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Subject: If you look at the modes activity graph over the past 15 years... (more)

Message: ... from 2006 to 2021, what occurred in 2017 during the middle of the solar activity minimum, was absolutely astonishing. You can see this modes activity graph at =>this link.

It is clear that Paul is right. There are so few hams who are now regularly monitoring the SSB and CW sub-bands that it really does make a difference in how much activity a casual mobile county hunting operation using these traditional modes will draw. I was really surprised when my friend AJ2I pointed this graph out to me today and I thought it was important enough to share it here because it explains a lot.

Although I do not personally operate any HF digital modes, I too have noticed the uptick in digital spots. AJ mentioned that when FT8 first appeared, it looks like JT65, which is probably included in the "Other" (grey color line) category in that graph, took a nosedive, as did everything else. Interestingly, he explained to me that the purpose for which FT8 was developed, which was to enhance weak signal work through very poor conditions, no longer seems to be its primary function, and although it was never intended to *replace* the traditional modes, for all intents and purposes, that appears to be what has happened.

AJ also mentioned that when the ARRL approved FT8 for credit towards Mixed DXCC, that was yet another nail in the coffin of the more traditional modes. Maybe as we approach a better point in the solar activity cycle, the traditional modes will start to show an increase in usage over the next few years.

Call: K2MF 9/8/2021

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