I’m a casual radio enthusiast but I do keep track of the total number of contacts made each year as one metric of my activity. In each of the last three years I’ve averaged over 100 contacts per month. So far this year I’m lagging those numbers by about 30 percent.

Band conditions have worsened but that’s not the root cause for this decline. My abandonment of FT8 this year accounts for most of that dip.

In addition, I skipped Field Day which usually adds 100-150 contacts to the log. This leaves me behind my goal for the year though there remains plenty of contests and other on-air activities before 2019 closes. I still expect this year to eclipse the last several in total contacts logged, but it’s going to require more time in the chair to make it happen.

Less activity and poor band conditions are to blame for my having only worked 32 DX entities so far in 2019. I’ve been averaging more than 60 a year for the last five years. Given where we are in the Solar Cycle, I don’t expect to come close to my recent average for DX worked.