Ragged for using FT8 on Field Day!

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

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  1. W5INC

    W5INC Ham Member QRZ Page

    20Ms was open on the West coast very late here in SE Texas and I even worked a few SD stations. 1 had a very big signal, W6BD? 6 contacts all night doesn't sound very productive, but it does leave plenty of time to sharp shoot other club members. Maybe time for the Crest Chef to have his own FD setup, chili and all.
    WZ7U likes this.
  2. KD5UFQ

    KD5UFQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    In a real emergency FT8 is pointless. JS8, PSK31, PACTOR, etc. would be useful.

    As was said above, FD is a contest, nothing more. For chasing points, FT8 is useful but don't pretend it has any emergency application the way it is currently used.
    N3HGB, ND6M, K4AGO and 1 other person like this.
  3. K8BZ

    K8BZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Let me guess. The 20 meter ops were all Extra Class licensees, most of whom never got on HF and were more or less lost beyond the PTT button. I didn't have time for Field Day until I retired and found exactly what you describe, other than this was before FT8. A hand full tried to make contacts but were flummoxed after a few attempts. After 3 attempts at doing FD with a club I gave up and sponsored my own FD operation with other operators by invitation only who from personal experience with them I knew they knew how to operate. Yes, there was maybe one sun spot during the field day period, but 40m is open to somewhere 24/7 even now. CW operators still abound, but like me lots of them are fed up with the hot dog/BS marathons posing as a FD operation and opt out and maybe get on the air during FD as Class D.
    K4AGO likes this.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Exactly! It's not JUST a contest, but it IS a contest.

    Sure, if that's REALLY the case.

    But there's often more to the story. Like this:

    Many FD setups can't have more than one transmitter on the same band at the same time, either because of interference , or because the same rig and/or antenna is used for different modes.

    In such a situation, it sometimes happens that someone grabs a "hot" band and holds onto it without any coordination with others who want to do something else. Then, when the band dies, they give up the now-dead band, and those wanting to use it get slim pickins.

    For example, if the setup has only one 20 meter antenna, and it is used for SSB from the start of the contest until after it gets dark, 20 CW and digital aren't going to make many Qs.

    There are two possible solutions:

    1) Properly engineer the setup to permit more than 1 station on a band at a time (different modes, of course). This usually requires more antennas aloft, better rigs, more separation between antennas, etc. IOW, more stuff and more work.

    2) Coordinate use of the existing resources, through schedules or a system of rules. For example, each mode gets equal time when the band is usable.

    But, hey....that takes planning and commitment....
    N2SR, K4AGO, W4NNF and 1 other person like this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Why would you guess that?

    I'm an Extra Class licensee - been one for 49 years. I'm not lost beyond the PTT button.....

    BTDT. I've done big groups, small groups, solo efforts, and much more - since 1967. Including one 1D operation.

    I know exactly what you mean, and it's not just folks who don't know how to operate. There are folks who have all sorts of harebrained ideas, for example. Folks who are always in the way but never ask to help. Folks who hover around the operators and talk loudly, ignoring the "QUIET PLEASE" signs. Folks who insist on smoking around the operators, the food, the generators. Folks who don't know the rules, but think they do, and argue with you about them.

    Yep. We did OK on 40....

    Or they find a group that knows what they're doing. That's the real key.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    N2SR and K4AGO like this.
  6. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I disagree somewhat. FD is more than a contest.

    FD is also a publicity event, a social event, a demo, a training session, and an emergency SKILLS exercise. Or rather, it can be all those things.

    Note the emphasis on SKILLS. Yes, FT8 would be pretty useless in a real communications emergency. But, the SKILLS learned by setting up and operating a digital station "in the field" can be of value.
    N2SR and K4AGO like this.
  7. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yep. And an operator who's used to FT8 can pretty easily set up for PSK31 (or even good old RTTY), which would be very useful in an emergency. :)
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    WA6MHZ, K9OO and N2EY like this.
  8. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not sure about the logic here. Most of the Extras I know of, and certainly myself, spend most of their time on HF, on phone and CW. Those who were a little lost were the Techs. It wasn't the PTT that confused them, natch, but the differences in HF procedure. All of which took about 10-minutes to explain to them. :)

    If you don't like the way Field Day--which is a contest, and a social occasion, and an outreach event, and an emergency training exercise--is run by a particular club, you shouldn't operate with that group. That way everybody is happy. ;)
    KA0HCP, K4AGO and N2EY like this.
  9. W4NNF

    W4NNF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    You have Those Guys, too? :)

    Good thing about them? After gobbling a few burgers and annoying the operators they generally head for home pretty quickly.
    K4AGO likes this.
  10. N2EY

    N2EY XML Subscriber QRZ Page


    If that had been the case.

    73 de Jim, N2EY
    N2SR and W4NNF like this.

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