A NEW FT8 with QSO and Rag Chew capabilities called FT8CALL

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NN2X, Aug 12, 2018.

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  1. NO2Y

    NO2Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    I just got home and tried on 40m. Right now, there's about double the number of FT8 calls as CW...at least from my scan of the band. EDIT: When I finished this message I checked again and they were even.

    However, pskreporter.info shows for the last two hours: FT8 713554 FT8CALL2869 CW 1443

    and there is my point exactly.

    That is what I've been pointing out all along. I wouldn't be surprised at all if CW has more people at times.... I've seen it and expect it. However, the accounting done by pskreporter is not based in reality. It is based on the number of spots and when you have a mode that turns every single listener into a spotter by default, it overinflates the numbers drastically.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2018
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  2. NN2X

    NN2X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    First point

    The issue with CW is there is no more code requirement (I passed back in 1980 for the Extra) it will slowly fade away. Oh yes there will be those continue, but the reality those Hams will die off. That is the simple truth. Once the exams eliminated the CW requirement that triggered the spiral end to this mode. 20 years from now, I promise it will be a fraction of what it is today. (No Code Exams, and with new digital modes coming along it is just a matter of time)

    Second point

    I keep beating a dead horse, but it is just a matter of band conditions which don't help with legacy digital modes, RTTY, and CW. FT8 and FT8CALL has the ability to make a contact at -24dB below the noise floor.

    Third Point

    QST indicate more than 70% of hams use 100 Watts transceiver, and a dipole, That points towards efficient digital modes for DX (-24dB, Decode ability)

    Fourth Point

    This point does not get much attention, With digital modes you can translate nearly in real time. For example, when I have a QSO with a Russian, I use Google Translate, and copy and paste. Talk about having a QSO!

    Fifth point

    No matter how you slice it FT8 and FT8CALL will dominate with the popularity until a new decoding technology comes along. That is were the innovation, creativity and development are occurring.

    Summary, you can analyze any which way you like (Which mode is being used), but the vast majority of Hams (Especially new ones), will for the most part use digital modes for their DX activities (It will change when band conditions get better (I love SSB, 10 meters!)

    Cheers, c u you on the bands

    NN2X, Tom
    K0VH, KA0HCP and K2NCC like this.
  3. WD8ED

    WD8ED Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually, based on your own comments the automatic reporting makes for a much more accurate indication of band/mode traffic. It’s CW that is under reported.

  4. NO2Y

    NO2Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Predictions about the future have no bearing on today, however.

    Actually, have you ever noticed that you hear all those FT8 signals that are supposedly below the noise floor? The reality is that it is measured against a 2.5 kHz passband. Now, on PSK31, CW, RTTY, etc. you are spending a lot of time at one specific frequency. Most people narrow their filters and that boosts signal strength dramatically because you're not dealing with a 2.5 kHz passband. In the case of CW, at least, you can come very close to the levels you get with FT8.


    I use 100 watts and a dipole. I get along just fine with PSK31, Olivia etc.

    Google translate is often abysmal in its translations. Even so, most Russian DXers know enough English for a QSO...and that applies to DXers in general.

    Again, a prediction about the future. FT8Call isn't dominating anything at this point and there's no guarantee that people aren't going to get bored with it because they're using FT8 for quick QSOs. If it comes to conversing, there are other digital modes that can do so much faster. It's the new and shiny. PSK31 has been around 20 years and is still active. RTTY has been around since 1946. There's no indication that FT8CALL won't be dead in a year. JT9 is nearly so.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2018
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  5. NO2Y

    NO2Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    How is 20 spots for one CQ accurate? 1 report for 1 CQ would be accurate.
  6. N0AN

    N0AN XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Precisely. Grand claims about the future, and drum beating, if not outright campaigning are exactly what I was referring to earlier.

    ...and any mission critical communication system supervisor that adopts a new, unreleased and unproven mode, on the recommendation of a ham radio enthusiast, should be fired.

    Pump the brakes.

    73, N0AN
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  7. NO2Y

    NO2Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ha. I noticed that, but didn't say anything. Anyone who can definitively say after a conversation that an organization is definitely going to use something he just heard about is either blowing air up your skirt to get rid of you or is in no position to implement the change
    VK3AMA and N0AN like this.
  8. KA1BSZ

    KA1BSZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    what is the site for downloading FT8CALL? I have a lenovo 100s laptop with windows 10. This laptop is in my car so that is why you see KA1BSZ/M or KA1BSZ VT
  9. WJ4U

    WJ4U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Links in the very first post.
  10. K0XL

    K0XL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I LOVE FT8CALL. Finally, a very robust digital mode with messaging capability.

    I would love to see this capability extended with something like dictionary compression.
    Just to illustrate the concept, let's say we have a "standardized" dictionary with 65535 words. Most adults have a vocabulary of around 35000 words (https://www.economist.com/johnson/2013/05/29/lexical-facts) so that leaves a lot of room for specialized "words" in the dictionary related to amateur radio. So every 16 bits of data could represent a word rather than a character, which at 5 characters per word (old RTTY definition) we could improve the throughput by 5/2 or 2.5x. If we currently get 10-12 wpm with FT8CALL, this simple method would let us average 25-30 wpm. Some of those dictionary "words" could also be phrases, or messages (ala the old ARRL message numbers).

    There may be even better ways to do this, but this example illustrates the concept. Maybe someone will pickup on this and increase the data rate without any cost in bandwidth or signal sensitivity.

    Rob K0XL
    N2IPH likes this.

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