Power for FT8

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by HB9DDS, May 22, 2021.


Output Power FT8

Poll closed Jun 21, 2021.
  1. 1W

  2. 1-10W

  3. 10-25W

  4. 25-50W

  5. 50-100W

  6. 100W and more

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: abrind-2
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: L-Geochron
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: Left-2
ad: HRDLLC-2
  1. N6YWU

    N6YWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been sending out FT8 beacons at 1 Watt to a wire vertical to see how far away my QRP station can be heard. pskreporter regularly reports my FT8 signal being spotted by stations in AK, HI, the MidWest, and Canada.

    I'm using a Hermes Lite 2 transceiver with a Raspberry Pi to put together a complete FT8 setup that I can easily hike uphill with (for digital mode POTA/SOTA). Maybe then I'll QRO way up to a whole 5 Watts.
  2. N6YWU

    N6YWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Maybe to see what percentage of the amateur radio community actually understands or even cares about complying with:
    CFR 97.313 Transmitter power standards. (a)
  3. NM9K

    NM9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    If the desired communication is "anyone who responds to my CQ," then how does that rule apply?
    WG7X and N3RYB like this.
  4. N3RYB

    N3RYB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    First I ought to point out that FT8 isn't a beacon mode. You want WSPR if you are interested in an actual beacon mode.

    Simply being able to be heard enough for a pskreporter spot isn't always good enough to finish a complete QSO either. One thing to consider when looking at pskreporter spots are the stations where you were NOT heard too!
    Last edited: May 31, 2021
    KP4SX likes this.
  5. N6YWU

    N6YWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    IIRC, I keep replying to a nearby friend who's in the shadow of my antenna pattern. Thus have never completed that QSO after months of trying on and off.

    FT8 works just fine as a beacon. It provides significantly faster feedback than WSPR, and has a mostly different set of receive stations reporting. And pskreporter.info often lists what kind of antenna is picking up my signal, whereas wspr.org does not.
  6. N3RYB

    N3RYB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sure it can function perfectly fine as a beacon mode, but that is not its intended purpose. If you did this on phone, people would think you were mad! Can you imagine? You'd have everyone on the band yelling at you, NO HE CAN'T HEAR YOU!
  7. N6YWU

    N6YWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    My FT8 skimmers have never picked up a message like that. Probably because it's not one of the pre-built-in messages in WSJT-X for people to click on with a mouse.

    It actually was the original purpose of CW (Marconi's first one way transmission), so I don't hear many people complaining about the practice of self-spotting on CW (unless it's against the rules of some on-going contest...)
  8. N6YWU

    N6YWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    "Anyone" is singular. One might be able to get someone to respond on FT8 with mere milliWatts of Tx (and a good antenna). Then gradually turn up the power a bit, if needed, to complete the QSO, or to find yet another "anyone" farther away, or not in the log.

    There are reasons to be in a hurry (contest, sporadic opening, you are rare DX with a pileup to clear, etc.), but those don't apply the vast majority of the time, when you might be able to get one more contact with very little Tx power and a bit of patience. I consider that to be a more interesting amateur radio challenge than how fast I can keep clicking on WSJT-X buttons with a mouse. And more in the spirit of CFR 97.313.
  9. NM9K

    NM9K Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your answer is not responsive.

    I wanted India and the middle east to respond to my CQs today, but not only did I never get the QSO, PSK Reporter shows I never made it there at all.

    If that doesn't make my point, I don't know what will.

    The law doesn't have spirit, it has meaning. And for me, the desired communication might be to blow out ear drums on the moon.
    N3RYB likes this.
  10. N6YWU

    N6YWU Ham Member QRZ Page

    If your estimated path loss calculations to your desired contact, given current propagation conditions, indicates that QRO to the legal limit is the minimum power necessary to carry out the desired communications, that certainly seems within the meaning of CFR 97.313 (but IANAL).

    But note that the number of operators who have logged countries in that region via QRP CW is very likely non-zero. And likely by better operators or stations with better antenna's than me, as my 1W of FT8 has never been spotted that far away (yet). I'll wait for more sunspots. Gives me time to improve my antenna and FT8 decoding software.

Share This Page