Author Topic: W3LPL reverse beacon Network  (Read 1714 times)


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W3LPL reverse beacon Network
« on: December 29, 2015, 04:59:43 PM »
Reverse Beacon network. W3LPL

Ever wonder how one guy can claim he has heard so much DX in several states? Or do you find these spots from W3LPL are totally useless and should be dropped?

The other day I posted some comments about the misuse of DX scape on QRZ com, self spotting, totally useless spots of a non existent station of QZ6TZR, plus, K3JP posted by N8GU via QZ6TZR.

I also mentioned that I did not gain much from the W3LPL spots and found them for the most part useless.

I received some feedback from one station in 8 land that clarified what is happening, but after that explanation I still do not put any faith in W3LPL postings.

If you are interested in how this works, it is called “Reverse Beacon Network” so what is that all about and how does it work?  First of all there are 170 skimmer stations operating in the network. To become a skimmer you down load the program from the LPL system, this skims the band for signals, CW for the preferred mode.

Ok, you have a skimmer station in California and he claims to have heard a station in Korea, he sends this to the network, it is posted by W3LPL and states “Heard In California.”

With 170 skimmer stations around the country it is likely someone will hear a dx station erupt on any frequency. However, this is what I found out by following the system and postings of W3LPL.   I was looking for a contact with China on 40 meters for some time, I listened in the early hours of the morning, I heard Japan, India, Thailand, Asiatic Russia, Mongolia, Korea all with good signals. Now I have been a dx hound long enough nearly 50 years to know that when dx shows up and works one station, they will be called by others in the states. In fact it is not uncommon to hear five, or six callers after some rare dx station upon the conclusion of a contact.

Following the W3LPL spots he claimed that over a hundred stations from China were on the band from about 7.002 to around 7.028. Not all at once, but this was over a three month period. Various postings of “Heard in this state, or that one, so I followed the postings. Know what I  heard? Nothing!  Time after time stations from China were posted, once I saw something pop up on DXscape I went directly to that frequency, heard no one, or any sign of a human. Did not hear any one calling the DX station, even on the West coast, the very area that was claimed someone heard a signal from China.

Now of course I question as to who,or whom sent in the spot, plus the fact no one else posted a station in China. If indeed it existed in the first place. So, point to prove, I continued my search and sure enough someone not in the Beacon Network posted a station from China was on 7,018 kHz.

I quickly tuned to that frequency and what do you know a successful contact with BY1QK no problem. Now this was an operation with a VE3 operating the station, but it was a new one on 40. Once the DX contest started in November the contest station B1Z from China was spotted by several stations  and what do you know, I worked them also with no problem A real signal, reported by real people and no imagination used.

In reality the W3LPL system could report hearing P5CW on 1.825 Khz at twelve noon local time, so does anyone else hear the station? Of course not!   Is this system of any value? Not really, I noticed that another DX cluster site called DXheat offers filters for dumping the W3LPL spots. Apparently, the owners of this web site feel the same way, the spots are useless unless they are really being heard.

What I report each day on the DX Report you can rest assured I have either worked them, or copied the station at my location in Kentucky. No ESP, and I do not list the W3LPL spots since some, like myself never heard a thing that was claimed. Perhaps, there are some who benefit, if you do continue to watch his spots, if you  never hear anything that he posted then ignore the spots.

My antenna system for 40 is a folded dipole hung at 70 feet, it has worked well for over 250 countries on 40 and without any spots from W3LPL in the process. My antennas for 20/15/10 are 3 elements on 20. 3 on 15 and 4 on ten at 80 feet. It does the job and I hear well on my FT 5K or TS990.

Granted, there are times when the East coast, or West Coast will hear stations we do not, that is just the way propagation works. But, the next time you see a spot from W3LPL that states “Heard in ?” check and see if any one else from that state, or call district reports it as well. If they do not, then the spot was worthless and no one else heard the station, if indeed it was heard at all!.