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Author Topic: where did all the rag-chewers go?  (Read 2780 times)

Posts: 5

« on: December 17, 2003, 08:33:15 PM »

I need some help. I've drifted in and out of ham radio for the past 30 years. I get back in with high hopes of talking to lots of people and usually find that the bands are dominated by nets and skeds. Now don't get me wrong I have nothing against either of those two things but I like to rag chew and I can hardly find anyone calling CQ these days. What am I doing wrong? Are there some bands that are better than others for rag chewing? Are there certain freqs that one should monitor? Just to let you know, I do call CQ myself - once in a while someone comes back to me. I know there are hams out there listening - just have a DX station show up on the band and you get a pile-up a mile wide. Why don't these same folks want to rag chew??

Posts: 46

« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2003, 11:39:23 PM »


Well, that may lie in the Social domain.  Right now there's a quandary going on in the Ham world. I won't even mention it in order to not qualify it. People are not as nice as they used to be.  Also, we may be witnessing a fragmentation of our Society, to some degree.  I've noticed that the repeaters here are often used as intercomms for small groups of people who care less about talking to others.  It's a collective problem of selfishness.  It's unfortunate that people in this nation only get together when it hits the fan.  If we could realize what this lack of caring about each other will inevitably cost, we would stop it right now.  But it never works that way.  Of course we could all start talking to each other again, much to the chagrin of those who hate us, and solve this problem.

It is really too bad that there is no more ragchewing.
I hope we wake up before it's too late.


Posts: 1556

« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2003, 10:29:11 AM »

I'm on 40 CW every morning before work (5:30-6:30 AM central) strictly ragchewing.  If I don't hear someone calling CQ, I call and virtually always get a reply.  If you're on early, look for me - I'll be very happy to chat!

Phil - AD5X

Posts: 21764

« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2003, 01:26:55 PM »

Welcome back!

Surely CW is the place to be if you want to ragchew and are looking to answer CQs.  When I call CQ using CW on a band that has any propagation, I get an answer about 95% of the time, and I answer others' CQs as well.  It's a time-honored tradition on CW, for sure.  Not so much on phone.

But, even for phone ops, there's hope!

Based on the propagation we've had very recently (early to mid December 2003):

10-12-15-17 have become "daytime bands" with nothing happening after dark.  If you can operate during daylight hours, there's lots of ragchewing, CQs and CQ answering happening here.

20, as the premier DX band with the most reliable DX propagation of all bands, is pretty wacky.  It indeed is dominated by DXers, nets, SSTV and all sorts of stuff in the "phone" section.  Still, if I pick a time with good propagation, and a clear frequency, and call CQ, I usually get an answer.  Lately, 20's been either going very long or dropping out altogether just after gray line.  Hard to ragchew when the other guy's 12,000 miles away and fading...

40 is a great ragchew band!  Problem is, of course, that at nighttime when propagation's best, is also when the phone section is dominated by foreign broadcast stations almost every 5 kHz.  Have to squeeze in between them and give it a shot.  Lately, 40's been about the best DX band, lots of "split frequency" operation going on, with US hams transmitting in our phone band but listening down below 7100 kHz, so when you hear a lot of "one sided" contacts going on, that's probably it.

75 is a good ragchew band too, although does seem well occupied by cliques of people who've known each other since the spark days and aren't that welcoming to newcomers.  I ignore that, and chat with them, anyway.  If you have something interesting to contribute to someone else's ragchew, toss that in, along with your callsign, and you'll usually be acknowledged and welcomed to the group.  

On 75, I find this works: Find a ragchew going on about some interesting topic.  Could even be the weather.  During a break in the QSO, toss in a comment about your own weather, or whatever, along with your callsign.  Usually, the next station will come right back with, "WB2WIK, what was that about your weather?"  And now, I'm in the conversation.

If they're discussing nothing more than whose prostate problem is more advanced, I usually don't break in....!

160m, if you can get on the band, is a very friendly band.  The only time you won't be welcome is if you call CQ on top of a DX station!  (And that does happen, since the DX is usually very weak and only those with enormous antennas may be hearing it!)  If you do, apologize briefly and get outta there!



Posts: 5

« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2003, 12:39:13 AM »

Thank you all for your comments!

Posts: 180


« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2003, 12:50:24 PM »

Every night about 6:30 PM EST, a small group of us get on 160M at 1.903. Most of us don't even use vox. There is usually no more than four stations at a time. W9WIX Gene is the "moderator". I'm there most nights.
K4SFC Larry
Nr Louisville KY
P.S. The next best place I've found is 17M, and 10M above 28.500.

Posts: 1045


« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2003, 12:58:32 PM »

If you can get on 60 meters you will almost always find somebody looking for a ragchew.  The shared channels do not get a lot of use, and we need to use them or lose them.  It's like the 220 band of HF.

With everyone limited to 50w EIRP and channelized operation, it levels the playing field quite a bit.  You don't have to fight QRM and splattering high fidelity audio.  Mobiles and QRP stations do well.  Daytime coverage is about 300 miles, night is what 40 meters would be without foreign broadcast.  Try calling CQ on 5371.5 USB or try one of the other freqs if not busy with primary user digital activity.


Posts: 19


« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2004, 06:48:46 PM »

Many of us are on AM !!!
Here, the carrier always has been an essential part of the signal because of its quieting effect on the receiver and the space it provides for the pacing of thoughtful discourse.
Combined now with the popularity of "vintage radio" and AM as a specialty mode on the shortwave ham bands, and you've got it made finding people to hang out and shoot the breeze with.
Two sites for more information:

Hope to work you soon,

Posts: 9930

« Reply #8 on: February 25, 2004, 02:19:51 AM »

0700 utc ( zulu time ) on 7.235 or close to there check out the HHH net.. nice folks.. on every nite   lots of fun
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