I find that people are VERY interested in a few repeating themes on the HF
bands these days:
- Collecting awards through special calls (ie W1AW or DK90IARU etc)
- Collecting States
- Collecting Islands
- DXing on modes and bands
- A band like 10M being open where it is viewed as "not expected" -
ie a JA opening to the Northeast US.
If stations are on that attract these themes, there is activity. If I point
by 6 el 15M yagi towards Japan at the right time, I can generate activity
consistently because I am from Vermont. In an otherwise dead band. If
DXpeditions are on, there is activity - big time.
There is much less old time ragchewing unless its 40M, 80M, and 160M in
which case there is still a lot - especially the free flowing roundtable
type. Just ask anyone who routinely CQs on 80 or 40M SSB. There is also
some very consistent net activity that doesn't full crowd up the bands but
is there - religiously.
The masses - in general - use the internet to announce that one of the
"collectables and desirables" is out there to be had. They don't wander
around and just talk for the sake of talking any more. Is that bad - I
don't think so - its just different.
If you think the bands are too quite - try CQing. Its rare to not get a
call - and usually a string of them - for an "average" contester set up.
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