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Contesting Online Survey

Survey Question Current Survey Question

Recently the RDXC committee reclassified P3F to high power from low power without publicly providing strong evidence that any infraction had occurred. They concluded was that the contestant was running HP on 80/40m but not full-time, just 10 minutes here and there without any convincing evidence. It appears they used the RBN as their source of information. Should the RXDC contest have to publicly provide convincing evidence before reclassifying a station from LP to HP?

Recent Surveys

Randy, K5ZD, wrote a sidebar titled " Convergence and Change" in the 2015 CQWW CW printed results in CQ magazine. He wrote that the "convergence of personal computers, Internet access, DX clusters, and CW Skimmer have changed the nature of CW contesting". He goes to say that it is "more difficult to police the line between the single operator working alone and those who are using the assistance of DX spotting." In light of this convergence and change is it time to recombine SO and SOA into a single category?

What's your primary Software for HF Contests ? ( no VHF/UHF ! )

Are you ready the this year's winter contest season

What ways have you found to be effective to attract newcomers to our hobby?

What is your linear?

View All Survey Questions

Have a good idea for a Contesting Online Survey question?
Enter your idea!

How many years have you been participating in contests?
  Posted: Jan 01, 2007   (486 votes, 25 comments) by VE5ZX

  1- 5 years
  6 - 10 years
  11 - 15 years
  16 - 20 years
  21 - 25 years
  26 - 30 years
  more than 30 years
    (486 votes, 25 comments)
Survey Results
1- 5 years 15% (74)
6 - 10 years 10% (47)
11 - 15 years 12% (56)
16 - 20 years 7% (36)
21 - 25 years 10% (51)
26 - 30 years 13% (61)
more than 30 years 33% (161)

Survey Comments
I made some QSOs in my first contest inadvertently, in 1970. I was licensed just a few months and one day I hear "CQ NR." Having no Elmer, and being age 12, I assumed it meant "CQ Number" whatever that meant.

According to my log, my first "CQ Number" QSO was with WN2LQZ - some guy who would never amount to much of a contester :.)

Posted by w2up on December 28, 2006

50 years of contesting
My first contest was the 1956 ARRL CW Sweepstakes. Made 212 QSO's which was the exact same number of contacts I made as a Novice in the previous 12 months.

Tom N4KG (ex W8FAW, then WA0SDC)

Posted by N4KG on December 23, 2006

First Contest, then best contests...
First contest was the '65 Novice Roundup... passed General shortly thereafter, then the fun began. Some of the best memories remain the old CW CD Parties, despite my low scores. Had the worst station around, but had a ball. If I kicked the desk leg by accident, the S-40 bounced off frequency. Only had the DX-100 to keep me warm when the door was shut, keeping out the heat from the furnace. Of course, maybe the fact I was usually the only Ark station on the air helped, hihi... ex-WA5KUD de Steve, W5KI

Posted by W5KI on December 22, 2006

Slow Start
My first "contest" experience was probably the 1986 Field Day. Although I had been a ham for about 10 years, I hadn't known many other hams until I got involved with the Atlanta Radio Club. In 1986, they set up a modest FD station up on Lake Lanier Islands. I helped set up, but was very mike shy.

In the fall of 1986, I operated the SS CW and Phone contests, making very modest scores but having a ball!

Since then, I've been contesting when I can from my modest home station.

I think a lot of middle-aged hams don't contest so much because they are too busy with other issues of living -- work, family, etc. That may account for the swale in the results above.

Posted by AA4LR on December 18, 2006

As a novice
First contest was as KA0IFG/N in the 1981 Ten Meter contest, although I did hand out a few points in the 1981 CW SS. The Ten Meter contest is still one of my 3 favorite contests, the others being the IARU contest and the Illinois QSO Party.

73s John W5TD

Posted by ne0p on December 17, 2006

My Start
FD 1960 Age 10


Posted by W2GD on December 17, 2006

need more young contesters
I am from 21-25 "age" category.
First contest CQ WPX SSB 1985.

73, Nodir EY8MM

Posted by ey8mm on December 15, 2006

we need more encouraging survey.. knowing that 35% of the contesters are contesting for over 30 years.... my god!


Hrle - 9A6XX
aged 23, contesting since 1995!

Posted by 9a6xx on December 14, 2006

Started on 2m/70cm
26 - 30years category...
Started while lived as a young student still in my parents home - close to the mountains of "sauerland" in central Germany. Before I had my own station at home, I was very active on VHF, 2m and later 70cm ssb and CW contests. Remember sitting in a tent in March IARU VHF contest on top of the nearby mountain "Giller" was snowing outside - but while I worked up to 1000km distances with 17ele longyagi and 100wtts VHF amplifier in those my early days I was too much exited to feel freezing... At least many contests on VHF have been done before I left VHF and went LOW-Band...
Already listened very regularly on 3.8Mhz and was amazed what the others could do..
Because of missing space for large 80m antennas, I chose 40m and set-up a vertical full-size dipole. Partissipated ARRL and other contests, but it was really a big administration mess without computers in early 80's.
When starting in my first Job in Berlin, we set-up DF0RR. The contest group of DF0RR actually became very successful and our antenna-park grew. I was very much focussed in low-band operation. Build a 4 ele wire LPDA for 80m and a 2 ele for 160m in the early 80s. A 7 ele 40m wire-LPDA was set-up with 60m boom beaming to the USA - whow, never experienced a higher SWR with any other antenna...fantastic!
Nice to know: One of our DF0RR members later became KC1XX now growing antennas not only at his home in Mason, NH
In 1989 I had to leave the Berlin group of DF0RR because of a new job assignment in Cologne. Some time of very busy QRL followed and finally, I moved to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I became PA5AT. I was looking for an ambitious contest group in Holland, as I wanted to continue HF contesting. Due to a very small city lot (12m x 8m garden in total !!), contesting was difficult. No high power possible, due to neighbors 5m from the antenna and continous TVI/BCI problems...
Still I was crazy enough to expecially concentrate on 80m LP contesting.
Best result was in ARRL CW 80m Single OP LP - about 240stations worked from my citylot of 12x7m.
But at the same time I again got serious with joining the PI4COM M/M contest group. Here I build many different low-band antennas and it was a great playground for improving the low-band capabilities of the PI4COM station...
In 2000, I had to move for 6month to Anaheim/California for QRL. Thanks to the hospitality of SCCC-club and especially Arnie, N6HC who guided me in the local Ham-radio community. Thanks also to Don, W6EEN for letting me operate his Super-stn for ARRL 2000 and WPX 2000 contests (WPX as NE6N)
Great to confirm during the operation from W6EEN, that PI4COM has indeed a great and very competitive signal on all bands...-
End of 2004, I left the Netherlands for a new qrl assignment in Belgium. PA5AT went qrt and after a short periode of ON7JAO, I became ON5KQ.
I found a great (remote) new QTH for SOHP contesting. Due to limited menpower (I am single operator!) and resources, I decided to concentrate on 40m only at this remote location (JO11OF). My 4 square on top of a 2000m steelroof next to saltwater is still doing a great job !
Run all major contests on 40m from here since 1 year.
Fortunately I could find a nice home for Hamradio as well. I recently installed a 75feet high T-antenna - resonant for topband. Very soon, I will have TRX's installed and also plan the necessary AMP and beverage arrays over my neighbors farmland (28ha). It will become certainly the best low-band station, I could own so far...

You can reach me in major RTTY/SSB/CW contests on 40m (from my contest place in Brugge) or on 80/160m from my home location

pse cuagn in contests !
73s de op Ulli, ON5KQ
ex-DF8MQ, ex-PA5AT

Posted by ON5KQ on December 8, 2006

Contesting... contesting??? How you play?

73 de Bob - KRC in MN

Posted by K0RC on December 7, 2006

First contest
Was Field day 1962... I did a single op from the family farm 30 miles from my house - didn't know any other hams... Ran a wire from the milk house up to the peak of the barn for 40 meters, clamped the ground to the electric fence wire around the barn yard... DX-60 transmitter, one crystal, and a Lafayette Kit Receiver that received the entire 40 meter band, and then some, at one setting of the dial...
Worked about a dozen stations, froze out about 2AM <cold year> and went home... Thought I was having fun but in looking back it was pretty bad, bad antenna setup, lousy receiver, all alone, frozen toes... Still, I kept contesting off and on over the years..

denny / k8do

Posted by K8DO on December 7, 2006

First contest
I selected the 16-20 yr category. I did participate in the novice roundup in 1972 and then the Pa QSO Party in 1976, but that was very limited. I consider 1988 as my contest baptismal year.


Posted by wa3ses on December 7, 2006

1st Contest
My first contest was the ARRL SSB in 1971. First attempt at MM was from my parents place in 1973 in CQ WW using my call. We did 20m only and had 800+ Q's. Great days!

Posted by gm4aff on December 7, 2006

First Contest
I'm one of the newer contesters - about 2 years now. This is not to say I am a new ham, but one that just got back into the hobby fairly recently. I got my ticket over 30 years ago but school, work, family got in the way. From what I hear, this scenario is quite typical - so even though there is a new uptick of recent contesters, it doesn't necessarily mean we are new to ham radio. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign.

de Jerry VE6CNU

Posted by VE6CNU on December 5, 2006

First Contest
I'm new at this stuff.
Field Day 2005 was my first taste of contesting, and I'm hooked. I try to work a bit of each and every contest I'm equipped for.
I'll never be a great contester due to antenna restrictions and low budget, but I'll use what I have and do as best I can for the time being.

Posted by KB3LIX on December 4, 2006

First contests
Lessee, FD '64 as an un-licensed visitor, NR '65, FD '65 and then CD parties and PAQP. I was hooked! Since then I've done SS, ARRL-DX, CQWW, WPX, PAQP (and some other state parties) and Helvetia. My favorites are still FD and PAQP.

I wonder what has attracted some of the newer contesters?

Posted by k3yd on December 4, 2006

Nearly 50 yrs!
First was SS in 1957.

73, Bob K8IA

Posted by K8IA on December 4, 2006

was in novice roundup in 72-73.
loved the novice experience.

de Mike W2TB (ex: WA2ECA)

Posted by W2TB on December 3, 2006

The stats could be encouragingly interpreted as showing a new wave of enthusiasm toward contesting. A baloon at the 30+ year end of the scale gives us and idea of the age of some of the contesters, and the corresponding bulge at the 1-5yr point shows an increase in participation in the last 5 yrs. Sounds great.....hats of!! ;-)

Posted by ve3vid on December 3, 2006

From the Start
Novice Round up in 1961. SS start in 1962. The demise of the CW/HF/Novice program has been a huge loss to the hobby.

Posted by N4GG on December 2, 2006

First Contest
My first contest was Novice Roundup, 1971. I'm the WA section winner, as WN7PRC.
Bryan WA7PRC

Posted by WA7PRC on December 1, 2006

I'm waiting for the Senior Men's Division!


Posted by w0uo on December 1, 2006

First Day
My second and third QSOs when I got my Novice license were contest QSOs. (Novice Roundup 1979)
Looks like only older people (like me) contest, although I haven't seriously contested in over 10 years. I still enjoy passing out points.

Posted by KA5DWI on December 1, 2006

34 years, starting with the Novice Roundup. Remember the NR? Remember Novice licenses? Now it's SSB! Yippie, Hooray for progress!


Posted by N4SL on December 1, 2006

need a better survey
Well, from the early results, it would seem logical to add more categories...all over 30!

de Doug KR2Q

Posted by kr2q on December 1, 2006

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