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FT8 is (comments please!)

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Survey Comments

Bands are dead???

FT8 became popular because "the bands are dead". It's funny that on any contest weekend, tons of SSB/CW signals suddenly pop out of nowhere.
Posted by K7JQ on 2019-07-26

Better than sliced bread

I have been licensed since 1952 and have been on most of the bands except EME. With the sun spot cycle at the bottom, FT8 has brought many contacts and excitement. Recently I got on 6 with a three element beam up about 39 feet. What a blast! Countries falling all over themselves to talk to me. WAS in 6 months and 70 countries so far. To make it more personal, I have QRZ on my phone and can find out quickly who I am talking to. I can send the DX station an E mail, and look him up on his QRZ page.
FT8 is not the answer to all, but it sure beats tuning "dead" bands. N6KP
Posted by N6KP on 2019-07-24

Better than sliced bread

I have been licensed since 1952 and have been on most of the bands except EME. With the sun spot cycle at the bottom, FT8 has brought many contacts and excitement. Recently I got on 6 with a three element beam up about 39 feet. What a blast! Countries falling all over themselves to talk to me. WAS in 6 months and 70 countries so far. To make it more personal, I have QRZ on my phone and can find out quickly who I am talking to. I can send the DX station an E mail, and look him up on his QRZ page.
FT8 is not the answer to all, but it sure beats tuning "dead" bands. N6KP
Posted by N6KP on 2019-07-24

FT8, RTTY, etc

I've enjoyed learning and playing a little bit with FT8. I do
believe that as propagation improves the popularity will decline
some. With all the macros involved with RTTY now days, it
really isn't much different and look where we are with RTTY
now. It's a contest only mode for all practical purposes. I can
see FT8/FT4 becoming that at some point. It has brought some
people back to radio and caused interest in others to either
upgrade or get their license, which is a great thing. I do find
myself looking at the signals in FT8 and when they are strong,
which isn't too often these days, switching over and making
contact the old fashioned way. I've had a goal to make at least
one contact in every mode possible. Some modes have lasted
such a short period of time this will probably be impossible. If
you like CW or SSB then you will keep tuning and/or calling CQ
making those contacts, but when no one answers, FT8 is fun
too.
Posted by W5BT on 2019-07-24

Oh, Let Them Have At It...!

I've come to the conclusion that it's all just as well that a
certain segment of the Ham population prefers to make
"QSOs" staring at a computer screen, rather than actually
engaging themselves in any real, person-to-person
connection...

The dynamics of human interaction can be challenging enough
as they are --- one has to learn the ability of "reading" another
person in order to be successful at truly enjoyable social
intercourse...that's a daunting enough task, reading body
language when face-to-face --- now, multiply that complexity
many times over when all you know of the guy who answers
your "CQ" is the sound of his voice, or his skill at sending CW.

If the monosyllable "...Wha' dat...? Huh...?" crowd feels more at
home on FT8, rather than CW, good on him / her! I probably
never would have had much --- if anything --- in common with
them, or to talk about, in the first place, anyway...
Posted by VE3CUI on 2019-07-21

Convinced me to upgrade.

Have not been very active for a while but ft8 on 6 meters
peaked my excitement and upgraded to general just to
transmit on 20 & 40 meters ft8.
Posted by K9SDS on 2019-07-21

Nothing for me on FT8

Ham radio is not about contests or DX pileups or DX exhibitions to me. It is not about spending hours upon hours on the radio.

I have a demanding career in the Silicon Valley with a huge commute. Ham radio is simplistic for me. Gather on Saturdays on 80 meters with some friends in a rag chew for 90 minutes at most. Go off and continue my life.

To me ham radio is for people that have copious amount of time on their hands. Do I like ham radio. Yes, I do. Less now that the license has been diluted by lowered license standards. I do enjoy my Saturday mornings as a reward for my intense week in the Silicon Valley. I also have other hobbies, so I have to balance that with my other interests in life and my YL.

For you that are retired and have all of this spare time on your hands and you have no other interests in life and need to make contact after contact with no personal interaction about who that person is, then FT8 is right for you.

I joined the amateur ranks to learn about people from all walks of life and different life experiences. Not you are 5/9 QRZ or I had a run rate of "whatever" or I made "X" amount of contacts yesterday on FT8. Nope, not for me.

Good old fashioned rag chew conversation with old friends and possible new friends that drop by the frequency during our rag chew.

73
Posted by KB6QXM on 2019-07-21

Another tool in the toolbox

FT8 is just another mode, one more tool to use or not. Some will like it, some won't; but it is a way to be active in the hobby and may bring others in.
Posted by W5FIX on 2019-07-20

FT8 PATHETIC

It is for those whom are to LAZY to actually
work a station or earn a contact.When two
computers are chatting that is NOT Amateur
Radio it is computer chat.It has been proven
that it will operate all by itself once it
started.So the computer can make contacts
24/7 while the so called Control Operator is
at the store,child's ball games,sitting in
the Lazy Boy,Fishing or most any other
activity & the computer can earn WAS,WAC,
DXCC & many other awards & a Control
Operator is not present.WOW now that is
Amateur Radio worth bragging about.I keep
reading where Hams say it helps them make
contacts when they in reality are NOT making
ANY contacts.They can't understand what the
computers they sit in front of are saying or
hearing so the computers are doing
everything.How is that making a contact? It
is a Bad Joke & it will only get worse as
FT4 & future operatorless programs come
along for even more LAZY contacts.There has
never been any contact worth letting a
computer do it for me since my computer does
not have a call sign so it should not be on
the air making contacts & I got into the
Hobby for ME to make contacts not a
computer.
Posted by W4KVW on 2019-07-20

FT8

I prefer CW, I call CQ and tune the band, if no answer or
signals heard I will go to FT8. Still have more CW
contacts then FT8. I also will read when using FT8.
Posted by W9OD on 2019-07-18

FT8 Woohoo!

I was off ham radio pretty much for 10 years. Then in Feb. 2018 got set up for FT8. Since then I've made more than 6,000 contacts, worked 20 & 30 M WAS, have 8 left on 160 and 1 on both 40 & 80 M, plus over 50 new ones for DXCC. I'm 71 and having the time of my life with it. Bottom of the solar cycle? Not phasing me in the least!
Posted by WU7X on 2019-07-17

re: "FT8 Addiction"

"It makes ham radio more inclusive."

I fail to see why ham radio needs to be "more inclusive." Sure sounds like more SJW Pablum.

And it's odd how some folks with this supposed "mic fright" have no difficulty talking on a telephone or verbally commanding Alexa or Siri...
Posted by WN1MB on 2019-07-15

FT8 Contacts

I am amazed FT8 contacts count as a QSO. I consider it
a beacon mode only.
Posted by AB9TX on 2019-07-14

FT8 Addiction?

Ive used some of the other related modes
for vhf meteor scatter and they were
great. FT8 has this slot machine feel
with quick payoffs, making it exciting.
Its especially great for technical folks
that love radio but don't like to talk to
people or have mic fright. It makes ham
radio more inclusive. I think its a good
thing.
Posted by N8XD on 2019-07-14

FT8 Addiction?

Ive used some of the other related modes
for vhf meteor scatter and they were
great. FT8 has this slot machine feel
with quick payoffs, making it exciting.
Its especially great for technical folks
that love radio but don't like to talk to
people or have mic fright. It makes ham
radio more inclusive. I think its a good
thing.
Posted by N8XD on 2019-07-14

Great mode

FT8 is here to stay. I use it every day. More
folks should try it before they knock it.
:)
Posted by KJ3LR on 2019-07-12

Clicked Other

Never really had any interest in FT8.
Posted by AE6YB on 2019-07-11

Just another brick in the wall

FT-8? No thank you.

All in all it's just another brick in the wall: the increasingly tall and thick wall of silly gadgetry that further isolates the two humans at each end of the communications link.

For this dinosaur, I must have more, direct interaction with my radio. I like pounding a key, thwacking a bug, or deftly and gently playing the paddles. I like tuning the receiver, tweaking the controls, and leaning into the headphones to dig out a signal. I like decyphering the Morse in my head and transferring the letters and numbers onto paper through my fingers grasping a Ticonderoga 1388-1.

I don't need a computer or software to do any of that. I don't need, nor do I want any AI making my radio contacts for me.
Posted by WN1MB on 2019-07-09

It's jealousy

The OM who hate FT8 hate it because it
allows people with minimal antennas to do
what they do with expensive towers.
I see lots of complaints about the lack of
ragchews but I hear no less ragchews now
than what occurred during the last peak.
That complaint is all baloney.
In a few years when the cycle is on the
rise and the airwaves are full of people
on SSB these same hams will complain about
the QSO parties, Contests, Dexpeditions,
and the crowds on the weekend. If you
don't like FT 8 get on SSB. It's better
than we think.
I'll do FT 8 as a new challenge until
propagation improves. It at least keeps
the spectrum in use,
Posted by W4IOA on 2019-07-09

Just another way to not interact with another
human being.
Posted by KG4RUL on 2019-07-08

This hobby is going to hell.
Posted by W7WQ on 2019-07-08

ft8 et al

I like the idea of working stations in the current low sunspot cycle BUT digital changes too often, You get all set up for FT8 and they bring out a new version not compatible with the older versions now FT4 is in beta and I guess everyone will switch to that. I tried PSK 31 in 2002 and liked it but quit when some one told me PACTOR was better. I guess digital will never settle down.

For now I am sticking with traditional modes.

Dave K4JRB
Posted by K4JRB on 2019-07-07

FT8

Ham radio, it's NOT!
Posted by W0CKI on 2019-07-07

Long distance WiFi

Just like everything else in life, computers have taken
over ham radio. Notice that the majority of questions on
the forums revolve around radio/computer hookups and
compatibility...."How do I get my radio to talk to my
computer?". Now the thing is remote capability....sitting
in your backyard, or the next continent, operating radio
at home or a paid remote site with your iPad or
smartphone.I guess that's the direction where it's all
going...can't stop technology.

As for me?...I prefer sitting in my own station, fiddling
with buttons and knobs,"listening" for stations,
transmitting into antennas on my own property, and
actually talking (or contesting) to someone else on CW
and SSB. And I live in a HOA antenna restricted
community.

But, your preference and situation might vary. Just enjoy
what you like and have fun!


Posted by K7JQ on 2019-07-07

Whatever!

Remember the popular saying..."If you can't hear 'em,
you can't work 'em? Well, now you CAN work 'em if you
can't hear 'em!

You can do whatever you want, but for me...boring, no
thanks. It takes away the human element of ham
radio...using your ears and your brain to communicate
with fellow hams. Unfortunately, FT8 takes away from
the more traditional modes even when propagation is
good. Not all FT8 signals are below the noise level, and
folks are still using legal limit to crush the small guy
trying to use this mode due to power/antenna limitations.
The whole band is "dead", but you hear S9 FT8 tones at
xx.075 MHz when they can easily use phone or CW to
actually "talk" to others by voice or decoding CW in your
brain!

But then again, what do I know. I'm old (60 years in HR),
and I still use a flip-phone! I won't carry anything in my
pocket that has a higher IQ than me :-).
Posted by K7JQ on 2019-07-06

Nothing special

FT8 would really be something special if the
year were 1970 or even 1980.....but in 2019
its really nothing to get excited about
because its not a major or really even
notable accomplishment nowadays because of
modern technology. Personally, I get much
more enjoyment out of a good RTTY, PSK or CW
conversation.
Posted by K7LZR on 2019-07-06

Joe created a monster

As much as K1JT has done for Ham Radio digital communications, I think FT8 is a miss. Geez... just sit there and check every so often to see who your station contacted while you were reading your favorite magazine or whatever...
I have to admit it does a hell of a job during contests but still, there ought to be some human component.
Just my humble opinion, not worth $.02, I'm sure.
Posted by K7NG on 2019-07-06

-24dB That is what FT8 is all about

It is all about the ability to decode at
-24dB below the noise floor, that is key
attribute, which keeps some type of
communications (DX) during the challenging
times..

Try JS8, if you like to have a QSO, (At
-24dB)

You simply can't beat that, even the might
CW! (I like CW as well), C U on the band
NN2X
Posted by NN2X on 2019-07-06

Each to their own.

One would thing during a low in propagation one would want the "best bang for their buck!" New modes are popular until operator discovers there are many more opportunities for contacts by more popular modes. I suppose, as with SSB and CW, there's enough to go around. N1KWW
Posted by N1KWW on 2019-07-04

FT8?

From KD8BS.. ""it (FT8) really grew on me.""

So will a fungus.
Posted by K0CBA on 2019-07-03

FT8

At first I didn't like the idea it of FT8.
But, once I got it to work, it really grew on
me. I'm on vacation at a portable QTH. 20
ssb is basically dead. But, on FT8, there's
plenty to work. I just worked Mauritania
using a MFJ mini dipole (2 ham sticks) 12 feet
off the ground. That is fun and keeps me on
the air.
Posted by KD2BS on 2019-07-02

Not averse, but not interested

I'm not averse to FT8 or any other "new" methods that come
our way, but I'm just not interested enough in it to try it. For
me, the thrill of ham radio is making CW or voice contacts in
other places. I said "for me" because everyone has their own
niche in this hobby, and that's what makes it great to me.
Posted by W6SWO on 2019-06-28

FT8

Being a bit old fashioned I do prefer other modes that allow more of an actual conversation. That said I do use FT8 for at least a little while nearly everyday. Simply because, under the current conditions, that's where the action is.
Posted by K4EMF on 2019-06-28

For decades we have contests where everyone is automatically 59 (or 599) and a state. FT8 gives you a signal report and a grid square. For decades DX stations have worked as many as possible as fast as possible often only giving their call every 8th or 10 contact, seldom giving their name, and never giving their station description or local wx or and real talk. That's what FT8 does. Then on SSB or CW -- as now on FT8 -- I look them up in QRZ to see a map of their location and get their name for my log. The difference is with FT8 I am working DX I never even heard before and getting the most QSOs I can from a modest station with a very limited HOA allowed antenna.
Posted by W4FID on 2019-06-27

Digital Mode Of The Week

Soon to be obsolete, replaced with another digital mode.
Posted by N3EG on 2019-06-26

Slap inthe FACE

As one of many who earned their awards the old
fashion way , as "Smith Barney" used to say it
is disgusting to think that a computer talking
to a computer is considered a QSO. All of our
awards were earned. No technical knowledge or
skill needed with the FT8.
Posted by W3LI on 2019-06-25

Missing poll question choice

No real selection available for those who love FT8. Is
the creator biased or just an oversight?

Posted by K7AAT on 2019-06-25

One of many

Just another 'fad' mode that someone hopes will catch on.
Posted by K1CJS on 2019-06-24

K1CJS

You're delusional to BELIEVE that it hasn't...hahaha
Posted by KUS335983 on 2019-06-24

Get used to it.

Where are most of the advancements in ham
radio being made today? In the
digital/software field. Like others have
said, it isn't going away, so evolve or watch
the world pass you by and leave ham radio in
the dust. You don't have to like or use FT8
or any other mode, but no use in constantly
griping about it. Various digital modes have
come and gone, some caught on like FT8 and
others did not, like THOR, Domino, RTTY23,
PSK10.. bet you never heard of them. Quit
worrying about what someone else enjoys.
Posted by WB4M on 2019-06-23

FT-8

Its a fall back when the bands are quite; but I like a little more "personal" feel than the auto connect. Bring back AMTOR and I am back in the saddle!!
Posted by AA7FY on 2019-06-23

What is FT8?
Posted by WD4CHP on 2019-06-23

Tried it, didn't like it

After 3K FT8 QSO's, I deleted WSJT-x from my computer and disconnected the sound card. It's not for me.
Posted by NI0C on 2019-06-22

Behold --- The Future Is Here...!!!

I regard FT8 as being little more than an extensión of life in the
year 2019...

Real human contact is about as remote as that person you may
be texting right now on your iPhone, & as distant as the pre-
recorded voice on the telephone that says, "...Your call is
important to us! Press '1' for further options..."

Why not give-up on "Facebook," when, as a Ham radio
"operator," you can have a whole PILE of nameless & faceless
"friends" (a.k.a. contacts) on FT8...? It's just oh-so-easy to
accrue DXCC & WAS now...but that's A-OK --- after all, don't
all of us just LOVE instant gratification...?!

What an absolutely IDEAL way of "communicating" for the
human-contact-challenged generation of 2019. It's surely the
RIGHT mode, for the RIGHT time, & goes to inordinate lengths
to re-enforce camaraderie & kinship amongst the Amateur
ranks...I guess.

PS: Pay no heed to those rumbling sounds that you might hear
in the background: that's just Hiram Maxim, K.B. Warner, Don
Mix, & a host of others of their ilk rolling in their graves.
Posted by VE3CUI on 2019-06-21

It is what it is

While I respect the dinosaur/luddite feelings represented here, it's a simple proposition: Evolve or die. You may not like "machines talking to machines". but guess what, fellas? It ain't going away.

When I was licensed, AMTOR and Packet were the flavor of the week, and the same disgruntled geriatrics had their point of view (quite similar to these) of them. Ham radio didn't die then, and it isn't going to die now. And YEAH, I love an old-fashioned CQ QSO, too (I have 8 keys of all forms) but I also understand that THIS is how it is currently.
TRUST ME...once we ever hit a solar max again, and 10 is open, you'll see SSB and CW just as it was.
Posted by KUS335983 on 2019-06-21

KUS335983

For benefit of the "...Great Unwashed," dinosaurs effectively
ruled this world for FAR more millions upon millions of years
than we humans have...

But if the old chestnut of "...Evolve, or die, just like the
dinosaurs..." might lend credence to any arguments that
suggest the hobby is on the verge of extinction, then consider
this: human kind's OWN short stay on planet Earth is FAST
condemning US into extinction --- just as the likes of FT8 are
killing the kinship & the camaraderie of Ham radio such as it
USED to be, & what drew many of us into its orbit, in the first
place...
Posted by VE3CUI on 2019-06-21

FT8

Normally, within a professionally written and designed subject Survey directed to a specific audience--never is there an "other". Anyway, FT8 is definitely for those who want contacts. Using low-noise and low-power technology this mode is one future aspect of Amateur Radio. I've used it on 40 meters-- it's great if you want to Contest and acquire WAS, WAC; etc. without voice contact -or- Net contacts... It's OK but, for me-- it is not in the long run of my operating excitement. '73 AA7LX
Posted by AA7LX on 2019-06-20

FT8

It probably has it's uses but it is nothing that I am likely to use in the near future.
Posted by WU0F on 2019-06-20

The ARRL has rendered their DXCC program meaningless because of a total lack of standards by including a mode that goes below the threshold of human hearing. And of course, as time goes on these new modes will only increase their huge advantage upon all of the other modes that have to be heard to complete a QSO. And that includes RTTY. FT8 & all future sub-audible modes should have been placed into a separate category. But the ARRL in their infinite lack of wisdom, chose otherwise.
Posted by K2FW on 2019-06-20

Better than nothing

If you want a lot of action, FT8 is where it's
at, like it or not. I can alway find plenty of
contacts on that mode when other modes are
practically non-existent. I guess FT8 has
siphoned off a large amount of ops of other
modes. I must admit though, after 4-5
contacts, I've had enough for a while.
Posted by LONESTRANGER on 2019-06-19

A 6M eye opener

FT8 made 6M active again, like it was in 1960. I've listened to "dead air" on my favorite band for years and seldom hear anything. Suddenly with FT8 I can make contacts every day - some days as far away as Europe. FT8 makes it possible because you can copy signals well below the noise floor.
Posted by AA4PB on 2019-06-19

SCREEEEEECH!

Please don't get me wrong! Anyone who wants to use FT8-all the more power to ya! Whatever floats your boat..My comments are for ME! Call me old fashioned-Yes! I am old fashioned.

FT8 to me is nothing but a computer talking to another computer. Some will say, "But your transceiver is a computer"! Yes to a certain degree, BUT the rig will only do what you make it do! YOU have to make the contact, turn the dial,and talk or pound that key! With FT8, the computer does 90% of the work for you. Click your mouse and It searches, it make a contact, it records it, and Whoooopee! You just made a (So called) contact with a hard to get DX station. For me? there is no satisfaction in that.

Is FT8 good for bad prop conditions? Yes! But there will come a time when prop will be better and FT8 will probably go by the wayside. FT8 is the latest thing, but wait! How about FT4? And then maybe FT6, FT10, FT1000! And on and on. Some say this is progress! and it is! But the question is for WHO? Maybe for those who are into digi! UH-OH I screwed up! CW is a form of digital also! The difference is you are using your brain, not a computer's processor. FT8 is slooow & lazy! And OK, a typical DX CW contact is 599-73 TU and lightning fast compared to FT8.

Now don't get me wrong here. This may sound like I am bashing all FT8 users? I am NOT. This may sound like I am afraid of technical progress? I am NOT. FT8 to me is like changing over from driving your car to a driver-less car!

Now, when was the last time you had a good old fashioned rag chew on FT8? You can't, (but I guess they are working on that). For those who use FT8, it is facinating and represents the power of your computer linked to your rig. For those who don't/won't use it? It is just not Ham radio.
Posted by KU2US on 2019-06-19

SCREEEEEECH!

Please don't get me wrong! Anyone who wants to use FT8-all the more power to ya! Whatever floats your boat..My comments are for ME! Call me old fashioned-Yes! I am old fashioned.

FT8 to me is nothing but a computer talking to another computer. Some will say, "But your transceiver is a computer"! Yes to a certain degree, BUT the rig will only do what you make it do! YOU have to make the contact, turn the dial,and talk or pound that key! With FT8, the computer does 90% of the work for you. Click your mouse and It searches, it make a contact, it records it, and Whoooopee! You just made a (So called) contact with a hard to get DX station. For me? there is no satisfaction in that.

Is FT8 good for bad prop conditions? Yes! But there will come a time when prop will be better and FT8 will probably go by the wayside. FT8 is the latest thing, but wait! How about FT4? And then maybe FT6, FT10, FT1000! And on and on. Some say this is progress! and it is! But the question is for WHO? Maybe for those who are into digi! UH-OH I screwed up! CW is a form of digital also! The difference is you are using your brain, not a computer's processor. FT8 is slooow & lazy! And OK, a typical DX CW contact is 599-73 TU and lightning fast compared to FT8.

Now don't get me wrong here. This may sound like I am bashing all FT8 users? I am NOT. This may sound like I am afraid of technical progress? I am NOT. FT8 to me is like changing over from driving your car to a driver-less car!

Now, when was the last time you had a good old fashioned rag chew on FT8? You can't, (but I guess they are working on that). For those who use FT8, it is facinating and represents the power of your computer linked to your rig. For those who don't/won't use it? It is just not Ham radio.
Posted by KU2US on 2019-06-19