[aprssig] DX-cluster Messaging?

Randy Love rlove31 at gmail.com
Tue Oct 6 11:02:24 EDT 2009

On Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 10:16 AM, Robert Bruninga <bruninga at usna.edu> wrote:
> I think I see the problem.  There is no easy way to distinguish
> between a spot, where the comments are directed to everyone,
> from a spot, that is comments directed to the DX station...

Actually, you aren't seeing ALL the traffic. Depending on which DX
Cluster client you are using, the data may be formatted slightly
differently. Next, there are commands on most DX clusters for sending
a short message to a user on the DX Cluster without it being viewed by
everyone. What you are seeing is people improperly using the spot
function to attempt to message another station. There is a high
percentage possibility that the *spotted* station, if it is truly DX
or remotely located, will *not* be monitoring the cluster. Some big
contest stations and major DXpeditions may be monitoring the DX
cluster for spots of themselves, but most are not. I have seen spots
of a DX station being used to tell someone else that is trying to work
the DX station that they are a lid and to quit QRM'n the DX stations
frequency. Those message where prefaced as to the DX station, *not*
the guy mucking up the works. Most DX clusters, if the sysop desires,
do implement a conference bridge (chat) mode as well as a 'talk' mode.
The chat mode is similar to AOL instant messenger. Everybody sees
everybody else's comments that is on that conference bridge channel (
a dx cluster can have multiple conference bridge channels similar to
different rooms in AIM ). The 'talk' function is akin to the 'msg'
command on UNIX boxes to pop a one line message to another user's
terminal on the network.

What you have latched onto in the DX cluster is people being lazy and
not messaging within the DX cluster properly. I am by no means a DX
cluster expert, just merely an experienced user. The user has the
ability to disable messages to him, as well as any announcements that
he does not what to see. There are filters ( and they are called that
on the DX cluster too! ) that limit what the user sees. He can make
the cluster such that if all he wants to see is spots from Michigan
for KG4USA, that is all he will ever get.

I'm not saying that adding DX clusters to the UMI is impossible. It's
just more involved that it looks. It need to include some way to put
the originator in the message otherwise it will look like it came from
the station that injected it into the DX cluster system.

> Why not?
> Bob, Wb4APR

I would say off hand that it would be due to the fact that most people
that monitor the DX cluster aren't looking for a message from their
buddy saying, "Going for coffee now. See you there?" while they're
working a major contest or searching for that latest DXCC entity. And
similar to the way you can't see stations and objects on your D710
display in LAX, on the DX cluster during a major contest, the message
would very quickly scroll off the DX cluster client display before it
got read.

I don't mean to sound like a stick in the mud, just trying to share my
experience with the DX cluster environment and what I perceive as the
mindset of most users of that system. Can DX clusters be added to the
UMI? Probably. Will it be easy? No. Will the majority of the users of
the DX cluster system understand and accept the idea? Probably not.


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