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FT8 – Tipping Point for Ham Radio?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KD5FGE, Nov 21, 2018.

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  1. W4KVW

    W4KVW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ben it's obvious you have not seen it happening but I assure you it happens more often than most people think. It is a MYTH that a Control Operator is needed once it is started. The last one I saw had a station who was unaware that his computer had logged an entire page on the cluster on 30 meters of FT8 contacts. He apologized later for all of the postings when someone advised him it was happening. I could care less if you believe it since I will only answer to one for what I say & do in the end & HE also knows it is a FACT even when the blinded sheep here can't see past the ends of their own noses.

  2. G4SGD

    G4SGD Ham Member QRZ Page

    For me, I am not a great conversationalist, i am not able to rattle on for 10-15 minutes boring people to death with the local weather, what radio and antenna i am using and whatever other dribble comes into mind.

    I am not a big guns station with acres of real estate for massive antennas and I keep it real with 100W power on CW and SSB (I use CW more than SSB).

    FT8 is an enjoyable mode and if not for it i would have not bothered coming back into this hobby having been licensed for over 30 years now

    Steve - G4SGD / ZC4ST / VP8CRR / 6Y5SGD - RSARS
    WA4BCS, WU8Y, N5INP and 1 other person like this.
  3. K3SZ

    K3SZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Serious questions: Do you know how this was accomplished? Macros of some sort or a built-in function inside WSJT-X?

    I've had to manually initiate and then monitor every FT8 CQ I ever answered (I never called CQ in this mode) so I'm unaware there is a "fire and forget" feature on WSJT-X. Perhaps someone can enlighten me on this if you don't know. I'm just curious as an occasional WSJT-X user.
    WU8Y likes this.
  4. AI5DH

    AI5DH Ham Member

    This made me chuckle. Not directed at anyone but I find CW and SSB a good sleep drug hearing dots-n-dashes or two O2 sucking hams trying to convince each other they are sicker than the other, contesters, rag chewers, or what kind of equipment they have. How boring is that?

    I wanna hear train wrecks, tornadoes, destruction, and flame wars. No wonder youth has no interest in Ham Radio.
    WU8Y likes this.
  5. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    The known bots use external macros. No WSJT-X built-in functions.

    Worst case scenario, without external macros, if you leave Enable TX activated before going to the washroom, it may complete one call.
    K3SZ and WU8Y like this.
  6. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    How true! Consider joining an SSB or CW thread, and say it there.:D
    WU8Y likes this.
  7. WU8Y

    WU8Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's not namecalling, it's an accurate characterization of the opponents of these new digital modes. Also, it's ham radio, not HAM radio.


    In other words, you WILL be forced to use a Holy Mode! That would be like me demanding that applicants for a license write up WSJT-X or something in the exam session.
  8. WU8Y

    WU8Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's happened to me; I've been calling CQ and then had to answer the call of nature, and while I was in there the JT-Alert bell rang... Fortunately the washroom is literally next to the radio room here.
  9. KK5JY

    KK5JY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Most of the automation(*) that is required to operate hands-off in WSJT-X is already built into WSJT-X. Auto-sequence, call-first, etc. The little bit of additional automation to go from 95% hands-off to perhaps 99% hands-off can be done by watching one of the two available reporting interfaces, and then sending UI manipulation messages to the main window as needed.

    It's not really possible to operate 100% hands-off, since there isn't enough of a remote-control interface to get all the information needed to make one. E.g., you still have to pick a frequency, then watch to make sure somebody doesn't clobber you on that frequency, either in the slot where you transmit or the other slot. Even if a robot watches the decodes to get a picture of the spectrum, that still doesn't account for signals too weak to decode, or signals that don't decode because they are being clobbered by somebody else.

    I find it somewhat bizarre that WSJT-X doesn't offer a full remote-control interface like fldigi, et al, but it doesn't. As a result, achieving higher levels of automation than is already in the software requires using one of the UI test APIs to manipulate the UI as needed. Windows and Linux both offer functionality like this, although the APIs aren't compatible with each other. Since the software already automates most of the operating tasks for you, I'm not sure why they didn't go the little extra distance to allow you to extend the automation into those last few percent.

    (*) I'm using the term "automation" in the sense that WSJT-X uses it, such as is used for "auto-sequence." I'm not using it in the way Part 97 defines it, which is a completely different and marginally related issue.​
    K3SZ likes this.
  10. K3SZ

    K3SZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    That's what I suspected. TNX VA3VF & KK5JY.
    KK5JY likes this.
  11. W4MHZ

    W4MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seriously? It IS name calling. It DOES make you look like an ass and you have just doubled down. Entertaining, but not terribly bright. I don't believe I said anything about what mode you could use or whether modes should be "blessed". Getting your panties in a wad is a waste of time. And by the way, drinking probably is not a solution to any problem... Now put the bottle down, step away from the keyboard, and do another QSO. You are giving drunks a bad name. ;)

    I say HAM radio, you don't have too...
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  12. W4MHZ

    W4MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    It would be fairly easy to automate the whole process, even down to detecting errors and running a list of frequencies or even bands. Not saying anyone should but most of the work is done. Any competent developer could finish the automation of that process. There are gamers who run "bots" which play the game for them, even to the point of engaging in the "combat" portions of the game. These are done (I am sure you know) by reading the screen (with an OCR) and managing input events in response, either by stuffing the keyboard or generating mouse events as necessary. Anyway, we are pretty close to that with some of the digital modes and it is only a matter of time until someone fully automates the process. The regulations will not stop that person because he is more interested in writing the code than in HAM radio. He will release his code because he is more interested in proving he did it than obeying the regulations. There is no regulation that prevents the writing of that code. People who worship tech and/or could care less about regulations will embrace that code. Technology is a religion unto itself.
  13. WJ4U

    WJ4U Ham Member QRZ Page

    What is HAM radio?

    W3UC, KC8VWM, WU8Y and 1 other person like this.
  14. KP4SX

    KP4SX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Logged on a cluster maybe, worked - maybe not.
    WJ4U likes this.
  15. W4MHZ

    W4MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I observe your HAM does not do morse.
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