[CQ-Contest] WSJT-X and contesting

john at kk9a.com john at kk9a.com
Mon Dec 3 16:25:52 EST 2018

I also have never made a FT8 QSO but I believe that there is a lot of
operator input so it is not just a computer battle. There was a FT8
contest last weekend and those that operated could elaborate on the skills
needed for a good score. I have operated RTTY Roundup several times and it
was a fun contest. Other modes were always allowed but were rarely used.
FT8 may change the game since it is so popular and useful for inaudible
signals, perhaps it should be a separate category.

John KK9A

Wayne, W5XD wrote

ARRL has added WSJT-X as an allowable mode for next month's RTTY Round
Up. I am daring to speak from ignorance (I have yet to make a single FT8
QSO) but will ask anyway whether this is a "good idea."

There is a place for building robots to do battle with each other. I
have attended the Robotics competition once since they moved it to
Houston a couple of years ago. Here a reference:
https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/frc It is very exciting to watch,
and its clear it appeals to young people in a way that ham radio
contesting has not.

But I ask the question of whether WSJT-X really fits into the current
definition of radio contesting? And does it fit so well that it ought to
be directly incorporated as an equivalent to RTTY into an existing
contest like Round Up? I have to, again, admit up front that the faces
in that firstinspired URL are all about 50 years younger than the faces
at my local radio contesting club and maybe that, over the long run, is
the only argument that counts.

But, even as a geeky, introverted nerd, I have to counter that
contesting has a social aspect that appears missing when we all build
our robots to compete with each other and wake up at the end of the
weekend to see who won (or have I completely misunderstood FT8?) I still
like hearing the old calls year after year, and sadly missing the ones
that don't show up anymore.

Wayne, W5XD

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