Reports are generated for every callsign spotted by the RBN. Currently the RBN receives CQ calls in Morse code, PSK31/PSK63, RTTY and FT8. If you're QRV in these modes, and call CQ, it is very likely that your callsign shows up on the RBN.
Please note that the report says "hours with at least one RBN spot," which means exactly that: Clock hours (e.g. from minute 00 to 59) in which one spot was received. If you call CQ at 11:59:30 and one Skimmer reports you at 11:59:59 and another at 12:00:01, this means there was RBN activity in two hours, although you only called CQ once.
If you call CQ a lot, the reported hours will be inflated compared to the hours you spend at the radio. If you mainly answer CQ calls, you may not show up at all, regardless of how many hours you spend on the radio.
It's very easy: Each report can not only be queried as a website, but also as an image. For the report of DJ1YFK for example, the address is https://foc.dj1yfk.de/activity/image/DJ1YFK. Simply embed this image into your homepage, QRZ.com profile, and you're set. Note that the image only updates once every 8 hours, so around midnight, when new data is processed, the report might be outdated for some time. This is due to limited processing resources on the server, generating the image costs some CPU power...
RBN data is downloaded and processed daily, around 02:00 UTC. There's currently no way to observe data in "real time".
Skimmers are not perfect. It often happens that calls are not copied correctly by skimmers and therefore a wrong callsign gets reported. You can find dozens of variations of some well known contest calls, with dots missing, etc. For example W3LPL frequently gets spotted as W3LP, W3LPR, W3RPL, ...
Another source of error is that multiband skimmers often suffer from receiver overload and nonlinearities, resulting in phantom spots on wrong bands. So if you called CQ on 40m but a Skimmer reported you on 17m, you might want to check your transmitter for spurious emissions to be sure, but it is more likely that a Skimmer was overloaded. This naturally happens most frequently with Skimmers where your signal is very strong on the fundamental frequency.
This site reflects exactly what the RBN spots, and I am reluctant to make any changes to the data I am receiving. Quite often, a callsign gets spotted with a missing last letter or some other miscopied parts, due to QRM, QSB etc. However, for every "busted" spot there are typically dozens of good spots, so they statistically don't matter and the accuracy of the report for your own callsign hardly suffers from this.
Last modified: 2018-08-15 - Fabian Kurz, DJ1YFK <email@example.com>
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