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Author Topic: Well, That was Short Lived  (Read 1948 times)
KC0W
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Posts: 273




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« on: November 01, 2017, 06:56:13 PM »

 Hello from Hong Kong.

 After making a grand total of 12 QSOs on FT8 I just disconnected the SignaLink & packed it away. My grand ambitions of DXing with FT8 didn't work out. This is (for me at least) way, way, way too frustrating of a mode to run pileups with. There's a slight chance I'll give it another try from Bhutan next month but I'm not gonna hold my breath.   

                                                                 Tom VR2/KC0W

         
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N0UN
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Posts: 254


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« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 07:00:03 PM »

Hello from Hong Kong.

 After making a grand total of 12 QSOs on FT8 I just disconnected the SignaLink & packed it away. My grand ambitions of DXing with FT8 didn't work out. This is (for me at least) way, way, way too frustrating of a mode to run pileups with. There's a slight chance I'll give it another try from Bhutan next month but I'm not gonna hold my breath.  

                                                                 Tom VR2/KC0W

          

Don't blame you one bit.  I made one Q on FT-8 (rather I didn't do anything), saved the screenshot, then chucked it.

N0UN
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AB8MA
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Posts: 1057




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« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 07:02:29 PM »

HL5ZKJ must be a friend of yours. Most of the VR2/KC0W spots were from him. Smiley   
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N3QE
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Posts: 4880




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« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 07:04:43 PM »

My grand ambitions of DXing with FT8 didn't work out. This is (for me at least) way, way, way too frustrating of a mode to run pileups with.

Tom, running true pileups in FT8 is almost completely unexplored territory. I would not give up on it, because somebody has to figure it out for the rest of the world.

PSKReporter shows you were picked up on FT8 in Alaska, west coast US, and southern Europe.

I see you've been picked up by CW Skimmer in JA, SE Asia, and Oceania. That's pretty good too!
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KC0W
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Posts: 273




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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 08:38:00 PM »

 Ya, the JA's don't like to spot so when I'm wearing out the F1 key HL5ZKJ steps in.  Smiley

 Good to hear from you Wayne!!!   

                                                                Tom VR2/KC0W
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W6GX
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 11:14:57 PM »

I like the FT8 mode but the program (WSJT-X) can be improved in many ways.  For example, when one is calling a station the program will keep calling even if the station is responding to a different person.  Why it was designed this way I have no clue.  It just causes a lot of QRM.  The program should be modified so that it would only call after it decoded a 'R (signal report)' or '73', or 'CQ' from the station one is trying to work.

73,
Jonathan W6GX
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WO7R
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2017, 11:35:23 PM »

Quote
For example, when one is calling a station the program will keep calling even if the station is responding to a different person.  Why it was designed this way I have no clue.

The latest version does not have that problem.  It does kick you out of transmit mode if the "other station" comes back to someone else.  It kind of overdoes it (it will kick you out even when the DX sends 73 to the "other station") but at least the QRM issue you cite is much improved.
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WO7R
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2017, 11:41:32 PM »

Tom, PM me with your concerns if you like.  I have seen several stations (e.g. 5T, FO/M, VK9X, etc.) run pileups successfully.  I don't know if you can manage Bhutan, that would be new territory.  But you should be able to manage VR.  I've worked several from that location with FT8.

N3QE is giving good advice.  I'd give it a longer "go".  It is a bit of an acquired taste.

So far, I see two ways reasonably rare DX run stations in FT8.

Method one:  "Shotgunning".  The DX decides who to work and moves to the frequency of the chosen DXer.  Stations learn pretty quickly to spread out once you reward the first guy who tries you "off frequency".  After an initial CQ or two, and a move or two, you shouldn't have to call CQ yourself.  "Shotgunning" has a terrible reputation in ordinary DX work, but it actually works reasonably well for FT8.

Method two:  Split operation (turn off the TX=RX box).  You can, in this mode, sit on a frequency and work people at varying offsets.  Here, you may or may not CQ much, but it is easier to do so.

Since you didn't elaborate, I don't know what problems you had.

But, while some fairly rare places do manage to work simplex, it may not be the thing for you!  You're a popular fellow, you know.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2017, 11:45:47 PM by WO7R » Logged
KC0W
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Posts: 273




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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2017, 01:12:00 AM »

 Thanks Larry,

 The main problem is/was when a station is sending his "R" report back to me too many stations are still calling. Thus wiping the "R" exchange out. The QSO isn't completed and my computer continues asking for his "R" confirmation. Over & over again all while guys continue to call. My frustration level grows and grows until I can't take it anymore. One of the QSOs I made took just under 6 minutes to complete all while half of Japan kept on calling away. And Hong Kong is not a "rare" place at all.

 I have my doubts if guys would even understand how to work split on FT8. I'm no Einstein myself, but...............

 

 

                                                                    Tom VR2/KC0W     

                 
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KB8GAE
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Posts: 218




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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2017, 05:08:48 AM »

Tom, PM me with your concerns if you like.  I have seen several stations (e.g. 5T, FO/M, VK9X, etc.) run pileups successfully.  I don't know if you can manage Bhutan, that would be new territory.  But you should be able to manage VR.  I've worked several from that location with FT8.

I have seen stations working A5A on FT8.  S79KB and T2AR also seem to be handling pileups fairly well.

I am enjoying the mode and am astonished at the amount of activity on FT8.

W07R nailed it on the 2 ways to work the pileups. DXers need to learn to observe how the DX is working stations and set up for split or simplex on a clear frequency as needed.

Have a great trip Tom.

73's Rich KB8GAE
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K3NRX
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« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2017, 05:37:00 AM »

I equate this FT8 thing to IPA's (India Pale Ales) in the world of beer....You either get it, or ya don't.....I have tried IPAs...and I don't get it (BLECH!.. Lips sealed Tongue).....I haven't tried FT8 (or any of these digital modes) as i don't have the room in the shack for the lap top, but I have seen it in action on the you tubes.....and yes, like with the IPA's in the beer world, I don't get it.....I understand that FT8 is probably most beneficial if you have a small station with a weak signal like me, but that's where it ends......I wish I could filter out the FT8 Spots on the DX heat.....Good luck and God Bless You to those who get it.....because it just leaves me shaking my head.....

V
K3NRX

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KB3LIX
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Posts: 1671




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« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2017, 08:16:50 AM »

FT 8 does seem to be a bit of a strange bird to anyone new to the mode.

BUT
with time, it becomes more and more clear.

I'm still far out in left field trying to use the mode, but
it is coming SLOWLY.

Tom,
It would have been much better to have messed with FT8
BEFORE going to VR. Trying to use FT8 'right out of the box'
would REALLY be frustrating.

Don't give up, and as always....


GUD DX

I need all the places you are heading as ATNO, so keep an ear out,

PLEASE !!!!!!

 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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K8AC
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Posts: 1765




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« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2017, 08:34:41 AM »

Quote
The main problem is/was when a station is sending his "R" report back to me too many stations are still calling. Thus wiping the "R" exchange out.

One problem is that many or most folks operating FT8 today don't know that they can place their transmit frequency anywhere in the spectrum even if WSJT-X doesn't support split operation on their particular transceiver (mine isn't supported).  Another problem is that there simply isn't room in the 2.x kHz bandwidth to hold all the signals that would be calling in a pileup even if everyone operated split and didn't transmit on the DX frequency.  And then there are the guys who (regardless of mode) never seem to understand that they are not the station the DX has responded to, and they send a signal report as if they were.  This is interesting to see on a CW pileup with a spectrum scope.  You can easily count a dozen or more stations doing this every time the DX responds to a specific station. 

For DX calling purposes, it would be nice if you could set an option to NEVER call a station on his frequency, but rather have the software locate an empty frequency and set your transmit frequency to that.  But then you'd still have the problem of too narrow FT8 bandwidth. 
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N0UN
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Posts: 254


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« Reply #13 on: November 02, 2017, 08:46:31 AM »

And then there are the guys who (regardless of mode) never seem to understand that they are not the station the DX has responded to, and they send a signal report as if they were.  This is interesting to see on a CW pileup with a spectrum scope.  You can easily count a dozen or more stations doing this every time the DX responds to a specific station.

+1

Happens in SSB pileups all the time too.  I am stunned at how many times I hear it.  Can't do anything but shake my head.

Yet I see them crying in forums like this when they're not in the log.

"When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid"

DX station: "November zero something go ahead"
Stupid station: "NO, it's KEEEEEELO DELTA FOUR..."


 Good to hear from you Wayne!!!   

                                                                Tom VR2/KC0W

Hello Tom, lookin' for ya'!

N0UN
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 08:57:30 AM by N0UN » Logged

KD7HNN
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Posts: 60




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« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2017, 09:51:26 AM »

This morning I heard a California station, NT6 something working Europeans like crazy on 15m. He was working as fast as humanly possible given a 15 sec slot with what seemed to be modified macros. Sometimes he was working guys right after his 73 without calling CQ again so he must have a way of stacking the callers and keeping track of them. It was pretty impressive to watch.

So.. there is a way. Might just take practice.
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