Having and SDR receiver makes it very easy to look at band activity. Today is the start of the two days of mayhem that is called the CQ WW Contest. What is interesting is the number of stations on the air when the bands are supposed to be dead!
A quick look at 20m at 1104 UTC showed wall to wall phone stations. The antenna is still a mismatched long wire so I guess I was missing the weaker signals.
There were a few stations on 17m but more on 15m. That was surprising and a quick listen found that they were all in eastern Europe and Russia. Good steady sigs with no QSB.
What interests me most is that the bands were not ‘dead’, there were people using them. There may not be the exotic DX out there but even that is still possible at times.
So, the only time we speak to each other now is to scream CQ CONTEST followed by 59 QSL. I bet that could be automated with voice talkers and some nifty software, if it has not been done already.
Update 29/10/2018 I dropped in on a mate working /P from the top of a local hill during the contest. He had modest antennas, a doublet and a 20m vertical both quite low. True he had a bit of power but barely 400W PEP. He had worked all over the world including VP8 on Sunday morning. His comments were the same as mine – who says the bands are dead! Don’t wait for a contest get on the air!