Re: FT8 vs other modes - my numbers


Hi Everyone.
FT8 had scope creep. 
FT8 was developed for Multi-Hop Sporadic Es... in other words bad propagation.
Out here in Arizona it was a godsend.  It is hard finding CW operators on 6 Meters and really hard on 10. I had few if any 6 & 10 Meter PSK Multi-Hops the last 2 years, except for PropNET.
When FT8 sparked up in late April was more DX for me, and the result was the demise of PropNET.
Graph attached:
Over half of PropNET captures occurred on 10 Meters, most of the others on 30 Meters (A few on 6,17 & 80).
When the Es Season for 2018 started in April, you can see it took it took its toll on PropNET. PropNET never recovered from it.

2018 was the first year that Digital QSOs outnumbered all other Modes for me.  Just under half were Digital, one-third CW and SSB then rest (way-down). I guess nobody talks anymore :)
Of my Digital QSOs, over one-half were FT8, one-third RTTY and the remainder PSK... and one lonely JT65 (Troposcatter 6M).
On FT8, almost 70% were on 10 & 6 Meters.... what FT8 was developed for.

Here is where FT8 raises its ugly head.  It acts like FM. The loudest signal can destroy everything around it... and in good propagation it does exactly that.
Groundwave is evil. During the ARRL June VHF Contest, there were a half dozen almost or over KWs near me all on 6M FT8. It was so bad here in Arizona, I QSY'd to the CW portion, worked a few East Coast stations and finally got on 10 Meters and worked FT8 DX there 'cause nobody was there.

My personal opinion is that maybe someone needs to take PSK63 or PSK125, add a CRC (Cyclic Redundancy Check) with a straight forward exchange. Maybe PSK can compete.
I have enjoyed PSK31 since I worked my first TARA event in 2004, started playing on PropNET (10M mostly, 10's of papers, publications, and presentations) and thought the 31-Flavors event was a hoot with the 10-10X Triple Play thrown in.  I still will miss the 070 VHF Contest.

Hope you guys make a plan. Digital Life is not FT8, but many think it is.
73 Art Jackson KA5DWI #2518

Join to automatically receive all group messages.