FT8 vs other modes - my numbers
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FWIW from another list…
Mike, you are buying into a myth that both supporters and detractors of FT8
perpetuate. The myth that FT8 is superior for DX'ing, to other modes.
2018 was my "year of FT8". I participated in several on-air WSJT new feature
tests including DXpedition mode testing. I spent the vast majority of my
on-air hours, outside of contests, on FT8. I CQ'd a lot on FT8 and also
chased DX on FT8.
You ask: " Productive in what way? To work new ones? ". I specifically
checked by 2018 log statistics for new band slots. I worked 4 new band slots
on 160M in 2018 - zero on FT8. I worked 13 new ones on 80M in 2018 - none on
FT8. I worked 5 new ones on 40M in 2018 - none on FT8. And so on.
You also ask: "How many countries did you work on FT8 that you did not or
could not work on any other mode." My answer: I worked 4 ATNO's in 2018.
None did I need FT8 to confirm.
Now, I did work 13 of DXpeditions in 2018 for new digital mode DXCC credit
in 2018. If I look at these stats, 8 of them I worked on RTTY, and 5 I
worked on FT8. But the ones I worked on FT8 completely neglected RTTY - they
never did any RTTY at all or made only a handful of RTTY Q's. I'm sure I
could've completed a RTTY QSO with any of those 5 if they had made an effort
No matter how I slice it or dice it, FT8 is not a superior mode. Both the
detractors and supporters of FT8 are suffering from the myth that FT8 makes
DX'ing easier. It does not. I tried hard to max out FT8 using any
quantitative measure in 2018 - just look at the number of hours I invested
- and FT8 came up short in every single measure, including the
hard-DX-oriented measures you propose.