eHam Logo

 Home Home
 Articles & Stories
 Contesting Wiki
 My Profile

 This Week's Contests
 Classified Ads
 Contest Links
 Product Reviews

Contest Lists

Other Lists

 Mailing List FAQs

Site Information
 About This Site Team

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!

Thanks for voting! Your vote has been included in the results below.

In the latest QST K1ZZ comments that "survey after survey has shown that contesting results are the least read item in QST". Have you seen any survey asking what you read in QST?
  Posted: Feb 13, 2002   (879 votes, 40 comments) by W4AN

Survey Results
Yes 4% (35)
No 94% (827)
Maybe 2% (17)

Survey Comments
QST Surveys...
Could we see a definitive list of those "surveys"? It might clear up a few things ;o)

Posted by EI4HQ on March 15, 2002

I have been a ham since 1955 and an ARRL member almost as
long. I have been a Life mbr since just after the Charter Life
member period. I have never been surveyed by ARRL or any one
on behalf of the League. I would like to see results remain in QST.
For instance, I am currently not on VHF. I am interested in
what is happening. I look in World above 50 mhz and VHF
contest listings to see who is active in my section. Similarly, I beliive
people curious about contest operating would look in the contest listings
to see who is active in their section. I think contest results could be
summarized in QST to save some space, but should not be
totally eliminated from the magazine.

Posted by k6lrn on March 8, 2002

Survey? What survey?

Posted by W6ZF on February 23, 2002

QST Surveys
Like so many others that have responded to this "survey", I have never been on the receiving end of an ARRL Survey. And like a lot of the others, the first thing I look for in a new QST is the CONTEST RESULTS. Something I never read is the Section News. Now there is something that could be internet provided. Same for "Moved and Seconded", W1AW Schedule, and a lot of the other Fluff, Trim the fat not the lean.

Larry N4SEA

Posted by N4SEA on February 23, 2002

QST Survey's
I have been an ham for 35 years, a leaque member for 36 years and a life member for 27 years... and I forgot what the question was.

Posted by n6tr on February 21, 2002

Contesting is easy to hate - an easy target. So worded the right way, a survey can guarantee contesting would be selected as the least-liked (most-hated) topic in QST. What we'll end up with is a journal full of the least-hated articles. Sort of the Budweiser mentality. Brew a beer with very little flavor and few will hate it. Bingo. Top seller. At least in America where it's not PC to stand out in a crowd.

Posted by N2MG on February 20, 2002

QST Surveys
Having just finished a class in statistics, I have learned that most surveys can, and do say exactly what the client that commissions the survey wants it to say. There are just to many ways that data can be interpretted. However, getting to the point having been a member for the most part since becoming a ham in 1986, and becoming a life member in the early 90's, I do not recall such a survey. I do remember CQ having one a few years ago. And, I DO read the scores to set my targets for upcoming contests. It is part of the process that makes contesting fun. Besides, if ARRL isn't going to publish the results, then they should find another sponsor or discontinue the contest. It seems the league has become more of a publishing house than a lobbying organization for the art.

Posted by WI2T on February 19, 2002

QST Surveys
Survey or no ... sounds like they're trying to justify dropping the scores. And if they do, they need to face the fact that they have no business continuing to sponsor contests. ARRL, just turn everything over to CQ magazine. It can be the CQ Field Day. And CQ Straight Key Night. And CQ Sweepstakes. And you can stick with articles about gluing resistors onto empty fish cans. [if you're under 50 you probably don't know about the Tuna Tin 2, a wonderful little rig, but light years away from contesting] As I think about this...are there more hams (and advertisers) interested in "The World Above 50 Mhz" than in contesting? Do ICOM and Kenwood sell more 6 meter rigs than HF rigs? I'd like to see a survey on that!

Posted by NW7U on February 19, 2002

QST Surveys
I doubt that many non-contesters actually do read the contest results. I would like to know what ARRL considers thier best articles to be and who is actually targeted to read them.

Posted by w4wa on February 18, 2002

QST Surveys
A survey of 1% of members is not the issue, since statistical survey methods are well proven. However, the choice of survey questions and their wording can prompt a skewed response. In this case, contesting is one of very few ham radio activities that has ANY vocal opposition. Most of ham radio -- and QST editorial coverage -- is so non-controversial that it couldn't possibly be "least liked." How could anyone say that Section News was their least liked part of QST when they don't even know it's in the magazine.

Posted by K9AY on February 18, 2002

QST Survey
I was wondering the same thing. I don't remember ever filling out a survey asking me what I read in QST. I also find it hard to believe that the contest results would be the least read item in QST. FWIW, if the contest scores disappear from QST I will also disappear from the roles of card carrying ARRL members. The contest scores are the main reason I subscribe to QST.

Posted by n4uk on February 18, 2002

QST Editorial Content
K1ZZ's comments no doubt were prompted by the fact that QST (and the ARRL) apparently are in a situation where income is not meeting expenses. The answer to QST's (and the ARRL's) money woes, it seems to me, is to attract new entrants to the hobby. Rich Moseson of CQ ran an editorial a couple of months ago suggesting a consumer-type marketing campaign. While a good idea, it cannot be implemented by hams. Focus groups of communications-minded non-hams are needed to find out what their interests may be and how the ham radio hobby might be constituted to fulfill at least some of those interests. It does no good for hams to opine to each other as to what we want, or don't want, because we are a (literally) dying breed. Our numbers are getting to the point where we can't pay the rent. To keep the hobby alive, new blood has to be found. Somebody has to find out what will motivate qualified non-hams to (a) get a license and (b) actively participate in the hobby. Both with regard to QST and to the hobby generally, our opinions, while interesting to us, really are not decisive.

Posted by W3ULS on February 17, 2002

I think you are all missing the point here. By the way questions are asked and to whom they are asked, you can control the outcome of any survey taken. ARRL has completely lost sight of its original purpose and become a book selling outfit. Personal opinion only DE K9OT

Posted by K9OT on February 17, 2002

Let's find another way
It's impossible to survey everyone or everything, that's why statistics exist :-)
Most have commented they haven't filled out a survey regarding contest results (being least read).
Yet there are some positive responses, so it has happened (being surveyed).
Dave is right to pursue this issue though, because QST likely needs to go on a diet.
Printing and postage just keep going up in the face of static subscribership and lower advertising rates. This is not a phenomenon only experienced by the League.
Yes, we are a vocal group and we spend way more than the average amateur on our hobby.
However, all amateurs collectively need the League to support us on the Hill and elsewhere, otherwise we won't HAVE bands to play contests in.
Assuming great care in the integrity of the surveys, something likely has to give.
We of all amateurs are the best qualified to find an alternative way of dispensing contest results - perhaps even better and in greater depth than in QST - perhaps even by the League via internet. However, QST Magazine ought to try and keep some interest in contesting alive; the activity warms the bands and keeps them active, warning spectrum poachers away.
Certain contests like Field Day ought to get some coverage for the public service mileage they provide.
Just like keyers, computers, clusters, SO2R, and every other contest advancement, we need to move with the times.
My $0.02 worth. Tyler

Posted by N4TY on February 16, 2002

Statistics and sampling
A couple of comments from one who deals with statistical research as part of my work. Any survey done by including the survey in a magazine or posting it on a website is scientifically flawed and the results while demonstrating a level of interest can not be generalized. The problem is that your sample would not be representative because a higher percentage of persons with extreme opinions (high interest) will respond than are in the population of interest. In order for survey results to be valid you must start with a random sample of the population of interest. 1% is actually a very high sample size (considering most national political polls are based upon a sample size of 400-600 respondents). As far as those who report never seeing a survey...if the ARRL's consultant randomly chooses 1% of the membership (or subscribers) for each survey it means that each individual has a 99% chance of not being selected EACH SURVEY. While the probability may increase slightly each time, even if the ARRL completed 100 surveys with a 1% sample, each member would still have a 36.60% probability of not being selected in any of them. (y to the x where y=.99 & x=100) In fact, after 200 surveys each member still has a 13.40% chance of not being selected. All in all, each of us has a better chance of not being selected over our lifetime than we do of participating. 73 to all and catch you down the log.

Posted by W6CSP on February 16, 2002

QST Survey
CQ does it. Why doesn't QST? Been a lifer for nearly 40 years.
Send one with QST or more online surveys.

Posted by wa6bob on February 14, 2002

QST Surveys
Perhaps a better way to poll the members of the ARRL about what they read in QST would be to pose the question on the editorial page and have the respondents be directed to an internet site to vote.
First, it would save the league money...eliminating postage and paying someone to survey the hams.
Second, only the READERS of QST and not the MEMBERS would be responding. Not all members read QST. After all, isn't the question, what do the READERS want elimainated?

Posted by k4xs on February 14, 2002

QST surveys
Why pay a research firm to contact 1% of the membership to poll what's read in the magazine? Jeez, I thought WE were in the communication business! Why not put the poll in the MAGAZINE, and save the money you pay the research firm?

And we thought Government was clueless!

Posted by K4WA on February 14, 2002

QST surveys
I think the ARRL has lost sight of its mission. It seems to be trying to push DXers and contesters away. I have been appalled by some of the comments I have heard from League officials. I have never been surveyed by the League

Posted by N5UE on February 14, 2002

Dave assures us that ARRL's survey company knows what it's doing. But what IS it doing? Is the survey adjusted in any way for whatever percentage of licensees are inactive? Did it just cover current members or a cross-section of the total ham population? And so on.

I agree with W2CS that the only way to ensure credibility is to let us review the entire methodology -- put the entire survey including appendices on the ARRL web site.

Posted by N4ZR on February 14, 2002

QST Surveys
In 42 years as a ham, and most of those as a League member, and now a recent LM, no, I have never been surveyed. I have voted in the recent Novice reallocation plan, and a few years ago on DX that led to DXCC 2000. But I don't remember getting a survey in the mail, specifically for me to complete. Question, if all members are considered the same from a survey point of view? I know several members that are inactive, have been for years, and don't read QST intently or from an active point of view. Do these guys count the same as an avid contester that reads QST cover to cover and loves it all, and spends a lot more money per year on gear and antennas than they do? Does that make sense? . . . and, yes, I am very actively trying to get them on the air. One just bought an HT (shudder).

Posted by K8GT on February 13, 2002

Perhaps a less limited survey group would help?
If only 1% of the ARRL population get polled, wouldn't it make sense that it's NOT a representative sample? I've not been polled before in my limited, 15 year ARRL affiliation. By the sounds, the contesting community seems to be a vocal minority - if the polls are really accurate.

If the polls are to the aid of the advertisers, and the data for the advertisers drives QST content - wouldn't the contesting community be one of the TARGET elements to NOT isolate? There have been "polls" taken here on asking "How much $$ do you spend on Ham Radio each year" - maybe THOSE are the types of polls that the advertisers need to see. I think a new HT costs WAY less than a 1000MP MKV. With a price ratio of 10:1, I'd have to say those buying the MKV have 10x the "clout".

Am I inaccurate when I say that contesters, seeking for ultimate performance, are more willing to spend money to keep an edge? Doesn't THAT translate into bigger ad dollars? If the advertisers want to target the spenders, and the ARRL wants to remove contest results from the magazine - these potential buyers won't be reading QST much longer. Therefore, the ads would be pulled since demand is down. Do I hear the flushing beginning?

Mark, K2AXX

Posted by K2AXX on February 13, 2002

QST Surveys ??
I have been a league member for over 40 Years and have NEVER received a survey or know of any one who has.

I can honestly say, if the ARRL cuts QST's Detailed Contest Results and Section News, I would be much less inclined to renew my membership.

Posted by w3ww on February 13, 2002

QST Survey
I have been a member of the league since I was 12 yrs old...1962...I have never received ANY survey from the League or a contractor of the League asking my opinion of the content in QST. Frankly, the very FIRST thing I look at when a QST comes in the mail is the contest results and/or contest articles. The very LAST thing I read is "section news".

Posted by NF4A on February 13, 2002

qst surveys
CQ magazine does a great job of surveying the contesters in the Contesting Column by K1AR...have sent info to him by snail mail and e-mail...but in 44 years of contesting, sometimes heavy, sometimes not, have NEVER got a survey from the league...contesters use their radio's, most of the locals, have a radio on a belt...not much fun in radio with those I guess...IMHO.k7abv mt for 44 years

Posted by k7abv on February 13, 2002

QST surveys
As a contester this is one more reason not to renew my ARRL dues or contribute to their fund raisers. Maybe when we go away they will get the results of our survey.

Posted by n2tx on February 13, 2002

QST Surveys
As a LM of the league since the 60's I have never received a
survey from ARRL on any topic. I know that they select a
"random sample" from the general population, but this method
seems to have flaws, based on the response of this ad-hock
survey. Maybe Dave (K1ZZ) should start listening from his
membership and not basing his decisions on limited surveys,
such as what he states has occurred. I am always interested
in determining how I did in competition with my friends. And I
think that other areas of QST should be trimmed.

Posted by K9ES on February 13, 2002

QST Surveys
That ARRL does surveys I do not doubt for a moment. I for one do not recall having been surveyed in 42 years of League membership, but that's either statistical sampling at work or my advancing senility.

Any survey used by the League as a basis for decision making should, however, be made completely public. The questions and the answers should be available to anyone for the asking. A description of how the ham population was sampled should also be included. Given today's internet-centric world, they should at least be published on the web site.

I recall a very good survey article in QST that talked about the survey that queried hams about a number of things, but particularly targeted towards aspect of what later would be called "restructuring." That type of publication, be it in print or electrons, should be done for every League-commissioned survey.

The membership ought to know in detail what the directors and staff know, not just the conclusions that were drawn with references to a survey which supported the conclusions. Such disclosure would be a good step to restore membership trust in League leadership.

Gary W2CS

Posted by W2CS on February 13, 2002

RE: QST surveys
K9IJ said: "Research says that rate of return on mail surveys runs 1-2%."

Not true. In the case of the survey reported in the November 1992 editorial I mentioned previously, the response rate was 80%. The independent survey research firm we retain knows what they're doing.

Posted by k1zz on February 13, 2002

QST Surveys
Hey, I know! Lets put the survey in the middle of the contest announcements/results next time! Bet that may sway the results. Now, please excuse me, I just heard a new multiplier...

Posted by VE3RCN on February 13, 2002

QST Surveys
Humm. Less than 1% of League members receive the survey. Research says that rate of return on mail surveys runs 1-2%. This is a pretty poor sample size to base decisions on.

Posted by k9ij on February 13, 2002

QST surveys
We commission these surveys every two or three years. The results that are of interest to advertisers are shared with them via newsletters. The results that help us make editorial decisions are used by the editorial staff. The last time I discussed the survey results in an editorial was November 1992. The numbers have changed slightly since then but the results are remarkably consistent from survey to survey. Since less than 1% of members receive each survey questionnaire, the "yes" response to your online poll should be in the neighborhood of 3% or 4% if everyone who has received one remembers.

Posted by k1zz on February 13, 2002

Least Read stuff in QST
This is just one man's opinion... but when I go through QST, the first thing that I look for is the table of contents to see if there are any contest results listed. If there are none, I go to the DX column, then read the silent keys, then go through the articles to see if there is anything of interest to me.

I seem to see quite a lot of "how to build a comptuer out of rusty nails and old beer cans" type of articles. Granted that computers are a big part of ham radio these days, but it seems to me that things that should go in computer magazines. After all, QST is published by the American Radio Relay League... last I checked, it's not called the American Radio and Computer Relay League.

Again... just one man's opinion.

Paul K9PG

BTW...never seen a survey asking what's least read in QST.

Posted by K9PG on February 13, 2002

Many will argue that a poll is a poll and it just so happens we as contesters weren't among the sampling...but this polling data has I feel a very great impact on us as a surviving community...exposure to contesting through QST with the opportunity for even the newbie to see his call in print is the spark that lights the fire.

I would like to find out just how many times a contester HAS indeed been polled...not that I doubt there have been polls paid for but that the sampling techniques used by the polling company may be skewed.

Perhaps they are targeting metropolitan city dwellers...if so you get the same skewed effect we saw in November 2000 US Presidential elections...contesters by their nature tend to live in urban settings and do not tend to live on top of one another!

Support growth within contesting - do a multi-op and bring in a newbie...someone has to!


Posted by k4oj on February 13, 2002

QST Sureys
"The mind is a terrible thing to lose", therefore, in 20+ years of being a Life Member, I can remember no poll or survey asking what portions of QST that I preferred to read! Unless they are mentioned on the cover, I check the index for any listed contest results or contest related articles. If none are mentioned, that particular issue becomes another piece of the pile! I would gladly exchange my QST subscription for a contest only subscription (yes I get NCJ) that was published monthly.
C'Ya, Shelby - K4WW

Posted by K4WW on February 13, 2002

survey after survey
In 1964, while I waited for my novice license paperwork to be processed by the FCC, I found a copy of QST magazine with the novice roundup results in it. My first issue of QST magazine, and I read that novice roundup report over and over again until my eyes were burning holes in the pages. Mercifully, I found a QST with DX contest results, later one with FD results, then the SS results, or I'd have gone crazy. Sadly, the novice roundup came and went before the FCC mailed my novice ticket -- issued it before the novice roundup, then mailed it more than two months later. Contest results are the ONLY thing of interest in an average year of QST magazines (of course, the classic "Station Design for DX" (W3AFM) article stands out as the one exception since I became a ham).

Posted by kr6x on February 13, 2002

Contest Survey
I have been a ARRL member continually since 1957. I have never seen (or been contacted about) anything resembling a user survey re QST contest coverage during all these years.I think the league may be pulling a fast one.

-Bob K8IA

Posted by K8IA on February 13, 2002

QST surveys
I've been a league member since 1970 and a life member since 1976. Never, in more than 30 years, have I received a single one of many alleged ARRL/QST surveys. This includes the so called customer satisfaction surveys for QST or any of the Board of Directors surveys on licensing and policy issues.

I understand that surveying relies on a relatively small sample but one would think that the chances of being sampled would reach 50% over 30+ years ... even if the sample size for any given survey is only 0.5%.

Posted by K4IK on February 13, 2002

QST Surveys
Maybe hams don't fit the definition of "general population" as defined by the survey company they buy the surveys from.

Posted by k0xu on February 13, 2002

QST surveys
I've been a league member since '64, Life Member since the mid-70's. Surely, in all that time I should have received at least one of those many surveys. Yet, I haven't. Hmmmm?

Posted by k3yd on February 13, 2002

To post a comment, you must be logged in.

If you are not a member, become one now!