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Friday - November 01, 2013 - Amateur Radio at the Beach - Amelia Island - KH2D.net
KH2D's DX Cluster Monkey Zoo
Introduction To The DX Cluster Monkey

DX Cluster Monkeys come in various assorted sizes and colors, but they all have one thing in common - they haven't figured out the purpose of the DX Cluster. They can't comprehend the fact that it's a system intended to be used to notify other hams who are connected to it that 'DX' stations are on the air. They haven't figured out that since the DX Cluster is computer based, the GIGO theory of computer use applies. They can't comprehend that computers are used to determine location, beam headings, sunrise/sunset times, etc. of stations that are spotted based on the call sign of the 'DX' that is entered into the system.

So they continually spot junk - they send 'DX' spots out to the whole world with absolutely no useful information contained in the spot, with total disregard to database pollution and waste of resources that goes along with them playing monkey.

In the process of writing cluster software, I've had the pleasure of watching the DX Cluster Monkeys in action. One of the primary things I wanted my node software to do was have the capability of putting the Monkeys in the garbage automatically and at the same time not throwing away useful information. Monkey filters are very hard to construct, especially since we seem to have developed a habit of inventing new prefixes continually.

Keeping the DXCC prefix list up to date is not a fun job for me anymore, so if you root thru our database of Cluster Monkey Spots, I'm sure you'll find a few (but not many) that really are 'DX' - some weird prefix invented on the spur of the moment or for a particular contest that our software didn't know about soon enough.

The DX Cluster is like all things ham radio - packet radio, PSK-31, etc. - we never seem to be able to grasp the purpose of technology and use it as it was intended to be used, so in short order we make it useless. The DX cluster was originally just that - small groups, or 'clusters' of users. Most spots you saw you'd immediately recognize the guy's call who spotted the DX, because he was 'in your neighborhood' so to speak. Not any more. With the Internet, we have turned the little local clusters into a worldwide network for disseminating information about DX. And at the same time, we've given The DX Cluster Monkeys an opportunity to spread their garbage all over the world.

There are plenty of places on the Internet where you can see DX spots. So I felt that a replication of the cluster here would be redundant. But I also felt that credit should be given where credit is due - so this section of the KH2D web site is dedicated to The DX Cluster Monkeys all over the world who have helped make the cluster system the useless mess that it is today.

Are there different kinds of DX Cluster Monkeys? Sure there are, so let me take a few minutes to explain the sub species to you before you go off to the DX Cluster Monkey Zoo to browse the stupidity:

Sub species: The Six Meter Geek Cluster Monkey
Scientific Name: Virocious-kilbatatos-trey-sic-indeed-xtraobnoixious

By far the most obnoxious and the most prolific species of Cluster Monkeys is the Six Meter Geek species. This species of Cluster Monkey seems to never run out of idiotic things to spot on the cluster, ranging from numerous descriptions of thought to be television signals to brief descriptions of any type of noises heard on the six meter band. Six Meter Geek Cluster Monkeys have been know to send hundreds of DX spots and never include a call of a DX station in one of them. Most Six Meter Geek Monkeys seem to be incapable of operating on other bands, and are probably suffering from terminal boredom while waiting for six meters to open. PA1SIX has risen to top honors in the Top Six Meter Geek Cluster Monkey category.

Sub species: The Fat Fingered Cluster Monkey.
Scientific Name: Nobackspacious-canttypius-boneheadious

The Fat Fingered Cluster Monkey is found in large numbers mostly in North America, but specimens have been seen all over the world. Basically harmless, with no bad intentions, this Cluster Monkey's main problem is that he a) can't type and b) doesn't understand that the Telnet program that comes with Windows isn't a good user interface for people who can't type.

On days that he can make it through entering the two letters D and X, a call sign, and a frequency with no typos, and on days that he can figure out the difference between the ZERO key and the letter 'O' key on his keyboard, he actually manages to send some useful information via the DX cluster.

This monkey is sometimes referred to as the 'correction' monkey because on days when he just can't get that keyboard working right without hitting the backspace key, he has to send a spot four or five times in a row with "Correction" in the comment field before he gets it right.

Sub species: The Wanna Be A DX'er Two Meter Geek Cluster Monkey
Scientific Name: Neverheardious-dxious-viarfious

This species of Cluster Monkey evolved because of the cluster. He not only uses the cluster to beg for 'skeds', but also uses it to pass signal reports to those other Cluster Monkeys he works, and verify reception of signal reports from other Cluster Monkeys. This species of Cluster Monkey REALLY uses the cluster to 'work DX'. The Wanna Be A DX'er Two Meter Geek Cluster Monkey is most commonly found in Europe, and makes a noise that sounds like 'BURST - WSJT' frequently. Example: IK0BZY.

Sub species: The European Chat Monkey
Scientific Name: Sysopis-turnedoffius-announcious-sonowuseius-spotius

The European Chat Monkey is a very common species. Fortunately, a lot of these monkeys still use the ANNOUNCE function of the cluster to send their never ending stream of irrelevant chit chat around the world, but more and more of them seem to be gravitating to the use of DX spots as more and more node operators turn the ANNOUNCE function off. This species of monkeys are personally responsible for making the once useful ANNOUNCE function of the cluster totally useless.

So there you have your basic sub species of Cluster Monkeys. There are a few other ones, not as common, such as the VHF Filter Cluster Monkey (ON4LN), I Love To See My Call On The Cluster Monkey (EA5AAJ), or the The Band Cluster Monkey (SP2MKO), and The Moon Cluster Monkey (S52LM) but as you scan the database or watch the cluster, you'll see that most Cluster Monkeys fall into the categories listed above.

To save you the time it takes to watch the cluster and wade thru thousands of redundant REAL DX spots, we've assembled the Cluster Monkeys all in one place for your browsing pleasure. You can page thru our Monkey Zoo or use the SEARCH box at the bottom of the Monkey Zoo page to find your favorite Cluster Monkey. Have fun!


Friday - November 01, 2013 - Amateur Radio at the Beach - Amelia Island - KH2D.net
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