2005 Summary

This was the 3rd ever RTTY Most Needed survey conducted.  I don’t recall the first one and don’t have any records, but I remember it was done by both E-mail and snail-mail from those subscribed to the WF1B Reflector (later changed to the RTTY Reflector).  I remember it was a totally manual effort on my part to compile the list.  Unfortunately I did not keep the records and unless someone can come up with them, they are lost forever.

The second RTTY survey was conducted in the summer of 2002 and the results were released in September.  I wrote an HTML form page specifically for the survey and although there were some problems, it worked well for most people.  The results from each participant was sent in E-mail form back to me.  That survey included all 335 current entities and resulted in 246 total submissions from all continents.  The data was inputted manually into an Excel spreadsheet.  I wanted the survey to be perpetual so that users could continue to input the countries they had worked and keep a continual Most Needed List, but that was just too much work.  Eventually the survey form I had used in 2002 stopped working and I didn’t have time to figure out why.

I had hoped to do the survey again in 2004, but wanted it totally automatic so real time data could be presented immediately to readers on the web.  But this presented many challenges I was unable to overcome and the thought of having incorrect data turned me against the real-time solution I was looking for.  It would be too easy for someone to input bogus information and I didn’t want that.

Finally in the summer of 2005 I found time to clean up both my websites, aa5au.com and rttycontesting.com.  In the process I came across the HTML file I wrote for the 2002 survey.  I decided I would try to fix it so it would work again.  I immediately figured out why it didn’t work and decided it was time to do another RTTY Most Needed survey.

I decided I would have to input the data manually into an Excel spreadsheet again, in order to be assured the data was not bogus.  Since this is time consuming, I decided to cut down on the number of entities surveyed to those which were needed by 15% or more of the participants in 2002.  I ended up with 240 entities for the 2005 survey (somehow PY Brazil ended up in the survey by mistake).

On August 15, 2005, I sent an E-mail to the RTTY and MMTTY Reflectors officially opening the 2005 survey.  I also sent E-mail to the editors of the 425 DX News and Ohio Penn DX bulletins, as well as NG3K, requesting they advertise the survey.  The response was huge and in just less that one week, the total submissions surpassed the 2002 total of 246.  Starting on August 17, I began tracking the top ten entities and it was interesting to see how those developed throughout the survey time period which lasted until September 18.  There was no doubt from the start which entity was the rarest – BS7 Scarborough Reef.  Scarborough Reef was the only entity to have never been activated on RTTY.

Exactly two weeks after the survey began, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the central Gulf Coast.  I evacuated two days before the storm and it took over 3 weeks before I was able to return to my house, which suffered moderate damage to the roof, inside ceilings and rain damage to my carpets and belongings.  However, I had both my laptop and desktop computers with me in the hotel in Lafayette, LA and was able to still receive the survey submissions and complete the results. I hope you enjoy the survey.

73, Don AA5AU