For the last week, the CW portions of the bands have been occupied virtually, wall to wall, in preparation for CQ WW DX and for the duration of the contest itself. After the St. Max Net ended on 75 Meters at 0030 UTC last night, I went up to the higher bands for a quick listen.
Pffffffffft! Zilch, zero (well not totally zero, but compared to the contest period), nothing.
I understand that after putting in multi-hour efforts most contesters pull the plug for some much needed rest. But what of the rest of the week? People will say the bands are dead and blame propagation. I have a feeling it's not a lack of propagation, but more a lack of participation.
If the bands can be wall to wall for a contest, they can be much better than dead for the rest of the time. I, myself, used the contest just to cherry pick a few DXCC entities that I have worked before, but were never confirmed on LOTW. I'm hoping that maybe this time will be a charm.
And of course, there are the QRP Fox Hunts, POTA stations to be worked and rag chews to be had. The bands aren't dead because of bad band conditions, we just need some bodies on them making noise!
Oh, and by the way, now that the big contest is over, the K Index is back down to 1, and the Geomagnetic Field is "Very Quiet" ..........of course!
72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!