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!
More Glowing Numerals! BIG! BLUE! $13! - *Even though my pencil and graph paper frequency readout for the BITX rigs has its own undeniable charm, this little device could get me to go digital. ...
23 hours ago