K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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Polls
(#51-60 September 2003-July 2004)


#60 - What are your plans for the sunspot minimum?
Date: 6/15/04-7/14/04 --- Votes: 197

Plans                                                           Nr   %
Improve my antennas                                             48  24
Do more low band DX work                                        37  19
Do more homebrewing                                             28  14
Improve my rigs                                                 18   9
Work for domestic awards instead of DX (USA-CA vs. DXCC, etc.)  18   9
Enter more state QSO parties                                    13   7
Upgrade my license                                              13   7
Do more non-ham activities                                      10   5
Get caught up on QSLing                                          7   4
Other (please email and tell me what)                            5   3

Another poll where I had no idea how the final results would turn out. Other votes included: Nothing different, operate portable while birdwatching & SWL/BCB DX, study 10M propagation during a minimum, and more VHF/UHF DX. Thanks to those who responded explaining their other votes. Personally I plan to do more non-ham activities like fishing, walking, maybe getting caught up on my stamp collecting, etc. I also plan to try to better my DX totals on 80M and perhaps get the last 9 states for my 160M WAS.



#59 - If you have a computer in your shack, how do you use it?
Date: 5/15/04-6/14/04 --- Votes: 428

Use                              Nr   %
Surf ham websites                96  22
Logging                          81  19
PSK, RTTY, etc.                  57  13
QSL Routes                       51  12
DX Spotting                      49  11
Contesting                       48  11
I don't have one in the shack    17   4
To send Morse (besides contests)  7   2
Other - email and tell me        22   5

I found this poll very interesting as it was one where I had no idea how the final results would turn out. Many polls are predictable, but not this one. Only one person bothered to email and explain his 'other' vote. That was a vote for code practice.



#58 - What is your license class?
Date: 4/15/04-5/14/04 --- Voters: 194

Class                     Nr   %
Extra                    109  56
General                   36  19
Advanced                  15   8
Tech                      15   8
I hold a foreign license  13   7
Tech Plus                  2   1
Novice                     1   1
I'm not licensed           3   2

As expected, most hams are Extras these days, and the second greatest number are Generals. Not a lot of other conclusions to be drawn from this poll, but it was interesting, I thought.



#57 - What brand is your MAIN rig?
Date: 3/15/04-4/14/04 --- Voters: 270

Brand         Nr   %
ICOM          73  27
Yaesu         56  21
Kenwood       55  20
Elecraft      38  14
TenTec        25   9
Homebrew       9   3
SGC            3   1
MFJ            2   1
Other QRP rig  3   1
Other QRO rig  6   2

And the winner in the 'Battle of the Brands' is [drum roll] ICOM. It looks like Elecraft with their wonderful little rigs is catching up on the traditional big three however. At least among the QRP set who are the main source of my visitors and hence those who take these polls.



#56 - What do you do to help preserve Morse code in ham radio?
Date: 2/15/04-3/14/04 --- Votes: 293

What                                                          Nr   %
Operate as much Morse on the bands as I can.                  84  29
Try to encourage young hams to use Morse.                     49  17
Talk up Morse at ham club meetings, on Internet, email, etc.  40  14
Try to work newcomers to Morse in Novice segments.            36  12
Make my pro-Morse views known to ARRL representatives.        31  11
File comments on Morse proposals with FCC.                    20   7
Teach Morse classes.                                          12   4
Give free Morse equipment to hams.                            11   4
Other (please email me and let me know what).                  1   0
Nothing.                                                       9   3

I'm certainly pleased that so many of you are joining me in fighting to preserve Morse code. Thank you on behalf of everyone who loves this wonderful means of communication. The 1 Other vote was for being a FISTS Code Buddy. Shame on those 9 folks who are doing nothing.



#55 - About how many CW QSO's did you have in 2003?
Date: 1/15/04-2/14/04 --- Voters: 141

How many       Nr   %
Less than 200  52  37
200-399        28  20
400-599        12   9
600-799         8   6
800-999         4   3
1,000-1,499    11   8
1,500-1,999     4   3
2,000-3,999     8   6
4,000-9,999    10   7
10,000 or more  4   3

Sorted by answer. I'm a little surprised how many people had fewer than 200 CW QSO's last year. That's less than 1 QSO per day. I guess that's because not everyone shares my love of CW. I averaged about 6 per day and that was a down year for me because of other obligations.



#54 - What speed do you use most often for CW?
Date: 12/15/03-1/14/04 --- Voters: 229

Speed             Nr   %
10 WPM or less    23  10
11-15 WPM         37  16
16-20 WPM         64  28
21-25 WPM         58  25
26-30 WPM         25  11
31-35 WPM         14   6
36-40 WPM          3   1
41-45 WPM          1   0
More than 45 WPM   1   0
I'm not licensed   3   1

The results show up better arranged by speed instead of number of votes. This poll came out just exactly as I expected with most hams operating CW in the 16-25 WPM range and falling off evenly at both lower and higher speeds. That seems to be just what I observe on the ham bands as I tune around the CW segments.



#53 - Check all the reasons you like to operate CW?
Date: 11/15/03-12/14/03 --- Votes: 1243

Reason                                        Nr   %
It's very efficient                          192  15
It uses simple inexpensive equipment         189  15
It requires using the brain                  174  14
Virtually all CW operators are well behaved  171  14
It's relaxing                                156  13
It's nostalgic                               142  11
No special reason, I just enjoy it           112   9
Its variable speed                            79   6
I used it outside ham radio and liked it      20   2
Other (email and tell me)                      8   1

Wow, what a popular poll. I'm proud of this one for several reasons. I don't think anyone else ever had a poll like it. It's unique to K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities. Also I'm proud that you thought it was so interesting you almost tripled the number of votes that my second most popular poll got. Then I'm glad I thought of just about all the reasons folks like to use CW. Only 8 folks voted for 'Other' and none of those did email me to give me any other reasons. Of course it also shows that CW is indeed still a very popular operating mode despite what the current crop of CW-haters are saying about this wonderful mode. I'm also glad that so many of you like CW because it does make the operator use his/her brain unlike the mindless conversation that goes on in the SSB segment of the bands. Finally it is indeed true that most everyone who uses CW is a lady or a gentleman. Very seldom, perhaps only in the heat of a pileup chasing a rare DX station, do we hear anything objectionable on CW.



#52 - How easy, or difficult was the written portion of your ham exam?
Date: 10/15/03-11/14/03 --- Voters: 262

How                     Nr   %
Very easy               65  25
A little difficult      62  24
Fairly easy             56  21
Easy                    51  19
Difficult               26  10
Very difficult           1   0
I've never become a ham  1   0

It looks like the written portions of ham exams need to be made a little harder according to this poll. The results should not be so skewed toward the very easy end of the scale. The distribution of the answers to poll # 50 is more like what poll theory says should be expected from such a question with most answers lying in the middle of the range and tapering toward both ends. I guess the actual questions and answers being provided before the exam does make current written tests much easier than when I took my tests back in the 1960's.



#51 - How many different calls have you held in your ham career?
Date: 9/15/03-10/14/03 --- Voters: 179

How many                   Nr   %
1                          53  30
2                          57  32
3                          37  21
4                          13   7
5                           9   5
6                           7   4
7                           0   0
8                           1   1
9 or more                   2   1
I was never a licensed ham  0   0

Results arranged by number or calls held rather than number of votes although both arrangements would be about the same. This poll was more of a fun type poll and didn't really have a statement to make. I just kind of sandwiched it in-between my two polls about amateur radio exams. Personally I've only really held one call - starting out as KN3WWP in 1963 and upgrading to K3WWP later that same year. I did get the call WA3IXO for my apartment in Pittsburgh while I was working there, but only kept it for one 5-year license period and only made about 150 QSO's with it. I never went in for the vanity call business and never will.