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Author Topic: FT8 and QSO locator information  (Read 1063 times)
G0OQX
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Posts: 20




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« on: May 08, 2019, 02:49:33 AM »

I've become a huge fan of FT8, but I have to admit that critics who complain about the lack of information exchanged in a QSO have a valid point. I'm a little upset therefore, particularly since this trend increased a lot at the beginning of this year, what little info we do exchange is being reduced still further by the growing number of stations that no longer transmit their locator.
It seems many hams prefer to dedicate their limited message length to ridiculous new vanity call signs often up to eleven letters/digits in length. OK, I can live with a few special event calls like this, but Spanish stations have extensively adopted this practice since January, and a similar practice has just been started (beginning of May?) by many Russian hams. If I could see any benefit or counter argument for the above practice I might be more sympathetic to this trend, but I cannot see any, so I think I'll avoid QSO's wherever possible with these stations from now on.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 02:58:00 AM by G0OQX » Logged
VA3VF
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Posts: 3008




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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 08:16:14 AM »

Are you talking about 6M? If not, what's the benefit of grid squares on HF? Most FT8 users want a contact, the more non-pertinent info is exchanged, the higher the chances the contact will not complete. Fine to add the grid to a CQ, but when replying to it, I would rather save a cycle.

The grid can be on the QSL card, on LoTW, on QRZ, on eHam...
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 08:22:10 AM by VA3VF » Logged
ND6M
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Posts: 848




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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 08:23:49 AM »

Are you talking about 6M? If not, what's the benefit of grid squares on HF?...edit.....

Didn't the arrl run some silly year long HF grid square contest?
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VA3VF
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Posts: 3008




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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 09:30:54 AM »

Are you talking about 6M? If not, what's the benefit of grid squares on HF?...edit.....

Didn't the arrl run some silly year long HF grid square contest?
Yes, but the grid is part of your LoTW configuration, unless it was skipped at setup. I don't know if the system also extracts it from the contact upload. I doubt it, since it's not a required field, or 90%+ of my contacts would not be accepted.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 09:33:35 AM by VA3VF » Logged
K0UA
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Posts: 4830




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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 09:52:18 AM »

Are you talking about 6M? If not, what's the benefit of grid squares on HF?...edit.....

Didn't the arrl run some silly year long HF grid square contest?
Yes, but the grid is part of your LoTW configuration, unless it was skipped at setup. I don't know if the system also extracts it from the contact upload. I doubt it, since it's not a required field, or 90%+ of my contacts would not be accepted.

I can confirm it is not required for the upload or match. I don't know why anyone would be upset about not having the grid as they can be looked up easily if you want them. I do agree the number of "special callsigns" have become "out of hand" lately.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
VA3VF
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« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 10:11:06 AM »

I do agree the number of "special callsigns" have become "out of hand" lately.
+1. I mostly ignore then, until the P5THISONEISFORREAL shows up. Grin
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G0OQX
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« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 10:36:05 AM »

One I saw last week was OL10ZUHZSCR. Glad I didn't work this one on CW Smiley

To the comment that my beef is no big issue because the locator can easily be looked up, true enough, but when you've just had twenty or so QSO's who is going to go to all that trouble? I accept that a locator is of no interest to some, but just as a lot of us like to keep a tally of new countries worked, after a few years on the air new countries become few and far between so keeping a tally of new four character locators helps me stay interested. A bit immature maybe, but we are all attracted to different aspects of this hobby.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2019, 10:40:11 AM by G0OQX » Logged
K0UA
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Posts: 4830




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« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 11:35:15 AM »

One I saw last week was OL10ZUHZSCR. Glad I didn't work this one on CW Smiley

To the comment that my beef is no big issue because the locator can easily be looked up, true enough, but when you've just had twenty or so QSO's who is going to go to all that trouble? I accept that a locator is of no interest to some, but just as a lot of us like to keep a tally of new countries worked, after a few years on the air new countries become few and far between so keeping a tally of new four character locators helps me stay interested. A bit immature maybe, but we are all attracted to different aspects of this hobby.

True enough, do you run JTalert? a wonderful adjunct to WSJT-x giving the locations fo the stations decoded and color codes for worked B4 etc. It will also keep track (as long as you update it) of the wanted entities and sound visual and audible alerts when something new comes along, including grid squares if you set it up that way.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
G0OQX
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2019, 11:49:12 AM »

One I saw last week was OL10ZUHZSCR. Glad I didn't work this one on CW Smiley

To the comment that my beef is no big issue because the locator can easily be looked up, true enough, but when you've just had twenty or so QSO's who is going to go to all that trouble? I accept that a locator is of no interest to some, but just as a lot of us like to keep a tally of new countries worked, after a few years on the air new countries become few and far between so keeping a tally of new four character locators helps me stay interested. A bit immature maybe, but we are all attracted to different aspects of this hobby.

True enough, do you run JTalert? a wonderful adjunct to WSJT-x giving the locations fo the stations decoded and color codes for worked B4 etc. It will also keep track (as long as you update it) of the wanted entities and sound visual and audible alerts when something new comes along, including grid squares if you set it up that way.

Thanks for that. Yes, I used to run JTalert, but having set up WSJT-X on a new laptop, JTalert went by the wayside and I forgot about it (my excuse is I'm 67 now and such brainfogs are becoming more frequent these days). I've made a note to have another go with JTalert although I'm not sure it can come up with locators that aren't transmitted.
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K0UA
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Posts: 4830




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« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2019, 12:22:02 PM »

One I saw last week was OL10ZUHZSCR. Glad I didn't work this one on CW Smiley

To the comment that my beef is no big issue because the locator can easily be looked up, true enough, but when you've just had twenty or so QSO's who is going to go to all that trouble? I accept that a locator is of no interest to some, but just as a lot of us like to keep a tally of new countries worked, after a few years on the air new countries become few and far between so keeping a tally of new four character locators helps me stay interested. A bit immature maybe, but we are all attracted to different aspects of this hobby.

True enough, do you run JTalert? a wonderful adjunct to WSJT-x giving the locations fo the stations decoded and color codes for worked B4 etc. It will also keep track (as long as you update it) of the wanted entities and sound visual and audible alerts when something new comes along, including grid squares if you set it up that way.

Thanks for that. Yes, I used to run JTalert, but having set up WSJT-X on a new laptop, JTalert went by the wayside and I forgot about it (my excuse is I'm 67 now and such brainfogs are becoming more frequent these days). I've made a note to have another go with JTalert although I'm not sure it can come up with locators that aren't transmitted.

I think it can. Because it operates off of its own database which you update manually by downloading it again when there is a new one Usually about 2 a month.  I think it scans LOTW and perhaps other databases to keep a database of all active FT8 users.  Not 100 percent sure how that works. But the software is very cool and useful if you are working towards awards.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4830




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« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2019, 12:24:55 PM »

be sure to get all 3 pieces.. The program itself, the database and the sound files.  The sound files seem to never change, but the database changes and the program changes fairly fast to keep up with bugfixes and things that change with WSJT-x
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
Member

Posts: 4830




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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2019, 12:30:09 PM »

Thanks for reminding me: Smiley   I was two versions behind myself !

http://hamapps.com/
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
AA4PB
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Posts: 15067




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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2019, 01:45:23 PM »

You've got to be careful with automatic lookup of station grid squares. For example, PSKReporter looks up the station's street address of record in the FCC database in order to plot his location on the map. On 6M I heard a W6 station running +0dB giving a grid square of FM18 (local to me). However, PSKReporter shows him located in California (his home of record). Stations really should transmit their current grid square because some may not be operating from their home grid square.
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Bob  AA4PB
Garrisonville, VA
G0OQX
Member

Posts: 20




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« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2019, 03:00:34 PM »

You've got to be careful with automatic lookup of station grid squares. For example, PSKReporter looks up the station's street address of record in the FCC database in order to plot his location on the map. On 6M I heard a W6 station running +0dB giving a grid square of FM18 (local to me). However, PSKReporter shows him located in California (his home of record). Stations really should transmit their current grid square because some may not be operating from their home grid square.


Don't get me started on this topic. I couldn't believe it when the USA decided they didn't want to continue with numbers designating states of operation. I would go as far as saying that this was the time when the rot started and any logical and lasting system of call sign identifiers was abandoned. The US change was closely followed by many countries (mainly European) exploring their ITU allocations to adopt new calls totally different to the traditional ones so that they appeared to be exotic DX. It probably worked for a few weeks until everybody got used to it. Add to this certain licensing authorities who totally messed up their records and you get something like the UK that went from G to 2E0 to M. (Apologies to 2E0 and M call sign holders, nothing personal).
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WO7R
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Posts: 4117




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« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2019, 01:30:50 AM »

Grids aren't a big problem.

1.  The don't count much for awards.

2.  If they do count (stations tend to know when this is true), they tend to be specified in the ADIF and you get it for awards purposes from the match.  If not, it does not matter if you got it over the air, it's not part of the confirmation anyway.

Is this item going to be the next "signal report"?  You know, the absolutely vital and important thing (according to some) and the I don't care a fig by others?

If they QSO you without the grid it just isn't the end of the world.  You either get the grid in the LOTW, eQSL or physical card or your do not.

You do realize that many a physical card never carried a grid square -- some still do not.  Nor would it appear in any ordinary QSO field on a QSL card.  If they pre-print it on the card, you get it.  Otherwise not.  So far as I know, nobody has ever complained when they do not.
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