FT8 on 2m

2m & 70cm discussion - antennas, propagation, operating, etc
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FT8 on 2m

Postby ZL3MH » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:38 am

Last summer FT8 was new on 6m and it had 50.313 MHz as a frequency of choice.

Question Is there now a frequency for 2m ???

All the best Murray ZL3MH
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK6CPU » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:22 am

144.174 is in the latest frequency list in the Beta of WSjt-X 2.0
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby ZL3MH » Sun Nov 11, 2018 11:27 am

Yes, I am using WSJTx V1.8.0 ( From last summer season )

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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK5ZD » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:21 pm

I think 144.320MHz is the frequency of choice in Oz (and 432.320MHz for 70cm).
You're likely to find SSB activity on 144.174MHz, especially during contests.
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Re: FT8 on 2m & 70cm

Postby VK2XAX » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:09 am

VK5ZD wrote:I think 144.320MHz is the frequency of choice in Oz (and 432.320MHz for 70cm).
You're likely to find SSB activity on 144.174MHz, especially during contests.


I did a little FT8 on 2m last season and my WSJTX has 144.320 in it for the 2m freq for region 3 but its not antenna friendly for me.

144.320 - 144.340 are in our Band Plan for digital modes as is 144.220 - 144.240

Personally I'd prefer a signal point in the later segment since I my SWR on 320 is getting a bit high! i.e. 144.220 is much nicer :)

Maybe we should run a poll to find out.

432.320 is in the NZ beacon segment, so I'm not sure what our ZL friends might want to do there. Maybe 432.220 ? that fits nice with the Oz band plan

thoughts ? comments ?

regards

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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby ZL3OZ » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:31 am

Do we really have to go there?
I had hoped digi might stay away frm 2mtrs. Bored already with it on HF and almost bored on 6 though its usefull to stretch to other continents to explore DX paths.
On 2m? we might get some more double hop, but it will be boring. I suppose somebody will break a distance record, but I will miss hearing the urgent voice of old DX friends who I have done this Es thing with for years.
I think it will be time for me to leave VHF.
an old bitch but voiced.
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK4TI » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:55 am

"ZL3OZ"]Do we really have to go there?
I had hoped digi might stay away frm 2mtrs. Bored already with it on HF and almost bored on 6 though its usefull to stretch to other continents to explore DX paths.
On 2m? we might get some more double hop, but it will be boring. I suppose somebody will break a distance record, but I will miss hearing the urgent voice of old DX friends who I have done this Es thing with for years.
I think it will be time for me to leave VHF.
an old bitch but voiced.
Ken OZ""
In a nut shell""YUP"" :om:
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK2XAX » Mon Nov 12, 2018 11:29 am

ZL3OZ wrote:Do we really have to go there?
I had hoped digi might stay away frm 2mtrs. Bored already with it on HF and almost bored on 6 though its useful to stretch to other continents to explore DX paths.
On 2m? we might get some more double hop, but it will be boring. I suppose somebody will break a distance record, but I will miss hearing the urgent voice of old DX friends who I have done this Es thing with for years.
I think it will be time for me to leave VHF.
an old bitch but voiced.
Ken OZ


What's boring about it ? is it because its a simple exchange of RST and call sign ?

I'd argue that many an opening on SSB is nothing more than that either so that as many people as possible can work each other while the conditions prevail.

Digi is not "instead of SSB" its an adjunct to the many ways in which we can enjoy our hobby.

If there's no path for SSB but a path for digi shouldn't we at least try ?

Or is thus just a beef about FT8 given JT65 and MSK etc. have been enjoyed by many on these upper bands, for some time now ?

Just trying to understand your lament.

Joe Taylor himself sums it up nicely...


“FT8 and the other modes in WSJT-X are special-purpose modes, They are designed for making reliable, error-free contacts using very weak signals — in particular, signals that may be too weak for the more traditional modes to be usable, or even too weak to hear.”


regards

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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK7HH » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Haha... "boring" but can't be bothered thinking about us who haven't experienced "the big DX" or like probing for propagation paths.

I'd be keen to try FT8 on 2 metres when conditions are known to be there for a contact. Usually running WSPR in the meantime. Had successful decodes to ZL last year, but surprise surprise, not many operators running over there... perhaps they are all bored too...
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK5PJ » Mon Nov 12, 2018 1:46 pm

please please no odd frequencies, the WIA have given the guidance that 144.320 is where we should be and a few of us have already made some good QSO's there. I am unsure if there is any similar guidance for our cousins in ZL but hope they can come to the party on 144.320.

Do not pay heed of what is in WSJT-X as far as VHF frequencies goes, it is all USA centric and like what we saw on 50.313 MHz no consideration was made for anyone south of the equator.

soap box now back under the bench.
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK5BC » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:15 pm

Don't understand, what is the problem with contacts using FT8, its great mode, yes I still like ssb contacts particularly with stations I have worked over many years on VHF bands but in the end when it comes to completing a DX contact I don't care what mode, SSB, CW, FT8, JT65, RTTY etc. Conditions can dictate the mode, signal strength, signal stability etc. A lot of 2m/70cm dx openings are tropo and signals can be strong over several hours and good SSB contacts can be completed but there are occasions where signals are weaker and FT8/JT65 are a better option.

I only use WSPR to monitor bands for possible conditions when I cannot sit in from of the screen. The problem with WSPR though it is little use for quick 'E' type openings as conditions can have been and gone between TX periods.

I have completed several DX contacts on 2m FT8 and yes I think the VK freq is 144.320.

73's Brian
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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby VK2XTC » Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:32 pm

So going back into the Log I have an FT8 contact with ZL4LV on 6/1/18 on 144.3218 RX was +01

The openings last summer where so short that only FT8 would complete in time before the path faded out.
We started with JT65 but it takes too long.

So it seems our NZ colleagues already have 144.320 as the FT8 Frequency.

Also, that contact was done on a 5/8 vertical strapped to the gutter of the carport. Nothing flash here.



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Re: FT8 on 2m

Postby ZL3OZ » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:22 am

Good one Brian. But at that sig strength you could have wkd Peter on SSB.
In contrast last season with 150W and a very basic 6 el horizontal built into my Hex beam I worked three openings and on the best day wkd 13 VK stns across 5 states.
All SSB. And another local here wkd a few of them with just a few Watts and a whip. I went for a drive and for 20 min wkd one VK2 for 20 min from mobile 1/4 wave whip.
All strong and one at a time due to the very small geographical footprint each end.
Usually when it opens it opens strong. 59+ is not uncommon and 55 is usual. So as all mostly strong signals there is not the same need for weak signal modes like jt65 (too slow like you say) and FT8 (also on the edge of too slow) Sigs will typically suddenly appear to 59 in a period of half a minute and be gone again shortly after.
And the vast rest of the time the MUF is far below 144Mhz so there is no marginal weak background for Digi to shine in. Unlike 6mtr and below in freq where the MUF will hover for much of the season, or EME type operations where Digi is the best choice due to continuous marginal levels.

2mtr SpE success is followed by monitoring the MUF at 100Mhz and below signal markers and being ready when it peaks. Due to the reasons I give above I feel FT8 use on 2mtr is unwarranted and really just using it because its the new thing. If real weak signal prospecting was the reason for Digi, then WSPR should be the mode used as indeed ZL4LV does every season. I still claim that sitting watching a screen and hearing warbling sounds is boring compared to working even one VK on 144.1 SSB after an exciting time tracking the MUF via various receivers and the intuition gained by experience.

I hope I am wrong and FT8 proves to be the big boost in 2mtr long haul ops we have been waiting for.

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