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Re: [VHFcontesting] FT8, digital, and VHF contesting....

To: "vhfcontesting@contesting.com" <VHFcontesting@contesting.com>
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] FT8, digital, and VHF contesting....
From: Jay RM <w9rm@calmesapartners.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jan 2021 08:12:21 -0700
List-post: <mailto:vhfcontesting@contesting.com>
Zack, I haven't yet found a WSJT mode that could handle AU well (actually,
at all..).  Possibly the NEW (...another one ??) Q65 mode could work on 6M
since it's supposed to be relatively immune to doppler, but I suspect the
signal distortion would mess that mode up, also.

I doubt there is anything out there better than CW for AU on 2M and above,
although we all know that SSB will do the job most of time on 6 if the
operator is aware of what's going on and changes procedure a bit.


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO

On Thu, Jan 21, 2021 at 6:48 AM Zack Widup <w9sz.zack@gmail.com> wrote:

> Here is a question I have had, lacking experience in this, How does AU
> affect digital QSO's? I have worked LOTS of AU with CW. It has spread CW
> signals out over as much as a kHz and made SSB unintelligible. It just
> seems to me that, under those conditions, a digital mode wouldn't work over
> AU.
> 73, Zack W9SZ
> On Wed, Jan 20, 2021 at 10:03 PM Marshall-K5QE <k5qe@k5qe.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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