Average Age of CW operators from my log

Discussion in 'Straight Keys - CW Enthusiasts' started by AA4OO, Sep 17, 2015.

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  1. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    As a new CW operator I find questions concerning CW operators and learning CW interesting. In particular the AGE of CW operators interested me. I just completed my 100th CW QSO as a new operator last weekend.

    I took my log and wrote a program to query QRZ database to determine the age of the operators that I had contacts with. QRZ doesn't have the birth date for all operators but it had it for 58 of the 100 contacts.

    Here is the summary on CW contact operator ages that I found from my log data:

    Average Age: 68
    Min: 35
    Max: 99 (yes, 99 he's a ham in TX)

    Only 2 operators were under age 50 (@ 35, 41)
    8 operators were in their 50s and the remainder were 60 or above.

    I am in my 50s and just learned the code. I find the average age of 68 pretty indicative that there don't seem to be a lot of young CW operators. However as a comparison to all operators, this number isn't too meaningful without knowing the average age of all licensed hams in the QRZ database. If I knew that then I could make more meaningful comparisons.

    73
    Richard
    N4PBQ
     
  2. N2PPK

    N2PPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Then when I get on the air at my ripe old age of 28 (realistically closer to 30 when I become more proficient) I'll throw off your math even more.

    But fascinating nonetheless.
     
  3. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Timothy, I'm looking forward to answering your dah-dit-dah-dit dah-dah-dit-dah
     
    N2PPK likes this.
  4. M0LEP

    M0LEP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I help with training courses for those wanting to get amateur licences, and I would not be all that surprised if you found that the average age of amateurs was over 60, with relatively few under 40. These days amateur radio seems to be something folk take up when they retire...

    Of course, there could also be a sampling effect depending on what time of day you're operating. During the day mid-week, and you'll inevitably catch more retired folk. Weekends, and maybe the sample will be more representative?
     
  5. W7UUU

    W7UUU Super Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    In the 1970s most of the CW folks I encountered were around my age give or take a few years...

    And whadya know most of the CW folks today I encounter are around my age give or take a few years :)

    There's a clue for ya.... :cool:

    Dave
    W7UUU
     
  6. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    When I was a teenager, over four years I made 4,938 QSOs on CW. Most of the people I worked were also teenagers.

    Then I was off the air for a while. Last year I made 9,604 CW QSOs. So CW is very much alive and well. Now I am 68, and most of the people I work are, gasp, in their 60s.

    And yet, every now and then I encounter a teenager on CW. And I understand there's a long waiting list for applicants to the CW Academy.
     
    K8PG likes this.
  7. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page


    And, here is the conclusion to be drawn from Triple U's "data:" Operating CW is not the fountain of youth. With Morse code, you will still get a year older every time the calendar turns. However, taking the matter a bit further, I posit that usage of Morse code will help to stave-off senility, and perhaps moderate the effects of Alzheimers. Who will design a study, and conduct the research to test that hypothesis?
     
  8. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm 61. Been a CW op since age 13.
     
  9. AA4OO

    AA4OO Ham Member QRZ Page

    I work a normal daytime job (other than visiting these forums ;) so I'm operating weekends, evenings after work and mornings before 7am so theoretically I'm operating when other non-retired East Coast ops would also be on the air. Due to band condx and time of day I tend to be in the 30m, 40m, 80m bands so maybe the "kids" operate on 20m and the WARC bands during the daytime.

    The age does seem to go up with the frequency... hmmm maybe all the cool kids are on 10m and 6m.
     
  10. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    It could be postulated that data set proves incentive licensing didn't work but in reality, it's impossible to draw any legitimate conclusion.

    Totally subjectively, if the recent WAE contest is any indication, there was much greater activity during the CW portion than the phone weekend.
     

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