Fun with Statistical Digging (Or all my X’s are Still in Texas)

Statistics can be a bunch of fun, as dry as that sounds.

The more contacts I’ve made on digital HF modes, the more interesting the stats get which I can see in my QRZ logbook.

I browse my logbook stats regularly not only to see what awards I can get certificates for, and to see what I still need to get, but to entertain myself with the numbers.

Here are a few I find interesting or amusing.

Most Worked State:

Hands down it’s TEXAS, with a whopping 84 QSO’s between 20m and 30m as of this morning.

Yeah, I know– for those of you with 45,931-and-counting contacts logged, that sounds miniscule.

But when you consider that the totality of my logged contacts when I started doing HF in late May is just 736 that comes out to 11.413 percent of my time on the radio has been spent communicating with hams in just one state.

It’s a big state I know, but come on now… that’s good odds that my next contact anytime I sit down at the radio will be with a Texan!

Blue, and Feeling like no one can hear me? Let’s just see who in Texas is around for a little QSO instant gratification! 🙂 Lol.

Most Worked Grid

What is it? The Maidenhead Grid system is a series of arbitrary, standardized rectangular areas, mapped out around the entire globe and given 2-Letter+4Number designations. But in radio for logging purposes, you usually just cut it to the first 4 characters. So something like DM43 is a grid name you’d track your contacts to.

Now with all the contacts I make in Texas, you’d expect my most worked grid to be somewhere over there among the huge oil fields and gigantic wind farms and Texas sized everything else.

But you’d be wrong.

The most worked grid for me according to QRZ stats is CN87, with 23 QSOs conducted in just that one small patch of Terra Firma.

Where the heck is CN87 for those of you who don’t speak grid-geek? It’s in King County, Washington.

And those industrious Washingtonian hams also have a very high confirmation rate. 19 of those 23 QSO’s have been confirmed via QRZ. I love you guys for uploading your logs!

I’ll be polite and not name the grid or state with the worst track record of making contacts but never confirming. Speculate all you like. But I always know I’m going to need five or six contacts before I’ll get a confirmation for one or two particular places. You’re either busy mush-mushing, or country clubbing 🙂

Most Worked US County

This one surprises me, but there is a specific culprit responsible for this– we’ll get to that in a minute. (wink). The award for most worked COUNTY is right here in Arizona… Maricopa county, where I live.

If we were talking about ‘groundwave” radio, the UHF and VHF bands, that would be pretty standard. Using repeaters I can talk all over the valley and sometimes all the way to the next county, or with simplex, just a few miles.

But “skywave” (bouncing signals off the ionosphere, instead of in a straight line from point to point along the earth’s surface) is a lot different and it’s generally harder to make contacts in your own backyard.

Usually I see about a 400-500 mile “crater” around my transmit position where the signals are sailing right over the head of hams in those areas. What goes up must come down… but with skywave, it comes down Waaaaaaaaaay over there most of the time and skips everything in between. Unless you have an antenna setup for NVIS (Near Vertical Incidence Skywave)

All of my weird little window antennas in suboptimal installations seem to have a little bit of NVIS propagation going on. Perhaps it’s some crazy reflection off the building. So I’ve been able to hit locations 4-5 miles away, 15 miles away, and even Tucson when conditions are just right.

But that isn’t the culprit of the Maricopa County Most Worked phenomenon. No… that award goes to my ham friend nearby with the sly sense of humor who just delights in ambush QSO-ing me on the bands any time he sees me 😉 His gorgeous antennas and mine seem to have a “quantum entanglement” of sorts and they can talk to each other pretty easily. Lol. You know who you are.

Statistics can be fun!