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Author Topic: Is FT8 too easy? 62 DXCCs heard in 2 hours  (Read 1888 times)
HS0ZIB
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Posts: 632




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« on: January 12, 2018, 05:09:24 PM »

Just for fun, I sat my rig on 14074 USB, plugged in a non-resonant length of wire, and left the rig for 2 hours as JTDX decoded the signals.

After 2 hours, 62 countries/DXCCs were listed....

(By the way, in comparison tests between the latest versions of WSJT-X and JTDX, JTDX knocked the socks of WSJT-X in terms of the number of decoded signals).

I reckon if I left my set-up decoding for 24 hours, I'd break the 100 DXCC barrier.

Imagine my totals if I bothered putting up a decent antenna and actually 'worked' and optimised my set-up.

If it's this easy, at what stage does boredom set in?
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K0UA
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Posts: 1625




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« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2018, 05:37:49 PM »

Just for fun, I sat my rig on 14074 USB, plugged in a non-resonant length of wire, and left the rig for 2 hours as JTDX decoded the signals.

After 2 hours, 62 countries/DXCCs were listed....

(By the way, in comparison tests between the latest versions of WSJT-X and JTDX, JTDX knocked the socks of WSJT-X in terms of the number of decoded signals).

I reckon if I left my set-up decoding for 24 hours, I'd break the 100 DXCC barrier.

Imagine my totals if I bothered putting up a decent antenna and actually 'worked' and optimised my set-up.

If it's this easy, at what stage does boredom set in?

I think hearing the 100 countries might be possible in 24 hours.  BUT if you think you can work them all, I believe you will be disappointed.  Many operators live in high noise level areas, and are deaf as a post. If you live in a nice quiet rural location, you can hear a lot more than you can work.
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K0UA
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Posts: 1625




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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2018, 07:06:17 PM »

If FT8 is too easy for you.  Try working 50 states on JT65.  I have 9 to go, and the prognosis is not good.  Try working 100 countries on JT65.  Probably doable, but not easy.  If you don't believe me, just give it a try...
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N2RJ
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Posts: 2049




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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2018, 10:09:49 PM »

FT8 is effective but I agree it is wayyyy too easy.

JT65 has no auto sequence and one of my friends dubbed it the sandwich mode because you can go make a sandwich in between transmissions.

I still like CW for DXing but I am pleased to have picked up some new entities on FT8, especially Asian entities on 80 and 30.
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VA3VF
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Posts: 1105




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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2018, 06:41:08 AM »

As with almost everything in life, it depends.

Easier, yes. This is why its use has skyrocketed.

Too easy, no.

It's all dependent on your station and time availability.

For the retired ham with a 1kW linear, and monoband yagis, it's the end of the hobby.  Wink

For me, with limited radio time and station, FT8 brought the hobby back to life.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 06:52:06 AM by VA3VF » Logged
SV5DKL
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Posts: 25




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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2018, 07:02:57 AM »

Quote from:  link=topic=118666.msg1046772#msg1046772 date=1515854468
It's all dependent on your station and time availability.

For the retired ham with a 1kW linear, and monoband yagis, it's the end of the hobby.  Wink

For me, with limited radio time and station, FT8 brought the hobby back to life.

We have got over the limited radio time issue ;-)
So, regardless of one's station size, the robot will always be there, when that rare opening will happen.
Being curious now to see 2018 6m Marathon results ...

73
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VA3VF
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Posts: 1105




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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2018, 07:08:32 AM »

We have got over the limited radio time issue ;-)

 Not going there.  Grin Grin Grin
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NI0C
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Posts: 2947




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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2018, 08:43:21 AM »

According to the PSK Reporter displays, my station decodes 70-85 countries on FT8 every week.  As others have pointed out, just because you decode a station doesn't mean you can work it!  There are many things that can go wrong on a busy band when trying to complete a QSO with a new one.

I am frankly puzzled by discussions of so-called "robot" operations.  In my (admittedly limited) experience with FT8, DX'ing requires my full attention and intervention.  I wouldn't want it any other way.

73,
Chuck  NI0C
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VA3VF
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Posts: 1105




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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2018, 09:34:16 AM »

According to the PSK Reporter displays, my station decodes 70-85 countries on FT8 every week.  As others have pointed out, just because you decode a station doesn't mean you can work it!  There are many things that can go wrong on a busy band when trying to complete a QSO with a new one.

To add to what you just said. One real world, Joe '0.5% alcohol content' 6 pack example.

I bought a new IC-7300 this week. This is an upgrade for an IC-718 that died in December, after an Honorable 13 years of service. I pushed the old radio too hard, but it'll still have a meaningful life in a receiver only capacity.

Since getting the 7300, my jaw has been down, I push it up, but it drops again. What a radio! Why did I wait so long to upgrade? Easy answer, other life priorities.

Back to the topic. I just spent two hours on 20M this morning. Not one single contact completed. The band was as busy as I've seen. A much better radio, and still nothing. So, a good radio alone is no guaranty of success.

Power out. I'm limited to 25W. I could in theory afford a linear, but I won't do that at this time. There are other improvements possible before going that far.

Next weak link, the antenna. I use a Hustler 6BTV at ground level, with two random length radials. I could afford a better antenna as well, but that is not possible for other reasons. On the antenna front, I'll continue to be SOL.

The point again: Easier, yes. Too easy, NOOOOOO. There are other factors involved.

Noticed that I did not blame propagation, but it is a factor, like it or not.

Do not forget the old real estate maxim: location, location, location.

Robots, let's not go there. I'm not going to set one up. That would make it easier still, but no meaning to me.

To those with station limitations, ignore the 'too easy crowd', they likely have a station setup much better than yours. If they were not doing much better, it would put their operating skills in doubt.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 09:48:50 AM by VA3VF » Logged
VA3VF
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Posts: 1105




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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2018, 11:29:13 AM »

To add to what you just said. One real world, Joe '0.5% alcohol content' 6 pack example.

I bought a new IC-7300 this week. This is an upgrade for an IC-718 that died in December, after an Honorable 13 years of service. I pushed the old radio too hard, but it'll still have a meaningful life in a receiver only capacity.

Since getting the 7300, my jaw has been down, I push it up, but it drops again. What a radio! Why did I wait so long to upgrade? Easy answer, other life priorities.

Back to the topic. I just spent two hours on 20M this morning. Not one single contact completed. The band was as busy as I've seen. A much better radio, and still nothing. So, a good radio alone is no guaranty of success.

Power out. I'm limited to 25W. I could in theory afford a linear, but I won't do that at this time. There are other improvements possible before going that far.

Next weak link, the antenna. I use a Hustler 6BTV at ground level, with two random length radials. I could afford a better antenna as well, but that is not possible for other reasons. On the antenna front, I'll continue to be SOL.

The point again: Easier, yes. Too easy, NOOOOOO. There are other factors involved.

Noticed that I did not blame propagation, but it is a factor, like it or not.

Do not forget the old real estate maxim: location, location, location.

Robots, let's not go there. I'm not going to set one up. That would make it easier still, but no meaning to me.

To those with station limitations, ignore the 'too easy crowd', they likely have a station setup much better than yours. If they were not doing much better, it would put their operating skills in doubt.

No problems making contacts this afternoon.

I was being heard this morning, as shown on hamspots.net, by the way.
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AA2UK
Member

Posts: 514




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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2018, 12:32:34 PM »

Working FT8 is so EZ even a Caveman could do it....
Bill, AA2UK
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K0UA
Member

Posts: 1625




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« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2018, 10:26:19 PM »

To add to what you just said. One real world, Joe '0.5% alcohol content' 6 pack example.

I bought a new IC-7300 this week. This is an upgrade for an IC-718 that died in December, after an Honorable 13 years of service. I pushed the old radio too hard, but it'll still have a meaningful life in a receiver only capacity.

Since getting the 7300, my jaw has been down, I push it up, but it drops again. What a radio! Why did I wait so long to upgrade? Easy answer, other life priorities.

Back to the topic. I just spent two hours on 20M this morning. Not one single contact completed. The band was as busy as I've seen. A much better radio, and still nothing. So, a good radio alone is no guaranty of success.

Power out. I'm limited to 25W. I could in theory afford a linear, but I won't do that at this time. There are other improvements possible before going that far.

Next weak link, the antenna. I use a Hustler 6BTV at ground level, with two random length radials. I could afford a better antenna as well, but that is not possible for other reasons. On the antenna front, I'll continue to be SOL.

The point again: Easier, yes. Too easy, NOOOOOO. There are other factors involved.

Noticed that I did not blame propagation, but it is a factor, like it or not.

Do not forget the old real estate maxim: location, location, location.

Robots, let's not go there. I'm not going to set one up. That would make it easier still, but no meaning to me.

To those with station limitations, ignore the 'too easy crowd', they likely have a station setup much better than yours. If they were not doing much better, it would put their operating skills in doubt.

No problems making contacts this afternoon.

I was being heard this morning, as shown on hamspots.net, by the way.

Crowding on the bands (especially 20 and 40) is way up, I think due to the grid-chase thing. I started on it, and I have days I am interested in it and days I am not.  My local friend is whipping my butt Bigtime, and I can't seem to catch up to him. So I don't know if I want to buckle down and catch up or throw up my hands. I still haven't decided and January is half over.  What about you guys, are you going to really get into it, or not?

Vince, I was like you on the 7300, but it only took me about a day of operating to shove the 756pro3 to the side and make my little "backup" rig the primary rig.
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WD4ELG
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Posts: 209




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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2018, 09:36:39 AM »

AA2UK, I resemble that Caveman remark   Grin
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AA2UK
Member

Posts: 514




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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2018, 12:46:54 PM »

AA2UK, I resemble that Caveman remark   Grin
I was hoping someone would notice...
Actually I think FT8 is a great mode.
Bill, AA2UK
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NI0C
Member

Posts: 2947




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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2018, 02:10:24 PM »


Crowding on the bands (especially 20 and 40) is way up, I think due to the grid-chase thing. I started on it, and I have days I am interested in it and days I am not.  My local friend is whipping my butt Bigtime, and I can't seem to catch up to him. So I don't know if I want to buckle down and catch up or throw up my hands. I still haven't decided and January is half over.  What about you guys, are you going to really get into it, or not?

I'm like you-- lukewarm about the grid chase.  I'd much rather use my time in chasing new countries.  Once in a while I get on and call CQ on FT8, mostly to satisfy others needs for my (not very rare) grid. 
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