I finally bought my first radio after getting my license last year - a Baofeng UV-82. Not great, but it's a cheap way to get into the hobby. I remember in the HAM Radio club in the early 90s, it was quite easy to hop on and get a conversation going on the base station. However, I'm in a well populated area with 6 repeaters nearby and I have only heard one conversation so far. I guess I'm not shocked that the hobby isn't as active as it used to be before the days of smartphones and internet, but ....I guess I'm just ranting. It's a bit sad. I will be trying to listen in on a club meet tonight to see how many people there are attending. I was really looking forward to purchasing a better HT and a mobile, but now I'm afraid of sinking funds into equipment and in order to talk to nobody. My question for you is: What level of activity is there where you are?