1977 1980's Present


Reverse Beacon Network Data


The files below contain Reverse Beacon data in a couple of different formats.

Of course there are invalid callsigns in the dataset but here are some interesting numbers from the raw RBN dataset February 21 2009 - January 14, 2015

  • 356,161,858 database records
  • 874,699 unique "DX" callsigns
  • 20,503 /P portable callsigns
  • 17583 /# callsigns
  • 9,524 /QRP callsigns
  • 5861 /M mobile callsigns
  • 1165 /MM maritime mobile callsigns
  • 307 /QRPP callsigns
  • 50 /AM air mobile callsigns

PostgreSQL SQL Format:

3 GB compressed / 76.3 GB uncompressed

Felipe, PY1NB of the Reverse Beacon Network recommended I use PostgreSQL and after working with it I can understand why. The volume of data the RBN has collected is huge but PostgreSQL makes the most of the hardware you give it.

Disk space requirements: you'll need 3 GB (the bz2 file) + 76.3 GB (the unzipped SQL file) + 85 GB (the disk space the database requires after import is complete)

1) Install PostgreSQL and make sure you have the commandline utility psql installed and on your path,

2) Decompress the SQL file

3) Run the command:

psql -U postgres -q -f PostgreSQL-Data.sql

The SQL code echoes, on the console, the year/month/day the PostgreSQL server is importing. This allows you to watch how the import is progressing.

On my computer it took just about 12 hours to import the data but slower machines will take longer. After importing the data, simple queries for the indexed fields are in the millisecond range (e.g. 15ms). That's pretty amazing considering that the data from 2009 through beginning of 2015 amounts to 356 million records!

Incidentally, if you need a text editor that works with a 76 gigabyte file, try the 010 Editor. The 010 Editor consumes 25 MB of memory while easily handling a 76 GB file and you can scroll through it as fast as you can a 3K file!


SQLite .db Format (2009 to 2013/04):

4.4 GB compressed / 25.4 GB uncompressed


Microsoft Access .accdb Format:

4.5 GB compressed / uncompressed = 26 GB

  • rbn-skimmer-2009.rar
  • rbn-skimmer-2010.rar
  • rbn-skimmer-2011.rar
  • rbn-skimmer-2012.rar
  • rbn-skimmer-2013-partial.rar (January 1 - August 28)
  • rbn-skimmer-linked_DBs.rar

    The linked_DBs file allows you to see all the tables at one time and query across them all though this is less than ideal. You are much better off installing PostgreSQL if possible.

    All .rar files should be placed in the same directory. To get this running:

    Open rbn-skimmer-linked_DBs.accdb and go to the "DB_Updater" Module

    Run the subroutine DeleteSkimmerLinkedTables. Close and Compact the database (the old table definitions are orphaned until a database compaction occurs). Run the subroutine UpdateLinkedPaths.

    To have the Queries updated run the subroutine DeleteQueryDefs. Compact the database (the old query definitions are orphaned until a database compaction occurs). Run the UpdateQueryDefs routine.