2019-02-12

Zones and Distance in CQ WW: 2017

Using the data from the CQ WW public logs, we can examine the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of zone.

Below is a series of figures showing this distribution integrated over all bands and, separately, band by band for the CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW contests for 2017.

Each plot shows a colour-coded distribution of the distance of QSOs for each zone, with the data for SSB appearing above the data for CW within each zone.

For every half-QSO in a given zone, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in ths way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular contest have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each zone is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each zone and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution.

As usual, only QSOs for which logs have been provided by both parties, and which show no bust of either callsign or zone number are included. Bins coloured black are those for which no QSOs are present at the relevant distance.

The resulting plots are reproduced below. I find that they display in a compact format a wealth of data that is informative and often unexpected.








2019-02-11

Zones and Distance in CQ WW: 2016

Using the data from the CQ WW public logs, we can examine the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of zone.

Below is a series of figures showing this distribution integrated over all bands and, separately, band by band for the CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW contests for 2016.

Each plot shows a colour-coded distribution of the distance of QSOs for each zone, with the data for SSB appearing above the data for CW within each zone.

For every half-QSO in a given zone, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in ths way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular contest have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each zone is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each zone and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution.

As usual, only QSOs for which logs have been provided by both parties, and which show no bust of either callsign or zone number are included. Bins coloured black are those for which no QSOs are present at the relevant distance.

The resulting plots are reproduced below. I find that they display in a compact format a wealth of data that is informative and often unexpected.








2019-02-06

Revised Augmented Logs including RBN data for CQ WW CW and SSB Contests, 2005 to 2018

Revised augmented versions of the logs for the CQ WW CW and SSB contests are now available for the period 2005 to 2018. These logs for the first time incorporate data from outside the logs: they contain a column based on data from the Reverse Beacon Network (RBN).

Links to the augmented logs may be followed here.

The augmented logs contain the same information as cleaned logs, but with the addition of some useful (derived) information on each line. The information added to each line comprises:
  1. The sequence of four characters that are the same for each entry in a particular log:
    •  a. letter "A" or "U" indicating "assisted" or "unassisted"
    •  b. letter "Q", "L", "H" or "U", indicating respectively QRP, low power, high power or unknown power level
    •  c. letter "S", "M", "C" or "U", indicating respectively a single-operator, multi-operator, checklog or unknown operator category [ the contest organisers have stated that checklogs are not made public, but in fact at least some of them from the early years have been, hence the need for the "C" category ]
    •  d. character "1", "2", "+" or "U", indicating respectively that the number of transmitters is one, two, unlimited or unknown
  2. A four-digit number representing the time if the contact in minutes measured from the start of the contest. (I realise that this can be calculated from the other information on the line, but it saves subsequent processors of the file considerable time to have the number readily available in the file without having to calculate it each time.)
  3. Band
  4. A set of fourteen flags, each -- apart from column k and column n -- encoded as T/F: 
    • a. QSO is confirmed by a log from the second party 
    • b. QSO is a reverse bust (i.e., the second party appears to have bust the call of the first party) 
    • c. QSO is an ordinary bust (i.e., the first party appears to have bust the call of the second party) 
    • d. the call of the second party is unique 
    • e. QSO appears to be a NIL 
    • f. QSO is with a station that did not send in a log, but who did make 20 or more QSOs in the contest 
    • g. QSO appears to be a country mult 
    • h. QSO appears to be a zone mult 
    • i. QSO is a zone bust (i.e., the received zone appears to be a bust)
    • j. QSO is a reverse zone bust (i.e. the second party appears to have bust the zone of the first party)
    • k. This entry has three possible values rather than just T/F:
      • T: QSO appears to be made during a run by the first party
      • F: QSO appears not to be made during a run by the first party
      • U: the run status is unknown because insufficient frequency information is available in the first party's log
    • l. QSO is a dupe
    • m. QSO is a dupe in the second party's log
    • n. RBN information (see below)
  5. If the QSO is a reverse bust, the call logged by the second party; otherwise, the placeholder "-"
  6. If the QSO is an ordinary bust, the correct call that should have been logged by the first party; otherwise, the placeholder "-"
  7. If the QSO is a reverse zone bust, the zone logged by the second party; otherwise, the placeholder "-"
  8.  If the QSO is an ordinary zone bust, the correct zone that should have been logged by the first party; otherwise, the placeholder "-"

RBN Information


In the CW contests from 2009 onwards, the RBN was active, automatically spotting the frequency at which any station calling CQ was transmitting. To reflect possible use of RBN information, the augmented files now include a fourteenth column. For the sake of uniformity, this column is present in all the augmented files, regardless of whether the RBN actually contributed useful information to a particular contest.

Each QSO has one of several characters in the fourteenth column of flags. These characters should be interpreted as follows:

'-'
  No useful RBN-derived information is available for this QSO.

'0'
  The worked station (i.e., the second call on the log line) appears to have begun to CQ on this frequency within (roughly) 60 seconds prior to the QSO.

'A' to 'Z'
  For the nth letter of the alphabet: the worked station appears to have been CQing on this frequency for (roughly) n minutes prior to the QSO.

'+'
  The worked station appears to have been CQing for more than 26 minutes on this frequency.

'<'
  Because the the RBN is distributed, and because each contest entrant station has its own clock, there is generally a skew between the reading of the clock of the station making the QSO and the timestamp from the RBN at which it believes a posting was made (indeed, it's unclear from the RBN's [lack of] documentation exactly how the timestamp on an individual RBN posting is to be interpreted). If the character '<' appears in the the RBN column, it indicates that the raw values of the clocks suggest that the QSO took place up to two minutes before the RBN reported the worked station commencing to CQ at this frequency. When this occurs, the most likely interpretation is that there is non-negligible skew between the two clocks, and the station was actually worked almost as soon as a CQ was posted by the RBN. But it might also mean that the entrant was simply lucky and found the CQing station just as it fired up on a new frequency.

Notes:
  • The encoding of some of the flags requires subjective decisions to be made as to whether the flag should be true or false; consequently, and because CQ has yet to understand the importance of making their scoring code public, the value of a flag for a specific QSO line in some circumstances might not match the value that CQ would assign. (Also, CQ has more data available in the form of check logs, which are generally not made public.)
  • I made no attempt to deduce or infer the run status of a QSO in the second party's log (if such exists), regardless of the status in the first party's log. This allows one cleanly to perform correct statistical analyses anent the number of QSOs made by running stations merely by excluding QSOs marked with a U in column k.
  • No attempt is made to detect the case in which both participants of a QSO bust the other station's call. This is a problematic situation because of the relatively high probability of a false positive unless both stations log the frequency as opposed to the band. (Also, on bands on which split-frequency QSOs are common, the absence of both transmit and receive frequency is a problem.) Because of the likelihood of false positives, it seems better, given the presumed rarity of double-bust QSOs, that no attempt be made to mark them.
  • The entries for the zones in the case of zone or reverse zone busts are normalised to two-digit values.

2019-02-05

Zones and Distance in CQ WW: 2015

Using the data from the CQ WW public logs, we can examine the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of zone.

Below is a series of figures showing this distribution integrated over all bands and, separately, band by band for the CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW contests for 2015.

Each plot shows a colour-coded distribution of the distance of QSOs for each zone, with the data for SSB appearing above the data for CW within each zone.

For every half-QSO in a given zone, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in ths way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular contest have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each zone is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each zone and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution.

As usual, only QSOs for which logs have been provided by both parties, and which show no bust of either callsign or zone number are included. Bins coloured black are those for which no QSOs are present at the relevant distance.

The resulting plots are reproduced below. I find that they display in a compact format a wealth of data that is informative and often unexpected.








2019-02-04

Zones and Distance in CQ WW: 2014

Using the data from the CQ WW public logs, we can examine the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of zone.

Below is a series of figures showing this distribution integrated over all bands and, separately, band by band for the CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW contests for 2014.

Each plot shows a colour-coded distribution of the distance of QSOs for each zone, with the data for SSB appearing above the data for CW within each zone.

For every half-QSO in a given zone, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in ths way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular contest have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each zone is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each zone and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution.

As usual, only QSOs for which logs have been provided by both parties, and which show no bust of either callsign or zone number are included. Bins coloured black are those for which no QSOs are present at the relevant distance.

The resulting plots are reproduced below. I find that they display in a compact format a wealth of data that is informative and often unexpected.








2019-01-31

Installing ROOT on Debian Stable (stretch)

I find the official general instructions for building and installing ROOT annoyingly unclear and ambiguous, so this post describes how to perform installation of a so-called "Location Independent" (i.e., non-system-wide) build of CERN's ROOT package on Debian stretch. I assume that cmake is already installed, and that you're using bash or something similar as a shell.

Download Source


1. Create (if necessary) and go to a clean directory
2. Determine the version of ROOT that you want to download (see, for example, https://root.cern.ch/downloading-root).
3. For example, as I write this, the "production" version is 6.16.00
4. Download this by a command of the form:
  wget https://root.cern.ch/download/root_vn.nn.nn.source.tar.gz

In my case, I therefore executed:
   wget https://root.cern.ch/download/root_v6.16.00.source.tar.gz

Extract the source tree:
  tar -zxf root_v6.16.00.source.tar.gz

Build ROOT


Make a subdirectory that will eventually serve as the root of the ROOT hierarchy. [Yes, "ROOT" is an unnecessarily confusing name for this software.] Assuming I call this directory ROOTroot, then:

  mkdir ROOTroot
  cd ROOTroot
  cmake ../root-6.16.00
  cmake --build


Do other stuff for a couple of hours or so, because buliding ROOT takes a long time. When the build has completed, a complete hierarchy based at ROOTroot should have been built. On my system, that hierarchy runs to about 3.1 GB.

Prepare your shell for executing ROOT


Now execute:

  . bin/thisroot.sh

Test ROOT


Now you should be able to execute ROOT simply by typing:

  root

Move the ROOT tree if necessary


The entire hierarchy based at ROOTroot may be copied or moved somewhere more convenient if you decide that you've built ROOT somewhere other than where you want it to reside. For example, suppose we want ROOT to be in ~/ROOT, then we execute:

  cp -r . ~/ROOT

to copy the entire ~3GB hierarchy. Then, to use ROOT, we dot-execute the script thisroot.sh in the bin directory under the new root(!) of the hierarchy. So, for example:

. ~/ROOT/bin/thisroot.sh

After this, ROOT may be started simply executing:

  root

Access ROOT easily from subsequent sessions


In order to make ROOT easily available simply by typing

  root

in subsequent sessions, you may want to add the command:

    . ~/ROOT/bin/thisroot.sh
   
to your ~/.bashrc file, or its equivalent for your bash-like shell.

2019-01-30

Zones and Distance in CQ WW: 2013

Using the data from the CQ WW public logs, we can examine the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of zone.

Below is a series of figures showing this distribution integrated over all bands and, separately, band by band for the CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW contests for 2013.

Each plot shows a colour-coded distribution of the distance of QSOs for each zone, with the data for SSB appearing above the data for CW within each zone.

For every half-QSO in a given zone, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in ths way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular contest have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each zone is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each zone and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution.

As usual, only QSOs for which logs have been provided by both parties, and which show no bust of either callsign or zone number are included. Bins coloured black are those for which no QSOs are present at the relevant distance.

The resulting plots are reproduced below. I find that they display in a compact format a wealth of data that is informative and often unexpected.







2019-01-29

Zones and Distance in CQ WW: 2012

Using the data from the CQ WW public logs, we can examine the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of zone.

Below is a series of figures showing this distribution integrated over all bands and, separately, band by band for the CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW contests for 2012.

Each plot shows a colour-coded distribution of the distance of QSOs for each zone, with the data for SSB appearing above the data for CW within each zone.

For every half-QSO in a given zone, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in ths way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular contest have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each zone is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each zone and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution.

As usual, only QSOs for which logs have been provided by both parties, and which show no bust of either callsign or zone number are included. Bins coloured black are those for which no QSOs are present at the relevant distance.

The resulting plots are reproduced below. I find that they display in a compact format a wealth of data that is informative and often unexpected.