Observations on Field Day FT8

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WA6MHZ, Jun 23, 2019.

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  1. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I was very busy right up to the end on 080, so there were plenty to work there!! I did venture down to 074 Sunday morning to see how it was doing, and it was a COMPLETE MADHOUSE!!! NOT a Hole to be found in the waterfall! So after a few ill fated tries, I went back to 080 where the FT8 experts said to operate Field Day on. In fact ARRL decreed 080 as the official FD FT8 frequency. I had no problem reprograming 14078 to 080 , so I could jump back and forth between frequencies.

    Actually FT8 DOES require constant human intervention, as I have to CLICK on TX ENABLE after each QSO. It does NOT automatically call CQ that I can tell, atleast I couldn't figure out how. I am not a FT8 Genius like so many are, but I did Kick A55 on FD with FT8, and made more points than the rest of the club combined. I probably could have made alot on SSB, but with the beam at 40ft, I would never have been able to hold a Frequency for a pileup like I did in previous years, so FT8 was the BEST Choice.

    And I had time to cook breakfast for everyone between contacts!
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    So.....exactly how many FT-8 Field Day Qs that actually count for points did various folks make?
  3. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was tough. But not because you couldn't find plenty of stations to work or because the new FD mode didn't work--it worked great. FT8ers were evenly divided between the frequencies like 14080 suggested by the FT8 for FD group on Facebook and the regular FT8 frequencies. The problem? Propagation, even for FT8. You'd call CQ and a station would respond...and then disappear into the ether. That happened on FT8, CW, and SSB.

    Nevertheless, our one FT8 station made the most QSOs and points for our club's 3A effort this year. Oh, my fellow OP and I didn't make it through the night, we are both in our mid-60s and at least claim to be over that, but we did work about 12 hours total. The result? A couple of hundred QSOs and about 400 points, besting our CW and phone stations.

    Next year, I suppose "digital" will mean "FT4," and would guess we will easily double those numbers, especially if propagation gets at least slightly better as I believe it will. ;)
  4. KB2FCV

    KB2FCV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was on 40/80 cw for the bulk of field day. While I never ran out.. it did seem slightly less crowded. It felt like I was switching between hunt/pounce & running a little more & that I picked a band clean a little faster. Still, had a lot of fun as always.
    W4NNF likes this.
  5. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Oh, before I left home, I told the XYL that me and my fellow op, W4ARK, would be staying the whole night. She just laughed. :)
  6. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you actually used FT8, or do you just assume?

    Calling CQ on FT8 is no different from calling it on CW, RTTY, or phone: "Should I call CQ or hunt and pounce? Where's a good spot for me to plunk down? Top of the segment or bottom better? Oops...got some QRM on top of me and another guy close. Think I'll move and call CQ again. QSO rate is down. Should I change bands or just call that loud guy?" And so on and so forth. :)
    WU8Y likes this.
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    So where does going out to mow the lawn fit in?
  8. W0PV

    W0PV Ham Member QRZ Page

    LMAO at the number of FD FT8 exchanges seen yesterday on 30 and 17m during the contest and during the evening on all bands well after the events closing time. Saw one just now Monday afternoon on 6m, a 1A SFL (that figures) ;) !!
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Class 1L :)

    Luckily, I MADE myself get out and mow Friday. It was hot, but it got done!
  10. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I heard about that. Didn't look for myself because I didn't want to waste operating time AND...didn't want to see a herd of lids. ;)

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