I've often peeked at http://www.reversebeacon.net/, the Reverse Beacon network that uses a network of observers equipped with CWSkimmer to list the heard stations that are calling CQ on CW. If you can find an observer near you, it gives a pretty interesting view of propagation.
During the IntDX competition this past weekend, I thought I might have been picked up, but as a QRP station, I didn't do any CQ'ing during this contest; consequently, I didn't get added to the mix.
So this morning I tested the network: I made a single CQ on a pretty dead 15m, by hand. Sure enough, I was picked up by the K4TD skimmer!
This is nifty in two ways. First, I think the RBN shows how CW continues to have strengths as a mode. It is digital enough that current computing technology can parse it (and, of course, create it); but it is a digital mode that was created for human production and decoding, so we don't have to have a computer in the middle to play with it. Second, and more practically, this is a beacon network that encourages you to make QSOs. You're only going to be picked up if you call CQ!
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1 day ago