(#91-100 February 2007-December 2007)
#100 - Which of the following have you built from scratch?
Date: 11/15/07-12/14/07 --- Votes: 697
Which Nr %
Antenna 191 27
Antenna Tuner 101 14
Transmitter 88 13
Receiver 66 9
Keyer 64 9
Amplifier 49 7
Paddle 46 7
Straight Key 45 6
Transceiver 37 5
Bug 10 1
The obvious first choice was an antenna since most everyone homebrews an antenna from wire, metal tubing, and the like. A tuner and transmitter logically follow. A bug is logical as the least built item. Mike KC2EGL was with me when this poll was either being set up or just started and I asked him what he thought would be among the least built items. He said receiver and I had to agree with him. We were both wrong there. Otherwise except for slightly higher numbers for a paddle and straight key, the rest of the items fell about where I expected them to.
#99 - Do you hold a vanity call? For which reason(s)?
Date: 10/15/07-11/14/07 --- Voters: 177
Reason Nr %
No, I don't hold a vanity call 91 51
Yes, I hold a vanity call 86 49
The call is not related to my name 65 71
The call is related to my name 26 29
Not related to my QTH 87 94
Related to my QTH 6 6
Number corresponds to my call area 66 69
Number doesn't correspond to my call area 29 31
Not a short call for contests 68 72
Short call for contests 27 28
Since it was easy to do this time, the percentages are computed for each pair of answers rather than a percentage of the total. Also the total votes is the sum of the first two answers. Frankly the percentages puzzle me. I can figure a relationship to a name from seemingly a very large proportion of the vanity calls I work. Perhaps this choice was misunderstood. I meant W4DON for someone named Don, W3JHS for someone named John H. Shannon, W2ALT for a Walter, and the like. I thought the percentages should at least be reversed for that choice, if not even higher in favor of the yes choice. I also thought the short call for contests reason should be a little bit higher since that seems to be the reason many folks get a vanity call. I'm glad a high percentage got a call with the 'correct' number in it.
#98 - If you use a keyer and paddle, which of the following do you use?
Date: 9/15/07-10/14/07 --- Votes: 332
Which Nr %
I use a straight key 70 21
Double paddle 65 20
Iambic (squeeze) keying 57 17
Single paddle 36 11
If iambic, type A 28 8
If iambic, type B 25 8
Regular keying 19 6
I use a bug 16 5
If iambic, not sure if A or B 15 5
I don't use any of the above 1 0
My long-time friend Dave, VA3RJ suggested this poll. I thought it was interesting to see the various ways that folks send their CW. I'm not sure what it all means other than that all but one person voting seems to be a CW user. You can ponder the results further and let me know what you conclude from them.
#97 - When did you first use CW on the ham bands?
Date: 8/15/07-9/14/07 --- Voters: 269
When Nr %
20 to 30 years ago 50 19
less than 5 years ago 48 18
40 to 50 years ago 45 17
30 to 40 years ago 37 13
50 to 60 years ago 31 12
10 to 20 years ago 24 9
I've never used CW 18 7
5 to 10 years ago 13 5
5 to 10 years ago 13 5
I don't remember 0 0
I found this to be a very rewarding poll because it showed for one thing that many folks are recently discovering the joys of operating CW. The figures show a definite drop off from 30 to 5 years ago, the a big resurgence in the past 5 years. That is great, and I hope the trend continues. It's a shame that 18 folks have never known the thrill and enjoyment of using CW though. Congrats to those who have been using CW for over 60 years. Wow. I hope I make it that far. I've still got 16 years to go though.
#96 - What CW bandwidth do you use most often for..
Date: 7/15/07-8/14/07 --- Votes: 218
Bandwidth Nr %
251-500 Hz 59 27
250 Hz or less 28 13
501-1000 Hz 10 5
more than 1000 Hz 2 1
Not sure 11 5
251-500 Hz 52 24
501-1000 Hz 22 10
250 Hz or less 19 9
more than 1000 Hz 10 5
Not sure 5 2
This poll was suggested by Scott AE5BH. About the only conclusion to be drawn is that contesters generally use somewhat narrower bandwidths. That is to be expected with the increase in activity during contests. Personally I use 400 Hz most of the time going a bit narrower if things get really rough.
#95 - What best describes your MAIN station rig (manufacturer, etc.)?
Date: 6/15/07-7/14/07 --- Voters: 343
Rig Nr %
ICOM 147 43
Yaesu 58 17
Kenwood 48 14
Elecraft 38 11
Ten-Tec 26 8
Boat Anchor 8 2
Homebrew 6 2
MFJ 5 1
Other small dedicated QRP rig 5 1
Something else not on the list 2 1
I am surprised at the wide margin ICOM has over the other two major rig manufacturers. I figured all three would show up pretty evenly. The rest of the choices turned out pretty much as I expected them to. And of course, as usual, no one told me what their 'something else' choice was. I guess it is too much effort nowadays to send a simple email.
#94 - When you operate CW, how often do you use a: (suggested by Neal, WA6OCP)
Date: 5/15/07-6/14/07 --- Votes: 617
How often Nr %
Not at all 73 12
Less than half the time 68 11
More than half the time 62 10
Not at all 153 25
Less than half the time 20 3
More than half the time 14 2
Paddle & Keyer
More than half the time 129 21
Not at all 38 6
Less than half the time 32 5
I also use a keyboard, computer, sideswiper or other device 28 4
Obviously from the results, a paddle and keyer is the current keying equipment of choice among the majority of hams (myself included). The once popular bug is falling out of favor. Many folks (myself included again) still like to use a straight key. Although I use the keyer most of the time, I still switch over to the straight key now and then. Especially for our NAQCC sprints, and the FISTS and ARRL straight key activities. It's great these organizations still promote straight key usage.
#93 - To which of the following do you subscribe or read regularly?
Date: 4/15/07-5/14/07 --- Votes: 221
Which Nr %
QST 112 51
CQ 44 20
WorldRadio 35 16
NCJ 13 6
QEX 7 3
Popular Communications 6 3
DX Magazine 4 2
I find it interesting (gee I say that a lot, but it's true) to see what publications visitors to my site read. It would be even more interesting to compare the results to the actual circulation figures of each magazine, but I don't have the time to do that research. I'm glad that WorldRadio posted a strong 3rd place finish. I personally don't subscribe to anything but QST. However I believe the content of WorldRadio is the best of all the publications after reading a few issues. It seems to me it provides great general info for amateurs rather that simply promoting this or that viewpoint on ham radio matters.
#92 - What is your favorite ham radio activity?
Date: 3/15/07-4/14/07 --- Voters: 168
Activity Nr %
Rag chewing 62 37
Chasing DX 43 26
Contests and/or sprints 16 10
Building kits 13 8
Designing and building gear from scratch 12 7
Designing and testing antennas 12 7
Traffic or other nets 3 2
Paper chasing (awards) 3 2
County Hunting 2 1
Chatting about ham radio on the Internet 2 1
It's hard to believe 2 votes for chatting about ham radio rather than all the marvelous activities listed above. Perhaps it's just that those 2 are not yet hams. Let's hope so. With all the activity on the CHN, I'm surprised at the low number of votes for county hunting. I think those folks are just totally devoted to CH and never leave the CHN to do anything else. I love challenges, and I'm surprised at the low number of award seekers. Even though I don't chase the paper a lot because of the cost, I do like to meet the qualifications for the awards. Maybe that's true of others also. The rest of the choices turned out pretty much as I envisioned. Apparently the thrill of working a foreign country remains alive and well. And folks just love to simply chat with each other. That's probably a reason for the decline of ham radio, since rag chewing can now be done just as easily on the Internet. All but one of the other choices do require ham radio.
#91 - How do you help preserve CW?
Date: 2/15/07-3/14/07 --- Votes: 307
How Nr %
Use it as often as I can 73 24
Talk up CW anywhere I can 58 19
Make it a point to work newcomers to CW 46 15
Oppose vigorously any further loss of CW band space 38 12
Teach CW to new hams 23 7
Participate in FISTS and NAQCC activities 23 7
Operate as many CW contests as I can and report my results 21 7
Give free CW equipment (keys, etc.) to hams 11 4
All of the above 14 5
Remember to preserve something, you have to use it. If you store an old antique car in a garage somewhere and never bother to do anything with it, one day all you'll have is a pile of rust. If you don't use CW, all you'll have someday are ham bands devoid of this wonderful mode. Many voted that they use it as much as possible, yet don't participate in activities like NAQCC/FISTS events and contests, all of which are very important ways to use CW on the air. That's kind of contradictory to my way of thinking.