QSL pattern

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K0HB, Oct 18, 2020.

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  1. K0HB

    K0HB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Have you guys noticed an uptick in actual paper QSL’s since FT8 became popular?

    I get only a trickle from my CW work, maybe 3 or 4 a month direct and perhaps 10 a month via the BURO (mostly JA and DL).

    But my FT8 QSL’s are now several a week, quite often with SASE. My operation is roughly 25% digital, 70% CW, and 5% voice (low voice use is due to poor hearing, not Luddite tendencies).

    Given that FT8 is computer-centric, I would have expected that those ops would more do their QSL’s via LoTW or other “computer based” methods.

    I find myself back on CW more and more because of the inability of FT8 to support a direct conversation. I wonder if this increased use of physical cards is “compensation” for the lack of personal connection in the mode?
  2. W7UUU

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

    While I don't get as many as you do, I have indeed noticed an uptick in FT8 QSL requests this year.

    But for those who enjoy paper QSL cards, the mode is pretty irrelevant.

  3. KN6CSB

    KN6CSB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't want to open a can of worms,
    but I suspect there are now many more FT8 users than CW users, and this will only continue. So from a strictly numbers game point of view, makes sense you will see more QSL from one of the most popular modes on HF.
  4. N3FAA

    N3FAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have noticed the same. I get a ton of cards since using FT8 (100+ a year...I consider that a ton, compared to what I used to get, LOL), and a very tiny amount from SSB or CW. I was with you, I would think most would just use LOTW and call it a day, but not so! And that's great, because I love getting paper cards.

    Most FT8ers I have talked to regularly pull up the other person's QRZ page. I do the same. I have rarely done that with SSB or CW, probably because there is other "stuff" going on, like trying to talk or send/receive CW, etc. With FT8, since there's nothing going on, it's really easy to read somebody's QRZ page and learn more about them. So to that extent, I actually think FT8 is more personal than the other modes.
    K5EMG likes this.
  5. W7UUU

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

    I do the same - and you're right - I seldom look people up "mid QSO" on other modes but on every single FT8 contact, N3FJP logging software automatically pulls up their page and I read about them. I often "break my stride" so I can spend time looking over their photos and such.

    Another thing I do is run FT8 manually other than the cycling of steps. I manually choose which CQ to respond to, manually start and repeat my own CQ, and I enter all the QSO data manually into N3FJP. No "auto logging" - no "JT Alert" - no color coding other than "Red = CQ". Some I'm sure will scoff, but to me it makes it seem more like other "manual modes" like CW and SSB (both of which I do a lot as well).

    And I have been enjoying the uptick in QSL cards from FT8 users :)

    K5EMG and N3FAA like this.
  6. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The computer's are already online and making contacts so it's pretty much automatic to log and load to lotw. CW and SSB are not computer dependent and many don't bother to keep logs especially electronic logs. Add to that FT8 users are far more likely to be working for wallpaper than other modes. Besides, what good is FT8 for other than putting numbers in the log? It certainly isn't for witty conversation.
    KK9W likes this.
  7. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Many people actually want the paper. That's separate and apart from electronic logging. Its not a binary choice. You can do both and be happy :)
    K3XR likes this.
  8. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Agree, FT8 is a mode that lends itself to electronic logging. If one is wanting awards, FT8 allows marginal stations opportunity they otherwise would have with poor propagation.
  9. W7UUU

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

    And as I posted above, you can make it pretty darn manual in operation. I always like a round of FT8 after an intense CW contest - the lesser "brain load" can be welcome. And let's face it - sending "599 WA TU QRZ?" in CW with a keyer memory isn't a whole heck of a lot different than the FT8 exchange.... other than the obvious skill needed to copy in your head whatever CW content comes back at you on receive :)

    KP4SX and W4IOA like this.
  10. W4IOA

    W4IOA Ham Member QRZ Page

    My short foray into the evil arts was always manual. Search & pounce, click click click. Sending it to lotw was just another click.
    I log with N3FJP so that naturally lends itself to lotw no matter what mode.

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