Reverse NILs in CQ WW: 2005

Using the augmented public logs of the CQ WW contests, one of the many analyses that can easily be performed is to see which entrants cause the largest number of NIL (Not-In-Log) strikes against stations who have logged them.

I should make it clear from the outset that NILs can and do occur naturally in contests. A typical instance would be when station A is CQing and is called by stations B and C simultaneously. Station A goes back to station B, but station C, for whatever reason, thinks that station A has come back to him. The common end result is that station A logs station B, but both stations B and C log station A. This will cause a NIL strike against station C -- this is a legitimate NIL strike, because station C never heard his call transmitted by station A, there was no QSO between those two stations, and station C should never have logged the non-existent QSO.

NILs, though, have occasionally been used as a weapon when a station deliberately does not log a perfectly valid QSO: this has no cost to the station that omits the QSO, but can cause a penalty (and perhaps loss of a multiplier or QSO points) against the station that he did not log.

Because of the way that scoring works in CQ WW, this behaviour is particularly pernicious in the case of intra-W QSOs (i.e., QSOs between two US stations). Intra-W QSOs are worth no points, but they do provide multipliers. As QSOs aren't worth any points, it is frowned on for an American station to make more than a handful of QSOs with other Ws, to obtain the necessary multipliers, as the calling station is generally wasting the time of the called station while he obtains the needed mult. The result of this is that if a W station does not log all W QSOs, he is likely depriving the other stations of necessary mults, as they will often not take out insurance QSOs to be sure of the mult, not wanting to waste the time of another station. Failure to log the QSO gives the station that does so a competitive advantage, as it therefore deprives other stations of a legitimately-worked mult, and causes penalties to be applied to the innocent parties -- at no cost to himself.

So I thought that it might be instructive to look at the public CQ WW logs to see which stations cause the largest numbers of NILs to be applied against stations who have claimed a QSO with them. (I call a NIL that is applied to the other station's log a reverse NIL, or rNIL.)

I made a couple of small adjustments to the basic idea outlined above:
  1. I required a minimum of 50 appearances in other stations' logs for a station to be included in the analysis (25 appearances in the case of purely intra-W QSOs);
  2. I removed all stations for which the analysis showed a 100% rNIL rate: this rate almost certainly occurred because of some basic error in the station's log, such as submitting a log that used a different callsign from the one actually used in the contest.
The code to perform the analysis is available here (feel free to let me know of bugs :-)). Below are the results of running this code against the logs for 2005.

2005 SSB:

Callsign Total rQSOs Total rNILs
HK3JJH 1820 1790
M7Z 1242 1166
EA1BVP 1957 972
IR8P 934 927
UU7J 4518 837
SP8IMG 1103 834
OR5N 678 668
JA6GCE 770 660
IZ8DPL 678 643
RU6MM 613 609

Callsign Total rQSOs Total rNILs % rNILs
IT9RBW 383 382 99.7
RU6MM 613 609 99.3
IR8P 934 927 99.3
DL5MK 132 131 99.2
W7QDM 114 113 99.1
TA0U 393 389 99.0
YB0AI 563 555 98.6
OR5N 678 668 98.5
FR1HZ 581 572 98.5
9A4RV 190 187 98.4

Callsign Total rQSOs with Ws rNILs against Ws
KC1XX 139 22
N2IC 91 17
N3RS 67 15
NQ4I 247 14
W4MYA 84 12
W0AIH 136 11
W3LPL 183 11
WB9Z 38 11
K3LR 226 10
W7WA 30 10

Callsign Total rQSOs with Ws Total rNILs against Ws % rNILs against Ws
W7WA 30 10 33.3
K5NZ 25 8 32.0
WB9Z 38 11 28.9
NE3F 25 6 24.0
N3RS 67 15 22.4
N2IC 91 17 18.7
KC1XX 139 22 15.8
W9RE 32 5 15.6
W6YI 26 4 15.4
W4MYA 84 12 14.3

2005 CW:

Callsign Total rQSOs Total rNILs
J88DR 1734 1706
SM7YEA 1496 1488
OJ0B 2126 824
ZY7C 2316 715
UN6T 674 672
RK9CR 666 631
W3BGN 1648 611
Z37M 3983 605
KT1V 2557 550
S54A 973 545

Callsign Total rQSOs Total rNILs % rNILs
UN6T 674 672 99.7
W4ZW 329 328 99.7
SM7YEA 1496 1488 99.5
PV8AZ 82 81 98.8
S52P 389 384 98.7
PY8MGB 457 451 98.7
SP9UOP 204 201 98.5
J88DR 1734 1706 98.4
W1WFZ 176 172 97.7
K1OZ 66 64 97.0

Callsign Total rQSOs with Ws rNILs against Ws
W5UN 34 27
K9NS 181 25
NQ4I 229 12
K3LR 170 11
K1TTT 131 7
K1RX 125 7
KT1V 37 7
K5GO 171 6
K1AR 55 6
W5KFT 66 6

Callsign Total rQSOs with Ws Total rNILs against Ws % rNILs against Ws
W5UN 34 27 79.4
K2QMF 25 5 20.0
KT1V 37 7 18.9
W3BGN 25 4 16.0
K9NS 181 25 13.8
K0EU 26 3 11.5
W2RE 27 3 11.1
K1AR 55 6 10.9
K2LE 47 5 10.6
K4XS 40 4 10.0

A word about these old logs: they contain many formatting and other errors compared to modern logs (for example, the "zones" field might contain serial numbers, even though the correct zone was actually transmitted), so many of the results should not be taken at face value. For example, the second and sixth tables above indicate an unrealistic percentage of rNILs from all the stations in the table. On the other hand, the large difference between W5UN and all the other lines in the final table suggests that one might want to investigate the cause, if one were interested. Generally speaking, and especially in these old, low-quality logs, it's a good idea to focus on what appear to be anomalous stations, rather than attaching too much credence to the raw numbers in the tables.

(If one suspected a particular station of purposefully failing to log QSOs, several statistical approaches suggest themselves. One presumes that nowadays the contest committee would quickly resolve the issue by requesting the required audio recording of the contest from the suspected station.)

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