Feel the heat of a cluster


A member from a club I belong to the Maritime Contest Club  posted on our groups i.o.  site his choice for a DX Cluster.  Oh, before I get too far along, the link above to the Maritime Contest Club has some great information and links regarding contesting if you are interested. Back to the cluster, his choice was DX Heat. I checked it out and really liked it and up to that point my choice was DX Summit. I do like DX Summit and have been using it for some time. Most clusters offer the same thing, with just a few cluster specific features. For example, DX Summit does have a tab called Daily DX. There is a subscription fee and I imagine it's very informative, but I have to manage where and what I am a paid member of. These days you can doll out a lot of cash if you pick all that interests you. 

Anyway, I digress.....back to the cluster.  What I have really come to like about DX Heat is everything is on the home page. You can filter what you see on the cluster with convenient options on the home page. For example, you can choose to see only CW, on a certain band and from spotter only in North America (all other continents also available)  Holding your mouse and clicking on the spot you are given 3 options QRZ lookup, very interesting stats on the spotted contact or be taken to a Web SDR to tune in and listen. 

There is also the commonly found UTC clock, propagation forecast, call sign lookup and call sign spot features common to most clusters. But there is also a handy and accurate band activity, and you can select the continent you want to look at. I chose NA and you can see a visual of what bands according to the cluster spots are open and how hot the band is. This I have found has given me some surprise openings on 10m and 6m. 

So check it out and see what you think? 

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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