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[CQ-Contest] Operation times - effect of off-time definition

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Operation times - effect of off-time definition
From: DL8MBS <prickler.schneider@t-online.de>
Date: Tue, 03 Jul 2007 20:09:03 +0200
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
for the recently posted calculation of WWDX-operation-times 
the software calculated every period longer than 10 minutes without qso 
as "off-time". I was asked how another off-time-definition would alter 
the outcome. Michael, DL6MHW, who wrote the calculation software, seized 
into his (for me ever surprising) cyber-box and produced all operation 
times based on five different off-time-definitions: longer than 10, 15, 
20, 25 and 30 minutes without a QSO.
 From 4215 computable logs the following average operation time per 
station result (all categories, not restricted to SOAB as in the recent 
 >10 minutes as offtime: 12,8 hours
 >15 minutes as offtime: 14,3 hours
 >20 minutes as offtime: 15,3 hours
 >25 minutes as offtime: 15,9 hours
 >30 minutes as offtime: 16,4 hours

Setting the 20-minutes-result as 100 percent we have this deviations 
when using the same log and different off-time-definitions:
10min-rule    -15,8 percent
15min-rule   - 6,0 percent
20min-rule   +/- 0
25min-rule   + 4,2 percent
30min-rule   +7,5 percent

But these differences are an average over a big number of logs and vary 
very widely from log to log. One station had an op-time of 17:26 hours 
with the 10-minutes-rule and 17:41 with every other rule. The other 
extreme was a small log resulting in 36 minutes op-time with the 
10-minutes-rule and 3:44 hours with the 30-minutes-definition.

What´s the most realistic interval? >10 minutes without qso may be a bit 
sharp, even if they should be rare when operating in "contesting-mode" 
other than in "DXer-mode" (being stuck for 15 minutes in every pile-up). 
Looking at logs with activity sprinkled over the timespan in very short 
intervals and with many periods >20 minutes without qso, an 
off-time-definition of 30 minutes seems to include too many really 
inactive periods as operation time.

Thanks for reading and best 73, Chris


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