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Ok FT8, what good is it?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by K3LI, Oct 22, 2017.

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  1. KC9YGN

    KC9YGN Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Bands aren't dead, just less reliable than they were before we hit solar minimum. New amateurs are active. Just because you aren't hearing them doesn't mean they aren't out there. And if you think that's whining, you should see me at about 4 in the morning when I'm trying to work Australia and someone tunes up right on top of him.
    WA3YAY and K2NCC like this.
  2. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thank you for agreeing with me! :)
  3. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    Where do these incorrect ideas come from?

    CW isn't anything like a digital mode. it is on/off keying, nothing more.

    I guess my incandescent light bulbs are now "digital", they are either on or off:rolleyes:.
    K2NCC and K1SZO like this.
  4. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Everyone has their own preferred way to use their radio. Rag-chewing is for social people. Not everyone is social. Though we all share the enjoyment the radio produces no matter how we utilize it.

    Besides, when I first entered the IT field back in the mid-90s. The company I worked for decided pretty quickly that I should not be customer facing. :D
  5. K1SZO

    K1SZO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That depends. Is your lightbulb pulse width modulated for brightness? :D
  6. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    CW/Morse and your light bulb may not be considered "digital" in the sense of a radio mode. But they most certainly are. Morse via CW has four logic states expressed as a time ratio to one another: "long on" pulse (dah), "short on" pulse (dit), long pause (between words) and short pause (between letters). All of these pulse lengths are the same in a chain of "data" being sent. That's how Digipan and all the other programs can decode Morse - by analyzing these timing ratios between all of the elements, intelligence is gleaned from the pattern. That's about as digital as you can get. The digital content of the 4 timings contains 100% of the content in a digital format.

    Of course, variances in sending (by hand) and noise conditions make computer decoding difficult. But well-sent (i.e., computer sent) Morse via CW with an excellent S/N ratio can absolutely be used as a digital mode, computer to computer - nothing analog about it except the receiver BFO pitch, which is largely arbitrary and has nothing to do with the content.

    If you take your light bulb, and tap your foot in a "1, 2, 3, 4" pattern and on the first "tap" you turn the switch on, the second tap you turn the switch off, third tap you again turn it back on and the fourth tap back off, you have just sent Decimal 10 (#ten) via binary (1010). The quantity of foot taps in a group determines the "word length" (in this case it would be a "nibble of foot taps", 8 taps would be a "byte") and the rate at which you tap your foot is the "system clock". Given enough time, you could send (and receive) the entire Bible using nothing but foot taps and an incandescent light bulb with a switch, using nothing more than 7-foot-tap word length and an ASCII table.

    I'm not trying to be an ass, but both systems very much are "digital". Just not in quite the same way as JT65, FT8 or PSK31

    Last edited: May 8, 2018
    K2NCC, W4PG and N2SUB like this.
  7. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Digital: (of signals or data) expressed as series of the digits 0 and 1, typically represented by values of a physical quantity such as voltage or magnetic polarization.

    CW is binary, 1 and 0, on and off. As you know (or maybe you don't), that's what computers run on....BITS! A 1 or a 0. In fact, here's an article I wrote on the subject:

    Would you agree that a computer is a digital device? A computer sends/receives 1s and 0s and translates them to letters and numbers. Sound familiar? A CW key sends 1s and 0s (on and off) and the op at the other end translates them to letters and numbers. So tell me, how it CW not a digital mode? Please? But do it in the same sarcastic, disrespectful tone as your previous post....that was really enjoyable.

    Ignorance is bliss. :rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
  8. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You're not being an ass Dave. You are 100% correct. Machine language is binary. Without sending a stream of 1s and 0s, a computer could not communicate with a radio, much less generate FSK tones. The problem is, some people can't think at an abstract level, and tend to talk down to those of us who can.

    Only on the Zed.
  9. WA3YAY

    WA3YAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    If a QSO is defined as an exchange of information between two amateur radio stations, then FT8 is communications. And QRP is using the minimum power necessary to carry out that communications, I think its pretty good Ham Radio.

    If I'm in the mood to BS, I'll yak on SSB. If I want to be humiliated, I'll play with CW. If I want to fall asleep, I'll be on JT65. If I've done too much coffee I'll join a contest. If I want to get bug bites I'll do Field Day. If I want to talk to myself, I'll call CQ on 10.

    FT8 is just another, albeit impressive mode to fart around with.
  10. WA3YAY

    WA3YAY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yep, you nailed it

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