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Latest Buxton 2021 News fingers crossed this years bash may take place so watch this space
Hello Paul, welcome to the forum and back to the hobby.
Activity can vary a lot from area to area. Stations are spread much further apart these days so a decent antenna system is a must. At least a half wave vertical mounted as high as possible will be needed for good results. If you need any advice just ask in the appropriate section of the forum.
I had the same sort of shock as you after returning to CB after a similarly long break. Spent months listening to white noise nothingness. When I did make contact it wasn't the friendliest of moments unfortunately.
That all changed after getting back into some CB 'skip' last summer with some great QSO's to Europe!
Hungry for more I decided to take my 'ticket' last year and became a Ham giving me access to loads of bands, frequencies and modes. Now there is always somewhere to go to find some radio action.
We're coming up on the summer 'skip' season, so with your new 6900 and as Gary suggests a decent antenna, (or maybe even a mobile setup), you should get to enjoy some DX contacts. Look out for 'nets' announcements here or on the Charlie Tango Facebook page to see if there are any your way. Also try scanning the CEPT or old mid-block frequencies as often they can be livelier than the UK band in places and don't forget your SSB modes too. (There's still 'freeband' activity out there. )
Either way, just have fun.
As Gary also suggests there are a lot of helpful members here on Charlie Tango so fire off any questions you may have on the forum areas, (or even Facebook - Our Paddy does a wonderful join over there as Admin )
Ha! No worries Paul. I never thought I'd be a Ham myself successfully avoiding it for decades, but as much as I love CB, I actually love radio more! (There seems to be more old CBers on the Ham bands anyway )
You'll still find me scooting around the triple 5 looking for DX as often as the other bands and I'm looking forward to some summer skip fun again this year. Pirate or not, it was always about simply enjoying yourself with radio.
From one old bald git to another, I wish you the best mate.