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Telnet Filters for ARRL DX Contests

Part of a presentation at a YCCC Contest University had to do with using filters to restrict the telnet spots that you see in your computer. If you have a desire to use Skimmer spots, the use of a filter is almost necessary to restrict the spots hitting your computer. I will use N1MM as the example of a logging program, and how I would set it up to make the spot filters most accessible to the user.

Filters are predicated on several requirements:

  1. There is no need to see WARC, VHF, or UHF spots.
  2. There is no need to see SSB spots.
  3. You may want to see your own spots (or selected stations spots)
  4. You may want (or not want) Skimmer spots.
  5. AR Cluster nodes normally default to no skimmer spots, so they must be turned on if you want to see them.

There are three main software packages for telnet nodes:

  1. AR Cluster (K1TTT, WC2L, W1GQ)
  2. DX Spider (W1NR, K1RK)
  3. CC Cluster (VE7CC)

CC Cluster uses its own interface program that allows you to customize what spots you see; I haven't covered its use here.


AR Cluster Filters

The easiest way to do this is to dedicate two of the keys below the Telnet window. If you right click on the key to the right of the WWV key, a menu will open up showing you each key and the command it sends to the telnet node. Make the button say:

No Skim

and the string to send:

set/dx/filter call=W1UE,KM1W or Not Skimmer and {ARRL_CW}
  • set/dx/filter is the command
  • call=W1UE, KM1W will pass those two calls (if you want to see when you and some of your competition is spotted)
  • Not Skimmer means you won't see skimmer spots
  • {ARRL_CW} means you get stations spotted on CW frequencies within the 160, 80, 40, 20, 15 and 10m bands

For the key below the one you just did, label the button as "Skim", and the string to send is:

set/dx/filter call=W1UE,KM1W or Skimmer and {ARRL_CW}

The breakdown of what each means is just like the above, except that "Skimmer" now accepts Skimmer spots.

To clear the filters, type "set/dx/filter" in the Type box at the top of the window.

Many of the skimmers are in Europe, so Europeans on 160/80 that are calling CQ will be picked up far quicker using skimmer than waiting for a US station to spot them. If you don't have a strong station on 160/80, you may not want Skimmer spots at night.


DX Spider Filters

Skimmer spots are not available on DX Spider nodes that I could find. If you want them and are intent on using a DX Spider node, you can get the program WintelnetX from K1TTT's website and configure it to use a node and the Reverse Beacon Network web site to get spots from both sources. I haven't done it and aren't sure how to do it, so no help from here.

As above, I would set up a button to start the filter. There are actually two filters needed:

Label the button to the right of WWV with "HF/CW" and put the string to send as:

acc/spots on 10-cw,15-cw,20-cw,40-cw,80-cw,160-cw

To the right of the button above, label it "Rej/K" and put the string to send as

rej/spots call dxcc 226,197 not call w1ue,km1w

You must click on both buttons to install the two different filters.

The first string accepts spots only on the bands and mode specified. The second string rejects spots of US/VE stations other than any calls you have listed after "not call".

To clear the filters, type "Clear/Spots all" in the type box.

Comments/suggestions/additions are welcome. It should be possible to set up similar buttons in WinTest, or just type the command in the entry box for the node. Enabling Skimmer spots will probably multiply the spots you see by a factor of 20.

When it comes time for the ARRL SSB contest, simply replace "CW" where it appears in any of the above filters with "SSB" and you're all set. For SSB, of course, it doesn't make any sense to accept skimmer spots.


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