Estimating CW Activity from RBN data, 2009 to 2020

It is possible to generate a metric of CW activity from RBN data. Extending the analysis in the linked post to 2020, we first check that the data have not changed in a way that would vitiate the result:

As in prior years, the overall shape of the data seems to be robust.

So, extending the prior analysis to include 2020, we obtain this graph:

Unsurprisingly, we see that a marked increase in CW activity (as measured by the defined metric) occurred in 2020. Because activity on all HF bands seems to have increased, it seems fair to ascribe the overall increase substantially to the COVID-19 pandemic rather than merely the improvement in propagation above 14 MHz that characterised the last quarter of 2020. It will be interesting to see if this increase is sustained in 2021.

Perhaps the most important result from this exercise, though, is the continued lack of evidence of any substantive long-term decline in the number of calls active on CW.

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