Determining a DX Spot's Mode

A DX Spot contains the following information:

  1. DX station callsign
  2. spotting station callsign
  3. DX station's frequency
  4. time
  5. notes
  6. spotting station grid square (appended by some clusters by performing a callbook lookup of the spotting station callsign)

Note the absence of the DX station's mode. When the packetcluster network was first developed and deployed during the late 1980s, there were only three active modes - CW, SSB, and RTTY - so a DX station's mode was obvious from its frequency. If a DX station was working CW in a phone band, that would be mentioned in the spot notes. When soundcard digital mode operation became popular, the use of spot notes to indicate a specific digital mode came into practice.

Because DX spots do not formally specify the DX station's mode, SpotCollector infers it by first inspecting the DX spot's notes for the presence of a mode indicator, like RTTY or JT65 or Olivia. If a mode indicator is recognized, then SpotCollector uses that mode when creating or updating a Spot Database Entry from the DX spot. If no recognized mode indicator is found in the DX spot's notes, then SpotCollector uses the DX spot frequency to choose a sub-band in SpotCollector's sub-band definition file, and uses the mode associated with that sub-band when creating or updating a Spot Database Entry from the DX spot.

When you direct WinWarbler to generate an outgoing DX spot, it populates the outgoing spot's notes based on its current Operating Mode. When you direct DXKeeper to generate an outgoing DX spot from a logged QSO or from information in the Capture window, the QSO's mode is used to populate the outgoing spot's notes.

When you use SpotCollector's Outgoing spot panel to generate an outgoing spot, however, it's not possible to accurately determine the DX station's mode from the transceiver's mode alone. If the transceiver mode is USB or DATA-U, for example, SpotCollector can't tell whether you're operating in PSK31, PSK63, PSK125, JT65, Olivia, or Contestia. So if you want a mode indicator included in the outgoing spot notes, you must explicitly add it to the Outgoing spot panel's Notes box before clicking the Cluster button to generate the outgoing spot.

Also note that after generating an outgoing DX spot, what you see in the Spot Database Display is an entry constructed from that DX spot as received from a DX cluster, as well as from DX spots generated by other ops for the same station. SpotCollector will infer the entry's mode using the procedure described above. To see what DX spots including yours - have been used to provide the information displayed in a Spot Database Entry, right-click the Entry and select the Display spots of ... command.

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Getting Started with Spot Collection

Getting Started with DXLab

SpotDatabaseMode (last edited 2018-07-04 04:58:24 by AA6YQ)