It’s time for a Cluster Clean Up!

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

dx summit

The DX Spotting Clusters have been around for a long time. They serve a useful purpose for both Contesters and Dxers. DX Clusters contain various entries or “spots” about desirable stations, DX and multipliers etc.

DX Summit owned and operated by Radio Arcala has been around for many years and is probably the most popular and widely used of the clusters. In addition to cluster spots, DX Summit also has an area where announcements can be posted.  While this area serves a purpose it is also very abused by some of the cluster users. In fact, it has become quite common to see abuse and rude comments and profanity on DX Summit on any day of the week.  This is visible to anyone accessing DX Summit from their browser including young people in our hobby.

I’ve written about this problem of cluster abuse in the past. While most of the Clusters have two factor authentications, some spots are created by automated “robots” while other spots and comments are easily posted by those creating a false persona on the clusters. There is not enough human intervention by the sysops to prevent these fake credentials from logging on.

It’s time for the Cluster owner/operators to clean up their systems. Some of the clusters such as DX Summit derive income from their sponsors such ads from DX Engineering, Clublog, Yasme Foundation etc.

I am going to be writing to the Cluster owner/operators and their advertisers urging them to tighten their controls and eliminate the abuse and “trash talk”. I urge my readers to do the same.

For a few days now, I have been capturing the lurid posts on DX Summit and I will post them below so that my readers can gauge the depth of the problem.

Please make your views known on this issue.

What do you think?

 

DXHOG-@   AA5AT, Do you need therapy?                                2203 14 Apr

DXHOG-@   AA5AT ASS Hole?                                            2155 14 Apr

AA5AT-@   dxHOG USE YOUR DAMN CALL ASS HOLE                          2137 14 Apr

AH0J-@    IK5orp:and the Italians are leading the pack               1826 14 Apr

IK5ORP    18130 incredible behavior of european on pile up… everyb 1757 14 Apr

NP4A-@    Pse /KP4 on 17,12m CW!!,more RTTY                          1756 14 Apr

F6BBO     18130 : lidfest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!                           1731 14 Apr

JulVE3NST-@  Russian kid killer BASTARDS !                              0303 20 JulJul

SV9ANK    666 SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH ………..BASTARD 1635 19 Ju

lSV9ANK    555 SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH ………..BASTARD 1634 19 JulSV9ANK    444

SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH ………..BASTARD 1634 19 JulS

V9ANK    333 SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH ………..BASTARD 1634 19 Jul

SV9ANK    2 SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH …..BASTARDD THEN A 1628 19 Jul

SV9ANK    1 SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH …..BASTARDD THEN A 1628 19 Jul

SV9ANK    SV9ANK IS A BASTARDD SON OF A BITCH …..BASTARDD THEN ANS 1628 19 Jul

 

SV1EML    SV9PIG STOP PSE                                            0922 19 Jul

SV9PIG    4 THIS OM SV9ANK IS A CROOK IS NOT RESPONDING TO QSL HOPE  0921 19 Jul

SV9PIG    3 THIS OM SV9ANK IS A CROOK IS NOT RESPONDING TO QSL HOPE  0920 19 JulSV9PIG    2 THIS OM SV9ANK IS A CROOK IS NOT RESPONDING TO QSL HOPE  0920 19 Jul

SV9PIG    1 SV9ANK IS A CROOK IS NOT RESPONDING TO QSL HOPE THAT HEL 0920 19 Jul

SV9PIG    SV9ANK IS A CROOK IS NOT RESPONDING TO QSL HOPE THAT HELPS 0919 19 Jul

SV9PIG    THIS OM SV9ANK IS A CROOK IS NOT RESPONDING TO QSL HOPE TH 0918 19 Jul

VE3NST-@  Putin could be an S.O.B. but he is no stupid               0604 19 Jul

VE3NST-@  Russia shot down plane                                     0447 19 Jul

VE3NST-@  Fuck Russia !                                              0446 19 Jul

HG8PRC    telnet://hg8lxl.ham.hu:8000 (HG8PRC DXCluster)             0241 19 Jul

PA2RU     What te f*** is going on at 7175??                         2328 18 Jul

IK5JWQ-@  please only amateur radio spots we are not politicians     2139 17 Jul

E44FREE-@ boycott nazi isra-hell no more qso                         2119 17 Ju

lE44FREE-@ boycott nazi isra-hell no more qso                         2119 17 Jul

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Comments
  1. Mike KJ4Z says:

    Pretty bad. But just drop down on 80 meter phone and you’ll hear similar — and naturally, without IDs. Or on a big DXpedition’s frequency, in CW no less! The poor behavior on the air embarrasses me in a way that this doesn’t. If adding to the noise on the ‘net lets these morons vent and keeps them from doing it on the air, on balance I’d say it might not be so bad.

    One other option is the “idiot filter” I’ve seen on some chat boards. Only show these comments back to the original poster. Then they think they’ve spewed their venom all over, but nobody else actually sees it.

    73, Mike

    • n6pse says:

      Mike, yes behavior on the bands is often terrible, and very difficult to enforce and solve. The Cluster clean up is relatively easy. The Cluster SysOps can either turn off Announcements, or they can create their own filters to remove profanity, bad words etc. Its actually very simple to do. Most websites that contain a comment area already employ this type of feature. Thanks for your comments,

      • Mike KJ4Z says:

        I think filtering is fine. But if you turn off announcements altogether, you’re removing the designated ranting space. Won’t we then likely see a return to the old days, when the abuse was embedded right in the DX spots? And that is, after all, why we’re there. I can always just ignore the announcements — and, in fact, I do!

  2. Robert WD8NVN says:

    I agree that many of the cluster Announcements posts cross the line into distastefull ranting and subjects not connected to amateur radio operating activities. I am tired of the endless posts concerned telnet IP addresses. To me, the clusters have a good record providing a valuable service for us DXers. I would not change a thing….

  3. Tobias DH1TW says:

    I’m currently implementing a SPAM Filter at dxheat.com trying to eliminate profane and insulting spots. For submitting spots, DXHeat.com has already a strict set of rules to make sure that only high quality spots are submitted.

  4. Walt, W7VS says:

    Clusters are apparently consider personal bulletin boards by some. Why don’t cluster ops simply code to limit the input by providing check boxes and number-only entry boxes for the important data and leave out the open text Remark box? 99% of what spotting is all about can be done with text boxes for callsigns; numeric boxes for freqs; and check boxes for “UP,” “DN,” Q-calls, IOTA Nos., etc. or even a “QSL via:” text box if necessary.

    • n6pse says:

      Walt, you are right on and I agree with you. DX Summit is full of trash. I’ve moved on and now use DXFor.me and DX Heat. DX Heat uses filters so that profanity and trash cannot be posted. That is what DX Summit needs to do.

  5. Juergen (DF5WW) says:

    The question is what can the cluster owners doing. First of all all clusters must have an authentification system (Call/Password) for registered users. Unregistered users can´t spot and the fakespots are history. Second point ist the forawrding from the RBN network. If we have a rare DX and RBN spotter sending automatted spots they bringing the guys on the TX qrg of a rare DX which is working split mode but the skimmers can´t check this out and if a lot of stations calling on the TX of a DX the selfmade police is coming up and the chaos starts …. so no RBN forwarding to a normal DX cluster …. Next point is a “hidden” selfspotting like F8DGY did. He spot´s only DX which he has worked in his own frequency …. He has worked a DX but it´s a self spotting and other guys who will work the DX can´t find it …. Also using a cluster as a personal log must be forbidden by rules. Some guys in a Pileup spotting “txt gso” or “tnx for fullhouse” but not spot that the DX is working up/down … same problem as the RBN spots, too many guys which calling in the DX TX qrg …. A lot of bad things that nobody needs …. Hope the cluster owners will be so fair to hold their services clean …. 73´s, DF5WW, Juergen …..

    B.t.w. one or more guy is spotting with my call and i got some email from users which asking me “Do you have a problem with me ?” If there is an authentification needed those problems are solved ….

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