Collecting Spots from the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN)

de W4TV, SM7IUN, VE7CC, N4ZR, and AA6YQ

The Remote Beacon Network (RBN) collects spots from a network of automated stations around the world running applications that can simultaneously decode multiple signals in

Collectively, unattended applications such as these are referred to as Skimmers.

Many Telnet DXClusters provide the option to convey RBN spots. The commands used to enable, select, and disable the conveyance of RBN spots by a particular DXCluster depend on which Cluster Management Application that DXCluster is running - typically displayed when you first log in to a DXCluster. Commands for controlling RBN spots with the most common Cluster Management Applications are described below. When RBN spots are enabled, the the callsigns of spotting stations are extended with -#. To prevent SpotCollector from discarding these spots, uncheck the Discard spots from spotting station callsigns ending in -# box on the Pre-filtering window.

Because Skimmers are not perfect in the face of QRM and QRN, the RBN should be expected to convey spots of busted callsigns. Cluster Management Applications employ multiple strategies for tagging spots whose quality is likely low:

Because it aggregates spots from many automated stations, the rate of spots conveyed by the RBN is high - especially during contests. Thus if you configure SpotCollector to connect to a DXCluster that you've configured to convey RBN spots, be sure to optimize SpotCollector's performance.


DXCluster Commands

AR-Cluster v6

CC Cluster

DX Spider


DXClusters Known to Convey RBN Spots



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CollectingSpotsRBN (last edited 2022-02-08 21:30:43 by AA6YQ)