Peeling the ADIF onion
I try to keep a log of my contacts, mostly to know if I've previously worked someone and for keeping up with my SKCC awards. I also keep notes from each QSO in my log so I can reference them during followup contacts. I'm not a contester or a DX chaser although I occasionally will take a look at the cluster spots and see if I can work someone across the pond if they're sending slow enough for me to copy.
Mostly I just send out my call and see who turns up.
But with the new year I was curious about how many States I'd worked in the past year and a half, during casual contacts. Turns out I've worked all US states except Nevada and Nebraska (but I could swear I've had QSOs with Nebraska). Unfortunately my logs are incomplete. I've had computer screw-ups where I've lost logs and for about 2 months last year my logging software stopped working due to a Windows 10 update issue and I kept trying to log using the QRZ online site but I found it difficult to use. Also, when I'm portable I rarely transfer my paper records back to electronic logs. I usually just scribble down some notes during my Portable QSOs. So I'm likely missing a few dozen QSOs here and there. I know I should get my logging act together but then the hobby starts to seem like work.
Anyway, poking through my log led me to wonder if I could generate some statistics. I'd previously written a Python application using python hamtools after my first 100 QSOs to parse my log and determine the average age of operators that I'd worked. I wrote about those results in http://www.hamradioqrp.com/2015/09/morse-code-is-only-mostly-dead.html But I couldn't find the program I wrote back in 2015 (I'm not very organized) and as I started to write a new parser it got me thinking there must be existing applications to analyze my log and provide insights.
So how do you analyze your log file? By exporting it in ADIF format.
ADIF stands for Amateur Data Interchange Format. Most Ham logging programs can export and import data using this format. It can have lots of fields here's an example record:
<a_index:1>7 <ant_az:3>334 <ant_path:1>S <state:2>MI <band:3>30m <call:4>K8BZ <cont:2>NA <country:13>United States <cnty:7>GLADWIN <cqz:1>4 <distance:4>1045 <dxcc:3>291 <eqsl_qsl_rcvd:1>R <eqsl_qsl_sent:1>R <freq:8>10.11403 <freq_rx:8>10.11403 <gridsquare:6>EN73SX <ituz:1>8 <lotw_qslsdate:8>20170105 <lotw_qsl_rcvd:1>R <lotw_qsl_sent:1>Y <mode:2>CW <my_country:13>United States <my_cq_zone:1>5 <my_gridsquare:6>FM05OP <my_itu_zone:1>2 <my_name:4>Rich <name:25>Steven C Wuelfing (Steve) <operator:5>AA4OO <station_callsign:5>AA4OO <qso_date:8>20170103 <qso_date_off:8>20170103 <qth:7>Gladwin <rst_rcvd:3>599 <rst_sent:3>569 <rx_pwr:1>0 <time_off:6>191503 <time_on:6>185344 <tx_pwr:2>5 <k_index:1>3 <lat:7>43.3504 <lon:8>-84.5603 <notes:97>rig ic7600 ant g5rv, rainy temp 38f, lil snow, left hand sending with single lever, likes my pics <pfx:1>W <sfi:2>73 <app_log4om_validated_callsign:1>Y <eor></eor></app_log4om_validated_callsign:1></sfi:2></pfx:1></notes:97></lon:8></lat:7></k_index:1></tx_pwr:2></time_on:6></time_off:6></rx_pwr:1></rst_sent:3></rst_rcvd:3></qth:7></qso_date_off:8></qso_date:8></station_callsign:5></operator:5></name:25></my_name:4></my_itu_zone:1></my_gridsquare:6></my_cq_zone:1></my_country:13></mode:2></lotw_qsl_sent:1></lotw_qsl_rcvd:1></lotw_qslsdate:8></ituz:1></gridsquare:6></freq_rx:8></freq:8></eqsl_qsl_sent:1></eqsl_qsl_rcvd:1></dxcc:3></distance:4></cqz:1></cnty:7></country:13></cont:2></call:4></band:3></state:2></ant_path:1></ant_az:3></a_index:1>
A web search for ADIF parsers and generators abound. There was a promising Excel macro but it didn't work for me. A bit more searching turned up a really cool site...
QScope to the rescue
QScope (https://qscope.org) is a website that allows you to upload your ADIF file and provides a bunch of statistics and charts. There is standard stuff like "Stations worked", "Bands" etc. and for contesters there are statistics for QSO rates (i.e. how fast are they logging contacts). I was actually more interested in how many of my QSOs were over an hour but it didn't have a statistic for that :)
So here is a small sample of statistics and charts that QScope was able to tell me from my log...
Number of QSOs 1304Number of Dupe QSOs (same Call, Band, Mode) 254Imported on 2017-01-06First QSO at 2015-07-29 19:25:17+00Last QSO at 2017-01-05 00:04:46+00Event duration 525 days 04:39:29Distinct callsigns 911Distinct CQ Zones (if specified in the ADIF log) 20Distinct ITU Zones (if specified in the ADIF log) 24Distinct DXCC (if specified in the ADIF log) 56Distinct Locators/Grid Squares (if specified in the ADIF log) 863
QSOs per band
Where is your antenna beaming?
This chart is very interesting to me. It shows that 93% of my QSOs are from antenna bearing between 270-300 deg. An OCFD and a Doublet should not be this directional so I'm very curious.
Cool stuff with Maps
The Google map KML support is impressive. You can download KML files generated by QScope and watch animations of your contacts over time and groups of stations contacted in each DXCC region.
There's a lot of information in your log. So if you're a new operator like me take some time and determine if there are states you haven't worked or if there's a state you overwork (most my contacts this past year were in Ohio).
For starters I'm going to figure out if there are SKCC operators in Nevada and Nebraska that I can schedule some QSOs with to complete my WAS. I'm not looking for an award or a plaque, I just think it would be cool to say that I've worked every state in the US QRP.
That's all for now
So lower your power and raise your expectations