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Polls
(#101-110 December 2007-October 2008)


#110 - Which can you do while SENDING (NOT copying) CW?
Date: 9/15/08-10/14/08 - Votes: 255

Which                                               Nr   %
None of them - I can't multitask while sending......64  25
Eat and/or drink....................................47  19
Adjust the receiver volume..........................38  15
Tune your RIT or tune a 2nd receiver................25  10
Watch TV or listen to the radio.....................18   7
Talk to someone in the shack or on the phone........16   6
Fill in a paper log.................................14   6
Fill in a computer log or otherwise use a keyboard..14   6
Look up data in (or read) a book or magazine........12   5
Other comments - email me............................7   3

I would absolutely love to see a video of those folks who can send Morse code and fill in a paper log at the same time. I would think that would be impossible unless you use a memory keyer or computer to do the sending. Perhaps that is the case for those who said they could do so. Using a straight key or bug with one hand and writing with the other just boggles my mind, but if you can actually do that, let me know the specifics and send a video. Why do I keep adding that Other comments choice? Virtually no one ever does so, even if they check it. Chuck W8LQ did have the courtesy to do so this month and suggested questions for a similar poll dealing with mobile CW. Thanks.


#109 - How do you currently use the WARC bands?
Date: 8/15/08-9/14/08 --- Votes: 561

How                                                          Nr   %
30M - a few times a month....................................60  11
30M - a few times a week.....................................58  10
30M - I don't use it.........................................39   7

17M - a few times a month....................................66  12
17M - I don't use it.........................................63  11
17M - a few times a week.....................................21   4

12M - I don't use it........................................122  22
12M - a few times a month....................................22   4
12M - a few times a week......................................4   1

I plan to use the WARC bands more as the sunspots increase..106  19

Just about exactly as expected except I didn't have any idea how many folks are just taking a break from the WARC bands until conditions improve. I'm delighted to know the bands will be active again when those good conditions do return before too much longer (I hope). Thanks to Tom WY3H for suggesting the poll.


#108 - Have you ever operated CW......?
Date: 7/15/08-8/14/08 --- Votes: 424

How                                        Nr   %
Camping or other field type operation......97  23
At another ham's station...................67  16
With a 'stealth' antenna...................67  16
At a club station..........................63  15
Other mobile operation.....................35   8
Mobile to and from work or at lunch break..29   7
At your workplace..........................29   7
Mobile while waiting for wife, kids, etc...20   5
With a remotely controlled station..........3   1
None of the above..........................14   3

I would say all the results turned out pretty much as I expected. I'm not really surprised by any of them. So that leaves little to comment on except to thank Roy KV8KV for suggesting the poll.


#107 - Where is your shack located?
Date: 6/15/08-7/14/08 --- Voters: 200

Location            Nr   %
Spare bedroom.......61  31
Basement............49  25
Bedroom.............30  15
Den.................21  11
Media room..........12   6
Garage...............9   5
Other................9   5
Dedicated building...6   3
Attic................2   1
Kitchen..............1   1

I guess hams don't get a lot of overnight guests since so many (nearly 1/3) shacks are located in that spare bedroom. For a change I actually got some responses to the 'Other' choice. KB4AAC has his shack in an old van soon to be changed to a pop-up camper. 3 others whose call I didn't keep (sorry) have their shack in a dedicated room in their house. An informative poll, I thought. Thanks to Roy KV8KV for suggesting it.


#106 - How do you use each of the following three verification methods?
Date: 5/15/08-6/14/08 --- Votes: 346

How                                         Nr   %
Send a card to some of the stations I work..79  23
Send a card to each station I work..........32   9
I don't send cards...........................9   3

I don't use LotW............................75  22
Upload all my QSO's to LotW.................30   9
Upload some of my QSO's to LotW..............7   2

I don't use eQSL............................62  18
Upload all my QSO's to eQSL.................28   8
Upload some of my QSO's to eQSL.............24   7

Two things amaze me about the results. First it is so much easier to just upload all your QSO's to LotW and eQSL than to just upload a few, I am surprised there were any votes at all for uploading some QSO's. I upload my QSO's once a month and it takes me perhaps 15 minutes to do it. I would imagine it would take much more time than that to just upload some QSO's. Oh well, to each his own. Secondly I'm shocked so many folks don't use LotW at all. LotW is perhaps every bit as good a way of verifying QSO's as the traditional QSL card. Both share one fault though. As when someone uses an old QSL with an old QTH on it, many folks don't bother to put their correct QTH on their uploaded LotW QSO's. It is possible to get a WAS from LotW (and eQSL as well as they share the same fault) even though you only worked 49 states because of the following example. I worked X9XXX when he was in Kansas, but the uploaded LotW QSO's show his QTH as Alaska to where he recently moved and then uploaded all his QSO's with many showing an erroneous Alaska as his state. Neither LotW nor eQSL seem willing to address and correct this issue. Finally how come there are 120 total votes for cards, 112 for LotW, and 114 for eQSL? There should be an equal number for all three. I guess some folks can't follow instructions and didn't vote past the first section.


#105 - If you have a pileup for your QRP CQ, whom do you answer?
Date: 4/15/08-5/14/08 --- Votes: 349

Whom                                                Nr   %
A weak station -OR-.................................49  19
The strongest station...............................41  12

The easiest to copy -OR-............................59  17
The most exotic call................................31   9

Someone I never worked before -OR-..................54  15
A friend............................................28   8

Someone sending the closest to my CQing speed -OR-..57  16
Someone sending slower than my CQing speed -OR-.....24   7
Someone sending faster than my CQing speed...........6   2

I found this to be one of my more fascinating polls and I'm glad Richard N2UGB suggested it and Tom WY3H helped to modify it a bit. Fascinating because I had no pre-conceived idea of how the voting would turn out. On a good many polls I can usually predict how the voting will go, but not this one. I'm surprised so many folks neglect their friends to work someone new. I'm not sure if that is good or bad as I see a bit of both in it. Not too many folks are adventurous and go back to someone sending faster than their CQ. That adventure is a good way to increase CW ability.


#104 - Which CW activities do you take part in fairly regularly?
Date: 3/15/08-4/14/08 --- Votes: 364

Activity            Nr   %
Rag Chewing.........89  24
DXing...............73  20
Awards chasing......56  15
Contests (> 4 hrs)..55  15
Sprints (< 4 hrs)...45  12
NAQCC challenges....17   5
Fox hunting..........9   2
County hunting.......8   2
Traffic work.........7   2
QRQ (> 35 WPM).......5   1

Pretty much as I expected. Rag chewing and DXing seem the most popular activities. I'm a little surprised at so many awards chasers - maybe because we are getting little response to our NAQCC awards program despite the 'bargain' price awards we offer. Contests (short and long) fit in about where I expected. I'm pleased so many voted for our NAQCC challenges, but confused because we've never had 17 reports for any of our challenges save for our N3A challenge last October. It's also surprising the small votes for Fox Hunting and County Hunting. Those activities seem popular, but apparently the participants seldom visit my web site. Traffic work, no doubt is a dying art because of the Internet, and that shows in the vote, although it could also be because the traffic handlers don't visit my site. Anyway I thought it was an interesting poll.


#103 - Which can you do while COPYING (not SENDING) CW?
Date: 2/15/08-3/14/08 --- Votes: 241

Which                                           Nr   %
None of them - I can't multitask while copying..49  20
Eat and/or drink................................46  19
Talk to someone in the shack or on the phone....38  16
Fill in a computer log..........................23  10
Fill in a paper log.............................20   8
Look up data in (or read) a book or magazine....18   7
Watch TV........................................16   7
Listen to TV/Radio..............................14   6
Tune a 2nd receiver.............................10   4
All of them - and more...........................7   3

It's remarkable to me there were so many votes from folks who can't multitask while copying. I wonder if these same folks also can't multitask while having a normal conversation with someone. Perhaps it's just being kind and giving full attention to what the person is saying. Personally I use the time while I'm copying someone to do a lot of things around the shack if they need doing. Or if nothing really needs doing, I try to find something to do as it is rather boring to just sit there and copy code. Not in any way, shape, or form that what the person is sending is boring or uninteresting. Just the action of copying is boring, unless it is up above 40 WPM or so. Then it does take a bit more concentration and the exchanges are shorter timewise with not as much time to do something else. I think the hardest to do for me personally is to talk to someone or listen to TV/Radio, although I can do them, especially if the person sending CW is sending the standard info like RST, rig, wx, etc. If they are talking about something like their job, or how they served on a battleship in WW2, then I have to concentrate more on just what they are sending. All the other choices are quite easy to do while copying, and the votes pretty much reflect that. At any rate it was interesting. Thanks Don for suggesting it. Don't forget later I'm going to re-run the 'What you can do while SENDING' poll as I feel it was mis-understood.


#102 - What percentage of your CW QSO's in 2007 were made using QRP?
Date: 1/15/08-2/14/08 --- Voters: 137

Pct    Nr   %
100....42  31
90-99..31  23
1-24...23  17
0......21  15
50-89..10   7
25-49..10   7

OK, let's refer back to poll #44 which was similar to this one, but done in early 2003 just after the peak of the sunspot cycle. That poll asked what percentage of your operating is done using QRP. It didn't specify CW nor a time period. Then 25% said they operated only QRP, now it's 31%. Then 10% said they didn't use QRP at all, now it's 15%. Simplifying things a bit further - then 59% operated QRP 50% or more of the time, now it's 61%. Not all that much difference, and I don't really see anything significant in the stats. Any difference can easily be explained by sampling errors introduced by such a small total response. There were more votes in #44 - 188 compared to 137 now. Both of those are really small samples of well over a few million hams around the world. Still it does show perhaps that QRP operating habits don't depend all that much on the point in a sunspot cycle which is what Don VE3HUR was wondering in the first place when he suggested such a poll.


#101 - Which can you do while SENDING (not receiving) CW with a SK, Bug, or Paddle?
Date: 12/15/07-1/14/08 --- Votes: 290

Which                                           Nr   %
Adjust the receiver volume......................49  17
None of them - I can't multitask while sending..46  16
Watch life go by out your window................44  15
Tune your RIT or tune a 2nd receiver............36  12
Fill in a paper log.............................27   9
Watch TV or listen to the radio.................25   9
Fill in a computer log..........................23   8
Talk to someone in the shack or on the phone....21   7
Look up data in (or read) a book or magazine....18   6
Other comments - email me........................1   0

I think (although I could be wrong, of course) this poll was misunderstood. I think many who filled in their answers thought it applied to receiving as well as sending CW. That was entirely wrong. I wanted to know what you could do while SENDING CW. That is, using your right (or left) hand to operate a SK, Bug, or Paddle. I find it hard to believe that so many folks can operate a key with one hand and write or type with the other. When I asked in my diary for those who said they could do so to explain, no one did except my friend Dave VA3RJ who said he could jot down notes while sending, but probably not neatly fill in a log. When I changed the wording in the question to emphasize SENDING, no more votes came in for the filling in a log choices. So I may re-run this poll later on to try to get some more accurate results. Still if you are reading this and can send with one hand and write with the other, I'd like to hear from you please. Other than that, most of the other answers seem pretty logical.