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Author Topic: Guidance on clusters please  (Read 2986 times)
KC1GCG
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Posts: 190




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« on: February 05, 2017, 10:19:10 AM »

Greetings,
Couple or three questions on cluster reporting usage. I primarily have been using those I have access to using the "Cluster" option on my LOG40M looging software.
I find the vast majority of reporters are from the EU location. Thus does not help me much to know someone in France just spoke with Indonesia.
1) Are there any active and busy clusters that primarily are for users located in the US looking for outside of the US.?
2) Are there any clusters for reporting US to other US contacts? "Local DX" as I heard one humorous Ham refer to it as:) Great Oxymoron or Yogism that is:)
I have discovered some of the great nets (OMISS etc) for making US contacts and do partake but, like this morning , sometimes I really only have 5 minutes to pop on and did not have time for a net or to spin the dial and I got one from Portugal using a cluster. Great way to start the day Eh?!
And if anyone is thinking "spin your dial" thank you so much already mastered that option:) Great minds think alike.  Enjoy.
Best regards
John K1JRF

 
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KE4KY
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Posts: 710


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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 12:12:16 PM »

Either with the program you are using, or with the cluster you are logged into, there are filter commands to only receive USA or North America spots. Even more filters to cut out bands and modes you don't wish to see.


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Glenn KE4KY - Ham since 1975
ND6M
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Posts: 843




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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 01:04:44 PM »

try http://hamspots.net/
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W1VT
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Posts: 3392




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« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 05:02:21 PM »

http://www.dxwatch.com/dxsd1/
This site has a reasonably intuitive screen for setting up a filter

Zack W1VT
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AA6YQ
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Posts: 3277


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« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2017, 10:12:25 PM »

Thus does not help me much to know someone in France just spoke with Indonesia.

If you're pursuing a QSO with Indonesia, then knowing that someone in France is working a station in Indonesia could be very helpful:

- it adds to your knowledge of when the station in Indonesia is QRV

- if the band is currently open from your QTH to Indonesia, then it's worthwhile calling the station in Indonesia when the QSO with the French station is completed; listening to the station in Indonesia work stations in other locations may reveal information about his or her operating pattern and operating technique (e.g. likes tail-enders vs ignores tail-enders).

- if the band is not currently open from your QTH to Indonesia but soon will be, then it it's worthwhile waiting for the band to open and then attempting contact with the station in Indonesia

    73,

          Dave, AA6YQ

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#1 DXCC Honor Roll, DXCC Challenge 3000
N3QE
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Posts: 5593




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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 09:42:11 AM »

I agree that usually a French guy working an Indonesian guy says nothing about whether it is workable from the US.

But if a French station works a rare African station, it probably is workable from US.

I have written myself many custom tools to help me sort through spots. I eliminate the worked country-modes, I eliminate the confirmed band-modes, and only see the new slots. Almost always I know that the band is shut down to that part of the world from my part of the world but still let them scroll by for my eyes to peruse because sometimes it will be a possible (if unusual) opening and I don't completely trust my ability to write a propagation-aware filter that would not sometimes throw out the baby with the bathwater.
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W1XWX
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Posts: 62


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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 02:57:41 PM »

Good answers above-- just remember once a rare DX is spotted on the cluster EVERYBODY knows about it and will be generating a pileup. Periodically scan the band(s) for ones that are NEW and not reported yet. 73
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Life's too short for QRP
AA6YQ
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Posts: 3277


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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 06:34:23 PM »

Good answers above-- just remember once a rare DX is spotted on the cluster EVERYBODY knows about it and will be generating a pileup. Periodically scan the band(s) for ones that are NEW and not reported yet. 73

Finding needed DX before it's spotted is indeed critical. Clusters can reveal information about operating habits and propagation openings that enable you to listen for needed DX on specific band segments at specific times, which can be more productive than periodically scanning the bands.
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#1 DXCC Honor Roll, DXCC Challenge 3000
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