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Polls
(#31-40 January 2002-November 2002)


#40 - On which bands have you worked 100 or more countries w/QRP?
Date: 10/15/02-11/14/02 --- Votes: 75

Band                Nr   %
20                  11  15
15                   8  11
30                   5   7
10                   5   7
40                   4   5
17                   4   5
12                   3   4
80                   2   3
160                  0   0
I'm not a QRP DXer  33  44

Very interesting! Not too surprising except for the large number who aren't really into QRP DXing. I figured 20 and 15 would be at the top of the list, and thought there wouldn't be anyone who got 100 countries on 160M. Congrats to those two hams who accomplished the feat on 80M. I'd like to know more about your location and antenna system should you happen to read this summary. Oh, perhaps one more little surprise. I think the 10M total is a little lower than I expected.



#39 - What rig (manufacturer) do you use most often for QRP?
Date: 9/15/02-10/14/02 --- Voters: 143

Brand         Nr   %
Elecraft      38  27
MFJ           22  15
Small Wonder  14  10
Homebrew      13   9
Ten Tec       13   9
Wilderness     8   6
Heathkit       7   5
Oak Hills      5   4
SGC            1   1
Other         22  15

A repeat of an earlier poll shows pretty much the same results with the K1 and/or K2 rigs being the class of the field. This bears out a prediction I made several years ago that if a really good 9 band QRP rig was developed it would be a big seller. The single or double band rigs are nice, but a dedicated QRPer should be using something that allows him or her to cover all the HF bands. Only a couple of those who voted for other bothered to eMail and tell me their choice. One said he used a collection of rigs, and the FT-817 also got mentioned.



#38 - What makes you most proud in ham radio?
Date: 8/15/02-9/14/02 --- Voters: 163

Activity                            Nr   %
Being the best operator you can be  51  31
Helping other hams                  32  20
Your homebrew gear                  27  17
Earning awards                      17  10
Public service work                 14   9
Winning contests                     8   5
Teaching code and theory             7   4
Traffic net work                     6   4
A great equipment collection         1   1
Other (email and tell me)            0   0

Another of those polls I had no preconceived notion how it would turn out. A total of 59 votes for the choices that involved helping other people is an encouraging outcome. That's what ham radio and life in general is really all about. I'm surprised at the low number of votes for a good equipment collection. I work many hams on the bands who seem to be proud of their collection and enjoy talking about it. I'm pleased that so many voted for being a good op. Actually that should fall in the category of helping others as well, since being a good op helps to make it easy for others to communicate with you. And it looks like I finally got a poll with all the possible choices listed since no one voted for 'Other' - HI.



#37 - How did you learn Morse Code?
Date: 7/15/02-8/14/02 --- Voters: 336

How                                  Nr   %
Practice tapes, records, etc.        90  27
Self taught with a CPO, etc.         49  15
Computer program                     47  14
W1AW or other code practice station  44  13
Just listening to the radio          36  11
An Elmer (another ham) taught me     33  10
Military, RR, or other school        25   7
Other (email and tell me)             8   2
Never learned Morse                   4   1

Very interesting. A very popular poll. I'm delighted that only 4 folks of all that took part in the poll never learned Morse. I hope that all who have learned it are actively using it on the ham bands these days. We need lots of CW on the bands if we are not going to lose any more CW frequencies.



#36 - On which bands do you have all 50 states worked on CW?
Date: 6/15/02-7/14/02 --- Votes: 169

Band Nr   %
20   27  16
40   24  14
15   18  11
10   18  11
80   14   8
160   6   4
30    3   2
17    3   2
12    2   1
None 54  32

The distribution of bands was about as expected. The new WARC bands are hard ones for WAS with no contesting allowed there, and 20 and 40 are rather easy with a good selection of short and long skip. I'm amazed at the large number of votes for 'None'. I assume it is because of a lack of interest, not that it can't be done. I think I'll run this again some time, but the next time make it with CW/QRP.



#35 - Which of the following CW related activities do you enjoy?
Date: 5/15/02-6/14/02 --- Votes: 429

Activity             Nr   %
DXing                97  23
Rag Chewing          89  21
Building CW Gear     80  19
Contesting           48  11
Chasing Awards       43  10
Key Collecting       23   5
Mobile CW Operating  18   4
QRQ                  14   3
Traffic Handling     10   2
Fox Hunting           7   2

Another very popular poll with voting occurring on each day the poll was active. Not only was this an interesting poll, but it provided me with info to guide the future course of my web site. For example with the great interest in gear building, I'll have to provide more info on that aspect of hamming. No real surprises in the way the voting went, except perhaps a bit of a disappointment more ops don't enjoy contesting.



#34 - To which of the following organizations do you belong?
Date: 4/15/02-5/14/02 --- Votes: 350

Organization   Nr   %
ARRL          169  48
FISTS         101  29
Other CW Club  26   7
QCWA           13   4
A-1 OP         10   3
SOWP            6   2
OTC             5   1
FOC             4   1
OOTC            3   1
None           13   4

A very popular poll with many votes cast each of the 30 days the poll was up and running. Here are some of the organizations voted for in the 'Other CW Club' category: RNARS, RSGB, MEGS, GQRP, GMDX, HSC, YLRL, RCC, NJQRP, QRPARCI, RSARS. I would have included some of these in the main choices, but with this poll provider, I'm limited to just 10 choices. Perhaps I'll run another poll later with a different choice of clubs.



#33 - Check all the awards you have earned using QRP.
Date: 3/15/02-4/14/02 --- Votes: 134

Award                 Nr   %
DXCC                  21  16
WAS                   19  14
WAC                   19  14
USA-CA 500 or greater  9   7
WAZ                    4   3
WPX                    4   3
None                  58  51

Kind of surprising to me how many voters had none of the awards. However I have gotten some input as to why not. Some folks say it's too hard and/or too costly to get the QSL's for the awards. Perhaps this will change when eQSL and LOTW on-line QSLing comes into full force. Also some have said the awards themselves are too costly. I agree with that and have refrained from getting the new ARRL QRP DXCC award even though I am obviously eligible for it with almost 200 countries worked and confirmed. The 10 dollars charged by ARRL is just too much for a simple piece of paper saying I did something that I already know I did. I guess that is true of all awards. All they do is tell us on paper what we already know. Still I would like to get my WAZ award to complete my sweep of the above awards. If I do ever get those last 4 zones, I will spring for the money to get that piece of paper, and that will probably be it except for some more FISTS awards since FISTS is one organization that is more than reasonable about award and QSL costs.



#32 - How old were you when you learned Morse Code?
Date: 2/15/02-3/14/02 --- Voters: 151

Age                 Nr   %
10 or younger        9   6
11-20               74  49
21-30               20  13
31-40               26  17
41-50               12   8
51-60                9   6
61 or older          0   0
Never learned Morse  1   1

Choices ordered by age, not number of votes. This was a repeat poll, and the results were very similar to the results from the first time I ran this poll. This shows that by far, learning Morse takes place in the teen years. That means that if Morse is to survive we must find someway to instill that interest in the current group of teenagers. How? I don't know. I wish I did. If you know any teenage hams, please try to peak their interest in Morse for the sake of the future of this greatest of all ham radio modes.



#31 - What percentage of your operating is done using CW?
Date: 1/15/02-2/14/02 --- Voters: 137

Percent   Nr   %
100       53  46
90-99     43  31
50-89     16  12
1-24       7   5
25-49      2   1
0          6   4

I certainly wish the results of this poll applied to the ham population as a whole rather than just to those who participated in the poll. Wouldn't it be great to see CW as the dominant mode on the ham bands as it was in the early years of this wonderful hobby. That would be heaven in my opinion.