Is it possible to use the data from the DX cluster to help select a band and azimuth?
I think it's pretty obvious where you should point the antennas just by observing the land masses. The data shows the same thing. Most spots are at 45, 160 and 300 degrees, which corresponds to Europe, South America and Asia. (Map) So if you're stuck with wire antennas (like me,) you really need to have two dipoles; one broadside to Europe and the other broadside to Asia/South America.
Aside from the direction, watching the number of spots per band change during the contest is interesting. See the archived data for examples. Now that I have two contests archived (CQWW CW,) I can start drawing some conclusions.
In general, the data is organized by origin (World, USA and East) because I thought we might be able to detect/predict a band opening by watching the World spots for activity before a band was open in the states/east. In the archives, you can see the lag between eastern spots and world spots when a band opens. Vica versa when it closes. Look at this graph and check out 15 meters at 0600 on the second day. See how the World spots were present at 0600, but the USA and Eastern spots didn't show up until 10:00. (Times are GMT) Same thing happens on 10 meters. The black line in the graphs show the differences between the number of world spots and the number of USA spots. So a larger, negative number means a lag/lead in the difference.
Click here for a few notes about this project. Then explore the various tables and graphs below. Note: the tables and graphs query the live data, which will only be available while I'm running the data collection process. If you don't see any data in the tables or graphs, check out the archive pages below.
Here are the archived contests.