FT8 signal transmits to stations I can't receive

Discussion in 'On-Air Operations - Q&A' started by WA9CEK, Jun 15, 2020.

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  1. WA9CEK

    WA9CEK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hello all,

    I'm often using FT8 on 20 meters. I'm in Chicago, and run a Yaesu FT-450D at about 45 watts with a tuned magnetic loop antenna. I watch my signals going out on PSK Reporter, and I get good signal reports from all over the US, Canada, Mexico, Western and Eastern Europe and North Africa. I can work contacts in North America and Mexico frequently, but only very rarely can I even receive any signals from Europe. This is even the case when I am showing up at their stations with better than -10 db signal reports. Is this a factor of the ambient noise levels in an urban area like Chicago, or are there other possible solutions?

    Thanks much, Eric WA9CEK
  2. N3KE

    N3KE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Seems very likely to be local noise at your station. Using PSK Reporter why don’t you find some stations near you and then compare the SNR you are receiving compared to them when hearing the same stations.

    It is very possible there is some strong local interference affecting your station. What does the S meter say during the gap between FT8 15 second intervals?
  3. WA9CEK

    WA9CEK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks -- will do. My S meter says about 7dB during the gaps...I'm wondering if I should use the DNR function on the Yaesu or try another type of noise reduction?
  4. N3KE

    N3KE Ham Member QRZ Page

    For FT8 the recommendation is usually not to use any noise reduction in the radio. The software decoder will do a better job than the radio in dealing with any kind of noise and the radio noise cancellers may actually make things worse as far as FT8 is concerned. Noise reduction in the radio is designed to improve human copy of voice and CW. For a digital communications waveform like FT8 it isn’t particularly helpful or appropriate.
  5. KC2RGW

    KC2RGW Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have the opposite issue, my noise floor is low so I often hear people well who can’t hear me, even running high power. It’s the noise floor.
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Do you mean S7? That's pretty noisy.
  7. WA9CEK

    WA9CEK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks to everyone. With no noise reduction turned on, yes, it shows an S7. If I turn on the ATT and IPO, it is an S3. I'm wondering if it might work to turn those two items on and leave the DNR off?
    73, Eric
  8. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think it's going to make any difference. I use a very high-quality mag-loop in Europe and find that there are few stations that I can copy well enough to work. Last year, I took a Buddipole along and found that it beat the loop by a minimum of 2 S-units, transmit and receive. My problem - what to do with this mag-loop!

    Returning to your original question, it's more likely that the DX stations that copy you well are the "heavy lifters"; that is, stations equipped with fabulous antennas.
  9. WA9CEK

    WA9CEK XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks very much!
  10. AE1N

    AE1N Ham Member QRZ Page

    U need btr rcv ant

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