What percentage of QSOs are CW?

A few years ago I produced a report, calculated by Club Log, which showed which modes were in use on the air. Unfortunately, the report became a little too intensive to run regularly, but I was recently reminded to run this report again and see if anything had changed.

The percentage of QSOs in the last few years made in CW is roughly constant, but the proportion of SSB QSOs has come down (significantly) – I interpret this as radio amateurs making space in their operating schedule to make data QSOs:

QSO modes

Of course, the number of QSOs I have on record is dependent on how many people are computer-logging. You can see this very clearly in the next graph:


That’s why it’s only really valid to talk about trends measured by Club Log as a percentage within a particular year. I can’t tell you how many QSOs were made in any particular year, although can just about see some bumps where the solar cycle peaks. Also worth bearing in mind, I can’t yet analyse the duration of QSOs to check if (as I suspect) QSOs are getting shorter but more numerous with the popularity of DXing and contesting. The data is what it is.

Luckily, one report I can run yields a novel and useful new outcome – which data modes are most popular? There are definitely fashions and fads, as you can see:


Incidentally, I considered every possible data mode in the logs I have (which do tend to have an HF DX bias). Without distorting the scale dramatically, the other data modes like ROS, WSPR etc. do not have enough QSOs to appear in this graph. This is surprising to me but there are lots of possible skews caused by Club Log’s user base, or even the way that such QSOs are being logged, so it might be better to make your own judgement based on what you hear on-air.

From time to time I will try and re-run this report (it takes a few hours to prepare). If you want to improve this data, you just have to participate and upload your own log to Club Log. The data above was built using 190 million QSOs. If an expedition made 1 QSO every 30 seconds, 24 hours a day, it would take them 18 years to log this data. I think 500 million would be a good time to repeat this exercise, since some expeditions are pretty hot.

Michael G7VJR

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