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(#121-130 August 2009-June 2010)

#130 - Do you hold a vanity call? If so, for what reason?
Date: 5/15/10-6/14/10 --- Voters: 191

Reason                                                              Nr   %
Contains my initials. John H. Shannon=K3JHS, etc.                   17   9
Nice short call for contests. N5EE, etc.                             9   5
Wanted a 1X2 call that used to represent only old-time hams.         6   3
Contains my name. K0SAM, KJ4OHN, etc.                                5   3
Call contains number representing my area. W4 in FL, W3 in PA, etc.  5   3
Just didn't like my old call.                                        4   2
Just wanted to change because I could.                               2   1
Contains my state. W4GA, K3PA, etc.                                  1   1
Contains CW, QRP, etc. N3CW, WQ1RP, etc.                             1   1
It has good CW rhythm.                                              13   7
It was the call of a relative, friend, etc.                         12   6
I don't have a vanity call                                         116  61
Since I'm not a believer in the vanity call program, I'm happy to see almost 2/3 of the hams voting in the poll don't have a vanity call. Actually the only reason I might ever consider a vanity call would be if I move to another call area. I'd want to have a number that matches the area. The two choices (last two) I originally forgot turned out to garner quite a few votes and they are somewhat good reasons. Having never even thought much about the vanity call program, I just naturally overlooked some obvious choices.

#129 - Which device have you used most often to send CW since January of 2009?
Date: 4/15/10-5/14/10 --- Voters: 145

Device                        Nr   %
Electronic Keyer & Paddle     79  54
Straight Key                  41  28
Bug                           15  10
Computer                       6   4
Sideswiper                     2   1
Dedicated Keyboard Keyer       2   1

I hope that those who use a Keyboard or Computer to send CW have to do it because of some physical disability, and not because they are just too lazy to send their CW manually. A keyboard or computer takes a lot of the joy out of using CW, and actually just makes it another of the myriad digital modes whereby computers rather than people communicate with each other. I guessed before the poll even started that a keyer would be first and a straight key second, with a bug coming in third. Personally I use all three of those devices here, and coincidentally just built a homebrew sideswiper today that I am going to try to learn and use. It may take a while, especially with letters that end in multiple dots. My mind expects the dots to come out automatically and sends that message to my thumb which then just holds the dot side of the sideswiper closed.

#128 - How do you use QRP at a sunspot max vs. a min?
Date: 3/15/10-4/14/10 --- Voters: 121

How                              Nr   %
The same at maximum and minimum  91  75
More at a maximum                25  21
More at a minimum                 5   4

I'm glad most folks use QRP no matter what the stage of the sunspot cycle. After all it works all through every cycle although what you can work and what bands you have to use do change throughout the cycle. My streak has continued unabated through 2 minimums and 1 maximum now. It's a lot more fun at the maximum, but actually it seems easier to make QSO's during a minimum on a regular basis. At a maximum you have the severe geomagnetic storms that can completely shut down the bands for many hours at a time. I remember one day during the last peak, I had some concern for the streak and it took till afternoon to make a QSO, but I did it. Most of the day all bands were completely devoid of signals. I don't remember any equal struggles during the minimums.

#127 - Are you a member of the NAQCC?
Date: 2/15/10-3/14/10 --- Voters: 166

Y/N   Nr   %
Yes  136  82
No    30  18

It's nice to see so many of my visitors are NAQCC members. Being a member adds strength to your efforts to assist in preserving our wonderful mode of Morse code on the bands. At 4500+ members and growing, our voice is getting louder and louder proclaiming the greatness of Morse code. If you're reading this and are not a member, I hope you'll join and make that voice a little louder. This was a repeat of a poll held in Apr/May 2006. Then 70% were members. So that's a 12 point increase since then. We're growing for sure.

#126 - How do you use each of the following three verification methods?
Date: 1/15/10-2/14/10 --- Voters: 189

How                                               Nr   %
Send a card to some of the stations I work -OR-  136  74
Send a card to each station I work -OR-           28  15
I don't send cards                                20  11

I don't use LotW                                 122  67
Upload all my QSO's to LotW -OR-                  54  30
Upload some of my QSO's to LotW -OR-               6   3

I don't use eQSL                                  96  53
Upload all my QSO's to eQSL -OR-                  43  24
Upload some of my QSO's to eQSL -OR-              41  23

It's discouraging that some who voted in the poll just can't or won't follow instructions. At least it is only a few who do so. There should be a total of 189 votes for each group, yet the range is from 180 to 184. The percentages in this poll are almost identical to the time I first ran this poll back in May/Jun 2008 although they were figured differently back then. For example 53% don't use eQSL now vs. 54% then. With LotW it's 67% both times. I can't figure why more hams don't use LotW than those who don't use eQSL. I personally find LotW to be more reliable and easier to use, and less prone to errors. I guess folks like to have the ability to actually see a card in eQSL rather than wanting a more reliable system.

#125 - What was your last continent worked for QRP CW WAC?
Date: 12/15/09-1/14/10 - Voters: 82

Continent                Nr   %
From East USA/VE:
NA                        7  30
AS                        7  30
EU                        3  13
OC                        3  13
AF                        2   9
SA                        1   4

From West USA/VE:
NA                        5  71
AF                        2  29
AS                        0   0
EU                        0   0
OC                        0   0
SA                        0   0

From Outide USA/VE:
AF                        2  33
SA                        2  33
NA                        1  17
OC                        1  17
EU                        0   0
AS                        0   0

I don't have QRP CW WAC  46  56

For the most part the results from this poll don't make any sense at all. Oh, the percentage of hams who don't have QRP CW WAS is probably accurate within ballpark figures. However I find it impossible to believe that TWELVE hams in the USA and Canada all worked AF AS EU OC and SA before working their own continent. Do they not understand the difference between 'last' and 'first' perhaps? Just someone fooling around trying to mess up the poll? Misunderstanding something else about the very simple instructions? I'd love to hear from any of those TWELVE telling me why they voted as they did.

#124 - How old were you when first licensed?
Date: 11/15/09-12/14/09 - Voters: 283

Age                      Nr   %
15-19                    77  27
20-29                    61  22
30-39                    49  17
10-14                    45  16
40-49                    28  10
50-59                    15   5
60-69                     6   2
Under 10                  1   0
70 or older               0   0
I've never been licensed  1   0

I find the results to be pretty much as expected. Most of us got interested in radio in high school and got our first license then.

#123 - How many different calls have you held?
Date: 10/15/09-11/14/09 - Voters: 162

How many         Nr   %
2                58  36
3                38  23
1                36  22
4                16  10
5                 6   4
6                 3   2
7                 1   1
8                 1   1
9                 1   1
More than 9       1   1
I'm not licensed  1   1

As I was preparing this report, I noticed that both 'more than 9' and 'not licensed' votes went into the 'more than 9' bin. So those 2 votes could be split between the last two choices in any way. It is surprising to see so many '1' votes. With the practice many years ago of dropping a 'N' or 'V' when upgrading from Novice class and the current vanity call system, I would have thought there would have been many fewer '1' votes.

#122 - On Which bands have you made a QRP CW QSO in 2009?
Date: 9/15/09-10/14/09 - Voters: 97

Band Nr   %
40   76  78
20   56  58
80   49  51
30   38  39
10   17  17
15   16  16
17   15  15
160  10  10
12    2   2
None 10  10

A lot of these polls turn out as expected with little in the way of surprise and hence little to comment on. Now had 40, 20, and 80 not been the top three bands, that would have been surprising. Had 12 been the most popular WARC band, that would have been shocking. But none of that happened so..... well wait a minute. 10 folks didn't make a single QRP CW HF QSO so far this year. Now that is food for thought. Hmmmm.

#121 - When purchasing a rig, what factors are most important to you?
Date: 8/15/09-9/14/09 - Voters: 118

Factor                                Nr   %
Price                                 85  72
Bands covered                         73  62
Ability to lower power to QRP levels  68  58
Ease of operation                     62  53
Built-in keyer                        54  46
Operates from battery easily          54  46
Available modes                       51  43
Included filters                      48  41
Size                                  43  36
Built-in antenna tuner                38  32
Built-in speaker                      25  21
Extensive operating menu              24  20
Available options                     23  19
Looks                                 14  12
Built-in power supply                 12  10
Digital readout color                 11   9

A most interesting poll suggested by Bob WA6GFR. Although this is of course a QRP site and the majority of visitors probably do operate QRP which biases the results, I'm still a little surprised and pleased so many consider having QRP powers levels important in a rig. When you deal with a lot of people as I do with this web site, I find a variety of ideas can result. Jerry WB0T has these comments on the poll, "It depends on where and how I plan to use the rig. For a main rig in the shack, I like a full featured rig, ie., CW, SSB, perhaps FM and AM. For this use I like a rig with big, well spaced knobs, and a good speaker. Size is unimportant. For camping or casual use outdoors or in motels, I often use a single band rig, usually cw only, and battery power. Ease of carrying and compact enough to pack in a brief case is nice. The MFJ rigs work well for this. If they have an optional filter, I like those. Built in speaker is not important." Excellent points. Good enough to perhaps re-run this poll later on as two separate polls, one for a home rig, one for portable, and maybe a third one for a mobile rig.