K3WWP's Ham Radio Activities

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(#201-210 April 2016-February 2017)

#210 - Which of these OUTDOOR activities do you enjoy?
Date: 1/15/17-2/14/17 --- Voters: 46

Which                      Nr   %
Camping                    22  48
Canoeing                    5  11
Cycling                    14  30
Fishing                    15  33
Gardening                  17  37
Hunting                     5  11
Jogging                     3   7
Operating outdoors         28  61
Playing outdoor sports      4   9
Swimming                    8  17
Walking                    35  76
None of the above           1   2

Pretty much as expected considering the ham population is getting older and older. At least those of use who enjoy true ham radio - CW. The younger ones probably never visit my web site so the results represent us older folks. So the less strenuous choices got the most votes. Thanks for casting your votes. I always appreciate those who participate in these polls. The more of you who vote, the more meaningful they are.

#209 - Which of the following New Years 2017 resolutions describes yours?
Date: 12/15/16-1/14/17 --- Voters: 49

Which                                              Nr   %
Do some portable operations                        25  51
Improve my operating skills                        21  43
Put up a better antenna system                     19  39
Improve my shack                                   18  46
Participate in more NAQCC activities               16  33
Try to get on the air every day                    15  31
Work more DX                                        8  16
Try to complete QRP WAC, WAS, DXCC, WAZ if needed   7  14
Participate in more FISTS activities                5  10
Enter more contests                                 3   6

And the winner is portable operations. That seems to be an activity that continues to grow in popularity over the years. Probably because of the increasing availability of small easy to move and set up equipment. Also the incentive last year to operate from National Parks. Because of the results, I've decided that over the next few weeks as time permits, I'm going to add a page to my site dealing with portable activity. After nearly 10 years of doing portable work, I think I've gathered enough experience to come up with some good info to pass along to those new to the idea.

#208 - How many states have you worked on 12 Meters?
Date: 11/15/16-12/14/16 --- Voters: 39

How Many         Nr   %
Do not use 12M   22 56%
1-9              13 33%
20-29             2  5%
30-39             1  3%
40-49             1  3%
10-19             0  0%
All 50            0  0%

Poor neglected 12M. It's going to be even more neglected the next few years as we approach and pass through the sunspot minimum. After that, I hope everyone will be more active on this wonderful little band. I must say it is rough to work states here unless you are DX. Most USA stations only use it to chase DX, it seems. I seldom hear any USA stations calling non-DX CQs nor have many USA stations answer my CQs. It's much easier to earn DXCC than WAS on this band.

#207 - Which of the following interest you?
Date: 10/15/16-11/14/16 --- Voters: 50

Which                       Nr   %
SOTA                        22  44
None                        20  40
IOTA                        15  30
USACA                        8  16
I do not know what they are  2   4

Since my main interest in ham radio at one time was county hunting, I'm disappointed USACA finished so low in the voting. I really have no interest at all in SOTA, only a minor interest in IOTA, and I don't actively hunt counties although I do check now and then to see if any of my recent QSOs were with a county I need. However with around 2/3 or more of the counties worked, I don't find many new ones now.

#206 - Which if any of these Elecraft rigs do you own?
Date: 9/15/16-10/14/16 --- Voters: 53

Which          Nr   %
KX3            16  30
K2             10  19
K1              8  15
KX1             5   9
K3              5   9
KX2             3   6
K3S             2   4
None of these  20  38

Impressive that of the 53 voters, 62% own some sort of Elecraft rig. That says a lot for a great home grown company. USA based companies can succeed if they do a good job. Apparently all those who work at Elecraft take pride in their work and aren't just there for a paycheck. That is commendable in today's something for nothing society. Congratulations Elecraft and all your workers and officers.

#205 - Do you use a panadapter with your rig?
Date: 8/15/16-9/14/16 --- Voters: 52

Y/N                   Nr   %
No                    33  63
Yes                   16  31
What's a panadapter?   3   6

Well, it is somewhat new technology. At least new in its widespread use of late. Many rigs have the technology built in while Elecraft and possibly others have external units for their (and other) rigs. There are also computer programs (apps?) that do the job. Still it is surprising that only a third of the voters do use one. I'm sure they don't know what they are missing. Anyone who likes to get on the bands a lot, but doesn't have a lot of time to do so, really needs one. I think that is their most important task - saving time in examining the bands for activity. You can quickly tell when a band is dead without laboriously tuning across its whole range listening for signals. I could go on and on raving, but I won't. Give one a try and you will be quickly saving up to buy one. Hey, Christmas is not that far off.

#204 - Which of the following have you built from scratch, no kits?
Date: 7/15/16-8/14/16 --- Voters: 58

Which             Nr   %
Antenna           53  91
Transmitter       24  41
Receiver          18  31
Keyer             12  21
Straight Key      11  19
Paddle            11  19
Transceiver       10  17
Bug                1   2

Probably of all my polls, the results in this one came out closest to the expected results. Of course nearly everyone has thrown up some wire and feedline to build an antenna at one time or other. Of the key types, a bug is the trickiest to build with a straight key and paddle about equally easy/hard to build. After all, a paddle is just basically two straight keys and in fact I have built paddles exactly that way with two straight keys. Of the three major pieces of equipment in the shack, a transmitter is the easiest followed not too far behind by a receiver with a transceiver trailing a little further behind. Perhaps a future poll will ask the same question, but not from scratch, but kits.

#203 - Which major award are you most proud of earning?
Date: 6/15/16-7/14/16 --- Voters: 37

Which                          Nr   %
DXCC                            9  24
WAS                             8  22
USA-CA                          1   3
WAC                             1   3
WAZ                             1   3
WPX                             0   0
Have yet to earn any of these  17  46

I agree with the poll results since (except for WAZ for me) DXCC is the hardest to earn and WAS is a close second. WAC is probably the easiest. I've done it in as little as 9 minutes one time. WPX is not that hard either, but it is a lot of fun. If I ever get WAZ, that will be my proudest one since you have to cover pretty much the whole globe to earn it. DXCC can be pretty much earned from just working NA and EU with maybe a few SA/AF thrown in. WAC can be earned by just working 6 small areas of the globe. I guess most surprising of all is the vote for "Have yet to earn any of these". I can only think that some folks just flat out don't care to work to achieve something. That's fine, but I find the most rewarding thing in life is working to achieve something such as a ham radio award, learning to play an instrument, becoming a good fisherman, and so on.

#202 - About how many times do you operate portable QRP/CW outdoors each year?
Date: 5/15/16-6/14/16 --- Voters: 40

How Many     Nr   %
5 or fewer   18  45
6-10          9  23
None          7  18
More than 10  6  15

Up until a few years ago I would have cast my vote for None. That is, until Tom WY3H, Mike KC2EGL, and Don K3RLL introduced me to portable operations. Now on average I do at least 5 or so per year, and enjoy each and every one. So if you voted for None, I urge you to give it a try. I'm sure you'll like it.

#201 - To which of these CW and or QRP clubs do you belong?
Date: 4/15/16-5/14/16 --- Voters: 67

Which           Nr   %
NAQCC           55  82
FISTS           31  46
QRP ARCI        19  28
None             5   7

I'm disappointed that a greater percent don't belong to FISTS, the premier CW club in the world. Everyone who belongs to the NAQCC should also be a FISTS member. The only difference between the two is that the NAQCC emphasizes CW at QRP levels while FISTS emphasizes CW at all power levels. Anyway it was nice to get 67 folks to vote this month. That's the most in a while now.