Reverse beacon network going graphical
- Felipe, PY1NB has been busy this week. The main page of the CW Skimmer
reverse beacon network server (http://skimmer.dxwatch.com ) now displays a
world map on which all active "reverse beacons" are shown as green dots, DX
spotted by the CW Skimmers is shown as orange dots, and the paths between
the "spotter" and "spotted" are shown. You can mouse over either the DX or
beacon dots to see what station it is, and the paths are color-coded by
band. You can also set the spot lifetime anywhere from 15 seconds to 10
minutes - if a station is still being heard on the same frequency, Skimmer
renews the spot every 10 minutes. Because the service is based on Google
Maps, you can zoom in close. With a short spot lifetime and a busy band,
the site almost provides an animation of the propagation.
There are still a few known issues on the page, reflecting its beta
status. For example, although the "beacons" are accurately located, spots
in any given country are still shown in an arbitrary location near the
center of the country; Felipe is studying the feasibility of doing a QRZ
lookup and then locating them more precisely. The great circle paths are
still a little lumpy, and the mouse-over function is a little
twitchy. When you change the spot lifetime, the lifetime of all spots is
reset to the new value, even if they were originally much older, so it
takes a little while to settle out. Look for additional functionality in
the next few weeks, and if you see Felipe in Dayton, say hi and tell him
you appreciate all his work.
Meanwhile, the reverse beacon network still needs additional CW Skimmers
operating on more bands and in more locations. For example, every morning
I spot VK and ZL stations on 40M. I wonder what the VKs and ZLs are
hearing, on that or any other band. Who'll be the first reverse beacon in
JA, or BY, or HL?
73, Pete N4ZR
- Just captured a CQ from a friend of mine Ray, GM4CXM, on 23cm.
However, it did then pick up a corrupted spot as GM46XM, where the C
became a 6. Is there a way to clean up 'bad' spots?
Cheers - Dave (G0DJA)