Topband: FT-8 My Recent Experience

Eric Rosenberg ericrosenberg.dc at
Wed May 29 17:22:29 EDT 2019

As one who has operated from obscure locatons (including 9L, J2, and YJ)
with gear that I carried on an airplane, I find your comments both naive
and snobbish.

As I write this, I'm sitting in a room on small island (PJ7) running QRP
FT8 into a loop antenna on the balcony. Although I made a couple of Q's on
CW, my intent was to use FT8. All keyboarding... no mic or paddle.

It's been lots of fun, and that's what ham radio is all about. TheFT8 UI
has lots of fascinating information, much of which I can use for future

I'm not here to win any prizes or awards. I do have the extreme
satisfaction of giving 25 stations this rare mult during the WPX contest,
and making many more FT8 contacts as I've been on nightly for short periods
of time over the last couple of nights.

And yes, they will all get paper QSL cads (remember them?). No computers
running in your shack? No need for LoTW!

Remember when folks said SSB would kill ham radio? how about PSK vs RTTY?
AM vs FM on the VHF bands? The list goes on: packet clusters, the reverse
beacon network, LoTW, panadapters. Add FT8 as the latest cause of the
demise and/or death of CW, contesting, and ham radio (any or all of them).
What's next?

So get off your high horse. It's not about you, it's about the guy on the
other end... the one *without* a tower, *without* a yagi, *without* an
amplifier and all the gizmos you may have. The guy who worked hard to work
you and then sent you a card via the bureau. Don't forget him!

Eric W3DQ
At the moment PJ7/W3DQ

On Tue, 28 May 2019, Mark K3MSB <mark.k3msb at> wrote:

I spent 9 days in Haiti as HH6/K3MSB a few weeks ago on a missions trip to
Les Cayes, which is in the remote southwestern part of the island.  As the
fellow I was traveling with was a ham,  we of course hung some wires at our
guest house and had some on-the-air fun.   This was good as there really
isn't much to do in the evenings down there.   Actually, aside from
reading,  there isn't anything to do in the evenings down there.    But I

To protect the innocent (or the guilty....)  I'll call my friend “John”.

I did CW and John did some CW but mainly FT-8.    John wanted me to do some
FT-8, but after watching him for a bit I said to “wake me when it's time
for some real radio”.   I've seen FT-8 before and I just can't get into
it.  I can't get into any computer mode, mainly because I've been a software
engineer for almost 40 year and dealing with computers at home is a
non-starter with me.    I like ARC-5s, BC-348s,  and Navy RBB's
myself......    But again, I digress..

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