[CQ-Contest] My FT8 totals: Not what I thought it would be

Tim Shoppa tshoppa at gmail.com
Mon Dec 24 12:28:13 EST 2018

Vince, I didn't reply directly to your E-mail because I didn't want to
sound like a broken record as I have already carefully looked at my FT8
usage over the past year and posted here.

But some further thoughts:

My stats over CY2017 (using "half hour offtime rules" as is common in

CW: 31197 QSO's in 463 hours for an average rate of 67/hr. 185 DXCC's
SSB: 6918 QSO's in 102 hours for an average rate of 68/hr. 103 DXCC's
FT8: 6394 QSO's in 371 hours for an average rate of 17/hr. 110 DXCC's
RTTY: 13253 QSO's in 249 hours for an average rate of 53/hr. 117 DXCC's

Now matter how I stack it up - QSO rate or DXCC rate or whatever - FT8 is
the least productive mode for me.

I mean I can turn up for a Tuesday night phone fray and work 20-40 folks in
a half hour (that's 40-80 Q's an hour) almost all of them non-contesters.
And that's with just 100W. So don't let anyone say that FT8 rates are low
because the other guys aren't contesters. Really FT8 rates are low because
it's not a rate mode.

If you look at my WSJT 2.0.0 "contesters review" from past week, you do
note that I admit that the latest WSJT software and FT8 protocols/messages
are a boost to rate.

Now, FT8 requires attention potentially every 15 seconds and requires
"mouse clicks" to keep working (even though it does have some auto sequence
ability). This I think can create the illusion that you're being productive
while using it. This is sort of the same trick that say Facebook or other
addictive social media sites use to keep people clicking.

Tim N3QE

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