In December 2021-January 2022 we offered a voluntary to users of the Northern Utah WebSDR:
There were 412 respondents, up from 343 in the November, 2020 survery.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey!
The purpose of the survey was to determine if we were properly
determining the needs and desires of the users of the Northern Utah
WebSDR and it is only by feedback from our users that we can possibly
know what it is that we are doing right, doing wrong, or (perhaps) ought to
consider doing in the future.
What follows below are the questions themselves, the results,
and brief discussions. If you have additional
use the "contact information" at the bottom of this page. Where
applicable, the corresponding results from the 2019 and 2020 surveys (statistics only - not the text responses)
questions, more than one answer could be selected so totals may add up to more than 100%.
For this survey, more questions were asked than previous years, but we'll review those that were asked in previous years, first.
"Why do you use the Northern Utah WebSDR?"
As a general-purpose remote receiver
For spotting DX
For Geographical Diversity
My QTH is too $@^! noisy!
I don't have an HF station of my own and I like to
listen to the bands
Other (please specify - 100 char, max.)
Some of the "Other" answers included:
Checking my commercial broadcast station: 3.2%
Morse Code practice: 0.7%
Others answers included, in no particular order:
R&D; Ragchew; To verify band conditions; "It hears really well"; Check my transmitter.
"What other WebSDR systems do you use?"
KFS (Half Moon Bay, CA)
K3FEF (Milford, PA)
NA5B (near Washington D.C.)
University of Twente (Netherlands)
Others WebSDR systems? (100 chars. max)
As before, the top answer is "KFS", as it is geographically "close". A surprising answer was "There are more?" (16%) to which we would like to say that we encourage everyone to visit "websdr.org" to see the list of other WebSDRs worldwide.
"To what bands do you most often listen?"
AM Broadcast Band
Shortwave broadcast bands
Longwave Bands (2200 and/or 630 meters)
Other bands? (Really? How?)
40 meters continues to be the most popular band and in the past years
the second place entry has varied between 80/75 and 20 meters, with
80/75 leading the way again this year. With the improving solar
conditions one would have expected higher numbers on the upper HF
bands, but the upper HF frequencies were still somewhat "asleep" at the
time the survey was taken.
"Which Northern Utah WebSDR do you use most often?"
WebSDR #1 (Yellow)
WebSDR #2 (Green)
WebSDR #3 (Blue)
WebSDR #4 (Magenta)
As expected, most of the activity is still centered around WebSDR #1 -
which makes sense since most nets and roundtables use the 40 and 80
meter bands. WebSDR #4's usage has been increasing steadily, both
because of easy-pointing gain that provides enhancement to the east on
40 meters but also because the higher bands are starting to become more
The percentages for 2020 add up to more than
100% because I forgot to set this question to permit only one answer.
"What band(s) are missing to which you might be
interested in listening?"
This was a "fill in the blank" question - and most respondents said
"none", but here are a few of the other answers groups together:
"10 and 24 GHz beacons". At present there is only one 10 GHz beacon that may be on the air that might be audible at the WebSDR site.
"2M FM/SSB" and "70cm". The Northern Utah WebSDR these bands from two locations:
The remote Northern Utah site via WebSDR #3, the "Blue" server covers the 2 meter band in its entirety
The "Salt Lake Metro" (the "Peach") server covers not only all of the 2 meter band, but the top 4 MHz of the 70cm band.
Both of these servers will receive FM, CW, SSB - or any other mode that you can think of.
It's important to remember that the Corinne site is in a rural
area, north of most of the Utah population centers and despite the
south-pointing beam at this site, its distance from post of the people
reduces the likelihood of it hearing too much, which is why the Salt
Lake Metro WebSDR was brought online: It sees the Salt Lake
Valley and can hear most of the local repeaters and much of the
Unfortunately, there's relatively little activity on the bands
above 70cm in Utah so we don't currently have plans to offer coverage
on any of those frequencies.
"D-Star" and other digital modes. Due to the proprietary nature of these modes, decoding them requires dedicated hardware (e.g. a dongle)
that would work for only one user at a time, so until a more "scalable"
means of decoding these modes comes into existance, listening to them
is not likely to be possible.
6 meters: The bottom 1 MHz of the 6 meter band is covered on both WebSDR #2 (Green) and the Salt Lake Metro WebSDR.
Aircraft band: A portion of the 108-134 MHz Aircraft band is available on the Salt Lake Metro WebSDR.
11 meters: While we don't have plans to cover the CB band at the present time, it's worth noting that it is already covered by the KiwiSDRs on site - go to kiwisdr.com for a map of such receivers worldwide.
VLF Receiver: The KiwiSDRs cover from (more or less)
audio through 30 MHz. Note that there has been some recent
degredation in receiver performance at those low frequencies due to
noise ingress, but that's on the "to be looked at" list.
60 meters: This band is already covered on WebSDR #1 (Yellow).
We are always interested in the possibility of adding other bands or
more capability - just give us a convincing "use case" and we'll see
what we can do!
"Would you consider donating to help keep the Northern
Utah WebSDR online?"
Yes - PayPal is fine
Yes - I prefer direct donation (e.g. check)
Is there another method of support other than the
above that you have in mind?
Yes - I've not done it yet, but
I'm still considering doing so
I would like to, but I can't do
so at this time
I would do so, via Patreon
I'd rather not say
First, we would like to state that even if you cannot or do not wish to support the Northern Utah WebSDR, you are still welcome to use it! To those that are able to provide support for the Northern Utah WebSDR, we thank you for your donations!
It's worth remembering that the Northern Utah WebSDR is operated by
"The Utah SDR Group" which is an IRS 501c(3) non-profit organization:
What this means is that donations that you make may
offer tax benefit, but since we are neither tax experts or can possibly
know your finiancial situation, we must say that you should consult your tax professional about your specific circumstances.
At present the Northern Utah WebSDR accepts donations via PayPal (the preferred method - and you do NOT need to have a PayPal account to use a credit card) as well as via good old mail (a check is preferred) - see the "Donate" page link for more information. We are considering other methods of support (Venmo, Patreon, etc.) A number of donations we have received have employer matched: Please contact us via the link on the Donate page if you are interested in finding out how that works.
"What is your Amateur radio license class?"
Not licensed - I just like to listen!
Licensed in another country - what class?
A separate question, "Are you an Amateur Radio Operator (HAM)" yielded
a 93.3% "Yes" response - not surprising, and we are pleased to see that
non-amateurs find the WebSDR system useful.
Most of the respondents indicated a license class
that included HF privileges but we hope that more of those that
"HF Curious" - but don't have a license that offers wide HF privileges
will "discover" and use the WebSDR and get inspiration from it,
eventually getting an appropriate license and get on the air: We
are pleased that those who "just like to listen" are using the
WebSDR: Be sure to spread the word!
Responses in the "Other Country" class indicated a few of our Canadian,
European and Indian friends - and a few people who also use the WebSDR
as a bit of a "utility" - perhaps to check the signal quality of
shortwave broadcast stations or other types of HF operations.
questions don't really line up well with those ask/answered in previous
years so they are discussed separately in this section.
"How long have you been using the Northern Utah WebSDR?"
53.8%: 1-2 years
19.3%: Since it went online
16%: Less than 1 year
5.9%: Just started using it
4.9%: Just a few weeks
To those new to the system, we welcome you - and to those that have been using it for a while, we thank you for using it!
"How often to you use the Northern Utah WebSDR?"
36%: 1-2 times/week
22.5%: Several times a day
22.5%: Once per day
5.9%: Less than monthly
2.5%: I'm always listening!
At the time that this survey was conducted, there was only one beam
antenna at the Northern Utah WebSDR - the LP-1002, which covers
all bands from 40 meters through 10 meters and two questions were asked
about it: How often you use it, and why you use it.
32.1%: of the respondents have "heard" about it, but not really looked into using it
29.9%: said that they don'tuse it
22.7%: say that they use it occasionally
12.6%: say that they use it frequently
2.7%: use it exclusively.
In speaking with some users of the
Northern Utah WebSDR, there is occasionally some sort of confusion as
to how to "use" the beam: A few people have wondered how to
"select" the beam - perhaps expecting some sort of button that
will switch the antenna that they are using. Once it is explained
that there are several different servers - and all of the receivers on those servers are dedicated to a specific antenna (e.g. WebSDR #4 uses the east-pointing beam, WebSDR #5 uses the northwest-pointing beam) the "light" goes on.
Of those that use the east-pointing beam, we asked why, and here are some of the responses:
35.7%: "I can hear the nets better"
31.8%: "Listening to Eastern SWL stations"
36.4%: "Better DX performance"
8.4%: "Magenta is a great colour!"
2%: Diversity of reception
4%: Better performance to the east
We also asked the question: "If we install another beam, which way would you like it pointed?"
There were a number of different
answers, but the most common one was "Toward Asia/Pacific" or
"West/Northwest" or similar. With that in mind, when we did install another beam antenna - a KLM 10-30-7LPA (WebSDR #5 - the "Teal" one - link - is dedicated to that antenna)- we oriented it on a heading of 278°(true north reference) to best-cover Australiasia and the Pacific.
The next most-commonly mentioned headings were "Toward Europe" and "Toward South America" in that order.
There are many, many different computer/browser/Internet connection
configurations out there and unfortunately, there can be "issues".
In order to try to keep atop these issues, we like to know what
most people are using - and the problems that they might have - so we
asked a few questions on related topics.
What browser do you use?
Remainder: Other, including Brave, Vivaldi, Iridium, Pale Moon and Waterfox.
Which browsers have caused issues - and what were they?
The most commonly reported issue in this survey were those with
Chrome having either missing or inconsistent audio.
Unfortunately, this tracks with feedback that we have been
getting via email - but this issue seems to have largely subsided in
the past year.
The use of Apple products (Mac, iPad, iPhone, etc.)
is also inconsistent: Newer hardware/OS combinations seem to
introduce a whole new slate of problems - most notably the audio/video
"stopping" if the device goes to sleep with many third-party and
Recently, the most common problem is the user failing to click on the "Audio Start" button: All
modern browsers now require the user to do "something" to start
playback of audio or video - often in the form of a "start" button of
some sort, but this requirement may be disabled on many browsers via
Not surprisingly, most users use Windows (Windows 10 - 68%, Windows 11, 14%, Windows 7 or earlier 12%) with about
39% using some sort of Apple product, 26% using an Android, and about
20% reporting to use Linux. Based on correspondence with users,
Apple products constitute the highest percentage of audio issues.
Most issues - typically audio - can usually be solved by one of
the techniques mentioned on the the "Dealing with Audio Issues" page - LINK.
Finally, we asked about issues that people were having with the Northern Utah WebSDR, and a few recurring comments were noted:
The audio decoding is done solely in
the browser and if your computer is "busy" doing something else, it may
not devote enough CPU time to maintain a constant audio stream.
This seems to be particularly notable as the browser will often
devote less processor power when you "move away" from a WebSDR tab (e.g. minmize a window, switch to another window or application/program):
This issue seems to be more of an issue with Chrome than Firefox
although it has been observed to happen with all browsers.
The most common issues appear to be Internet-related, having to do with
audio drop-outs or "freezing". This is not too surprising as the
WebSDR - like a Zoom/Skype call - require very tight connectivity
between both ends to avoid lag or delays and a lot of buffering is simply not possible: Unlike streaming music or
video services - which can buffer for many seconds to hide such issues
- any interruption - even very brief - is likely to cause a pause/break
For the most part, the Internet connection at the WebSDR site is very
solid and most Interent-related drop-outs are likely to happen closer
to the end-user: Services like cellular/mobile data are heavily
over-subscribed and drop-outs on mobile devices using those networks is
to be expected. Similarly, cable modem based internet (e.g. Comcast)
and wireless Internet is also subject to "bandwidth starvation" during
peak hours when usage is very high. In those cases, setting
larger buffer sizes can help somewhat.
We'll occasionally get
comments/questions about the "Memories" that are on the WebSDR - the
ones with the green tags. It's worth reminding users that these
are stored as cookies on the user's computer and not on the WebSDR
which means that if you change computers or browsers or do something
else that will clear that information that these "memories" will no
If you wish to find out how you can contribute to this project, or if
you have any questions/comments that weren't answered on the "latest
info" pages, you may
send an email to the following address:
Alternatively, you can send email/snail-mail to KA7OEI
using the information found at QRZ or the FCC database.
If you wish to contact us,
avoid using an email
service that has one of those "Please fill in this form to reply" type
of SPAM filters.
If you really
want a reply, please have the courtesy to allow us to do so without
having to fill out a form and supply extra personal
information to who knows where, etc. - I wasn't planning to sell or
give out your
email address, anyway!