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Author Topic: Well, That was Short Lived  (Read 4443 times)

Posts: 1209

« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2017, 10:18:13 AM »

As with almost all areas of life, the more you do it, the better you are at it. Well in most cases?

Obie N5VYS

Posts: 463

« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2017, 10:20:51 AM »

Sounds like too much automation for serious DX'ing.
Good luck Tom, and be safe. Smiley

Take Care

Posts: 2695

« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2017, 10:21:13 AM »

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).

Definitely not "most".  I work too much good DX for it to be "most".  A lot?  I'll grant you that.  But it isn't as bad as you say.

Everyone is still learning, but most who have hung around long enough have figured out that the two schemes cited above are being used by the rarer DX stations.

And, I certainly have logged a lot of DX because I understand how this works.  Success will breed imitation.  It already is.

Posts: 509

« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2017, 10:42:20 AM »


Assuming the station WSJT-X responded to was calling you on your transmit frequency, then it is quite possible that QRM was preventing the decodes needed to complete the QSO.  I'd say 75% of ops know to call split, but that smaller percentage that repeat calls on your transmit frequency really can screw things up.  In auto mode, I think WSJT-X responds to the first decoded signal - though I would love to see an option where it responds to the first decoded signal that is not your transmit frequency.  Otherwise it's more the luck of the draw unless you are manually selecting stations to respond to.

There are a couple VR2's QRV all the time on FT8, VR2XYL being one of them, so I would think the demand wouldn't be as high especially in Asia.  VR2XYL has been workable from the East Coast on 20m at times.  A5A has also been active on FT8, though seemingly not to NA.

CW is definitely more fun, and you can run guys a lot faster.  I've been quite active on FT8 recently.  I'll say it's unique, and VERY popular right now.  90% of it is mind numbing mouse clicks.  The last 10% are tricks of the trade that can land you a QSO with something rare that you will otherwise miss.  That last 10% which is skill based is still fun, but from the DX side, FT8 can get mind numbing while you wait to complete one QSO and you are decoding 10 more all calling you and waiting for their turn.  I operated for two weeks on the DX side as WH7AA using the big 20m stack at KH6YY and it got mind numbing quick once the "it's cool being DX" factor wears off.  As a CW DXer guy, I prefer being the hound to the fox on FT8.

K1JT recently released a white paper proposal with WSJT mods that would greatly increase rate by responding to multiple callers at once (if I am interpreting this correctly).  Something like that, if deemed valid for DXCC, would make FT8 a viable mode for big, 3Y scale DXpeditions to operate in comparison to RTTY.  There are tricks (such as RR73 vs RRR and a separate 73) to make FT8 faster yet, but it's not quite up there to RTTY rates.



Posts: 327


« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2017, 02:36:55 PM »

One little tidbit that seems to get glossed over is how that "Call 1st" checkbox works.  If you're calling CQ it will automatically reply to the station calling you with the LOWEST frequency (left to right on the waterfall).  If you indicate UP or DN in your CQ then most (but never all) will stop calling on your DF frequency.

John VE8EV


Posts: 2695

« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2017, 03:12:47 PM »

I have seen "UP" used with success.  DN is not needed.  Most stations figure out that "UP" (in a 13 character message) means "anywhere but here".

I have also seen a very few stations experiment with a "real" UP.  They listen near the top of the FT8 region and decode FT8 into the JT65 region.  Not sure I really want to endorse that (all the DX station would have to do is put their "base" frequency up a KHz or two from the band plan), but I have seen it done at least once.

Sometimes, just sitting near the top or bottom of the range works wonders.  A lot of rigs get marginal near the band edge and that could give you a relatively clearer frequency.  You might try going down a KHz from the official frequency, setting your offset to (say) 1200 (much higher and it's "why bother" -- but it becomes 200 in the official range, done this way) and see what happens.

Posts: 184

« Reply #21 on: November 02, 2017, 03:31:48 PM »


The rule for me is, if the contact in the pileup from start to finish, takes longer then on SSB, then that mode is not for me.   So I guess this "flavor of the month" is not for me.


John V47JA

Posts: 2695

« Reply #22 on: November 02, 2017, 03:57:25 PM »

That's fine John.  You are the sovereign of your own time and your own station.  Nothing is worse than sitting by the rig, glumly operating something you don't like.

That said, a friendly warning.  This thing is exploding like nothing I have ever seen in 30 plus years on the air.

G7VJR (Clublog) was quoted as saying:

"In September 2017, the number of FT8 QSOs uploaded to Club Log was the same as CW and SSB combined."

FT8 is only around six months old.  Yet, it has managed that degree of success.

My contacts also suggest that substantial evolution of the software is to come.  If you don't like it now, check back every couple of months.  This thing keeps changing.

Posts: 826

« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2017, 04:48:48 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.
they said don miller (i might be wrong with his name) the great dxpeditioner used to do that  if it suit their style why not if could be very efficient.

re the stations crying not in the log i'm a little pistol i have sent in a busted call twice and was accepted both times. mostl i just move on

Posts: 5121

« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2017, 05:06:08 AM »

Tom, you gotta slow down your CW. It's likely I was hearing you on 30M this morning through extreme multipath, and I could guess you were working JA's and HL's etc., but it's almost completely speculation because I can't copy 40WPM through that kind of multipath.

The optimal speed for that kind of multipath is closer to 20WPM.

Posts: 1335

« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2017, 10:04:06 AM »

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

I used to think people didn't follow the DX station's instructions because they didn't understand the English language well enough. I always gave them the benefit of the doubt. But if it's W, VE, G, etc...  Grin Grin Grin

Marvin VE3VEE
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