An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

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An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK2CSW » Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:59 pm

Well despite what the haters have said, I have quite enjoyed playing around with FT-8 over the last few months.

At the very least it has got me back on the air.

There has been an unexpected upside. QSL Cards.

Using FT-8 I have been able to make contacts into places I have never been able to before. (I have even had places come up that I've had to look up in the atlas).

When I make a contact into a new country or region I dash off a paper QSL (as well as the usual electronic versions). I didn't really expect too many replies, it was more as a way of saying thanks.

The upside is that I have received quite a few cards in return and I have found it quite exciting to open the mail box and find an envelope with a foreign stamp on it. I know it sounds childish and naive but by crikey it does put a smile on my dial. A bit old fashioned? Sure, but fun nonetheless.
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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK4LHD » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:07 pm

Well as a long time user of digital mode and more so FT-8 I'm glad to hear some positives about the mode.
I have also received some nice QSL cards from contacts made on FT-8. It is a great mode but still a lot of people don't fully understand the concept of the mode.
It is a weak signal mode and was designed for the use of low power. But we still see people who think running 100w or more is common practice. Using high power defies the whole point of a weak signal mode.

The whole idea is to get as far as possible on as least amount of power. My average output power from my QTH would be 10 to 15w. Even less than that at times and I'm still able to work contacts 10.000Kms away and mind you I don't have a huge antenna farm like some of you have. Just plain simple wire dipoles and verticals. Some are hardly higher than the roof line of the house.
I can work ZL on 10m with a vertical antenna that is not more than 3 meters off the ground using 2W or 3W of power.
If you are receiving signal reports of +01 or more then that is the first sign you are using way too much power. If you are getting a Plus report turn you power down. You will be pleasantly surprised how well your signal is being received at a lower power setting.

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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK3ZAZ » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:37 pm

yep
get as far as possible on as little as possible is the aim.
so seeing fifteen decodes from usa in January on 50 mhz ft8
why is it got only three or four qsos?
well on my n6ss card just arrived imagine my surprise and dismay when I saw the power output?
1500 watts.
gave him -01 got -08.
thats about the diff between 120 and 1500

yep weak signal working allright.
ever wondered why the northern hemisphere does not respond when you call them?
or if they do you get 10 db worse report than you hear?
funny about that.
.
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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK3QI » Wed Feb 13, 2019 9:09 am

Steve,

This is another example of Trumpism in the U.S.A.

Like playing cards, "my signal trumps your signal".

Cheers

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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK2CSW » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:07 pm

I. Give. Up.

I tried to inject a little positivity but the nay-sayers just have to hi-jack and have a whinge about a completely different subject. No wonder potential new-comers get turned off the hobby. Mostly by old whiny men and 1930's club meeting mentalities.

Well you win.

C'est Fini.
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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK3QI » Wed Feb 13, 2019 6:10 pm

Colin,

No need to give up!

FT8 has injected much new enthusiasm into the hobby for many people who were increasingly inhibited by noise and interference issues.

The point that Steve was making is that too many are hijacking the mode by unnecessary use of high power to the detriment of others. If you do a scan of the DX posts of some recent expeditions you will see constant reference to the inability of the DX station to hear other than just those few very loud stations who overload the system.

There is nothing new about this - it has been happening on CW and SSB for years, but from what I have read, given that the whole operation is within just a few kilohertz, means that the whole passband can be wiped out. On CW and SSB, there is always the option to spread out over much wider frequency ranges.

Enjoy the mode!

Cheers

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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK6OX » Wed Feb 13, 2019 8:08 pm

VK4LHD wrote: <snip>
It is a weak signal mode and was designed for the use of low power. But we still see people who think running 100w or more is common practice. Using high power defies the whole point of a weak signal mode.

<snip>
Robert
VK4LHD


Yes, it is a weak signal mode, but that doesn't mean the tx station can't run high power.

From the ARRL News page 2017:

“FT8 is an excellent mode for HF DXing and for situations like multi-hop Es on 6 meters, where deep QSB may make fast and reliable completion of QSOs desirable,” Taylor’s release notes assert.

If you wish to run low power, then that's fine but don't denigrate those that use higher power to make that contact, if that's what they wish to do!!
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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby VK4LHD » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:10 am

VK6OX wrote:If you wish to run low power, then that's fine but don't denigrate those that use higher power to make that contact, if that's what they wish to do!!


Ok fair enough some people have to use a higher power to make a contact that might be fading with QSB or with the band conditions changing Etc. I will even admit that I have turned up the power on the odd occasion to complete a QSO when the band conditions change mid way through a QSO but I always return to low power after the QSO is complete. Where the problem lays is with people who don't give a stuff about how much power they use and constantly using high power for absolutely no reason. It's these operators who need to be hit in the back of the head with a lump of 4 X 2 and put into line and it's these individuals who need to read the manual on efficient operation of FT-8 before they get on air again. Also it's worth remembering this. Your signal will only go as far as the current Propagation will carry it. So there is no point running 100's of watts of power if your signal is only going as far as the pacific region with ZL and JA. Both these can be worked on FT-8 with fair conditions using little more than 10 watts or less.



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Re: An Unexpected Outcome of FT-8

Postby ZL3RC » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:59 pm

VK4LHD wrote:So there is no point running 100's of watts of power if your signal is only going as far as the pacific region with ZL and JA. Both these can be worked on FT-8 with fair conditions using little more than 10 watts or less.


You make the big assumption here that you know where the propagation is going, never assume that on 6m.

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