Well I assume the title grabbed your attention, so let’s get to the meat of the question.
I was recently asked that question by a long time friend and long time ham. He related that he was listening to a couple of newby’s who were commenting on some enhanced propagation on 2 meters. As one stated…..’wow, the sunspots must be really going crazy’, all my friend could do was shake his head.
While it is true the entry level tests have become significantly easier, it rests upon us ‘oldsters’ to fill in the blanks for the new hams. There are so many privileges granted to the tech license it is not uncommon to run across a newby who doesn’t understand what’s going on with his radio or signal, especially on 10 meters.
Back in the day, someone interested in radio enough to pursue a ham license usually had enough of an electrical background or interest to have a better grasp of the theory side of radio. The tests focused around radio theory more than rules and regulations.
Yes, things have changed but are hams getting dumber? Nah, just different and it falls on the shoulders of the elmers amongst us to teach these new hams the ways of radio. So if you hear that ‘odd’ comment on the air, do your research (to make sure our facts are right) and make that phone or email contact with a polite instruction and invite to your shack or next club meeting.
And to answer the first on the air comments….. there are several types of propagation but sunspots don’t enhance 2 meter propagation nearly as much as temperature inversions or other atmospheric conditions…. in case you were wondering.