Guernsey Amateur Radio Station
Guernsey Amateur Radio Society
Information For Visiting Amateurs
Revised November 2000
The Channel Islands Dx Cluster
Dosndonts The Good Clustering guide
As the Cluster network is at present restricted to, generally, 1200-baud operation,there are some things, which can affect the network performance if common sense does not prevail.
The following guide outlines the preferred operating practices.
PACKETCLUSTER - Do's and Don'ts
DON'T use ANNOUNCE/FULL unless the information is perishable (i.e. time-sensitive) and REALLY needs to go to ALL users immediately.
DO ask yourself before you do an ANNOUNCE/FULL whether the info wouldn't be better in a message to ALL where a lot more people than those logged on at the time will see it.
DO try to keep ANNOUNCEments and mail to DX related matters. If you want to send out general mail, please use the BBS network.
DO send replies/comments to an ANNOUNCE back to the originator using TALK, NOT ANNOUNCE.
DO try the GOLIST QSL database before putting out a Mail message to find a QSL manager.
DO update QSLNEW when you find a new QSL manager - then it would be available to the rest of the folks using the Cluster.
DON'T rise to the bait if someone is obviously abusing the Cluster facilities.
DO hit "carriage return" or "enter" after 68 characters or so when you are sending mail on the Cluster.
DON'T fill your mail messages with lines of spaces - they all take airtime to transmit - the object of the exercise is to convey information, not to make a message look pretty!
DO use your nearest PacketCluster. Don't DX through the node network, as this will probably slow the inter-cluster links down considerably.
DO use L4 connects to your cluster; if it appears in the node list on your local access node, use C (Cluster callsign). Don't try to tailor a route through the network by connecting to intermediate nodes if it isn't necessary.
DO pick a Cluster and stay with it and don't flit from one-to-another. Any mail for you will follow from cluster-to-cluster and this congests the network unnecessarily.
DO kill your mail when you've read it - PLEASE!
DO use the UPLOAD/USERCMD utility to tailor your own configuration, and especially the filters.
DON'T complain about VHF spots if you are an HF DXer, or HF spots if you are a VHF DXer. Use the SET/FILTER command inside a USERCMD file to tailor what you get to your own tastes.
DO - if you have any problems, please send your SysOp a mail message or ring him up. Please don't use the ANN/FULL facility to ask for advice, which might well be in the User Manual.
DO READ the cluster user manual.
DONíT RING the sysop at unsocial hours you may not like the reply that you get.
DO ENJOY the facilities and if you have any suggestions for us that you think will improve the system, please let us know.
DO consider the effects of your actions on other users of the network - remember there is a rush hour and if possible, avoid heavy usage at that time.
DO SH/CLUS in preference to SH/CON whenever possible. Then, if you see a whole load of clusters connected you can just do a SH/CON GB7xxx for whichever Cluster you want, rather than getting the whole lot.
DO send B or Q to disconnect rather than a hard disconnect which leaves the network cluttered with packets that have nowhere to go.
Issued by the UK Cluster Working Group in the interests of better Clustering for all.