Hey Marshal, thanks for the description of the various digi modes, time to try
MSK144 and JT65. Like many others I am discouraged on how FT8 has impacted the
SSB usage but not the mode itself. I think the ARRL who run these contests
should address this and find a solution. There have been many many comments on
this reflector most not happy with FT8 killing SSB.
Marshall, I believe it was last year or 2 while I was listening to all the FT8
activity on 6m, noticing the band was hopping. I then tuned up to SSB looking
for activity, nothing heard. Then rising above the noise was a strong s9+10
signal from K5QE, TX TO CT. We had the SSB portion of the band QRM free to
ourselves while others were starring at a busy screen trying to get through all
the FT8 madness.
SCORE 1 FOR SSB
73's Steve K1IIGHF-10GHZ
On Wed, Jan 20, 2021, 11:03 PM Marshall-K5QE <email@example.com> wrote:
> Hello all....I have read all the comments carefully. Some I like and
> some I hate. I think that is pretty normal for all of us.
> However, I want to make a point that has only been touched on by one
> other poster. There is a BIG difference between FT8(for tropo
> contacts), MSK144(for meteor scatter), and JT65(for EME). Yes, they all
> are "digital". And as Jay pointed out, "Rate is King".
> MSK144 is normally used when the band is dead to any other method of
> making a QSO. MSK is usually a very slow mode, quite often taking 15-20
> min to make a contact. I cannot imagine someone using meteor scatter if
> the band were open to any other mode, just because the rate is so slow.
> Meteor scatter can and often does provide several "rare" grids that are
> usually way out there and not possible via FT8. Meteor scatter is
> normally run in the dead of night when even FT8 is a "no go". The
> bottom line is that you can pick up some multipliers late at night, but
> you will never set the contesting world on fire with MSK144.
> JT65 is used for EME. EME is also a very slow mode. IF everything is
> perfect, it takes 4 minutes to make a contact. Hence, it is
> theoretically possible to make 15 contacts in an hour. In practice, you
> will not even get close to that. So, the bottom line here is that the
> rate for EME is really poor, even though you can pick up a few grids
> that you could never get any other way.
> Now let's turn our attention to FT8. Compared to Es, FT8 is a rate
> killer, big time. Any decent contester knows that on Es, you can make a
> QSO every 10 seconds or so. Hence, you can make 6 contacts in a
> minute--hour after hour assuming that you have the stations on the other
> end to work. Theoretically, FT8 requires 1 minute to make a contact.
> In practice, if you get half that as an average, you are really doing well.
> So why has FT8 swept everything else away? This is the BIG question
> that needs considering. My Take: VHF Rookies have discovered that they
> can make "DX" contacts on 6M via FT8. Rookies don't care about rate or
> serious contesting, they just want to work DX easily. They get a few
> new grids and maybe a new state or two and they are ecstatic! They are
> not interested in building up a big station with big antennas and big
> power. They get to work a few "difficult" contacts easily and cheaply.
> This point of view is probably correct for them as long as they remain
> casual operators. Since everyone needs to work the casual operators, we
> are stuck operating the way that they operate, just to get them in the
> logs. All this is a shame, because in the "good old days", the casual
> operators would get down on the low end of 6M and when the band opened,
> everyone worked everyone(just not on the same frequency). Rate was high
> and the little pistols were able to work the big guns as well as the
> other little pistols. Now, you cannot pry their cold dead fingers off
> the FT8 button.
> Well reasoned comments welcome. Flames go directly to the bit bucket,
> will not pass GO, and will not collect $200.
> I hope that everyone had a good contest this time. For us it was a hard
> slog through the mud. But, January is always a hard slog.
> 73 to all...Marshall K5QE
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