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Weak solar cycles = another big decline of the 11 meter local & DX population

CB should have been on VHF since it was intended for local communication. Locals at night could also talk to family and friends farther away during tropo. I've heard that UHF was on the table when they were choosing what band to have it on, but they ultimately chose 11 meters. I always thought 6 meters would have been a better choice too, but we wouldn't be having all the fun we have on 11 meters!
People aren't supposed to advertise their businesses on the CB, but ever since the FCC threw in the towel, it's every user for their selves. They figure using 19 is a great way to advertise. And if it's not product peddlers it's lot lizards advertising them selves.

Yep. Hear that all the time; cb shops advertising, truck washes, restaurants. I hear lot lizards from time to time, but when I drive through Nevada, I hear actual whore houses advertising.

It wouldn't be so obnoxious if they could limit their messages to 15 seconds or less, and maybe pay attention to whether or not folks were having an actual conversation on the channel.
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I know the decline of the 11 meter hobby is always discussed and I've heard all the arguments since the early 90's but I'm feeling like things have changed a bit.

There's a couple of points that have me worried about the future of the CB hobby -

  • I can't remember the last time 11meter DX was this dead - even in a bad cycle. And it's forecast to be bad for a number of years and the next cycle is also predicted to be weak. https://www.vencoreweather.com/blog...entury-now-heading-towards-next-solar-minimum
  • The locals who were on for years seem to be fading out. I've noticed a big decline in local talking in most areas I travel through. In the two larger cities I pass through 500K plus population ( there are maybe 10-20 CB operators who are regularly on the radio and even 10 years ago that number was probably double. You'll hear dump trucks or drivers during the day in the city but at night it's a ghost town of channels.
  • Much of the hobby population is older and starting to fade out
  • There seem to be less and less truckers on the radio or that even have radios
  • Current technology means youth aren't as interested in CB radio - actual knowledge of the existence of current radios/hobby seems to be lost on youth. Most people under 20 don't even know what a CB radio is / or if they do they didn't know you can still buy them or use them without a license. Nor do they have any incentive or drive to learn aside from a small group of 4x4 users.
  • The radio market is showing signs of the contraction - 10 years ago we'd have multiple radio launches each year with unique designs and competition even with the clones. The number of new radios/products has slowed drastically in the last 2-3 years.
  • Interference - we've seen more electrical interference from BPL and other technology and in many city areas the interference is getting ridiculous.
Now I'm not saying that this means that in 10 years no one will be on the radio - I'm sure all the hardcore users and DXer's who have always been on there will continue to be - however if you go through 2 terrible cycles the likes of which we haven't seen in 100 years and even in the "peak years" the DX sucks will we see more people start to shelve their radios?

I'm also wondering if the FCC is considering killing the CB band and reallocating it to another use.

In my area I would expect that in another 20 years most of the CB hobbyists will be gone and that overall the national CB DX population will be reduced by 1/2 or more.

I know that there have been numerous times where we have seen declines - but this time around seems a little different combination of factors. I know the ham crowd will say there is still plenty of action on the ham bands which I also enjoy however I'm lamenting the loss of a particular band/style/crowd that I always found enjoyable.

On the plus side we won't see as many pileups during DX and for now I basically have my own radio service - 40 local channels of nothing.

Anyway - just a depressing topic to ponder while we wait for the DX to return (hopefully it will) :)
Yes. Skip is very spracitic these days. But. Contacts can be made. All in the last week. I have contacted Antigua Carribeans. Bermuda. And state side all over California. North to Michigan and most of the southern states. I am in Louisiana. Talking on a Uniden Washington with an A99 50 foot up. The secret. Most of the contacts are made between lunch and dinner. While most of us are at work. Happy DXing. BLACK SHEEP in the Swamp lands of Louisiana.
I love DX, too.
Compared to a few months ago, however, the current conditions are, as it is said, sporadic.
I could pull up a chair by my radio and log a 100 solid contacts in a couple of hours most days, and I did. Now, we celebrate a handful at best, with one or two notables.
Those of us who are hardcore DXers are going to continue to enjoy what we get, as in yesterday afternoon when we locals were chatting and a solid Virginia operater popped in for a howdy and slid right out in a 30 second opening.
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The best skip is when it concentrated on a small area. I remember several months back talking to the same guys in the northeast daily for over a week. I was having 10+ minute conversations with them several times a day, they sounded like they were locals. I also had some long conversations with people up in Canada. At night it would switch to and near Florida. It was like there was a direct pipeline. I didn't have some guy in ten buck two coming over going "hello....audio......whistle whistle.....I just got down" or the truck wash lady going "any drivers out there wanting to get your truck washed.....we're on the northside exit 161 off of highway 40", music being played, some drunk guy ranting about the government or the other crap that is out there when skip is supposed to be good. Just very select areas coming through clearly. When skip pops up that is what it has been lately, but sadly it doesn't last too long.
Good post but I thought to correct you on this…

It's Timbuktu, not ten buck two. :LOL:

This is a real place in Mali on the African continent.

(y)(y) Something only a real DX'er would know. LOL Timbuktu sits on what was a MAJOR salt trader route and is/was quite an important place. Now THAT is something only a DX'ing geography nerd would know. :cool:
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I enjoyed playing with my cb back in the 70s. Now im starting to get back into cb again and have no one to talk to. I picked up a Galaxy 2547 and a99 antenna to get started. Girlfriend bought me a new Uniden 980 as a present for my pickup. Im up here in the Poconos and its quiet on air.
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I enjoyed playing with my cb back in the 70s. Now im starting to get back into cb again and have no one to talk to. I picked up a Galaxy 2547 and a99 antenna to get started. Girlfriend bought me a new Uniden 980 as a present for my pickup. Im up here in the Poconos and its quiet on air.
It's frustrating but don't give up old goat. Keep calling your numbers man! I'll get back to you over here in NY.
Thanks for the correction on Timbuktu! :)

I found a local 10 meter Hamnet last night, a good number of people checked in to it too! I normally don't get on at night due to my work schedule.

Old Goat, get your ham license and expand your options. A lot of hams get on CB or 10 meters when conditions are good, but go to other bands when it isn't. I like 2 meters at night during favorable tropo! The Technician test is pretty easy and will get you limited 10 meters privileges (but some SSB), CW only below 10 meters on some bands and all amateur privileges above 50 MHz.
Thanks for the encouragement. I have actually studied for tech test more than once. Ham test online is a convenient source. i was interested in 10 meter because of the added power. i would like to get the license.

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