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CQWW CW Two Radio Event Signatures

from Radio Sport Canada
Website: on February 14, 2008
View comments about this article!

Radio Sport Canada is proud to present the findings of a one year research project that examined two radio activities of world class cw entries in three classes (SOAB, SOAB/A and MS) of the 2006 CQWW contest. The project was possible because the CQWW Contest Committee decided to make logs from 2006 onwards publicly available. An article, "Two Radio Events Signatures" has been prepared by Sylvan Katz, VE5ZX, and Josť Nunes, CT1BOH, after investigating the role that assistance from packet and a second operator has on the two radio signatures of the three classes.

A two radio event (2RE) is a 'specific contiguous sequence of log entries', detectable by a log analyzer, that was likely produced by the use of a second radio or an operator and a second radio. Information gathered from 2006 CQWW contest logs for world class high power cw stations were used to produce 2RE signatures. A 2RE signature describes the probability of a 2RE occurring at various run rates. The profiles of these signatures are uniquely distinguished in various entrant classificatoins by the likelihood of 2REs occurring at high QSO rates. The more assistance a station receives the more likely it will log 2REs during high Q rate minutes. These signatures may be useful to contest adjudicators to supplement UBN information in decision making activities.

The article, accompanied by an Excel workbook with detailed calculations and charts, and zipped data files of the 2006 CQWW cw logs and two intermediate data files (two radio event and Q rate profiles) is available at the Radio Sport Canada website

Radio Sport Research Project

Please email comments and questions to ve5zx.ct1boh @

Radio Sport Canada

Member Comments: Add A Comment
CQWW CW Two Radio Event Signatures Reply
by zs6aaa on February 20, 2008 Mail this to a friend!
This is a very interesting study, and I appreciate the effort that the authors have made to devise a measure that may be used to improve the integrity of contest results by highlighting entries that may be in the wrong class.

However I question whether the statistical measure they chose is the correct one. The measure they use is defined as follows

"We call the 2RE probability distribution for a station or class its two radio event signature. The probabilities were computed by dividing the number of 2REs at each run rate by the total number of QSOs logged." (p. 3)

However because they divide by the total number of QSOs made (at all run rates) rather than by the number of QSOs made AT THE PARTICULAR RUN RATE IN QUESTION, this measure will be biased depending on the statistical distribution of different run rates.

For example, consider these two fine contesters

Contester A
Rate Hours QSOs TREs prob.
1 16.0 960 96 0.028
2 8.0 960 24 0.007
3 4.0 720 8 0.002
4 2.0 480 3 0.001
5 1.0 300 1 0.000
Total 31.0 3420 132

Contester B
Rate Hours QSOs TREs prob.
1 3.8 228 23 0.007
2 3.8 456 11 0.003
3 3.8 684 8 0.002
4 3.8 912 6 0.002
5 3.8 1140 5 0.001
Total 19.0 3420 52

(Sorry, messes up the table by concatenating adjacent spaces).

Contester A works for 30 hours and gets 3420 QSOs. He has 16 hours at a rate of 1 QSO per minute, with exponentially fewer hours at higher rates. His number of second-radio QSOs is an arbitary decreasing function of rate which I chose for this illustration to be

TRE = 0.1 * QSOs / Rate^2

Contester B works for 19 hours and also manages 3420 QSOs. However she works 3.8 hours at each of the rates (1-5 QSOs per minute). Her chance of a second radio QSO is calculated using exactly the same function as for contester A.

Now have a look at the "2RE probability distribution" for the two contesters (last column of table). contester A has a high peak at Rate 1, and the tail drops off rapidly at higher rates. Contester B has a lower peak at Rate 1, but a broader "right hand tail".

These characteristics (a lower peak 2RE probability distribution and a broader "right hand tail") are precisely the factors quoted as being suggestive of "assisted" operation (either by packet, or as a M/2 station masquerading as SO2R). The assumption is that "assistance" of some form results in a greater ability to make second-radio QSOs at high rates, and this is the cause of the broader right hand tail and lower peak 2RE probability.

However this is incorrect, as Contester B's second-radio QSO rate was calculated using exactly the same function as for Contester A. The reason is much simpler: she worked at high rates for longer than contester A, which is why she had more second-radio QSOs at high rates. This translated into a higher "2RE probability" because the probanilities for A and B were both calculated by dividing the number of TREs by the same TOTAL number of QSOs.

The danger is that different statistical distributions of run rates (perhaps due to differing propagation, or different band strategies) can skew the proposed measure of "2RE probability distribution" in a way that is hard to distinguish from the signatures associated with assisted operation.

The problem can be solved by redefining the "2RE probability distribution" as the number of second radio events at some rate R divided by the number of QSOs made at that rate R.

Andrew ZS6AA

RE: CQWW CW Two Radio Event Signatures Reply
by VE5ZX on February 21, 2008 Mail this to a friend!

Thank you for your interesting and insightful comments.

When we started the research project more than a year ago we did the analysis using the method you suggested. I have placed an Excel workbook on the Radio Sport Canada server containing Figure 5 from the article re-done using the technique you suggested. It is available from the URL below

As you can see both analytical technique show that the more assistance an operator receives from packet or another operator the more likely a 2RE will occur at higher Q rates. We chose to use the method we did in the article because it is a more intuitive method of presenting the findings. Both representations can be used to provide supplementary information to adjudicators.

The constant time example that you gave is unrealistic and artificially creates the broadening in the right hand tail. Even the most skilled operator has no control over the amount of time he/she can spent at a given Q rate. In your example contestant B worked 3.8 hours or 228 minutes at a Q rate of 5Q/minute. In the 2006 CQWW CW contest only PJ4A worked over that amount of time (305 mins) at 5Q/minute. All other contestants in the SOAB, SOAB A and MS classes spent well below that amount of time at that Q rate. The average time spent at 5 Q/minute was about 43 minutes.

Out of curiosity I prepared a graph that shows the distribution of the fraction of the total operating time an average station in each subclass spent at each Q rate. It is in the Excel workbook referred to earlier. You can see all subclasses exhibited a rapid decay of time spent at various Q rates in the right hand tail of the time distribution. Less than 5% of the total time was spent at 5Q/minute. The broadening effect you discussed is much less pronounced in the actual data compared to the example you gave.

Thank you for your comments
Radio Sport Canada
Syl, VE5ZX
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