Topband: Where is everyone?

Donald Chester k4kyv at
Sat Oct 22 02:03:05 EDT 2016

Here it is Friday  night, with relatively little QRN, but only a couple of signals are audible across the entire 160m band.  80/75m has a few more signals than that, but it's sparsely occupied as well.  Usually by this late in the season one will hear plenty of activity in the evening, especially on weekends.  I have noticed this dearth of activity for several weeks now; it's as if this year's radio season hasn't got off the ground yet, despite the fact that we are almost midway through autumn and the summer QRN has substantially subsided.

Is this a trend, and is this becoming the new normal?  They keep telling us we now have a record number of hams in the FCC data base, over 700,000.  Those hams certainly aren't on the air, at least not on 160, 80 or 40m.  I can  remember not that many years ago when at this stage in the season on a quiet weekend night one had to scout around to find a clear spot to call CQ.  So far this year, the bands have all had vast swathes of unused frequencies, but the signals that are heard appear to be at normal strength, so the  bands apparently aren't dead.

Don k4kyv 

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