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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. AJ2I

    AJ2I XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is one of the best observations I've seen on this Ft8 situation. All 100% true. FT8 isn't killing ham radio, it's killing SSB. 20M is a ghost town I blame it all on FT8 and DMR and these "fake" internet/computer modes.

    No, I am not an old fossil, I'm 34 years old and got into this hobby to talk to people, I'm not resistant to change, I just want the bands active again on SSB.

    The bands are open, no one is home. Computers are on FT8 talking to each other.....what an accomplishment.
     
    PY2NEA likes this.
  2. K3SZ

    K3SZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you work me on FT8, I assure you I'm not more than 18" away from the radio/computer combo. I have to initiate every contact and I do supervise it. My PC, with WSJT-X and my HF radio, cannot on its on will make a contact. Granted the exchanges are very short (much like DX pileups).
     
    ND6M likes this.
  3. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did anyone operate FT8 in the ARRL RTTY Round UP? I saw a lot of CQ RU on FT8. There have been some issues reported on transferring the log to N1MM+. I only operated RTTY, but I did take a look on 20 meters during the contest and saw some CQ RU messages.
     
  4. AF4RK

    AF4RK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't think FT8 is affecting SSB but it has attracted the "macro jockeys" from PSK who used to be in that I called the "eternal contest", where they would send "you are QSO number ###" and then 73 etc, etc.

    I also used to send macros, but I have found lately, there are some keyboard chatting types on PSK.
    AF4RK
     
    K3SZ likes this.
  5. W1VT

    W1VT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've built my own SSB rigs for 50 and 222 MHz, so I could do the same for 75 and 40 meters. But, I doubt if I could find many people to talk to about their homebrew SSB rigs.

    I was pleased to finally hook up with Dave W7UUU on 80M FT8 last night. While we both operate 160 CW, I don't expect us to have a contact on that band/mode combination. Just too tough to work coast to coast with the antennas we have.
     
  6. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I mentioned in the past that I was not sure FT8 and contesting was a good combination. Yes... here is an FT8 'heavy' user, actually 100% of my activity outside of contests these days is on FT8, and I did not enjoy it. Contesting for me will continue to be a phone, CW, and RTTY 'affair'.

    I was happy to see lots of activity though. Unfortunately, not all ops used the suggested frequencies.
     
  7. N5INP

    N5INP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm not going to try and respond to each of your points because it seems you have made up your mind. However, I will respond to one and leave it at that.

    You seem to have a grave misunderstanding of this particular point as relates to FT8, I don't really know why that would be since you seem to be a competent radio operator. You seem to have the idea that there are no "weak" signals on FT8, i.e., that each signal is either:

    A. Workable without challenge

    OR

    B. Simply not workable and thus no challenge.

    A kind of binary set of conditions. Well, that is just flat out wrong. There are strong and weak signals and everything in between - no different than SSB but in a different range of power levels. Down in the range where FT8 is very weak (a much much lower power level than "weak" SSB) it certainly is a challenge. I've worked many weak stations on FT8 that require a lot of work, no different than SSB. You might have to try many times, you might have to observe interference from other stations and call on a different frequency, wait and try later ... it's not such an automatic thing as you make it out to be. The computer is NOT going to do all that for you.

    So, let me state without question, yes it's a challenge to work weak stations on FT8.

    Oh what the hell one more -

    You can send a custom message with your name, some people do.

    Anyway, I need to watch the news now. :)
     
    K3SZ and N5AF like this.
  8. N5AF

    N5AF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amen brother. Well stated. (Nice station you have there, if you ever want to unload that R-2000...) :D

    I've spent weeks and weeks trying to nab various DX stations using FT8 - getting up a before the crack of dawn to hopefully catch the right grey line propagation conditions on 17m to that regular CQ calling DX station in the EU or Africa, you know, the one who pops up every day but you can't seem to work...:( Yeah, it's a challenge and the computer sure as hell isn't "doing it automatically" for me. The computer didn't go out there and build my antennas either..

    When I got back into this hobby after an absence of 30 or so years, the first time I saw a panadapter setup I immediately poo-poo'd the idea of using a waterfall or computer connected to a radio. I was a real radio operator...knobs!

    Then I bought a SDRPlay and installed WSJT-X. Being able to visualize the the band conditions and actually see conditions changing and stations calling that my ears could not detect...wow, this is cool! It was the same "rush" I got when I was a kid and first got into radio and heard that far off shortwave DX station you just couldn't believe you were receiving.

    I don't think I could go back to not having a computer connected radio. It's just another tool which made the hobby a lot more interesting, at least for me.
     
    AJ4WC, WA4BCS, K3SZ and 1 other person like this.
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