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Re: [CQ-Contest] was Shortening the Contest(s)

To: cq-contest@contesting.com
Subject: Re: [CQ-Contest] was Shortening the Contest(s)
From: Tom Frenaye <frenaye@direcway.com>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 11:58:57 -0500
List-post: <mailto:cq-contest@contesting.com>
At 10:03 AM 3/16/2004, W9SZ wrote:

>This brings up a question that has bugged me for most of my life (I was 
>first licensed at the age of 14).  What is there about us that is 
>different and why are the percentages so few?  When I got my license in 
>high school, out of a school of 600-700 students only 4 had ham licenses.  
>When I came to the University of Illinois which had a student body of 
>35,000 the school radio club had maybe 50 members.  There were other hams 
>around who weren't in the club, but the total couldn't have been over a 
>couple hundred for the whole school.
>We definitely need new contesters, but are the percentages ever going to 
>be very high? My only concern would be if those percentages were dropping.  
>I have always been intrigued by radio as radio, as the method of relaying 
>the communication more than the fact of communication. Someone pointed out 
>somewhere recently that most people don't care whether they are talking to 
>someone else via radio or telephone, they have no interest in what the 
>mode of communication is.  I guess a small percentage of us are different.  
>We just need to find those other people who haven't been introduced to it yet.
>I think the solution is to become an Elmer, go to schools and put on 
>demonstrations, go to local clubs and do programs on contesting, invite 
>prospective contesters over to get their feet wet in contests, and maybe 
>we will find those few rare individuals.

The numbers you quoted are reasonable.   In my town there are about 14000 
people and 50 hams.   I don't think more than 10 of them are active though.

The number of hams per one thousand people in the USA is about 2.4 (about one 
in 420 people).  In 1995-96 it was 2.7/1000 (one in 375) - that was the peak.   
In 1964 when I was first licensed it was 1.7/1000 (one in 575) and before that 
even worse.   Quite a number of licensed hams are not active - I think more 
than 50%.   

Of course the number of contesters is a lot smaller than the number of hams - 
no more than 5%.

The comments in your last paragraph are right on target!

                     -- Tom

e-mail: frenaye@pcnet.com    YCCC --> http://www.yccc.org/
Tom Frenaye, K1KI, P O Box J, West Suffield CT 06093 Phone: 860-668-5444 

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