Continent-Based Analyses from 2020 CQ WW SSB and CQ WW CW logs

 In addition to zone-based analyses, we can perform similar analyses based on continent rather than zone using the various public CQ WW logs (cq-ww-2005--2020-augmented.xz; see here for details of the augmented format) for the period from 2005 to 2020.

Continent Pairs

We start by looking at the number of QSOs for pairs of continents from the contests for 2020.

The procedure is simple. We consider only QSOs that meet the following criteria:
  1. marked as "two-way" QSOs (i.e., both parties submitted a log containing the QSO);
  2. no callsign or zone is bust by either party.

A counter is maintained for every possible pair of continents and the pertinent counter is incremented once for each distinct QSO between stations in those continents.

Separate figures are provided below for each band, led by a figure integrating QSOs on all bands. The figures are constructed in such a way as to show the results for both the SSB and CW contests on a single figure. (Any pair of continents with no QSOs that meet the above criteria appears in black on the figures.)

Continents and Distance

Below is a series of figures showing the distribution of distance for QSOs as a function of continent.

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

For every half-QSO in a given continent, the distance of the QSO is calculated; in this way, the total  number of half-QSOs in bins of width 500 km is accumulated. Once all the QSOs for a particular mode have been binned in this manner, the distribution for each continent is normalised to total 100% and the result coded by colour and plotted. The mean distance for each continent and mode is denoted by a small white rectangle added to the underlying distance distribution. The 99% confidence range of the value of mean is marked by a small blue rectangle (typically entirely subsumed by the white rectangle). The median is marked with a vertical brown rectangle.

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.

Half-QSOs Per Continent, 2005 to 2020

A simple way to display the activity in the CQ WW contests is to count the number of half-QSOs in each continent (a single QSO contains two half-QSOs, so a single QSO may contain two different continents or the same continent twice). We count half QSOs, making sure to include each valid QSO only once (that is, if the same QSO appears in two submitted logs, it is counted only once).

If we do this for the entire contest without taking the individual bands into account, we obtain this figure:

The plot shows data for both SSB and CW contests over the period from 2005 to 2020. I include only QSOs for which both parties submitted a log and neither party bust either the zone or the call of the other party. The black triangles represent contests in which no half-QSOs were made from (or to) a particular continent. We can, of course, generate equivalent plots on a band-by-band basis:

As in prior years, the activity from EU so overwhelms these figures that in order to get a feel for the activity elsewhere, we need to move to a logarithmic scale:

Intra-Continental QSOs

We can also easily look at the percentage of QSOs that are between two stations on the same continent, and in particular between two EU stations:

So, for example, in CQ WW CW in 2020, somewhat more than 30% of all QSOs were within the same continent; about 27% of QSOs -- more than a quarter -- were between two European stations. Yet, judging from the name, which is "CQ World Wide DX Contest", this is supposed to be a world-wide DX contest, not a European QSO party.

Flogging a dead horse, on 160m nearly 70% of QSOs in this "world wide DX" contest were between two European entrants, even in the more DX-friendly mode. On SSB, 90%(!) of similar QSOs were between two European entrants.

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