Seasons greetings and best wishes to everyone who has visited the blog this year (Over 2 million of you)!!!!
It's been an interesting year, poor band conditions but a great upsurge in the number of operators taking to the air on the weekly nets. SSB has never been so popular here in the UK and even AM is making a small comeback in some areas.
Several new weekly nets have joined the ever growing list, with operators taking to the hills to make some amazing contacts (well done and many thanks to those of you who devote your time in this way). I wonder how many more new nets will make an appearance in 2019?
2019 is expected to be the bottom of the solar cycle so things can only get better as they say!!!!
As for the radios themselves, a multitude of generic AM/FM radios announced by President which have mostly been given the thumbs down. But one ray of light is the President McKinley, the ONLY new legal SSB radio on the cards and due in early 2019. Will it be a hit or is it too little too late? I guess the PRICE will make or break this radio. Reports of a price approaching £300 will put all but the very enthusiastic (or stupid) off I'm afraid! I really do feel that CB radios sales could simply fall off a cliff in 2019. Who wants to pay £300 for a CB when they can pick up a second hand Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu for around the same price?
The Anytone/CRT multimode radios dominate with those who are not already using HAM gear on the CB bands, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
PMR 446 has seen interest increasing over the year with plenty of new legal models along with the wider use of Baofeng and other HAM radios on the band and don't forget we have SIXTEEN channels to play with now! I'm hoping that new nets and events will take place on PMR 446 during 2019.
DMR/D-STAR/FUSION radios still divide the community - Is it real radio? - Some love it, some hate it - I must say I'm not particularly impressed. I do see the advantages of Digital Radio but I just cant get away with the robotic sound to the voices ----- EXTERMINATE! I find DMR most useful for listening to local businesses and security guards!
I guess it gives people something to do while the bands are quiet, although there are still contacts to be made if you listen for them! (Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, India, Canada, USA and many more all heard here during 2018)
Anyway, Merry Christmas to you all, I hope Santa Claus brings you plenty to play with over the holidays and I pray for better conditions on the bands in 2019.