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Author Topic: FT8 for Bouvet and Baker-Howland  (Read 2549 times)

Posts: 27

« on: September 04, 2017, 04:01:15 AM »

In my opinion this mode could be a game-changer for DXpeditions as we move towards the solar minimum.

Based on the experience VK had with South Sandwich and South Georgia, we might need a mode like JT/FT8 to reach Bouvet. Here’s an interesting stat - according to ClubLog, of almost 83,000 VP8SGI QSO’s, 26 were VK!… and it will be 2 years further down the cycle when Bouvet comes on (hopefully).

No doubt others may be concerned about BH in June/July from their part of the world.

I don’t know whether FT8 may be suitable for DXpeditions or not, but it has 2 big advantages:

- works at noisy, low signal levels
- almost no busted calls

Perhaps a QSO could be done in only 2 cycles, using split of course:

3Y0Z VK3GA -12
VK3GA 3Y0Z R-10

Perhaps FT8 could be used towards the end of DXpeditions, targeted towards those areas that are struggling to get in the log.

What I do know for sure is this - a single LoTW-confirmed 3Y0Z QSO on FT8 at -24dB beats a busted call at S9 on any other mode for sure!!

I’m just putting it out there for discussion, and would be interested in peoples thoughts, particularly from any DXpeditioners who may be on this forum.

73 Graham VK3GA

Posts: 2704

« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 07:12:49 PM »

I have indirect exposure to the development team.  They are looking at ways to make FT8 more usable for major DXpeditions.

Even now, the rate would not be terrible.  Max theoretical rate would be 40 QSOs/hr, which is hardly SSB or CW, but actually not too bad for many a RTTY DXpedition.  A real DXped would not be so perfect, so maybe 30 per hour.  That still is a lot for RTTY IME of watching it go by.

A few tweaks and we could imaginable see a rate closer to maybe max out at 60 per hour, 40 or 50 in practice.  That would be fully competitive.

We probably have to see some things, too, like having the DXped move off of the regular FT8 subband and into what is normally used for RTTY or something.  If the politics can be managed anyway.  Also the DX could work something like a regular split, moving a 3 KHz "window" above the base frequency for listening.

Will it be done?  Will we just live with the SW as we have it?  Stay tuned...

Posts: 25

« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2017, 12:20:57 AM »

A DX/pileup mode on FT8 would be very nice to have. FT8's regulated 15 seconds tx/rx sequence also allows for multiple simultaneous FT8 transmissions on a single band. On 20m the 14090-14099kHz segment seems rather empty and could provide space to 3 or 4 FT8 pileups by the same DX station. That would really boost the rate.

Posts: 27

« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2017, 07:02:37 PM »

Great news regarding a possible DXpedition Mode, thanks for sharing that info.

The Burundi team have decided to use FT8...

73 Graham VK3GA

Posts: 2704

« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2017, 07:11:31 PM »

Well, keep in mind that some of that was my speculation of what they might do.  And, my exposure is indirect.  I do not participate in the discussions.  This is all pretty second hand at best.

I have no more idea than you do what will actually happen.  They are a busy team and are being pulled in many directions by many groups.

Let is hope for something good, but let us not promise ourselves anything specific.  It is nice to know that at least our needs are being considered.
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