K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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Polls
(#71-80 May 2005-March 2006)


#80 - How do you copy CW most of the time?
Date: 2/15/06-3/14/06 --- Voters: 171

How                                                Nr   %
Listen and take notes                              80  47
Write or print everything on paper                 45  26
Just listen                                        37  22
Use a computer program to copy for me               6   4
Type everything in a computer program like Notepad  3   2
Type everything on a mill (typewriter)              0   0
Use a code reader device to copy for me             0   0

I split my copying between the first and third choices. If the ham I'm working has a lot to say, I take an occasional note to help me remember what I want to comment on. Otherwise I just listen while watching TV, filling in the log, looking up some info, etc. I guess after 43 years of CW it's easy to do that. I'm surprised that 6 folks use their computers to copy for them. Perhaps they are hearing impaired or have some other such reason for doing so. Personally that would take the enjoyment out of it for me. Might as well be running RTTY, PSK, etc.



#79 - What are you going to do in 2006 to promote CW?
Date: 1/15/06-2/14/06 --- Votes: 592

What                                                         Nr   %
Use CW as often as I can to keep the CW segments active     103  17
Encourage others to use CW as much as possible               82  14
Generally talk up CW whenever possible                       79  13
Join and/or be active in pro-CW clubs like NAQCC, FISTS, etc 71  12
QRS when appropriate                                         65  11
Try to work hams new to CW as often as possible              62  10
Help new hams learn the code                                 42   7
Make my pro-CW views known to the ARRL and FCC               39   7
Operate as many CW contests as possible                      39   7
Give CW equipment to hams                                    10   2

Wonderful! No comments other than that. Now get out there and do your promoting.



#78 - Which QRP/CW activities do you engage in REGULARLY?
Date: 12/15/05-1/14/06 --- Votes: 193

Which                     Nr   %
Rag Chewing               38  20
DXing                     38  20
Building                  31  16
Contests                  28  15
Awards                    17   9
Sprints                   17   9
Foxhunts                   6   3
Nets                       6   3
County Hunting             3   2
Other (email and tell me)  9   5

Several brief comments: I hope all those engaged in building gear also take the time to actually use it on the air. We need as much CW activity as possible to help preserve this wonderful mode of operation. - Not surprising to see Rag Chewing and DXing at the top. These two activities seem to always be the most popular ham activities no matter what era. - I'm glad Contests and Sprints got so many votes. These are both great ways to promote CW/QRP. - I'm surprised to see Foxhunts so low. They seem to get a wealth of publicity. - How come almost NO ONE ever emails me to tell me what their 'Other' choice was? I'd love to know. Over these 78 polls, a rough count shows a total of 161 'Other' votes and only a very few took the time to email me and tell me what their 'Other' was. I am going to stop adding an 'Other' choice to the list of items to vote on.



#77 - On which band have you worked the most countries?
Date: 11/15/05-12/14/05 --- Voters: 115

Band       Nr   %
20         64  56
40         20  17
10         11  10
15          5   4
30          4   3
160         3   3
17          3   3
80          1   1
12          0   0
Not a DXer  4   3

I figured 20 meters would be far out in front. I thought maybe 15 meters would come in ahead of 10 meters, but I guess a lot of the results came from the past sunspot maximum when 10 meters was really the best band for DX. I'm shocked at the 3 votes for 160 meters. Those have to have come from 160 meter DX specialists who don't care for other bands. Or someone just joking around.



#76 - What are your ham plans this winter near a sunspot minimum?
Date: 10/15/05-11/14/05 --- Votes: 279

Plans                                   Nr   %
Improve CW skills & speed               67  24
Make more CW QSO's                      61  22
Install and/or test new antennas        41  15
Build some new gear                     32  11
Just be more active on 160 & 80 meters  30  11
Chase 160 & 80 meters DX                18   6
Lots of contesting                      14   5
Participate in NAQCC activities          9   3
Work for the NAQCC awards                4   1
Other (email and tell me please)         3   1

The only surprising thing to me is the large number who are going to do antenna work during the winter. I'm disappointed at the low number of folks showing any interest in the NAQCC activities because since the founding of the club, I have been very interested and active in the great sprints, challenges, and awards the club offers. It is great that the number one answer was improving CW skills followed closely by making more CW QSO's.



#75 - When did you first learn Morse Code?
Date: 9/15/05-10/14/05 --- Voters: 353

When          Nr   %
before 1940    7   2
1940-1949      6   2
1950-1959     82  23
1960-1969     77  22
1970-1979     62  17
1980-1989     35  10
1990-1999     36  10
2000-2002     15   4
2003-2005     28   8
Never          8   2

Sorted by answer. Always keeping in mind that responses to my polls are only from a very small minority of hams, these results are particularly inspiring to me. I love seeing the upswing in the past couple of years of the number of hams learning CW. Possibly it's due to the fact that in some sense CW is becomming a forbidden commodity and everyone is attracted to the forbidden. For whatever reason, it is great to see.



#74 - In which range is your top CW copying speed?
Date: 8/15/05-9/14/05 --- Voters: 232

Speed           Nr   %
1-5 WPM          9   4
6-10 WPM        20   9
11-20 WPM       80  34
21-30 WPM       68  29
31-40 WPM       40  17
41-50 WPM       11   5
51-60 WPM        3   1
Above 60 WPM     0   0
I can't copy CW  1   0

Sorted by answer. It's great to see only one person can't copy CW although that is certainly due to the fact that those visiting my site and voting are interested in CW operation to begin with. Wouldn't it be great if these days everyone knew and used CW as in the early days of amateur radio. Wow, just thinking about that excites me. I'm glad I got my ticket in the 60's when CW was much more widely used, and wish I had been around ever earlier when it was THE means of communication on the ham bands. It's extremely interesting to note the results are almost exactly the same as back in 2000 for the first running of this poll. That was poll number 7 if you're interested in comparing the two. There is one outstanding difference however. There were no votes for 1-5 WPM in 2000, but 8 this time around.



#73 - Which of the following antennas do you use regularly?
Date: 7/15/05-8/14/05 --- Votes: 334

Antenna                    Nr   %
Dipole, Inv V, etc.       108  32
Vertical or Inv L          74  22
Long or Random Wire/Other  44  13
Yagi or LP                 30   9
G5RV                       28   8
Full wave loop             26   8
Quad                        9   3
Mini-Loop or Whip           8   2
Phased Verticals            5   2
Stacked beams               2   1

Interesting to see about 3/4 of the respondents use simple wire type antennas. That makes sense since my web site promotes the use of such antennas. The results are pretty much the same as when this poll was first run back in Mar-Apr, 2000.



#72 - What is your favorite on-air activity?
Date: 6/15/05-7/14/05 --- Voters: 91

Activity         Nr   %
Rag Chewing      34  37
DXing            28  31
Contesting       12  13
Antenna Testing   7   8
County Hunting    4   4
Award Hunting     4   4
NAQCC Challenges  1   1
Traffic Nets      0   0
Satellites        0   0
Other             1   1

Again we compare a poll with the previous time it was run. This poll was first run back in Oct-Nov, 1999. Rag chewing then was the favorite activity as it is now with 43% then and 37% now. DXing was second both times, 33% then and 31% now. Traffic nets declined from 3% then to 0% now - not surprising as email has pretty much taken over what the ham traffic nets used to do. Contesting jumped from 10 to 13%, or more contesters are visiting the site. Since my polls only get a response from a tiny portion of the ham population, it's hard to draw any official conclusions from them, but they are fun.



#71 - Which MF/HF CW band is your favorite?
Date: 5/15/05-6/14/05 --- Voters: 139

Band  Nr   %
40    82  59
20    19  14
30    15  11
15     8   6
17     7   5
80     3   2
10     3   2
160    2   1
12     0   0

It is interesting to compare this running of the favorite band poll to the first time it was run back in 1999 as my Poll #1. 30M took a big jump from 4% to 11% while 15M dropped from 22% to 6%. That shift is no doubt due to the sunspot cycle. Meanwhile old favorite 40M remains the leader and almost doubled its percentage from 30% to 59%. If I'm still around, I'll re-run this one again the next sunspot peak.