AR-Cluster Manual Page

DX Spots AR-Cluster V6 Telnet User Manual

DX spots share important information about amateur radio stations such as their callsign, operating frequency, date, time and an optional comment. This information is valuable for amateurs chasing rare countries or operating in contests. DX Spots are shared across the various DX clusters and users connected to the clusters. By being connected into a DX Cluster you will get DX spots in real-time as they are spotted. You can also query the cluster for past DX spots. Note if you have DX filters active, they will also be applied to both the real-time spots and past spot queries.

For the ultimate in DX spot presentation and filtering, check out the new AR-Cluster Client application. Demo at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tq5j20kXuo

Please use DX spots to spot information relating to real propagation reports of operating stations or beacons. Do not use DX spots to pass comments.

Command delimiters can either be a "/" or a space as:

show/dx
show dx

Real-Time DX Spots

As soon as you connect into a DX Cluster you will automatically start receiving DX spots. These spots can be filtered based on individual preferences. The Set/DX commands allow the optional filtering of the spots and control of the spots display.


Index:
Spotting DX DX Test Spots Show DX
Show DX Options Set DX Options Set DX Extension
Set DX Count Set DX Default Set DX Filter
Compound Filters Set DX Filter Macros Set DX Mode
Set DX Output Set Filters Testing DX Filters

Spotting DX

The DX command is used to post a DX spot. The syntax options are shown below.

Example:
dx frequency callsign (optional comment)
dx callsign frequency (optional comment)

The frequency parameter can be in megahertz or kilohertz and is the frequency that the station is operating on. The callsign is the callsign of the station you have worked or heard. The maximum length of characters in a callsign is twelve. The optional comment can be user to tell the stations name, location or QSL information.

Example:
dx 14088.8 7q7pa
dx 7q7pa 14088.8

Once posted, the DX spot will be sent to all stations in the network. It will also be echoed back to you as a confirmation. You will get the spot confirmation even if you have filters set to remove the spot.

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DX Test Spots

The DXTEST command is used to send a DX test spot that only gets echoed back to you and not sent over the network. This way you can generate a test spot for that P5 and test software alarms in your logging program without the spot going to other users.

Example:
dxtest frequency (optional comment)
dxtest callsign frequency (optional comment)
dxtest 7Q7PA 14.195 Listing up

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Show DX

The SHowDx command can be used to output the last DX spots posted.

Example:
show/dx

The Show/DX/nn command allows you to specify the number of DX spots displayed.

Examples:
show/dx/20
show dx 30

The Show/DX - command can be used to display past DX spots while disabling the applied DX Filters. See Set/DX/Filter for DX Filter options.

Examples:
show dx -
show dx - Spotter=N5PA-#
show/dx/30

The Show/DX @ command can be used to display past DX spots in the real-time format.

Examples:
show dx @
show/dx/30

The Show/DX callsign command can be used to display DX spots filtered by DX call.

Examples:
show dx call=7q7pa
show/dx call=7q7pa

The Show/DX frequency command can be used to display DX spots filtered by frequency.

Examples:
show dx freq=14000
show dx freq>=7000 and freq<=7100
show/dx freq>=133 and freq<=139

The Show/DX band command can be used to display DX spots filtered by band.

Examples:
show dx band=15
show/dx band=160

The Show/DX country command can be used to display DX spots filtered by CTY country. The country list is based off the wpxloc.dat file maintained by AD1C.

Examples:
show dx cty=v7
show/dx cty=3D2/c

The Show/DX continent command can be used to display DX spots filtered by continent. Valid continents are: AF, AS, EU, NA, OC and SA.

Examples:
show dx cont=eu
show/dx cont=as

The Show/DX comment command can be used to display DX spots filtered by comment. The command executes using an exact match. You can use the wildcard character "*" to do partial matches.

Examples:
show dx comment=via buro
show dx comment=*cq*
show dx comment=*qsl* or comment=*via*
show/dx comment=*iota*
show/dx comment=*rtty*

The Show/DX CqZone command can be used to display DX spots filtered by CQ zone.

Examples:
show dx cqzone=14

The Show/DX ItuZone command can be used to display DX spots filtered by ITU zone.

Examples:
show dx ituzone=12

The Show/DX Spotter command can be used to display DX spots filtered by spotter.

Examples:
show/dx spotter=n5pa

The show/DX SpotterNode command can be used to display DX spots filtered by spotter.

Examples:
show dx spotternode=N5PA-14

The show/DX SpotterCty command can be used to display DX spots filtered by spotter CTY country. The country list is based off the cty.dat file.

Examples:
show dx spottercty=k

The show/DX SpotterState command can be used to display DX spots filtered by spotter state.

Examples:
show/dx spotterstate=ms
show/dx spotterstate=ms or spotterstate=ok

The show/DX SpotterCont command can be used to display DX spots filtered by spotter continent.

Examples:
show/dx spottercont=na

The show/DX DTS command can be used to display DX spots filtered by the date-time stamp.

Examples:
show/dx dts>2011-12-11 03:04:55

Compound filter can be build using the "AND" and "OR" operators.

Examples:
show/dx band=12 and call=7q7pa
show/dx band=12 and cty=ja
show/dx call=dx0dx and (band=12 or band=15)
show/dx dts>2011-12-17 03:04:55 and dts<2011-12-18 03:04:55
show/dx call=dx0dx and (comment=*qsl* or comment=*via*)

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Show DX Options

The SHow Dx Options command is used to display the DX spot options. The following options are displayed:

DX Count - The default number of displayed DX spots.
DX Filter - The DX filter parameters.
DX Mode - The filter mode for DX spots. Values are: Open, Filter, Needs and Debug.
DX Output - The output mode for DX spots. Values are: OFF and On. Normally set to On.
DX Extension - Display additional extension data in the comment field.

Example:
show dx op
show/dx/options

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Set DX Options

The following options can be set using the Set/DX command:

Set/DX/Extension - Displays addition values in the comment field.
Set/DX/Count - Set the default number of displayed DX spots.
Set/DX/Default - Set the DX options back to the default settings.
Set/DX/Filter - Sets the DX filter.
Set/DX/Mode - Sets the filter mode for DX spots. Valid modes are: Open, Filter, Needs and Debug.
Set/DX/Output - Sets the output mode for DX spots. Valid modes are: Off and On.

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Set DX Extension

The SEt Dx EXTension command is used to display additional information about the station being spotted. This data is displayed in the right side of the comment field only if there is room in the comment field. Valid modes are: LOTW, CTY, State, Section, County, Grid, CQZone, ITUZone and Name. If the user participates in the Logbook of the World, LOTW, a "+" will be indicated. For normal DXing and contesting where states are multipliers you might want to see the LOTW and the state. For a state QSO party or county hunting you might want to see the LOTW, state and county. For contests that exchange ARRL sections, you may want to display the ARRL section.

Examples:
set/dx/extension LOTW State
set/dx/extension LOTW Grid
set/dx/extension LOTW State County
set/dx/extension Section
set/dx/extension LOTW CTY State Section County CQZone ITUZone Name
set/dx/extension

Sample DX spot with all comment options active:

DX de N5PA:   14222.2 N5OHL   +W-OK-OK-Jim -4-8-Alan 1801Z

Common settings for normal activities, DXing and major contests:

Activity DX Spot Comment Extension Command
Ragchewing Display the operators name set/dx/extension Name
DX Chasing Display the CTY and LOTW status set/dx/extension LOTW CTY
ARRL 10 Meter Contest Display the CTY and State set/dx/extension CTY State
CQWW Contests Display the CTY and CQ Zone set/dx/extension CTY CQZone
IARU Contests Display the CTY and ITU Zone set/dx/extension CTY ITUZone
ARRL Sweepstakes Contests Display the ARRL Section set/dx/extension Section
State QSO Parties Display the county set/dx/extension County
County Hunting Display the county set/dx/extension County

 

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Set DX Count

The SEt Dx COUnt command is used to set the default number of spots displayed for real-time and past DX display.

Examples:
set dx count 15

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Set DX Default

The SEt Dx Default command is used to set the DX options back to the default settings. Factory default settings are:

Count - 20
Filter - Cleared
Mode - Filter
Output - On
Comment extension - options cleared

Example:
set dx default

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Set DX Filter

The SEt Dx Filter command is used to set the filters for the real-time and playback of past DX spots. A empty "set dx filter" command clears the filter. The "Set DX Mode Debug" command can be used to test complex filters to insure they are working correctly.

Examples:
set dx filter
set dx filter SpotterCont=na
set/dx/filter SpotterCty=k
set/dx/filter Spotterstate=tx or Spotterstate=ok or Spotterstate=nm

The fields available for the DX Filter and Show/DX commands are listed in the following table.

Field Description
Call Callsign of the spotted DX
Freq Frequency of the spotted DX - Example 14195.0
Cty Country of the spotted DX - follows wpxloc.dat file
State If a US or VE spot, the state or province of the spot
County If a US spot, the county of the spot
ArrlSection If a spot, the ARRL Section of the spot
Comment Comment in the spotted DX
DTS Date-Time-Stamp
Cont Continent of the DX spot - AS, EU, NA, OC, SA
CqZone CQ zone for the spot
ItuZone ITU zone for the spot
Band Band for the spot - Example 20
Mode Not recommended to filter by mode since its based of normal operating frequencies which change during contests
Spotter Spotter callsign
SpotterNode Callsign of the spotting node
SpotterCty Country of the spotter - per the wpxloc.dat file
SpotterState Spotter state if US or VE
SpotterCont Spotter Continent - AS, EU, NA, OC, SA
Bob Bottom of the band spots - usually comments
CQ Flag indicating the station is calling CQ
Lotw Station uses the Logbook of the World, LOTW
Grid Grid square of the station
Name Name of the spotted station
SpotterCqZone CQ zone of the spotter
SpotterItuZone ITU zone of the spotter
Master Flag indicating the call is in the Master callsign database
InCb Flag indicating the call is in the US or VE callbook
Top100 Flag indicating the CTY of the spot is in the top 100 country list
Skimmer Flag indicating the spot originated from a skimmer
SkimWpm Skimmer spot - Words per minute, filter by CW speed like: SKimWpm > 35 or SkimWpm < 25
SkimDb Skimmer spot - DB, filter by signal strength: SkimDb > 10
Unique Count of the times the call has been spotted, great filter to remove bad skimmer spots
SkimCq Flag indicating there is a CQ in the comment field
SkimDupe Flag that lets the first spot fal thru as a non-dupe and other spots are flagged as dupe, reset every 10 minutes

 

Want to filter out skimmer spots:
Set dx filter not skimmer

Want to only see spots that originate from North America:
set/dx/filter spottercont=na

Want to only see spots that originate from the US:
set/dx/filter spottercty=k

Want to only see spots for HF:
set/dx/filter Freq<30000

Do not want those bottom of the band comment spots:
set/dx/filter not BOB

Only want to see spots from the state of Mississippi:
set/dx/filter SpotterState=MS

Only want to see spots from the state of Mississippi and Oklahoma:
set/dx/filter SpotterState=MS OR SpotterState=OK

Contesters, want to only see non-US spots plus spots for your own call. Use the following filter:
set/dx/filter Cty<>k or Call=N5PA

Do not want to see and DX spots from N5PA:
set/dx/filter Spotter<>N5PA

Don not want to see any DX spots from the DX Cluster N5PA:
set/dx/filter SpotterNode<>N5PA

Don not want to see any DX spots with the work BUST in them:
set/dx/filter Call <> *BUST*

Only want spots for 20 15 and 10
set/dx/filter band=20 or band=15 or band=10

Only want US spots for 20 15 and 10
set/dx/filter band=20 or band=15 or band=10 AND SpotterCty=k

Only want US HF spots
Set dx filter SpotterCty=k and freq<30000

Only want spots for CQ zone 2
set/dx/filter CqZone=2

Only want spots for that DX-Expedition
set/dx/filter Call=7Q7PA

Only want to see spots with the key word "IOTA" in the comment:
set/dx/filter Comment=*IOTA*

Only want to see spots for countries in Europe and Asia:
set dx filter Cont=EU or Cont=AS

Only want to see spots for stations that QSL via the ARRL Logbook of the World, LOTW?
set dx filter Lotw

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Compound Filters

Most of the above filters are very simple. You can combine filter terms into compound filters. When building compound filters, keep in mind the AR-Cluster filter engine processes terms from left to right. It processes the "and" operator before it processes the "or" operator. To change this order, group terms that belong together with parentheses. Anything enclosed in parentheses is evaluated first. Parentheses indicate relationships between filter terms. They force the filter processing to process your search terms in the order you intend and to combine them in the way you want. Here is an example of a compound filter that uses parentheses to control the relationship between filter terms:

I do not want to see spots about US stations. I only want to see spots that originate from the Mississippi and Arkansas. I want to see spots about my call.

set/dx/filter Call=N5PA or (Cty<>k and (SpotterState=MS or SpotterState=AR))

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Set DX Filter Macros

DX Filter Macros. The Set/DX/Filter command also has several build in macros to simplify setting up filters for contests. Macro commands have to be in upper case.

Examples:
set dx filter {ARRL_CW}
set/dx/filter {ARRL_SSB}
set/dx/filter {CQWW_CW}
set/dx/filter {CQWW_SSB}

Contest Macro Macro Expansion
{EQUAL} = (Used on N1MM where the "=" character is already used)
{ARRL_CW} Cty<>K AND Cty<>VE AND {CW_CONTEST_FREQ}
{ARRL_SSB} Cty<>K AND Cty<>VE AND {SSB_CONTEST_FREQ}
{CQWW_CW} Cty<>K AND {CW_CONTEST_FREQ}
{CQWW_SSB} Cty<>K AND {SSB_CONTEST_FREQ}
{CW_CONTEST_FREQ} (Freq >= 1800 AND Freq <= 2000 OR Freq >= 3500 AND Freq <= 3600 OR 
Freq >= 7000 AND Freq <= 7100 OR Freq >= 14000 AND Freq <= 14149 OR 
Freq >= 21000 AND Freq <= 21160 OR Freq >= 28000 AND Freq <= 28200)
{SSB_CONTEST_FREQ} (Freq >= 1800 AND Freq <= 2000 OR Freq >= 3500 AND Freq <= 3600 OR 
Freq >= 7000 AND Freq <= 7100 OR Freq >= 14000 AND Freq <= 14149 OR 
Freq >= 21000 AND Freq <= 21160 OR Freq >= 28000 AND Freq <= 28200)

 

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Set DX Mode

The SEt DxMode command is used to set filter mode for real-time DX spots. The Debug mode prints all DX spots with a leading "-" in from of spots that would get rejected and a leading "+" in front of spots that pass the filters. Valid modes are: Open, Filter, Needs and Debug. Settings are defined as:

Open - Turn off the current DX filter and display all spots.
Filter - Activate the spot filter based on the SET/DX/FILTER settings.
Needs - Filter by DX needs.
Debug - Activate the spot filter based on the SET/DX/FILTER settings. Show filtered spots with a "-"
and unfiltered spots with a "+". Excellent tool for filter debug.

Examples:
set dx mode open
set/dx/mode filter
set/dx/mode debug

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Set DX Output

The SEt Dx Output command is used to set output mode for real-time DX spots. Valid modes are: OFF, ON.

Off - Turn off real-time spots.
On - Display the normal user spot format. Default setting.

Examples:
set/dx/output on
set/dx/output off
set dx output off

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Set Filters

To remove all filters you enter the following command:

set/nofilter

Here is a typical example of a common filters and how we can test it. In this example we want to only see spots that originate in the U.S.A and Canada so first we enter:

set/filter k,ve/pass

Next we want to show HF including 12, 17, and 30 meter spots. We enter:

set/filter dxbm/pass hf

To confirm your filter settings you enter the following command:

show/filter

If you wish add 6 meters to the above you should substitute instead:

set/filter dxbm/pass hf,6-cw,6-ssb,6-fm

he commands must be issued in the sequence shown above in order to be effective!

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Testing DX Filters

Here is a typical example of a common DX filter and how we can test it. In this example we want to only see spots that originate in North America so first we enter:

set dx filter SpotterCont=na

Next we want to debug to make sure we have the correct filter. We enter:

set dx mode debug

Now we monitor the spots that are displayed. The spots that pass the filter gets a "+" in front of it and the spots rejected by the filter gets a "-" in front of it. See example below. When we are thru testing we can exit the debug mode with the following command:

set dx mode filter

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