ZS2EZ-3 DX CLUSTER NODE
After the sad passing of Dick ZS6RO in early 2019, the only active ZS DX Cluster node ceased to exist. Having been a user of this resource for many years, I decided to take up the challenge of providing a new DX Cluster node for the benefit of the ZS DX Community.
After some investigation I decided to go with Lee VE7CC's CC Cluster software. This is Windows-based software, and was (at least to me) far more intuitive than DX Spider or AR-Cluster. VE7CC also provided excellent email support, helping me enormously to get a working Cluster node, initially with just a feed from his VE7CC-1 cluster. After a few niggly problems (which Lee helped me to overcome) I finally made a public announcement on the SARL Forum, opening the ZS2EZ-3 DX Cluster Node for General Use on 30 October 2019.
In addition to the original feed from VE7CC-1, the Cluster now also receives spots from EU (GB7DXS), NA (AE5E), JA (JA2YYF-9) and VK (VK3AMA-2). Whilst all Nodes in the Network are essentially linked together and provide the same information, multiple feeds provide redundancy in the event of node failures. There are also feeds of the RBN Network and the FT8 RBN Network, provided by Lee VE7CC (By default these are inactive - use set/skimmer command to turn on). In time, I plan to add more feeds from other areas of the World.
To connect to my ZS2EZ-3 Cluster, simply point your Client Software to cluster.zs2ez.org (Port 7373).
I also have a Web-based stream of the spots from my cluster at http://webcluster.zs2ez.org:8001/spots . This is provided via AA6YQ's SpotCollector software (part of the DXLab Suite) running on another PC in my shack and publishing the spots via SpotCollector's built-in web server.
Whilst any cluster client can be configured to point to this address, the VE7CC CC User software (found here : http://www.bcdxc.org/ve7cc/default.htm#prog ) works particularly well and allows filters to be set up for what your specific interests may be. I would however recommend upgrading the software to ver 3 - see here : http://www.bcdxc.org/ve7cc/Ver3/V3Help.htm
From the CC Cluster User Manual : "The best way to connect to the cluster is with the CC User program. This is a Windows program that uses selection buttons for all the user configuration items. Using this program, it is a simple matter to customise your connection. Even if you are going to use another logging or contest program, it is the easiest way to configure your connection. After you have it configured, you can disconnect and reconnect with your other program. The settings will remain as they were before."
Users of this Cluster are requested to use their VALID CALLSIGNS. Additional SSID suffixes are fine (eg ZS2EZ-2)
New Cluster Commands available:
set/skimmer turns on Skimmer spots.
set/noskimmer turns off Skimmer spots.
set/ft4 turns on FT4 spots
set/noft4 turns off FT4 spots
set/ft8 turns on FT8 spots.
set/noft8 turns off FT8 spots.
set/nobeacon turns off spots for beacons.
set/beacon turns them back on.
For information on all CC Cluster software commands see:
Please try connecting to my cluster! Any
feedback is welcome (comments / problems /help needed etc) - just send
an email to firstname.lastname@example.org