Is FT8 the New Normal for DXPeditions?

Discussion in 'The DX Zone' started by WF4W, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why is FT8 the preferred mode for recent Dxpeditions such as 3d2cr & S9a??

    Stats speak for themselves. Is this the new normal?



    Compare it to a couple DXpeditions from last year


  2. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    There was a write-up about a recent dxpedition in QST which noted of the thousands of FT8 qsos, only a small fraction of approx 20% were unique callsigns on each band. I am not making any judgments about the data except to say it doesn’t always indicate what some infer from it.
  3. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    there is no inferring - the data from the two most recent expeditions show more contacts are being made on FT8 than other modes. That does have a relationship to time spent on each mode and people are getting frustrated - just look at the clusters - people are begging these guys to work something other than FT8.

    Some will come and say "when you fund and conduct a DXpedition you can work all the CW & SBB you want" -- to those I remind that members of various DX Clubs do contribute funds to these DXpeditions so my dues DO fund them...
  4. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    All I suggested is this data doesn’t necessarily lead to the conclusion you infer. It’s stating the obvious some expeditions are making lots of FT8 q’s.
  5. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    My understanding is that most DXpeditions have a plan, i.e., what bands and modes to operate at what times of day to maximize their value to callers from around the world. No point in being on a band pointed one way when the action is somewhere else. And depending on how many operators are available, the mix of modes is probably also part of the plan.

    FT8 gets through with weak propagation when other modes fail, just like CW gets through when SSB fails. The people who are begging? Were they actually able to hear the DX on the bands and modes they want? If you cannot hear them, and/or they cannot hear you, there is no point. I have noticed some DXpeditions recently abandon some bands/modes at times when there are simply no callers due to conditions.

    I would "infer" they are simply operating according the plan that makes sense to them and adapting to conditions. I would not infer that FT8 is a preferred mode.

    And 3C0W is probably not a good comparison as he apparently doesn't do FT8. I would infer that he likes CW.
  6. KG5THG

    KG5THG Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Looks to me like a nice mix of operating so everyone could enjoy.
    K0UO likes this.
  7. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    In the case of 3D2CR, and likely others as well, the ops said they were not getting as many calls with the other modes. It has nothing to do with a 'love' for FT8 on the part of DXpeditioners. They want to make as many contacts as possible. Making piles of contacts, for the sake of the contacts, may not make sense for an OP at a home, but that's the goal of every DXpedition.
    K0UO and K4RKY like this.
  8. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    22.80% CW
    67.01% FT8
    10.19% SSB

    that's a 'nice mix'?
    W0WDF likes this.
  9. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    FT8 just works so much better than RTTY or PSK31 that it is now the new NORM for DXpeditions. I worked VP6D EASILY on almost all bands 160M-10M. Think I only missed 12M, It is so superior to RTTY in all ways and little QRM. That is what is so tough about RTTY. No matter how good a Receiver is, QRM just about wipes out printing. I have been on the Receiving end of RTTY Pileups as W1AW/6 and only when the signal is a ways away from the deep pile can it be decoded. But NO Problems with FT8.

    FT4 will probably be replace FT8 as the mode of choice for DXpeditions. I have yet to get that going, I am concentrating on FT-8 for Field Day.
    Since the ARRL DX Branch has made FT8 Equivalent to RTTY in the DIgital Award, few will even boher with RTTY anymore. LIke when is the last time you heard a DXpedition run AM for those Affiicianodos??
    So RTTY and PSK31 (and JT65) are quickly drying up as FT8 becomes the Dominant Mode of TODAY!
    I spent over 6 hours calling in the VP6D RTTY Pileup. I got thru in just seconds on FT8.
    Hams are just going to take the Easier Route!
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  10. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    yep, we're like water - we take the path of least resistance to our goal...

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