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FT-8 Digital Has Taken Over The HF Bands!

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KJ4YZI, Oct 16, 2017.

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  1. KJ4YZI

    KJ4YZI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I remember uploading a video about FT-8 when it was a week old, now, it is found on every band in great numbers.. Don't let anyone tell you there are no signals on HF lately. This video will just show you through all the bands and what the activity looks like lately. Give it a try, and please remember: Use LOW POWER.
    5 watts, 10 watts, maybe 15 watts if you have to. But to all those running 100s of watts on JT65 and FT-8, blanking out the entire waterfall when you transmit, you are a moron. It causes havoc to the others running
    1 - 5 watts. There is nothing worse than watching all the signals disappear when you transmit.

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    Attached Files:

    N1ASS, KD0VVH, K1HC and 2 others like this.
  2. KA1BSZ

    KA1BSZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes I agree. At times on 20 meters, it's hard carry on a qso on olivia,msfsk and psk 31 and there people that run high power on that mode ( ft8 ) and are spraying from 14.074 all the way to 14.069 khz! Don't get me wrong folks, FT8 is THE quickest way for digital communication. But I use all modes as well.psk,olivia,contestia,thor,dom,rtty. There really isn't much congestion on 160,80,60,40,30,17,15,12 and 10 meters,only seems to be on 20. I have heard people using PSK on 14.069 and 068. I really love JT65,9 AND 4. When FT8 first came on around here ( VERMONT ) back in the middle of June,I thought.." what the H@@@ is that stuff? " and it was the easiest program to down load! C U on the bands de KA1BSZ/M FN33
    KD0NPT and VA6QAS like this.
  3. N7AED

    N7AED Ham Member QRZ Page

    You don't have the program set right if strong signals are blacking out your waterfall. A check in the "flatten box" in the wide graph window will prevent that from happening.
    WE4X, KF5WKW, W5JTC and 12 others like this.
  4. NJ3H

    NJ3H Ham Member QRZ Page

    Nice video. What antenna are you using? A lousy vertical in a small lot and 5 watts is not too good. The only thing I can do is raise up the power. Still haven't been heard in Europe from here in Oregon according to PSKR website.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2017
    KJ7WT likes this.
  5. G3NYY

    G3NYY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Exactly. Also, disable your AGC and reduce the RF gain on your receiver.
    Here in Europe, I receive many FT8 signals registering +15 dB or more and they are no wider than the -18 or -19 dB signals on adjacent frequencies.

    Walt (G3NYY)
    KP4SX, WU8Y, WT5CR and 6 others like this.
  6. NI9Y

    NI9Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    AMEN...just when you start a PSK CQ up comes the constant QRM from JT-65 and the other mixed bag of continuous tones all trying
    to outdo each other. Just a day or so ago I was calling PSK 31 on 7.070 and immediately JT-65 signals pounced on my frequency.
    The same holds true when a RTTY or PSK signal comes on top of your CW QSO in the 40 meter band between 7.035 and 7.040. And what
    is that continuous signals on 7.040 +/- all night long destroying the QRP CW frequency. We need some order on the bands today to stick to
    the band plans. What has happened to fairness and what do we do with those 7.040 KHz crystals for our QRP or homebrew oscillators. Have
    we gone MAD?
    W7RY, KD8KOR, WE4B and 6 others like this.
  7. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    After JT'ing 2 years solid I hoped one day we'd see a mode with a shorter decode with a smaller bandwidth. JT65 was crowding the segment and the legal limit beam guys were not making JT65 fun. JT9 was great but was not as popular in my limited experience, and seemed a little too long to find out the other OP went on to someone else. Finding FT8, I thought I would be a fan. Nope. I'd say what we really need is JT9 with a 30s cycle, with maybe 22 or 25s decode and the balance to decide what to do. Get a little deeper than FT8 and have a bit more time to react.

    At least for me the FT8 15s cycles are too short unless you can read really fast or there are few signals. In the frenzy I see a LOT of OPs having to send 2-3 cycles. Its not saving them any time in the QSO cycle. I'd say FT8 maybe is a bit too fast; even worse, perhaps the relative speed of the cycle may also makes it less sensitive.

    If true, a 4dB penalty really hits compromise antenna users to work DX. I got through half a QSO to South Africa on a -26 JT9 signal both ways. In those condx I'd never have a chance either way on FT8.

    I sincerely appreciate Joe Taylor and his team for making ham radio fun for me again, but I'm already nostalgic for the haunted calliope sounds of JT65 (don't miss the ear piercing JT9 tones), and I'm only using FT8 with reluctance because everyone else is. But at least the JT mode segment is wide open again--I worked Antarctica on JT9 with absolute ease, while FT8 was slam packed :)

    I tried JT10 for awhile, but it never appeared to catch on. Its release date probably was partly to blame, and also a Russian download site made some wary. Worked well though!
    KG7AV, WT5CR, KB0R and 1 other person like this.
  8. K3RW

    K3RW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've wondered what that is. Something just nukes 7.040. I see it too. Some people are nuking 7.06 as well. I can't hear hardly any CW there through the noise, whatever that thing is, though it sometimes looks different than the noise on 7.040.

    I wish FT8 were above JT9, not below.
  9. K3FHP

    K3FHP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Assuming your system is functioning properly, you are likely being covered by another station as everybody automatically transmits at the 15 second interval. Try unlocking receive and transmit and reply in a clear spot. Since the program decodes all in the bandwith, you don't have to be on the same line on the waterfall to make a contact.. Also check your audio input as to not over drive the signal, a common issue on most digital modes.
    AC0OB likes this.
  10. GW6CZE

    GW6CZE Ham Member QRZ Page

    YES FT8 has turned the data modes into a zoo full of morons that have no idea about propagation or power and how to set up the radio.
    People come on without checking to see if the spot they are on is in use either due again to ignorance or they have have the box checked that say Tx on the last freq you used on startup . It would also seem that most of the people blaming everything except high power for the doecode problems are the ones running high power just to bully there way through.
    N4BWD, PE5I, MM0XXW and 8 others like this.

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