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Ragged for using FT8 on Field Day!

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WA6MHZ, Jul 12, 2019.

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  1. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Last night was our monthly radio club meeting and the topic was Field Day wrapup.
    Our club did about the same as previous years, though we did had better success on 40 meters due to our new 2 Element beam for that band.

    Normally I get to use a Tribander on the 100ft tower, but this year I was booted to the 40 footer due to the 40M beam. Not possible to put both antennas on the same tower.

    I am as close to a contester as can be found in the club and normally make about 60% of the contacts for the club. In previous years I ran 20M SSB, but this year I decided that SSB would not be very succesful on 20M so I did FT8.

    I made 106 Qs, mostly due to the long time required for Each QSO on FT8. I called CQ and was answered by several stations each time I did. I thought I did a great job mining a very poor band with conditions absolutely SUCKING!!

    I put in a 12 hour shift leaving around 6PM and coming back Sunday morning at 6AM to resume the event.
    I took my laptop home with me, as there are tramps around the area and I didn't want it to get ripped off.
    While I was gone,the station was used for 20SSB, and they made SIX CONTACTS overnight!

    This is NOT my first RODEO!! In fact it was my 51st Field Day! The night before (FRIDAY) I always copy the W1AW FIeld Day bulletin for the club, but this year W1AW was only coming in S3 (as compared to a usual 20 over 9 in previous years). I managed to get it when they switched to PSK31. So I KNEW condtitions would SUCK something terrible, and I was 100% right!! With FT8 contacts counting 2 points each, that was the only logical choice to run.

    I am not a slacker, unlike many who come out to Field Day and sit around BSing the whole time. I put in full time operating. I am not a CW whiz, but I do great on SSB and manage to hold a frequency and run pileups, rather than Hunt and Peck.

    This year was much more relaxed on FT8. So when it came time to report on how our club did on Field Day, I was thoroughly BLASTED for choosing to run FT8! I defended my position!

    CONDITIONS were the WORST it has been in decades; I had been demoted to the 40ft tower and FT8 was the new TRENDY mode everyone wants to use. I am also the only one in the club who has a clue on how to run it.

    40 did great, but then with 2 ELEMENTS at 100ft, we darn well should have!
    Of course the people doing the RAGGING were the same ones who sat in the chairs drinking a cold one all day watching me operate!

    And why did they only make 6 CONTACTS on SSB after I left? that shows that my choice of FT8 was the wisest for the given situation. I thought I did a bang up job considering!

    Not that anyone really cares of how massive a score we get, as it is NOT A CONTEST (supposedly)!!!
    So as usual, if you count POINTS, I made more than the rest of the club combined (as usual) plus another 100pts for the FD bulletin. SO I AM THE SLACKER this year for running FT8?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    N1EN, NL7W, KA0HCP and 1 other person like this.
  2. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    well, you tried. FT8 is NOT an effective mode in a pseudo-contest like Field Day. As for the criticism, you've been around long enough to know that those that complain the most are the ones who work the least.
    N2EY and VE3CGA like this.
  3. W3ATV

    W3ATV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes Pat, you are a slacker. You turned on FT8 and walked away from the radio because the computer did it all for you. You probably went to White Castle, fed the cats, looked for an SX88 on Ebay, all while FT8 operated in robo-mode and did all the work itself. Did you even remeber to turn it off? It may be on its millionth contact by now!
  4. VE3CGA

    VE3CGA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    this behavior is the exact reason I will not belong to a club. It has nothing to do with you using FT8 but more with your success or being able to do something the "good ol boys" cant

    nice going being innovative and finding a tool to get contacts
    WZ7U likes this.
  5. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    They told me I have been shufffled off to maybe 15 or 10 meters next year. Knock my self out on FT8! Who is going to run 20SSB?
  6. W3ATV

    W3ATV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You should have tried six meters for a couple of hours. 50.313Mhz was slammin with FT8 sigs.
    KA0HCP and KZ4KX like this.
  7. W3ATV

    W3ATV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  8. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    All else being equal, it is true that FT8 (single threaded) can't support the same rates as CW or SSB.

    But all else is never equal.

    - Propagation is really bad
    - There's lots of 'fresh meat' in FT8
    - And the contest provides 2x points for FT8 over SSB
    then FT8 may very well have been the MOST effective mode for Field Day, at least this year. Because all of those factors were in play.

    The scores will tell us how true this might (or might not) be. I know that for our group, if we had to do it over again knowing how challenging the bands would be, we would have focused more on FT8, and it would have increased our score.
    NL7W, KA0HCP and N1VAU like this.
  9. W3MMM

    W3MMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd shuffle off to a movie or a ball game.
    K3KIC likes this.
  10. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    yes, this is about the only justification - you can work the same station 3 times on a single band if you add DIGI to the mix. . . FT8 isnt the optimum digi mode but if that's where the fish are then you need to go there to fish. . .

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