K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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Polls
(#131-140 June 2010-April 2011)


#140 - What is your favorite ham radio activity?
Date: 3/15/11-4/14/11 --- Voters: 89

Activity                 Nr   %
Rag chewing              28  31
Chasing DX               20  22
Kit building             13  15
Homebrew from scratch    10  11
Antenna design-testing    8   9
Contests-Sprints          8   9
Traffic or other nets     1   1
Awards                    1   1
County hunting            0   0
Ham radio Internet chat   0   0

As expected the top 2 were rag chewing and DXing. In fact except for Contests-Sprints which I thought would be number 3, I had the choices listed pretty much in the order I thought the votes would turn out. I think the county hunting community has become pretty much a closed society. Folks who hunt counties devote pretty much their entire radio life to that, and a lot probably aren't even aware of many other activities. There are not as many casual county hunters as there used to be years ago. I can't recall the last time I got a request for a QSL card for Armstrong county. Of course I'm delighted Internat chat got no votes from folks who visit my web site. Ham radio should be used to communicate with other hams, not the Internet. The Internet is useful in ham radio for finding info about ham radio such as that found on my web site, not to communicate with other hams.



#139 - What CW speed range (in WPM) do you use most often?
Date: 2/15/11-3/14/11 --- Voters: 86

Range         Nr   %
15-20         34  40
10-15         27  31
20-25         13  15
25-30          4   5
5-10           4   5
30-35          2   2
less than 5    2   2
35-40          0   0
more than 40   0   0

This turned out just as expected from my experience on the ham bands. I do find it hard to believe that less than 5 WPM got any votes. I hope that's 5 WPM using the Farnsworth method. That's the only way I could ever send that slowly. Personally my CW speed has slowed down over the years to accomodate the slower speeds found overall on the bands as the years went by. Back in the 60's I used to love to do QRQ work in the 35-45 WPM range. The only thing wrong with that is if you're not a talkative person, and I'm not, it's hard to come up with a steady stream of conversation at that speed. You find yourself inserting a lot of little standard phrases like the athletes' favorite, "You know" and so forth or a lot of BT's. Well, I hope you enjoyed the poll and will participate in the new one now.



#138 - What is your favorite CW band for QRP power levels?
Date: 1/15/11-2/14/11 --- Voters: 120

Band Nr   %
40   67  56
30   17  14
20   17  14
80   10   8
15    3   3
10    3   3
17    1   1
160   1   1
6     1   1
12    0   0

My first poll using php turned out to work well. No one mentioned any problems save for one that I was aware of, and intend to fix when I get time. Right now there is no provision to keep someone from voting more than once. I can fix that with cookies and will do so when time permits. I think the results turned out as expected with 40 the overwhelming choice and 30 and 20 in the runner-up spots. Perhaps a bit surprising to not see a few more votes for 80 meters. If it were near a sunspot maximum, I'm sure 10 and 15 (and 6) would get more votes than they did.



#137 - On average, how many hours a week do you spend on CW?
Date: 12/15/10-1/14/11 --- Voters: 94

Hours       Nr   %
10 or more  24  26
1           14  15
2           11  12
0           10  11
4            9  10
6            8   9
5            8   9
8            3   3
7            3   3
3            3   3
9            1   1

I'm glad to see the highest number of hours had the most votes. I feel sorry for those who answered 0. They are missing out on the greatest facet of ham radio. But that's their choice to deprive themselves of it, and I respect their right to so choose.



#136 - In which of the following have you participated?
Date: 11/15/10-12/14/10 --- Voters: 76

Which                           Nr   %
NAQCC Sprints                   37  49
NAQCC Challenges                15  20
NAQCC Anniversary Celebrations  15  20
NAQCC Awards                    12  16
NAQCC QRS Net                   12  16
None                            33  43

A lot of folks who participated in the poll are missing out on our great NAQCC activities. Hopefully after participating in the poll, they'll discover what our club is all about, and start joining in the fun and helping to preserve the wonderful mode of CW on the ham bands.



#135 - In which decades have you made QRP QSO's Regularly?
Date: 10/15/10-11/14/10 --- Voters: 92

Decade  Nr   %
2000's  63  68
1990's  40  44
1980's  28  31
1970's  16  18
1960's  12  13
1950's   4   4
1930's   0   0
1940's   0   0

As I'm tabulating the results I wonder just what exactly they mean. There are two obvious conclusions, and probably a combination of both is the answer. 1-The ham population is ageing rapidly so many who did operate QRP 'back then' are no longer with us. 2-QRP is becoming more and more popular as hams realize they don't need high power to have success using CW. I think we need a companion poll now which I will do in the Dec-Jan period. One similar to this one, but asking in which decades have you been active in ham radio - period. If the percentages are the same, then the attrition theory is most of the answer. If the percentages are higher for the more recent decades, then popularity is most of the answer.



#134 - What other hobbies do you have?
Date: 9/15/10-10/14/10 --- Voters: 139

Hobby            Nr   %
Computers        66  47
Photography      50  35
Camping          43  30
Walking-Jogging  37  26
Astronomy        36  26
Fishing          35  25
Music            31  22
Cycling          30  21
Pets             28  20
Gardening        27  19
Wood Working     27  19
Cooking          26  18
Genealogy        18  13
Coins-Stamps     17  12
Hunting          16  11
Model Trains     13   9
Cars             11   8
Meteorology      11   8
Sports            8   6
Antiques          4   3

Now in theory that gives me some idea of the topics you'd like mentioned in my web site diary. The most popular ones except for camping and cycling are favorite hobbies of mine also. I'm a bit surprised there weren't more votes for meteorology. I guess everyone likes to talk about the weather, but few consider it as a hobby.



#133 - What class of ham license do you hold?
Date: 8/15/10-9/14/10 --- Voters: 275

Class                     Nr   %
Extra                    160  58
General                   59  21
I hold a non-USA license  31  11
Advanced                  17   6
Tech                       4   1
Tech Plus                  4   1
I'm not licensed           0   0

This is another poll that turned out just as expected. The only minor surprise is the large number of foreign licensees, but then, hey it's the WORLD WIDE Web, after all, so I guess it's not a surprise at all.



#132 - How do you copy CW?
Date: 7/15/10-8/14/10 --- Voters: 156

How                                     Nr   %
By ear - write all down                 79  51
By ear - just take notes                75  48
Use a code reader for high speed CW      2   1
Always use a code reader                 0   0
Usa a code reader because of a handicap  0   0

It's good to know that CW is still a brain and not computer mode for the vast majority of respondents. Without the brain, CW becomes just another of the seemingly dozens of digital modes. I have absolutely no data to back this up, but I feel that the use of CW to exercise the brain may help prevent or postpone things like Alzheimer's Disease. If true, that alone makes it the best of all ham radio modes, not to mention the many other reasons it is.



#131 - What is the lowest power you've used to make a CW QSO?
Date: 6/15/10-7/14/10 --- Voters: 135

Power              Nr   %
10mW  or less       3   2
11mW  to 100mW     14  10
101mW to 500mW     28  21
501mW to 1W        22  16
1.1W  to 2.5W      23  17
2.6W  to 5W        28  21
5.1W  to 25W        8   6
26W   to 50W        2   1
51W   to 100W       6   4
101W  or greater    1   1

While most all other polls are arranged by number of votes, I think this one is more meaningful if arranged by power level. Impressive! 88% of respondents have used QRP power to make a CW QSO. Yet another indication that CW is a very efficient mode, as those of us who use it already know very well. The only thing that is a bit puzzling is the upward bump in the 101mW to 500mW group. Otherwise there is a uniform rise from the mW through 5W groups.