[VHFcontesting] FT8 and January comments
terry at directivesystems.com
Mon Jan 22 22:14:55 EST 2018
Andy, K1RA, and I again hit the road in the K8GP/R super rover. 8 grids,
lots of miles, almost 800 Q's in the log. Worked lots of folks and got
lots of crazy looks!! Andy will as usual post a great recap with lots of
pix and video on his website.
This time we had our new pneumatic mast in operation on the front as
well as the one on the rear that has served us well for the last two
years. Besides the bad seal causing an air leak, it worked very well and
made set up and tear down easier.
Our apologies to folks that were on 144.247 looking for us, it got VERY
crazy at times. Our system is set up so both of us can operate the lower
6 bands at the same time and my station covers 2.3 and up. This gives us
the capability for one of us to grab and station and run the bands and
the other op can do the same as long as we don't try to use the same
band at the same time - which of course happened many times!! We have a
lock out and it caused the "slow foot" to have to wait to transmit. But
it enables us to both keep busy and work more of you!
Now my commentary on FT8. Several have pointed out it's a tool in the
tool bag which is correct, just like a 5 lb sledge hammer. Use it when
you need it but not to hang a picture!! There were several times we ran
the bands with folks and when we asked to QSY to 6m, the answer was "
our 6m station is on FT8" - WRONG ANSWER!!! In the time it takes for one
sequence on FT8 - 15 seconds in contest mode, you could work us!! This
is from all the rovers, we spend lots of time, money, and effort to go
out and activate grids and help bolster activity but I'm sure it won't
take much of that answer to will turn rovers off. Think about your setup
and figure out a way to rapidly switch from digital modes to SSB/CW -
PLEASE!!!! We have FT8 on our laptops but don't use it, it's just way
too slow. When you only spend two hours at a site and work 100 Q's in
that period and many microwave QSO's that are slow (unless you are the
"FLASH" K1TEO) you just can't take the time.
So please be respectful to us rovers
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