Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by KA1BSZ, Jun 12, 2018.

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  1. KQ0J

    KQ0J XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Guys trolling about FT8 remind me of a guy complaining about bad sex when he isn't getting any himself in the first place.
    WG7X, W5TTW and NK2U like this.
  2. K3KIC

    K3KIC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was surprised last night after work when Italy, Slovenia, and that region was coming in like gangbusters on 20M phone.
  3. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes. It would then have some communications value. As for "other issues" I'll let others take that one on.
    W0VRA likes this.
  4. K5URU

    K5URU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Surely you jest. FT8 is already capable of sending "Tchatchkes" in an emergency. :p
    The character limit on the free-text message is pretty short, though.

  5. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    You'd want enough to give a location, a conditions (physical) and a health and welfare message. All could be coded or from a drop-down menu.
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Wouldn't be impossible to do that if the receiving end knew what was going on. But 13 characters every 15 seconds makes FT8 a very poor choice of mode for that purpose.
  7. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    My lawn grew last night. What joy to participate in.
    AD5HR likes this.
  8. K5URU

    K5URU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well, I think relying on FT8 for conversational emergency traffic would be tedious and perhaps even ridiculous, but sure, if you couldn't find any wire to make a key, left your mic at home, lost your Winlink thumb drive, and were totally desperate, I suppose you could quickly prepare a whole list of pre-coded macros, then select them as needed from the built-in drop down menu. Like this:


    A bit more realistically, assuming you had a key or microphone or fldigi, and just needed someone to communicate with, I suppose you could send a custom message like "HELP PSK 7071" or "QSY 14225 SOS" or something similar. The FT8 frequencies, if nothing else, are some of the most popular gathering spots in all of ham radio these days, so you'd have a good chance of finding someone there who could help get the ball rolling. On more than one occasion, I've seen 6 meter FT8 QSOs lead to SSB QSOs when someone sent "QSY 50.125" and a few hams moved over to phone.

    Anyway, FT8 is obviously not designed specifically for emergency communications any more than QRSS on 136kHz is meant for ragchewing.
    N0TZU and KP4SX like this.
  9. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes a common menu would work. BUT, the low signal ability of FT-8 would mitigate the low word ability however the drop down menu could translate to a code and the actual text reconstituted at the far end. 13 characters could be millions of coded messages numerically. 0000000000001 to 9999999999999. They could have multiple messages in one 13 character string based on position. Easy program to write.

    I envision I am hunkered down after a storm with a battery powered low watt rig and able to send a message out in weak conditions.

    Now imagine a national FT8 emergency frequency (ok I'm stretching it) monitored at regular times. The problem with FT8 as it stands is it lacks imagination. It always seemed to me to be a demo program for a much larger future use.
    K5URU likes this.
  10. KY5U

    KY5U Subscriber QRZ Page

    See reply above. One note, FT8 does not require a wideband signal, wasted band for shore stations, bunch of wasteful transmissions and the general cost of Winstink.

    I am not a windows programmer but I could write the tool box to encode and decode messages by position in the 13 character string that FT8 gurus could use. (Skirts the FCC encoding rule because the program is free and anyone can "listen in". )
    WS4JM and K5URU like this.

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