[CQ-Contest] The Newcomer Quotient

K0HB k-zero-hb at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 21 17:41:16 EST 2005

As a followup to my previous message "The Greying of Morse", I wondered if there were any trends available from my old logs.  Since I have Cabrillo logs available for the past 5 seasons of Sweepstakes, I did a quick Excel evaluation looking at the "newcomer" trend of the Sweepstakes contest.  The total data population is right at 10,000 QSO's, so should be reasonably "statistically relevant".  

The numbers below show the percentage of my QSO's which had a recieved "check" in the current and 10 previous years (i.e., this year I counted "95" thru "05", last year "94" through "04", etc.)

(Tabular info best viewed in 'fixed width' font)

Year  CW%   Phone%   Combined%

2001  7.4%   24.0%    17.5%
2002  6.9    18.8     13.5
2003  7.0    14.8     10.9
2004  4.5    14.0      8.7
2005  4.0    14.0      9.9

While it probably is no surprise that newcomer contesters are more likely to be on phone, the really scary part is that the overall percentages (regardless of mode) in the "licensed-in-the-last-10-years" are dropping so dramatically.  

If the trend of "newcomers active in contesting" is a representative subset of "newcomers active on the air in general" (as I suspect it is) then the future of our hobby has a rather disturbing look.

73, de Hans, K0HB


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