the world.
Does it work with both CW and SSB?


Thanks,
Charles,
KD4TVB,
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KF7DS
Member

Posts: 189




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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2013, 10:13:00 AM »

The RBN helped me last night working into Finland on a dead 20 meter band. I called CQ many times and saw my signal being heard in EU and also Finland. Plenty of artic flutter on the signal, just wish it was better like in early 70's.
The strongest my signal copied was by a state side station 50db last night on 40 meters.
Robert KH2BR

I have never used RBN but is sounds like it lets you know where your signal is being heard around the world.
Does it work with both CW and SSB?


Thanks,
Charles,
KD4TVB,


Use it..vy useful

Don kf7ds
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AA4GA
Member

Posts: 118


WWW

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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2013, 05:41:57 PM »

I have never used RBN but is sounds like it lets you know where your signal is being heard around the world.
Does it work with both CW and SSB?

Yes, it does that - very interesting and useful!  It is CW-only, although i think a "digital" version is being (or has been developed). 
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