[CQ-Contest] WSJT-X and contesting

Matt NQ6N matt at nq6n.com
Tue Dec 4 14:33:53 EST 2018

I operate a bit of FT8 and find the theory of how it works fascinating. It
gives us yet another dimension to play with.

FT8 can help new contesters with nearly all aspects of contest skill. A
station who may not have the antenna necessary to take advantage of an
opening to Oceana can work it on FT8 and will pay much closer attention to
the propagation.  While head copying becomes less important, propagation
knowledge and planning becomes significantly more important for little
pistols (who are most of the Qs in the log in the big contests).

It's no accident that WSPR was one of the first "JT" modes to be invented,
and it was used for propagation studies.  I see FT8 doing for propagation
planning and strategy what computer logging did for rate maximization.  We
would probably not have 2BSIQ or even the kind of performance we see in
modern SO2R if we were still using pencil, paper, and paddles.   FT8
dramatically increases the practical importance of propagation knowledge
for a large percentage of contest participants. One no longer has to worry
about an opening to JA on the low bands only if he has a beverage to point

I think we ought to be thinking about ways in which FT8 can open the door
to new strategic directions in how we compete.  These won't replace the
existing ways, they will add to them and make contesting more fun and more
competitive in all modes.

Matt NQ6N

On Tue, Dec 4, 2018 at 12:07 PM john at kk9a.com <john at kk9a.com> wrote:

> There are some differences. FT8 are not always audible, you do not "tune
> up" on signals. Also you can only transmit at specific times so your
> computer needs to have very accurate time.  I have worked many stations on
> RTTY that were not even using a computer, just like on CW. We have
> separate contests for CW and SSB sweepstakes, I think it would be nice if
> the RTTY Roundup was RTTY.
> John KK9A
> Radio K0HB wrote:
> My short answer would be —
> I tune up an audio signal on RTTY, click a button or two, and my computer
> makes a Q.
> I tune up an audio signal on FT-8, click a button or two, and my computer
> makes a Q.
> Same-oh, same-oh.
> 73, de Hans, K0HB
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