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FT8 Power, how much ????

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by K4EM, Nov 12, 2017.

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  1. K4EM

    K4EM XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    How much power do you use on FT8? Are there unspoken rules in place I'm not aware of? Is FT8 a weak signal/low power mode? Who establishes these ethical mode rules? This past week I emailed a couple of acquaintances who I saw work a rare DXpedition and they said they were running 500w or more. Interesting, I have only been using 5 to 40 w on all my Q's.
  2. G0JUR

    G0JUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    general opinion is that Ft8 is a weak signal mode but not a low power mode, this explains the state of some of the signals you can see on the waterfall.
    the instructions from Jt state that you should set every thing up then slide down the power slider to reduce power slightly then its ok, Myself I use 20 watts.
    N4UP and KF5RHI like this.
  3. KC3RN

    KC3RN Ham Member QRZ Page

    I generally run about 50 watts, but through a very compromised antenna system, so my ERP is about half of that. That generally works fine up to about 2,000 miles (if the bands are okay). If there's a DX station that I really want, I'll run the power up to about 95 watts, which gives me about 50 watts ERP, but it's still a crapshoot for DX.

    On JT65 I usually limit my power to about 30 watts (because of the much longer duty cycle), but like most everyone else, I'm not there very often.....

    I also know of several stations that are running much more power that that - 400-500 watts. But, they usually start out at a lower level (100-150 watts) and increase as necessary to make the contact. I'm okay with that. I believe you should use the tools you have at your disposal.
  4. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

    Be careful: Most transceivers that are rated at 100 watts SSB must only use a fraction for the WJST-X modes which are steady carriers modes. Use your AM settings; about 1/4 SSB rated power. My FT-950 finals are comfortable at 25 watts!
    SV7JWT, AI5DD, DL6BCX and 1 other person like this.
  5. KB2SMS

    KB2SMS Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use 5-10w on my KX2. Of coarse IF you need to use more that's o.k.
    W5DPH likes this.
  6. KF5RHI

    KF5RHI Ham Member QRZ Page

    20w here. Occasionally 25
  7. AI6AK

    AI6AK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I usually run about 10-20 watts. I've bumped it up to as much as 50 but I really don't see that much difference in signal reports say between 30-50 so to keep the radio happy I run much less. I actually have the most fun just running 5 watts.
    AI5DD and WA2DE like this.
  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Depends. How much do you need? You can work Japan and the South Pacific with 30 watts even now. Also, how much will your rig stand? Most 100-watt transceivers probably shouldn't be pushed too much above 25 - 30 watts in a digital mode. And many auto-tuners will also be unhappy with more than that. OTOH if you have an amplifier and need more power, you think, have at it. As has been observed, it's a weak signal mode, not a QRP thing.
  9. KG7FIU

    KG7FIU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I start out with 1.5 kW. Of course if you want to use less power, that's OK too...
    YC0DMS, W9TWR, W1LJ and 9 others like this.
  10. VA3VF

    VA3VF Guest

    Use as much power as is necessary to complete the QSO, up to the max allowed for your license., and that your equipment can safely handle. The only requirement is that the signal is clean. FT8 is not necessarily a low power mode.

    As for the unspoken rules, they are unspoken, and they are not rules. Gentlemen's agreement at best. As for ethical mode rules, nothing specific, the same as for all other modes (listen/view first, no DQRM, etc.). Common sense, something that is not common at all these days, still applies. :D
    SQ5EBM, N5YPJ, K8BZ and 13 others like this.

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