Hams have been complaining about lack of activity on repeaters for well over a decade. Way back in 2003 I created a cover of a magazine I was editing (the SERA Repeater Journal) that spoofed the ARRL’s Now You’re Talking license manual by changing the title to Now You’re Missing. See the art for this episode if it shows up in your podcast feed. I also wrote an editorial about the phenomenon in that issue.

14 years later and a ham poses the same question on Reddit: Where is everybody? (I’m paraphrasing. No, I’m totally re-writing, but that’s the gist of it).

How to find active repeaters? from HamRadio

So I trot out my standard advice: make some noise. I even recommend calling CQ, because that’s almost guaranteed to get someone to respond, if only to tell you that you’re not supposed to call CQ on repeaters.

I don’t know who made up that rule, but they’re wrong. I think it happened back in the 60’s and early 70’s, when HF ops looked down their long pointed noses at us FM ops as something less than ‘real hams.’ So in retaliation we eschewed their cherished practice of calling CQ. That’s my theory. 10-4?

I would have left it there, but then someone replied on Reddit that they tried my advice, and it worked! That warranted a short show (if 24 minutes counts as short, and for HamRadioNow, it does).

AUDIO PODCAST VERSION: This is a talking-head show, and the only one talking is mine. I show the magazine and the Reddit text on screen, but I read it all to you. So this is that rare show where I’m thinking directly about the audio-audience. And if I’m doing that, I must award this show a Radio Rating of A-. The ‘minus’ is because I’m still really proud of that Repeater Journal cover spoof. That was a couple of hours of Photoshop, if I recall.

And BTW, I mis-speak the era that I was the RJ editor. I say ‘early 70’s’, but it’s really ‘early 2000’s’.

KN4AQ is 10-10 and 10-7.

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