K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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(#181-190 August 2014-June 2015)

#190 - How many hamfests do you attend each year?
Date: 5/15/15-6/14/15 --- Voters: 48

How many         Nr   %
1                14  29
3                 8  17
2                 6  13
5                 5  10
4                 3   6
6                 1   2
More than 10      0   0
10                0   0
9                 0   0
8                 0   0
7                 0   0
None             11  23

I wonder how this poll would have turned out in the past when travel was cheaper. Nowadays it's understandable hams can only afford to attend very few hamfests each year. How would this poll turn out in the future? If I'm still doing polls in a few years, maybe I'll re-run it and see. Up until a few years ago, I would have been in the None category. But now that there are several local hams interested in CW/QRP, it's fun to attend with them and I regularly do 3 per year within a distance of 25 miles or so. I've never been to Dayton. Perhaps some year I will go there. It would be nice, but a lot of work to set up a NAQCC presence there.

#189 - Approximately what frequency does your rig use for a sidetone?
Date: 4/15/15-5/14/15 --- Voters: 49

Frequency             Nr   %
700 Hz                22  45
600 Hz                16  33
800 Hz                 8  16
400 Hz                 1   2
1000 Hz                1   2
Lower than 300 Hz      1   2
300 Hz                 0   0
500 Hz                 0   0
900 Hz                 0   0
1100 Hz                0   0
1200 Hz                0   0
Higher than 1200 Hz    0   0
I don't know           0   0

An interesting poll submitted by Mark WU7F. I don't think neither he nor I really knew what to expect of the results except that the frequency probably would be in the several hundred Hertz range. I guess that was correct with 94% using 600-800 Hz. I'm wondering if there is a physical reason for the <300 Hz and the 1000 Hz uses. I would think for anyone with normal hearing those would be a bit annoying, but...

#188 - To which of the following clubs do you belong?
Date: 3/15/15-4/14/15 --- Voters: 38

Which     Nr    %
NAQCC     16   42
Both      13   34
FISTS      3    8
Neither    6   16

Everyone who enjoys and uses CW should be a member of both of these great clubs. Of course the NAQCC is geared toward QRP CW so if you are someone who doesn't believe in and never uses QRP, this club may not be for you. You still should be a member of the premier CW club, FISTS.

#187 - During which time period are you most active on the bands?
Date: 2/15/15-3/14/15 --- Voters: 39

Time         Nr    %
0000-0200Z   13   33
0200-0400Z    7   18
0400-0600Z    4   10
1400-1600Z    4   10
1800-2000Z    4   10
1000-1200Z    2    5
1600-1800Z    2    5
1200-1400Z    1    3
2000-2200Z    1    3
2200-2400Z    1    3
0600-0800Z    0    0
0800-1000Z    0    0

I'll do this again in a couple months and ask when you are most active - LOCAL time instead of UTC. That will be more meaningful from a worldwide perspective. Thanks for making this a little more popular poll than some of the recent ones.

#186 - How did you make out with the 2014 W1AW WAS event?
Date: 1/15/15-2/14/15 --- Voters: 27

How                                    Nr   %
I didn't bother with it at all          9  33
I worked 10 or fewer states             7  26
I worked all 50 but it took two rounds  4  15
I worked all 50 the first round         3  11
I worked 11-20 states                   3  11
I worked 31-40 states                   1   4
I worked 21-30 states                   0   0
I worked 40-49 states                   0   0
What are you talking about              0   0

Another month with a disappointing voter turnout. Also disappointing to see the results. I can't understand how 9 folks didn't even bother to work one state or 7 worked 10 or fewer states. I thought this was one of the greatest operating events in my 50+ years of being a ham. I looked forward to Tuesday evening every week when W1AW would be starting operations from two new states. A lot of the weeks I got them in the first hour of operation, sometimes within the first couple minutes or so. It really was not all that hard. Much easier than say working K1N. All 50 came on the first round with only KL7 being a bit hard. I guess a lot of hams are just not interested in any kind of challenge, even if it takes only minimum effort to master it as this one did.

#185 - If you could only operate one of these contests each year, which one?
Date: 12/15/14-1/14/15 --- Voters: 29

Contest               Nr   %
ARRL DX                5  17
CQWW DX                4  14
ARRL FD                4  14
ARRL SS                4  14
NAQP January           3  10
Something else         3  10
CQWW WPX               2   7
ARRL 10M               1   3
CQWW 160M              0   0
RAC Canada Day         0   0
IARU HF Championships  0   0
NAQP August            0   0
WAE DX                 0   0
ARRL 160M              0   0
RAC Winter             0   0
I do not do contests   3  10

Sad to say, the number of voters took a big dip this month following a nice turnout last month. Let's hope the holiday season had something to do with it. However there wasn't a comparable drop in visitors to my site so perhaps the polls are just not what folks want. I don't know. Perhaps this will be the last year for them if the number of voters doesn't substantially increase. It requires some time and effort to produce these polls and I could use that time and effort in other ways more productively.

Anyway the results, meager though they were, did show pretty much what I expected. My personal favorite, the ARRL DX took first place with FD, SS, and CQWW DX tied for second. I'm surprised the 10M contest only drew one vote, especially since the band is currently in good shape.

#184 - How do you treat logging since it is no longer legally required?
Date: 11/15/14-12/14/14 --- Voters: 57

How                                             Nr   %
I log all QSOs via computer                     22  39
I log all QSOs on paper                         17  30
I log all QSOs both on paper and via computer   17  30
I only log certain special QSOs                  1   2
I don't keep any log at all                      0   0

A nice increase in the number of voters this month. Almost double last month's total. I'm delighted by the results, and I hope the results apply equally to ALL ham radio operators. I firmly believe every ham worthy of the name should keep a record in some form of ALL his QSOs. Best of all, keep it in two different forms such as paper and computer. Or if computer only, then have a strict backup regimen so that nothing is lost.

#183 - Which award do you think is hardest to earn?
Date: 10/15/14-11/14/14 --- Voters: 31

Award              Nr   %
USA-CA             10  32
WAZ                 9  29
DXCC                7  23
WAS                 2   6
WAC                 0   0
WPX                 0   0
All are very hard   3  10

I'm wondering if it's worth my effort to continue these polls when the last few with a couple of exceptions have only gotten about one vote per day. This poll shows some interesting info, I think. I agree that WAZ is very hard because your signal has to travel to all corners of the globe. However you can get DXCC by only working part of the globe. There are easily 100 countries you can work without going more than halfway around the globe, I would think. I'm surprised USA-CA was voted the hardest. I guess because it does require making a LOT of QSOs to get 500 different counties. That's more dedication than a lot of hams these days are willing to devote to a single award, I guess. On the other hand, WPX also requires a lot of QSOs and no one voted it the hardest to earn. Obviously if the question were reversed, WAC would be voted the easiest. It's remarkably easy to get those six QSOs for that award. I've done it within a few minutes a few times. WAS is probably somewhere in the middle difficulty area. There are some of the 50 states that are hard to get at times, although it's easy to bag a WAS by entering a couple of the right contests.

#182 - Check all bands on which you operate QRP/CW regularly.
Date: 9/15/14-10/14/14 --- Voters: 29

Band          Nr   %
20            23  79
40            21  72
30            15  52
15            12  41
10            10  34
17             9  31
80             8  28
12             8  28
6              4  14
All of them    4  14
60             2   7
160            1   3
None of them   2   7

After 75 voters last month, only 29 this month. Why? I don't know. Although it is a very small sample, the results are interesting. A curve of the results would show a pronounced dip at the WARC bands 60 30 17 12. Except maybe for 60, those are excellent bands for QRP. Perhaps it's because a lot of QRPers use the dinky little rigs that only feature 1, 2, 3 bands at most. I think a true dedicated QRP operator should have the best rig possible. One that features all the above bands plus has a lot of features that the mainline QRO rigs have. I believe the very best QRP rig around today is the Elecraft KX3 - even better with the companion PX3 panadapter. You have all bands from 160 through 6 with an option for 2 and 4 meters. No need to be limited to only a couple bands on a rig that has tiny little controls that are hard to understand and use. As I write this summary, it's been almost 600 straight days that I've worked some DX. That streak would have ended long ago without the KX3 and a panadapter. Some days DX could only be found on a certain band, and without access to that band, the streak would have ended. There are other pretty good all-band QRP rigs also, or you can get a big QRO rig and operate it only at QRP levels as I've done with the TS570 and TS480 Kenwood rigs before Elecraft came along with the K2 and now the top of the line KX3.

#181 - Which class of license do you currently hold?
Date: 8/15/14-9/14/14 --- Voters: 75

Class              Nr   %
Extra              46  61
General            17  23
Advanced            6   8
A Non-USA license   4   5
Tech                2   3
Tech Plus           0   0
Novice              0   0
None                0   0

The most poll voters in quite a while - 75. That's encouraging as it is somewhat of a task to think up these polls and create the page for them. It hardly seems worth it sometimes when only a few folks cast votes. With the ease of getting an Extra class license by memorizing a few questions and answers, it's no surprise that 61% of voters have the Extra class license. Although this poll is by no means representative of ham radio as a whole, I wonder how that percentage has changed over the years as it became easier and easier to get that top class license. I know when I got mine back in 1968, it was not all that easy. Of course the CW part was easy for me, but the technical part took quite a bit of study. I mean study too - not just memorization of things. Actually I only got it then when incentive licensing came along and I definitely didn't want to lose the bottom 25 kHz of prime DX territory on several bands.