Following up from yesterday, I finally made enough contacts to match last years HF total. I did that by hanging out on 60 meters for a few more hours last night and another hour this morning. In the process, I worked stations in Belgium, England, Bolivia, Uruguay, Portugal, and several in Canada. Five new countries on a new band using FT8. And as usual with these digital contacts, almost all of them have already confirmed via LoTW.
Prior to this week, I had made exactly 14 contacts on 60 meters, all of them via CW. It was really a delight to find so much digital activity on a band that hasn’t been severely degraded by present solar conditions. I really don’t know why I hadn’t listened on 5MHz for digital traffic before, especially given FT8’s ubiquity.
I’ll crunch all the logging stats from 2019 over the next day or two. I already see that for a third year in a row, more than half the contacts made were via a digital mode, although this time it wasn’t due to FT8 but to my entry in several RTTY contests.
Even with my focus moving to VHF in the New Year, I expect the overall trend to continue to be even more digital work. And I think that accurately reflects what’s happening across all of hamdom.