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Author Topic: Is FT8 "Automatic Digital Control" as defined by the FCC?  (Read 6915 times)
VA3VF
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Posts: 1957




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« Reply #90 on: April 14, 2018, 04:53:16 PM »

And yes, there is more to it. He feels that FT8 has cheapened his DXCC achievements. On this aspect, he is not alone here on eHam. That's a valid opinion, whether one agrees with it or not.

That much, I got.  I was hoping we, as a group, could imagine SV5DKL had never built his bot for a moment, because it feels like today's discussion was almost all about SV5DKL and his implementation and demeanor, not about the underlying issues.  And I think he has exposed a legitimate issue: FT8 is automated to a fare-thee-well already, minus a mouse click, and probably people have been quietly automating it for some time.  If that bothers others enough that they want to ban the mode altogether, we should probably just pass a new rule against automation and be done with it.  It sounds like that part would attract little objection, most likely.

But maybe that's not even really the problem.  Maybe the problem really is that FT8 is too easy.  For that, I got nothin'.

While it may sound contradictory, I supported him when he first talked about his bot months ago. He published a YouTube video showing how he did it, and I enjoyed watching it.

Hamradio as a technical hobby cannot, and should not, exclude any new development or way of doing things. That said, just because something is doable, does not mean it has to be done. Most people do not feel that FT8 bots are the way to go. WSJT-X was not intended to be used this way. The fact that it can, does not mean it should. Those that want to use it in a different way do not need to ask others for permission. They only answer to their conscience, if that.

He made his case sometime ago. There were different reactions, of course. But to keep bringing it up here, when nobody is trying to make bots legal, does not make any sense, unless the goal is to simply 'stir the pot'.

The opening message in this thread mentioned a possible petition to the FCC for clarification. This is the way to do it, if you feel you have case.

He basically throws a grenade in the outhouse and disappears, only to appear again months later, to throw another one.  

As for being easy to make contacts with FT8, it's also easier to make SSB and CW contacts when you have a full length monoband Yagi atop a 100 ft tower and a kilowatt, as opposed to QRP and a random wire for an antenna. What do you want to 'outlaw' next?  Wink
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 05:13:59 PM by VA3VF » Logged
N1UR
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Posts: 88




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« Reply #91 on: April 14, 2018, 05:27:49 PM »

As the one who started this thread, yes it was about getting clarification of ruling from the FCC.  I still plan to do that.  But having heard opinions, done some investigation, and had discussion with K1JT.  The DXpedition version of FT8 - in my opinion - is automatic digital from the fox perspective.  I believe K1JT agrees with me.  Which is why he shifted the last test to a frequency where automatic digital is legal. 

From the Hound perspective and normal FT8, the actual program delivered by K1JT does not constitute automatic digital however as has been demonstrated my more than one example, it is straightforward to use it in automatic digital mode  As users question "why do I have to keep hitting enter" and "I worked the DX while I was up getting another coffee" - I think people are kidding themselves to think its not heading in the "how do I automate this so I can watch the game instead of sitting at the radio".

I plan to petition the FCC to better clarify how their definition of automatic digital and control through software so as to give proper guidance to new digital modes as to where such implementations are allowed under part 97.  I hope that K1JT will assist in this effort by changing the recommended FT8 frequencies to those that comply with part 97 for automatic digital control.

Ed  N1UR
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KJ4Z
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Posts: 1220




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« Reply #92 on: April 14, 2018, 05:49:48 PM »

I plan to petition the FCC to better clarify how their definition of automatic digital and control through software so as to give proper guidance to new digital modes as to where such implementations are allowed under part 97.  I hope that K1JT will assist in this effort by changing the recommended FT8 frequencies to those that comply with part 97 for automatic digital control.

It would probably not be too unreasonable to also petition for expanded frequency bands where automated control is allowable.  I think those that exist now are quite narrow.  I would like to see new modes and options flourish -- with clear rules.  The question of whether such QSOs should count for any particular award is entirely separate.
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VE3VEE
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Posts: 1818




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« Reply #93 on: April 14, 2018, 05:53:14 PM »

Re: "He feels that FT8 has cheapened his DXCC achievements"

I think that's a positive development, isn't it? As SSB "cheapened the DXCC achievement" of AM operators, this new FT8 mode is doing the same because it makes it possible for people to achieve more with less. Now even the "little pistols" can work DX, even the guy in the middle of a city QRM has a chance to work some new ATNOs he might have not had before on other modes.

- I'm all for FT8.
- I haven't yet put much thought into it, but at the moment I'm not too much concerned about automation.
- I don't think an SSB or a CW QSO require much more skill or effort on the part of operators. On CW, I hit the F4-key on my keyboard to send my call sign, then I hit the F2-key to send "rr 5nn tu" and the QSO is over. Successful DX-ing on FT8 mode still requires you to locate a good TX frequency, and it may even take a few more mouse clicks than a CW QSO.  Grin

I can't believe this discussion has been going on for this long. Don't like FT8? Don't do it.  Grin

Marvin VE3VEE
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KJ4Z
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Posts: 1220




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« Reply #94 on: April 14, 2018, 06:00:09 PM »

I can't believe this discussion has been going on for this long. Don't like FT8? Don't do it.  Grin

It's because everybody already worked 3B7A and there's nothing else on.  Summer doldrums are here.  These threads always flourish between the equinoxes!   Smiley
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VA3VF
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Posts: 1957




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« Reply #95 on: April 14, 2018, 06:05:17 PM »

It's because everybody already worked 3B7A and there's nothing else on.

I did not, shame on me. Shocked

I wish 3B7A would setup an automated station for those of us, unskilled hams, to increase our chances of cheating our way into the Honor Roll. Grin
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KM4SII
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Posts: 636




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« Reply #96 on: April 14, 2018, 06:09:36 PM »

It's because everybody already worked 3B7A and there's nothing else on.
I did not, shame on me. Shocked
Same here... just almost no free time to call them with all my school work, testing, and such  Cry
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VA3VF
Member

Posts: 1957




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« Reply #97 on: April 14, 2018, 06:18:32 PM »

Same here... just almost no free time to call them with all my school work, testing, and such  Cry

Fear not, there is always 'tomorrow'. You are well on your way to the Honor Roll. What are you going to do next if you get there too soon? Wink

Take care of 'business' first, hamradio is not going anywhere, unless Region 1 has more up their sleeve. Grin Grin
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KJ4Z
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Posts: 1220




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« Reply #98 on: April 14, 2018, 06:30:24 PM »

Sorry, guys.  At least it’s 3B7 and not 3Y0.  After a ten year break, I got back on the air a week after FT5ZM.  You will both probably work 3B7 long before I get FT/Z!
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