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FT8 Burnout? Possible Remedy: Conversation

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NW7US, Nov 22, 2017.

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  1. K5TRI

    K5TRI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Please don't bring up logic in threads like these where most of the comments are not really based on that or facts ;) It may confuse people and the universe could implode. Logic ... TSK TSK ...
  2. K3FHP

    K3FHP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    97.313a is all you need to know about power.
  3. K6BRN

    K6BRN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Part 97.313a! YES! Exactly! So glad someone else reads the rules!

    According to FCC Rules and Regulations, the Radio Amateur may use the minimum power necessary to conduct communications, whatever that power may be. Up to 1500 watts PEP. With any given station. Of course, that is power to the antenna and not EIRP. EIRP has no limit on most of the HF bands, excepting 60M, 630M and 2200M. Oh... yeah... the latter info is NOT in Part 97.313a.

    So maybe we all need to know just a little bit more than what is in Part 97.313.a

    Pretty much explains why RTTY operators routinely run 500W+, though. They need to. And can, under the rules. And what do you know! The same rules apply even to weak signal digital modes like Olivia, PSK-31, JT-65, JT-9 and FT-8. Otherwise those moon-bounce and meteor scatter operators would be mighty disappointed.

    Now is it courteous to run 500 watts to a 3-element Yagi up 75 feet to communicate with another US station using more conventional propagation paths? Probably not. Pretty much like an elephant in a grocery store. He WILL get all the peanuts. So, personally, I don't and really do use the minimum power required to close the link. But it's often not 5 watts, or 25 watts in this down cycle. And my antennas are pretty limited, too. No giant arrays way up in the sky. I'm not even renting them remotely the way some operators do. So my EIRP is limited, and I'm OK with that. Too many other fun things to do rather than obsess over the biggest, highest and best in a ham radio hobby.

    But you never know. With its relatively rapid CQ capability and tireless computers to do the heavy lifting, FT-8 has opened up the possibility of "weak signal" digital modes being used in contesting and Field Day. Point-and-shoot, so to speak. It's going to be pretty hard to put that mode back into Pandora's Box. I've seen plenty of "brass knuckles" contests where CW operators are running 1500W (or more, it seems) into massive high-gain arrays. So... what comes next, now that CW is fading with the older generation? We just don't know. Yet. Maybe its just starting to get interesting.
  4. KD8ZM

    KD8ZM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Is it really a fact that CW is fading, given the surge in QRP and the near-necessity of CW for QRP field ops? My sense is that it's enjoying a renaissance.
  5. K5TRI

    K5TRI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Actually just went back and re-read the rules. 97.313a.b clearly states that no amateur must exceed the power limits as deemed appropriate by arbitrary reasoning in forum posts.

    There you have it ...
  6. K6BRN

    K6BRN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Braden (KD8ZM):

    Among the multiple ham clubs I belong to in SoCal, not one of the new hams among the new hams members have any interest in CW. There is some revival in older hams who were either 5 WPM/13WPM or no-code who are just coming back into the hobby. But the number that actually return to CW is a trickle. So the long-term outlook is grim, IMHO. Regarding QRP... it looks very much like the weak signal digital modes will soon overrun that venue as well. LiFePo battery packs, Android based CPUs that sip power and digital friendly QRP radios seem to have arrived - one recent club meeting was dedicated to that. In fact, it's what kicked off my recent interest is Solar ops.

    Michael (K5TRI):

    Hmmm. I missed the
    section of Part 97. But it kind of fits in with the current trend towards extremism and mob rule, which I hope moderates in the near future. In the meantime, I've SuperGlued the power control on my FTDX-3000 to "25 Watts", just to stay our of trouble. :)
  7. MW1CFN

    MW1CFN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I agree that chat-modes are very enjoyable.

    However, there are a couple of people out there, elderly, who have become far too accustomed to having a mode and what they perceive as 'the official Olivia band slot' to themselves whilst few others have traditionally used it.

    FT8 has its uses, but it does quickly become very tiresome.
    KX5JT likes this.
  8. AD4ZU

    AD4ZU Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm 100% behind the spirit of this post. The JT and FT modes and WSPR have proven incredibly resilient and reliable. However, the beautiful thing about Olivia is that you can operate in adverse conditions and still have a pleasurable QSO. And, once you've established a contact, you can certainly move to other modes that enable keyboard and photo exchanges over RF.
  9. N6NR

    N6NR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Olivia is a good, robust mode, but it's rather slow. MFSK16 is just as good, and the character rate is much faster, especially when working over the pole into EU when the K-index is >2. MFSK16 usage has dropped way off in recent years, but perhaps we can rekindle interest in the mode.
  10. N6SPP

    N6SPP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the article Thomas-
    Lets' not forget another popular multi-mode program "FL Digi" with TX/RXiD. It's free and fully customizable.
    73, Eric n6spp ~wsjt'ing since 2001 FL Digi- example_jh9fnb-n6spp-psk31-june2014 - Copy.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017

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