This poll is based on FT-8 mode. As can be seen from comments here and elsewhere, FT8 is certainly a lively topic of discussion. The poll will run for a few weeks. You are welcome to leave comments after voting.

FT8 - Damaging to Amateur Radio?

  • DON'T KNOW (3%, 146 Votes)
  • NO (46%, 2,327 Votes)
  • YES (51%, 2,573 Votes)

Total Voters: 5,046

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  1. When you chase the DXCC in SSB/CW, and you see some of them manifest only in FT8 I’m in a rage. There is even that we saw very rarely see not at all, and it manifests in FT … You do not know how to trade without your computer and it is very regrettable.
    I’m not against the FT8, but its use
    If you see my call on FT xx this is a pirate

    73’z F8FFP/KN4MER

  2. FT8 is a mistake to amateur radio. The only contacts that should count for anything should be make by live operators not a computer.

  3. I’ve been licensed for 57 yrs. I started out on AM phone but gravitated to cw when I realized it was superior as a dx mode. SSB killed any interest in AM for most of us, and I adopted it too, but still mostly operate cw. I am interested in many facets of radio, that I have no driving interest to pursue but still want to know about them intellectually. I’m not concerned about anything killing amateur radio and I don’t think it will happen. My primary interest is chasing DX and I only need 7 more entities for all time new ones. Will I get them? Who knows? Maybe 3 or 4 more, before checkout time, but if not, so what? It has all been done before. A human lifespan is too short to really do more than scratch the surface of all there is to do in radio. FT8 isn’t a threat to amateur radio, nor is any other digital mode. Relax!

    73 WA4DOU

  4. Excellent point concerning the code reader characters, ‘AU !!! ( That one could obtain ANY CW credit that way is ludicrous…) Yes, I concur; A separate category for FT8 seems a ‘ logical’ move…

    FT8 is fine/ fully acceptable for those whom may like it…(just stay off the lower 25 !!! HI !!!)

  5. Many of you who are bent on FT8 & enjoy it, but don’t think for one moment that I am against it. !!!
    I was licensed in 1950 & have tried every mode/facet, except moon bounce. !!
    just don’t get me wrong when I suggest a separate DXCC for FT8.
    As it is, many are claiming CW while using a tele reader or some other decoder device to read CW.
    Some cannot read CW & yet they are claiming DXCC credit for CW.
    Now FT8 has come along to make it easier to claim a DXCC & a lot easier & quicker.
    In time an FT8 could get on their FT8 HR & maybe in the future to even reach a #1 HR, but surely not at the expense of the other modes which everyone has worked so hard for. it would only weaken the value of the present DXCC program. 73 de Dennis ZS1AU

  6. I must not understand ham radio anymore. FT8 is a mode of the hobby. At 73 years old and a ham for 40 years, I just discovered satellites. Many of you have worked satellites when I was a young ham. 5 watts from the handheld and a small handheld antenna. Why do I “waste” my time? Because it fun, I met new people and I can excite young people. FT8 is just another mode. Leave it alone if you don’t want to use it. I just discovered RTTY RTTY, software and your radio. Are users still using Model 33 or 35’s? The elimination of CW for licensing. That will kill the hobby. What will kill the hobby are Nay Sayers and those who won’t embrace change and let others do what they want and refusing to “Elmer” the new ham no matter what their age, questions and pressures into the hobby. If you don’t like it, don’t use it!

  7. During my 57 years as a licensed amateur operator, I’ve heard “experts” exclaim that the following things would certainly doom ham radio:
    * When SSB appeared as an alternative to AM phone
    * When incentive licensing in the U.S. required upgrading to Extra Class to have full band privileges
    * When CW was no longer required to obtain a license for any operator class
    * When the internet appeared
    * When skimmer software was developed
    *When digital modes first began appearing on the bands

    Funny isn’t it? Here we are in 2018 and the number of licensees in the FCC database is at an all-time high. Interest in our hobby is keen in Europe. Attendance at Hamventions keeps going up as well as logs submitted for major contests. New hams are deciding that learning how to operate CW is “cool.” A common problem now is homeowner’s associations denying effective antenna systems.
    So, – FT8 is just another way to make contacts with another operator without the need for big stations. And, before you know it, something else new and different will come along and the doomsday folks will complain about that instead. I’m betting our hobby will survive that too!
    Take it from an old guy – life’s too short. Enjoy this hobby any way that you can while you can and allow others to do the same.

  8. The next poll should be: Are hams killing hamradio? Yes, this ‘fratricide’ cannot be good for the hobby in the long run.

    Are all the signals in the FT8 segments from pirates then? If not, how is FT8 killing hamradio? Activity during this sunspot low seems to be at an all time high.

    FT8 is killing hamradio only for those stuck in a single mode or two, either because they refuse to try/learn new things, or have too much invested in those established modes.

  9. As far as “ruining ham radio,” the only thing that distinguishes FT8 from other digi modes is its enormous popularity. And it’s that popular because it’s fun, and there are lots of QSO’s to be made.

    Activity (within the boundaries of our licenses, of course) is always good for ham radio. There are groups with money who want our frequencies and the lower our activity levels, the more we are at risk of losing them.

    FT8 helps new hams get established – when I got my ticket I was more comfortable with PSK31 as a way to get started, and now I operate and enjoy all modes, CW, SSB, digital modes.

    Anything that increases activity levels and helps new people get into the hobby is in all our best interests.

    We are supposed to push the boundaries of radio communication, not resist change!

    Rowland K4XD

  10. FT8 is only a part of Ham radio. First, you need to know a lot about radio to get a license, then figure out how to put together a station and operate it. I remember many years ago when SSB was new, the AM ops said that that D&%$ Donald Duck mode would ruin Ham radio. They were wrong, just like those who dislike FT8 !

  11. I have been licensed for 50 years this month. I have seen and watched many changes and new modes over the years. The hobby is still growing and more interesting with every new mode. FT-8 fits the needs for some, and will not be used by some.

    As we appear to be in a cycle of poor propagation, FT-8 makes contacts possible for me. This past year, I have had the most 6 meter contacts ever because of the technology of FT-8 on six meter. I look forward to many other new modes to explore and use. 72/73

  12. Gary KC0SB licensed in 1980 have them all as they say.. had the big tower big antennas big amp what a wonderful hobby. retired now and live in a area no towers have a MFJ super loop up and the last few years have not been on the bands at all … Until this year discovered FT8 renewed my interest in ham radio having lots of fun working countries I cannot even hear on ssb best thing that happened to ham radio in a long time …..

  13. What will ruin ham radio is deciding that you no longer wish to learn and develop in your hobby. If you decide to stop learning and growing then you should give up ham radio and go sit on a park bench or in the shopping mall.
    Of course there are always some people who think that something new will destroy their hobby. But this has nothing to do with amateur radio and a new digimode. It is a problem with exactly those people and fortunately they can be safely ignored. If someone doesn’t like FT-8, PSK31, RTTY, CW, SSB or something else: There is a very large knob on every radio, it can be used to change the frequency.
    OK you don’t like FT-8. So go and build a spark rig and do it the old way.

  14. If I read “Yes or No? A poll on FT-8.” I automatically think that “Yes” means that I’ll try it, like it or use it. An that “No” means that I have no interest in it. The same suggestion comes from the green speech bubble with the “Yes!” and the red one with “No!”. But luckily I have also read “FT8 – Damaging to Amateur Radio?”. If I hadn’t seen this, I had probably clicked on “Yes”.

    I think this is a very dishonest way to ask questions! And now I wonder how many people haven’t seen this and clicked accidentally on “Yes”.

    Of course there are always some people who think that something new will destroy their hobby. But this has nothing to do with amateur radio and a new digimode. It is a problem with exactly those people and fortunately they can be safely ignored. If someone doesn’t like FT-8, PSK31, RTTY, CW, SSB or something else: There is a very large knob on every radio, it can be used to change the frequency. 😉

    By the way, the Deutscher Amateur Radio Club (DARC) has a few articles about FT-8 in the club newspaper (CQ DL 2018-11). This is why I searched for wsjtx and FT-8 and found this poll.

  15. OK, OK you dont like FT-8. So go and build a spark rig and do it the old way.
    I enjoy FT-8 , I have a 160 size delta loop and work 160 thru 6 with one antenna and have fun. To each his own.

  16. I am a proponent for any new mode that keeps one’s interest in the hobby and @ the same time attracks new blood. During this period of low sunspots, FT8 fills the void for many small stations that would otherwise give up on the hobby. I am a DX’er and perfer CW & SSB modes, but I am not a “big gun” station. Kudos to Joe Taylor.

  17. Back in 1997 I lost about 75% of my hearing. SSB and CW became almost impossible, especially when trying to copy weaker stations. Even RTTY became difficult. I sold all my gear and went inactive, for 21 years now. I recently had a FT8 demo and was shown that FT8 could be used, even if one were totally deaf.

    I’m now shopping for gear and hope to be back on the air soon!

    73, Bill – AA4M

  18. To the “naysayers”, when I first became licenced late 2017, I loved a rag chew on SSB (and still do).
    But when you have a guy in an adjacent property running a Plasma TV, (20 hours a day with 5 kids) 17,20 and 40 are no go on SSB.
    FT8 still keeps my interest peaked during these difficult times (until the plasma blows up, hopefully), I have had many good DX contacts running 10 and 30 watts, and if you don’t think it’s a QSO check the minimum requirements to be classed as such.



  19. So many narrow minded Old Farts and Trolls here. Been a ham here for 48 years and I LOVE FT8, along with the other digital modes. I live in a condo with an indoor dipole, and FT8 has allowed me to get 5 Band DXCC plus 17 and 30m. Gives the little guy who isn’t wealthy a chance!

    I think at least half the negative comments here are just from Trolls. I can’t believe so many of my fellow hams are so narrow minded!

    73 have fun no matter what mode you run!

    Gary – W9BS

  20. I’m all for FT8 in DXCC. When there’s a DXpedition I always go with CW first, SSB, RTTY and/or FT8 but CW i my first choice.

  21. I agree with my friend Donovan ZS2DL further up this list.
    I am not against any mode as it has it’s fascination for many other radio enthusiasts.
    However, there is talk about including FT8 in the DXCC program & here I am totally against it as it would weaken the DXCC MIXED. I sincerely hope that the ARRL will give some serious thought to this & perhaps have a FT8 CATEGORY on it’s own, as a FT8 DXCC.
    Just DON’T MIX IT with the present DXCC to acquire a DXCC Honor Roll. !!

    de Dennis ZS1AU # 1 HR PHONE 340/359 & MIXED 340/360

  22. Just how in the hell is FT8 ruining Ham Radio? AMers used to say the same damn thing about (donald duck) SSB. You guys are just pissed because there is traffic on FT8 when there is none on SSB or CW. Grow up and leave FT8 alone, it’s not taking anything away from you. If people want to work digital modes then let them. Quit acting like a 2yr old.

    And for those that say that FT8 is “robotic” well you just haven’t tried it and you have no damn idea what FT8 is. Yes FT8 has scripted responses and specific timing but you still have to select your frequency and there is some skill to it just like working a DX pile up you need to figure out where to transmit so the other guy can hear you. FT8 is only taking up 3-4 kc of the band and packing it 100s of QSO. FT8 is allowing guys with compromise stations to enjoy the hobby, you know, the one that is always “dying”.

    For the ones complaining that there should be a separate DXCC category for FT8 I agree, there should be. It would look nice beside my RTTY awards. I think there should be different awards for each mode or at least endorsements.

    I’ve been a ham 45yrs now and have operated every mode that came down the pipe. I enjoyed some more than others. RTTY was and still is my favorite. I currently work a lot of FT8 and I enjoy it. Its like a constant contest… exchange calls and signal report then 73 and move on.

    If you don’t want to work FT8 that’s fine… Enjoy the dead bands this new sun spot cycle, and don’t blame FT8 for your lack of QSO’s.

  23. P.S. I would go up to 25w if there is a strong DX station calling but in most cases somebody stronger wins. That’s the way it goes.

  24. I’ve been a ham since 1962 and think this FT-8 is a fun type mode.
    I’m not a paper chaser just enjoy seeing distance in a poor sun spot cycle and even 100 miles is good for me.
    Been a Radioman in the service and even then in off time on the ham bands. CW, Phone, Satellite and now digital. It’s new for me and stay with 1 to 2 watts with my 60′ wire antenna.
    I’m not working the world but I don’t care. I have older equipment and make my own interfaces.
    I can’t wait to see what new modes hams come up with.
    Enjoy the new mode but keep the KW off.

  25. During 50th and 60th I could work far away DX on CW and AM ( no SSB yet) with just 25 W and wire antennas. Today, during low SSN, even with KWs and beam antennas no DX and even a shourt haul contacts can’t be established in CW and SSB on some bands.. But they are often made possible using the FT8 mode. So, should we drop our hobby or continue to communicate using the technology that alows it? Where is a danger from FT8 in this case? Or, some of you still think that you can use CW/SSB with a -20 dB S/N conditions?
    73, Radi f6gnz

  26. Francky…on 11m is better !
    Few days ago from here, 10m desert… no one, only few but very few signal (3-4 on the waterfall) on ft8, 12m and 15m idem, on 11m full of station from Central and Sud America on ssb, many with 15-20w and vertical antenna… here they spoke about “poor conditions” bullshit !

    OM have lost the sense of dx, the desire to communicate with others… extreme dx chasing and slot filling, killing the radio, now dxing is just a game of ping and pong using billionare station connected to web… :/

  27. Hello
    Have STOP radio the 27/08/2018
    Computer, Internet, clusters, 599 QSO , contest all week-end ,QSL $$$$
    Now in the shack , you can see 2 COMPUTERS ONLY .
    Bye Bye CB men….

  28. FT8 is ok .. go with the flow of the future guys… when there are no coditions we all can work the world with this mode ! .. what about DMR and ICR ??

  29. Perhaps we need new certificates…

    “This is to certify that I was able to install and configure a piece of free software that I could not possible have built myself and barely understand the principles behind, and overcome Windows 10 updates and reboots long enough to work (whatever that means) as many stations as some other bastard did to get a DXCC”

  30. The spirit of ham radio came from direct communications.
    FT8 in relationship to DXCC should be in a class all of its own.
    I paid for my honor roll in blood and tears….not with my computer doing all the work!

  31. FT-8 is a fantastic mode, I really like its supreme sensitivity and the absence of all the screaming people
    trying to break a pile up by reckless endless calling. Congrats to Joe Taylor for his phantastic work !
    Nowbody needs to use it, everyone can choose his own preferred mode – why do some people complain
    that other ones prefer just these new digital modes ?
    Reminds me to times of SSB introduction on the bands – in these years werde just the same old unflexible and only backwards looking people complaining. Well, I don`t miss them…

  32. As long as the internet isn’t involved, I like all modes. I love voice and I also like psk, SSTV, and FT8. I don’t think people get that digital modes like FT8 are still SSB. It’s just a narrow sound vs a 3khz wide voice being sent antenna to antenna. It’s the same principal as CW except sent and decoded by a PC. Just have fun in your hobby and support what you love.

  33. Yep FT8 sux. Took me a whole 7 weeks to get DXCC on 6 M this year. In the same. I missed out on one state In getting WAS him the same. Yeh that will make some people cry.
    When I see statements like jt65 and jt9 are better for DX than ft8 it shows me that there is some really ignorant individuals out here.
    Yeah I guess we should just all go back to spark gap after all it is the only real radio.
    Like others have said if you don’t like ft8 don’t go there. After all it is a really small slot and easy to tune over.

  34. To each his own, but to me there is no joy if the task is so easy. Digital modes are like using twitter or email to make contacts and have no radio skills.

    I hear people complaining about conditions but I get on the air and make contacts anyway, from my mobile, or from wire antennas, and I have never owned a tower or a beam. I worked a ZL from my mobile (100 watts and a ham stick) a few weeks ago, 59 both ways, no problem. Stop complaining and get on the air.

    Maybe for EME, and this is certainly good stuff for deep space contacts, when Mars (the planet) goes on the DXCC list.

    The reason I think it does harm to HAM radio is that it does not build simple (no computer involved) radio operating skills. I hear way to many talk about buying antennas they should be building, how many G5RV antennas are being bought instead of people building their own simple antennas and learning how to make them out of plain old wire…

    The real harm is that these modes look just like the internet, now what kid is going to be interested in radio that looks like the internet when they already have the real internet? I really see kit building of simple radios and CW as the most likely way to get the geeky kids interested.

  35. With only 1 Watt of power my signals travelled around the world and were received in FT8. Even with these poor propagation conditions of last weekend.
    Impossible with traditional modes. And with only 50Hz of bandwidth needed, I don’t see the problem.
    We have the bands, let’s use it as much as possible. Even if it is with a special digimode like FT8.

    How often are we complaining that the bands are empty because there are no conditions (and folks) ?
    Now there are at least stations on the air so we can investigate propagation.

    Superb job by K1JT. He opened the door for modest EME starters and now makes lower power big fun again. I was so happy to work VK0IR with 100W and a vertical in the 90s. Today this has become impossible by the big power rat race.
    Looking forward to see FT8 DXpeditions working stations based on a predefined signal strength.

  36. Shit software as all of K1JTs killing the serioues hobby.
    take a look on 6 m, This is the first time i was woundering what was wrong with the band!!!! Not a beep in Cw, But on 50313 , So sad.
    Thanks K1JT for destroying whats left of Amateurradio

  37. Alan, is not true, I have bunch of friend working dx with 100w and vertical or other simple antenna now with sunspot minimum without ft8, one is IN3FHE Helga, winner of the Dx Marathon 2017 on the formula class 100w, it’s just a mode, a perfect alibi for who want to abdicate to computer… 😉

  38. It is great because of the sun cycle is bad right now and will keep people in the hobby,new hams can work the world with FT8, the bad thing I have been doing FT8 for about a year and don’t talk anymore on SSB. The social part is dispersing.

  39. FT8 is great in a solar minimum, as we are now. It can get a bit crowded when conditions are good thought. Need more bandwidth for FT8. JT65 should move up if possible.

  40. Too bad we can’t conduct this poll…Is the new SSB mode damaging to ham radio?

    There will always be nay-sayers and snobs…FT8 has reinvigorated my HF radio ops.
    One can make contacts on this mode when even the CW ops can’t.

    So all you nay-sayers and mode snobs can go pound salt.


  41. Oh boy a radio mode for the lazy people. Why don’t I just go take a nap and let my radio do all the dxing and making the QSO’s ??? Who said amateur radio was suppose to be fun anyway?

  42. To reply to Albert : Don’t know.. never used that mode, only a little FM for qso with local friend and sometimes few SAT qso.
    I’m in computer and web since.. 20 years, If I want to comunicate using digital o computer I little know how to do 😉 , but when in radio I work only mode where I can listen signal with my 2 ears 😉

  43. Henry IZ5CML, radio waves can bu used to transport voice or music and also data and it is just what FT8 is doing.
    If I want to communicate by the voice, I am able to shutdown the computer and to take the microphone, be sure i am not the slave of my computer. Computer is just a tool, to manage log book, to compute calculations, etc…
    You have plenty of space for different types of antennas, my garden is less than 50m2 and quite difficult to have a performant antenna for each band. At least with FT8 and other digimodes i am able to reach stations outside Europe.
    I am also studying what is electronic, antenna ,ionosphere and propagation of wave, basic job of Ham.

  44. henri IZ5CML, what do you think about D-STAR, DMR, C4FM, they don’t use computer ? And now the mode SDR don’t use computer ? the hobby radio amateur is vast and enriching do not have eyelets.

  45. I think it’s important to USE our band allocations by whatever mode.
    There are many others out there wanting our bandwidth, just look at the Internet of Things trying to take over 70cm with all those 433 MHz domestic controls generating huge amounts of QRM.
    Also, in the UK we wanted an increase in 4m bandwidth but that’s gone to others also.
    If a band is quiet then at least digital modes keep it in use and stave off the regulators.

  46. I don’t operate SSB but operate mostly CW, but I see nothing wrong with a new mode in this period of weak signals. I use FT8 sometimes ALONG WITH CW but certainly not exclusively.

  47. Why ON1ACB ? Who really need that ? Not me that’s for sure ! We make radio for funny not for business… probably I would like to delegate a computer to do my work, not my hobby !!!! 🙂
    Don’t confuse evolution with simple involution o just decline… desert hf band and s9+ signal on ft8, it’s the beginnig, yes, of the end.
    Radio can survive just due to its simplicity, operator – radio – antenna – ionosphere, that is its strength in all other aspect web win hands down.

  48. FT8 is not the end it is just a new beginning , for amateur radio. Use of computer in communication is just an technical evolution. Of course, contacts in phonie, CW and all previous digital modes must remain.

  49. FT8 is brilliant software, and is practically devoid of human involvement, reducing the operator to a spectator rather than a participant. Inventor Joe Taylor is the only one who has accomplished anything. I don’t see where there is any pleasure in this for anyone else. it is little different than choosing a channel and watching TV. I see it as unsatisfying as racing self-driving cars. Alas, we have become a world of passive observers rather than doers. 73!

  50. If something new gives a 50% vote for damaging amateur radio, when we all have to understand,,,,,,
    something is wrong. Lets vote that any connection that can not be heard by a human person ,can NOT
    be an amateur radio connection.Its computer to computer game. Kind regards Hans SM6CVX

  51. God bless W1JT, Joe Taylor ! Thanks to Weak Signal modes i’ve discovered a world not reached before by band conditions, shack limitations and time consuming job. Words apart, i see the nonsense “budget contest” mind going outside. If the FT8, JT65 and FSK64 digimodes isn’t most democratic change in DX, i don’t know what is. In my opinion WSJT, reverse beacon and so, are disruptive technologies that poses a different challenges in ham radio people, computer oriented or no; as all new techs, may be good or bad used, but “the same man do a job, do a trick” no the software or the radio.

    Why not raise the contest, Dxpedition and license exams standards? If now is easier than yesterday, then tomorrow must be defiant and joyful for the hobby. 73 from YY1CIR

  52. God bless W1JT, Joe Taylor ! Thanks to Weak Signal modes i’ve discovered a world not reached before by band conditions, shack limitations and time consuming job. Words apart, i see the nonsense “budget contest” mind going outside. If the FT8, JT65 and FSK64 digimodes isn’t most democratic change in DX, i don’t know what is. In my opinion WSJT, reverse beacon and so, are disruptive technologies that poses a different challenges in ham radio people, computer oriented or no; as all new techs, may be good or bad used, but “the same man do a job, do a trick” no the software or the radio.

    Why not raise the contest, Dxpedition and license exams standards? If now is easier than yesterday, then tomorrow must be defiant and joyful for the hobby. 73 from YY1CIR

  53. Super yes, it exceeds all other modes sutout for hunting DX, since July 2017, 223 countries contacted.
    fast as expédition, useful program version 1.9.0 rc3
    there will always be frustrated people who will say “no”
    thank you for this beautiful mode.

  54. Me I’m for the FT-8, because it allows small station to make beautiful Dx. It’s certain that in the ham radio hobby there is not only the CW, and the SSB does not displease some. I think also that the FT8 is a good alternative for periods of very poor propagation. But one think : Have fun and enjoy 🙂

  55. This is my second comment in this discussion – apologies, but I would like to bring in a touch of reality. FT8 is not killing amateur radio – it is killing the amateur radio I love. As I do many nights, I have just spent half an hour calling on 30 and 40 m CW, without a single answer. As it happens on most nights, the whole CW sub-band is practically deserted. Then, on 10.136 there are a whole lot of stations and I see the band is fully open with North America. This goes on all the time, on most bands, and has lasted quite a while, basically since FT8 came onto the scene. CW qsos (and, judging by the level of the digital signals, ssb qsos as well) could easily be possible, but hams today seem to prefer to push buttons. My pleasure of having a ragchew CW QSO, or two, has been taken away. Fault of FT8? Maybe, or maybe what has given me pleasure for over 30 years is simply dying out, I am just a dinosaur and I must patiently wait to go extinct.

  56. @Baat “ext generation may call themself as amateur radio op but without CW & SSB is not a amateur radio.”

    Amateur radio is not related to the mode you are using! Wikipedia : Amateur radio (also called ham radio) describes the use of radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication. The term “amateur” is used to specify “a duly authorised person interested in radioelectric practice with a purely personal aim and without pecuniary interest;”[1] (either direct monetary or other similar reward) and to differentiate it from commercial broadcasting, public safety (such as police and fire), or professional two-way radio services (such as maritime, aviation, taxis, etc.).

  57. The problem is more complex then one can imagine. If we look into the past we can clearly realize what have happened to VHF EME after JT65A was introduced. The real CW EME with very big antennae, very big ampilifiers is not a modern trend anymore, there’s no need to hear the signal but to see “something” on the screen appearing either from the white noise, call3.txt or ghost inside the machine. Unfortunately the opponent’s voices weren’t heard and number of issued DXCC-2m awards have increased dramatically.
    Will this simplification/primitivization come to DXing? After reading about possible software restriction for strong signals this is a real concern for many of real DX-ers and one of the reasons, in my opinion, of this vote. I think that FT8 is not a threat to Ham Radio in general but rather DX-ing as we knew it in the past and love it now.

  58. Someone said, Amateur Radio without CW is CB. I personally think, that all Digital mode communications are not a real QSO. Digital mode signals are generated and read by software, not by human. Human cannot generate or read them. So, for digital modes should not be given two way communication Awards like DXCC. Instead, there can be PC to PC commucation Awards. I cannot imagine Amateur radio without CW and SSB. May be, the real amateur radio will die with CW operators. Next generation may call themself as amateur radio op but without CW & SSB is not a amateur radio.

  59. I agree with Lars, DL4JLM. If it interests you, then do it. If not, stick to the modes that interest you.


  60. In my opinion the FT8 is a good alternative for periods of very poor propagation… But it is not a bad way for amateur radio…..

  61. The FT8 is the “zombie” mode.
    If it works in the owner channels, no problem.
    But it is a robot rprt pc game, not a radiocommunication mode.
    The same all modes are better, like JT65 EME/QRP, JT9, WSPR …
    The best true comm.modes are the OLIVIA and WSQCALL …

  62. I do not think so …
    This controversy has always come up with something new, with the PSK31 that said the same and did not follow with all modes.
    This goes through phases:
    1- Euphoria: everyone there, it seems that there are no other ways to have fun.
    2- Duel: something like missing other modes of fun.
    3- Stabilization: it becomes bigger and bigger.
    4- Normalization: the bands become to listen, in all the modes, including the FT8 like a way more
    5- Future: we will continue enjoying the RADIO in all current modes and in those that come in the future, that others will come, and we will start again with the number 1 and we will reach 5 and so the CW started to say that the phone I was going to make it disappear, and that’s it 😜

  63. HAM Radio is colorful. Somebody likes FT8, others contesting, others talking on 80m SSB others EME and so on. Everybody should do what he loves. That is so nice in doing HAM Radio. If you like FT8 – just do it. If not, stay on 80m SSB etc. :o) Technology is going forward and HAMs usually are interested in new things. So for me FT8 is definately something interesting especially in times of sun spot minimum or less band activity. See you in FT8. vy 73. DL4JLM

  64. Hi Paul and ALL others.
    Just a final few words.
    I with this ONLY like to try to say ,WHAT I really mean. I think its sad if some people feel ,
    that some of us complains to FT8 operators.Certainly NOT.And ,of course, no problems,
    anyone that dislike CW or SSB, fine ,they do their part of our hobby.

    As most of us live in a democratic country, we are used to ,at least ,tell our feelings, even that many
    times,other persons has other ideas. Fine thats perfect,also in a hobby with so many different options.

    I ONLY try to explain my personal ( yes MY personal ) feelings for our future in this hobby .

    1) I have NEVER said anything abot rtty or psk or digi in general.I enjoy rtty from time to time.

    2) However, my feeling is ,that a qso is a connection established by 2 operators,and they
    both hear the other signal.I am ONLY not liking a connection between two computers,that both
    try to find out the callsign of the other part,without the operators involvement .

    3) This ,in my opinion, takes away all challange from human ,and any kind of personal touch.

    4) I have tried to say, IF arrl ONLY made connections that are below any human possibility
    to hear ,as a seperate category, that should be ok.Any report below – 1 db should have
    a seperate category,and NOT be ok for any band modes. Only for this award and may be Digi.
    That will probably increase activety,even,,,,

    5) Like last year on 6 meter season, and this year season on 160 meters, band has been
    empty,because of poor conditions.IF FT8 connections not had been, MANY MANY of these
    operators had still tried to make a connection on CW /SSB or RTTY with a station
    to station and human to human contact, and sometimes made a qso .

    Above is ONLY ,of course, my personal opinion, and as all democracy discussions,
    I ,of course, fully understand,anyone with other opinion.

    Also I fully agree, let each and everyone do what they feel is best and most fun.

    Still I am VERY sure ,this will impact our hobby a lot, and I beleive in wrong direction.

    So finally, Have fun and enjoy
    Hans SM6CVX

  65. It is no more damaging to amateur radio than CW is. In both cases, not everyone uses the mode yet they also have plenty of users who swear by it as the way to go. Isn’t it wonderful that we have such a diverse hobby!

  66. I think one thing we can all agree on is that there is really no material difference between an FT8 and RTTY qso. Both modes are PC to PC and a qso could not be achieved without the PC being involved. FT8 is simply a more superior version of the antiquated RTTY.

    Out of interest I did a search of the z60a clublog and was very much surprised to find that some of the most vocal critics of FT8 in this thread are in the z60a RTTY log.

    Our very first critic in fact (sm6cvx) has worked z60A on RTTY on three different bands. oe7sel and ve3dz are also in the RTTY log.

    I am sorry guys, but this really smacks of hypocrisy

    If the objective in dxing is for a human brain at one end to communicate with a human brain at the other end then it is clear that ssb should be the only valid mode for DXCC purposes. CW in this context is a cheating mode as well – it employs tones as a substitute for the human voice which makes it possible to qso in circumstances where a human voice would not be intelligible.

    In fact, I am not even sure if most ssb qsos these days would meet the “human to human” criteria being advocated by the FT8 critics on this thread. To be consistent I would think any ssb qso would be invalid if any of the following technologies were involved:

    Dx Cluster – (PC has located the DX – invalid)
    Any SDR receiver / transceiver (SDR uses computer power to enhance receiver sensitivity in the same way as FT8 software enhances receiver sensitivity) – qso is invalid.
    A computer clock – it is clear that some of the FT8 critics have significant concerns that humans are no longer using sundials to log their qso times – qso is invalid
    DX World – it is inferred that a valid DX qso can only take place between two human brains . If you are using DXWorld (via your PC) then you are seeking advantage from the DX information collected by other human brains to locate DX on the bands. May be we can still retain DX World but in a snail mail format so as not to offend those who find the intrusion of the PC into dxing a little irksome.
    Computer logging – I am sorry but any decent human to human qso should be retained in the gray matter itself. Possibly Col can commence another thread where the usage of pen and paper can be debated as a means to record dx qsos. As ham radio is a scientific hobby I personally am comfortable in the use of advanced human tools such as biros and paper but would be willing to compromise with the old timers and employ and inkpot and feather for logging purposes

    A big issue for FT8 critics is the fact that human ears may not actually be hearing the DX station. But do human ears ever actually hear a dx station. Ham radio is about employing technology that will extend the range of the human beyond shouting distance. Every thing we do in this hobby is about artifically taking a human thought and converting it into an analogue or digital signal so that it can be conveyed over a great distance.

    You would not hear that distant dx voice if it were not for antenna technology, radio technology, cabling technology – what difference does it make if we suddenly add FT8 technology to this mix?

    Is FT8 or JT-65 boring? Depends on how you use it. I find it very very exiting when for instance I decode a signal from South America on 6 metres as I did this summer knowing that is has been over 20 years since a qso has been made over that path.

    Paul – vk4ma

  67. FT8 + ARRL grid chase can be 100% addict. We must use it like normal persons drink; with moderation otherwise we end at A.A. meetings, or A. FT8 meetings

  68. ARRL say “OK” for FT-8 QSO`s for Awards!
    So…what about Skype QSO`s?
    What about SMS QSO`s? Why not?
    What about… Subaru Impreza WRX STi in Horse Racing!
    Real funny!

    But…Thanks to FT-8, I loose the interes to Amateur Radio!
    No pain… No gain!

  69. One can look at this topic from very different points of view and lots of related questions may come up.

    Personally I ask myself if a QSO (independent if real contact or so-called contact) is done in an automated way or under full human control. If automated, then where is the operators skill and where /what kind of is the thrill of the contact for the human licence holder? Where/what is the learning or the gain in experience for the licence holder?

    If QSOs are automated then what is the personal achievement for the licence holder?
    Where is the personal fun? Where does the satisfaction of such an automated QSO come from (what kind ever), when there is no operator’s skill needed ? What is the value of such a QSO for the licencee?

    DX-wise: How to compare fully human controlled contacts with automated QSOs?
    As it has been proven that using fully human controlled modes all parts of our planet can be contacted on whatever frequency (at least 160m to 3 cm), what is the thrill of automated modes? Just speed up “QSO-success”, DXCC standings, ..? As fully automated modes do not allow full human controll simultaneously, how can a licencee be sure whom he contacted ? …..if he/she really completed a contact in propper way? Is the computer/software cheating a contact that never happened in reality?
    On the other side one easily can ask: Do operaters cheat ..independent from mode?

    No doupt, automated contact-modes have S/N advantages (translating in less power, less antenna gain,… needed). But again: Where is the learning effect for the licence holder related to operating skills, personal propagation understanding, technical non-compute related skills, communicational skills?

    ….and much more of such questions may come up.

    For me personally, I have answered all these questions…..for me personally.
    I leave it to any individual ham radio licencee to answer individually.

    As hams we need to stay fair and open….but also we should not throw stones on ourselves.

    Bernhard DJ5MN (I do a lot of SSB, CW 160m to even 3cm EME….listened to FT8 a lot, but no QSO)

    Other question: Can one easily compare the trained ears of a CW-man with the trained ears of a SSB-man?

  70. To STAN
    Please, read this:
    (((The same applies to FT8 communications. In the case of FT8, the noise bandwidth that impacts the FT8 software’s ability to decode data, 6.250 Hz. Hence, the FT8 SNRFSKFT8 is:
    SNRFSKFT8 = SNRreportedFT8 + (10 x LOG (2500 Hz/6.250 Hz))
    SNRFSKFT8= SNRreportedFT8 + (10 x LOG (400))
    SNRFSKFT8 = SNRreportedFT8 + 26 dB
    It begs the question, why is 2500 Hz noise bandwidth used in JT65/JT9/FT8 SNR measurements? One of the best explanations I read is from Pieter-Tjerk de Boer, PA3FWM, in, The Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) quoted for amateur radio modes is traditionally based on a receiver bandwidth of 2500 Hz, because these modes are usually received with a normal SSB receiver, whose IF filter is about 2500 Hz wide. The actual signal usually is much narrower, e.g. about 6 Hz in case of WSPR. So this is rather weird: we compare the power of a 6 Hz wide signal to the noise power received in the total 2500 Hz wide filter. It would make more sense to measure the SNR in the bandwidth that’s really used by the receiver; but it may be hard to determine or define that “true” receive bandwidth.
    So in short, your eyes and ears are not deceiving you. Those JT65/JT9/FT8 signals are very much so well above the noise. )))
    Than sombody say: FT8 better, than CW

    When somebody saying: “FT 8 better, than CW” it is BIG Mistake!
    From -24 to +24 dB, less then 50 dB dynamic range!
    If You have strong signals in channel, for example 9+40 dB, You cannot decode signals S-3…4!
    What about CW? No problem!

  71. Frank, VO1HP:
    >When RTTY became popular did it ruin ham radio …No
    >When the digital modes like packet ; Olivia; MSK; JT65 developed did they ruin ham radio…No

    Frank, look around where these modes are now? That’s shame because FT8 completely ruined all classic digital modes.

  72. Don’t worry: the FT8 will not kill CW.
    (The CW has endured worse things)

    The FT8 is one of the many DIG modes (i.e. already valid for the digital DXCC) that promises very well.

    IMHO, The FT8 could become the digital mode #1 when will be faster (much faster than now) in the QSO’s performance.

    (Why much faster? Because nowadays, when the computers are in the middle, all things are simply supersonic)


    Alessandro, IZ5MOQ

  73. The real problem: It does not damage ham radio.
    IT DAMAGES EGO of many Hams, especially big guns who are grudging now smaller guns because they have it probably easier to get same result.
    FT8 has better SNR than CW…still not that good as JT65 but faster and in 95% JT65 SNR not needed.
    With all this it became so popular.
    I hope more bandwidth will be given to FT8 because currently too much traffic on 1 channel.

    QRV, 73

  75. FT8 and another Digimods – the GRAVE DIGGER from the Ham Radio on the sorth wave Band – please back to the roods!

  76. I think it is all about ENVY! Why do I need to rate other peoples modes? You dont like FT8 – fine dont do it then and let the people alone who do like it. What abaut HELL, PSK, FAX, SSTV, AMTOR, FM, ATV, DV, C4FM, SSB, AM, CW, ATV, OLIVA, 13cm SAT? Let me do my thing and get on with your thing. WHY people always think it is the end of the world. Its a hobby … and it is actually good for nothing except beeing a hobby and killing time. Oh yes .. Inovation and Inventors: Maybe 0.001% of todays hams are inventors … and YES K1JT is one of them!

  77. This is like internet chat. You do not have to learn, you do not need the exams, there is no radio license.
    Writing FT8 requires serious research knowledge. Therefore, maximum respect.
    In my opinion, this mode is impersonal due to the amount of information transmitted.

    Leslie HA4WW

  78. I believe the question would have been better worded as Is it an attack on DXing?

    Relative to ham radio – if you enjoy it – go for it. Doesn’t do anything for me as I enjoy the personal interaction and the challenge of the antenna and radio side. Modes like FT8 – when not used as originally intended as VHF/UHF Weak Signal – are just supplementing physical improvement with a software app. The software app solves your problem – if that works for you – great – it doesn’t for me.

    But for DXing, its sucking the oxygen out of the room in some areas like 6M and possibly on 160M. But the DX stations make a choice to use it or not. Its impact will be if DXpeditions spend more time on FT8 as the detriment of other modes. That is yet to be seen. In fact early uses of it have not been successful yet. Will it be? Not sure. It was never intended to be a “fast mode” and the direction to “speed it up” by K1JT is to multiplex slow rates, not speed up the rate (remember it was designed for VHF/UHF weak signal).

    I would suggest that DXpeditions look long and hard as to what resources to spend on FT8 both from an enjoyment standpoint on their end as well as understanding the $$ required to fund a DXpedition and whether FT8 community is ready to “belly up” to fund their aspect of the hobby.


    Ed N1UR

  79. FT-8 is a good MODE for disabled people and for people’s with health problems, allowing them not to feel detached from the Radio Amateur communitys.
    BTW…Many peoples offten using FT-8 robots!
    Thats give they possibilities do not loose times for “Real life” and take a newone DX in sametime!
    FT8 – Greatly Mode!

  80. FT8 is a step back, JT65 is more efficient than FT8 and JT9 is even more efficient than JT65.
    The only advantage that FT8 has is time in that it is 4 times faster and automatic for those not quick enough to do it themselves but as a dx mode it lags behind JT65 and JT9.

    Richard G7OED

  81. Creo que muchos de los que opinaron en contra del modo FT8 estaran tambien en contra de todos los modos digitales o no??? si la respuesta es no SI es un cretino porque no distingue nada.. si la respuesta es si NO reconoce que es un modo mas , hasta aqui seria lo normal .
    El modo FT8 como cualquier modo SSB, CW y todos los MGM UD los hace con un Equipo de Radio y unas Antenas donde esta la diferencia? en hacer CW usa una maquina?? SIIIIIII manual pero Maquina, o instrumento para manipular de impulsos, UD hace Fonia usa maquina Siiiiiiiiii, Microfonos digitales, Ecualizadores Mesas de mezclas en fin todo es manipulable…..LO IMPORTANTE SON LOS EQUIPOS DE TRASMISIÓN Y ANTENAS DE RECEPCIÓN LO DEMAS es secundario………..cuidense….

  82. [quote]
    …because it uses the synchronization system of its Internet clock and for instant access to the database for receptions with errors.

    That’s akin to saying that mains-powered rigs isn’t real ham radio because they are plugged into an electricity socket, as are millions of other rigs around the globe.

    Is FT-8 damaging to ham radio? Well, only when the mass of signals trample on adjacent digimodes in the band plan.

    Face reality. When has ham radio been so popular? Not for years and years. And I’m sure this increase in popularity is primarily from the younger generations, which is exactly what the hobby needs.

    If you don’t want to use FT-8, then don’t use it! But please don’t alienate newcomers to this hobby by moaning and criticising about the sky falling in 🙂

  83. Bonjour,
    réponse à MARIO.
    Il n’est pas besoin d’une connexion a internet pour faire du FT8.
    Le FT 8 n’est pas du numérique mais du DIGIMODE.
    Votre mel est un FAKE NEW ! HI

  84. The problem is that this mode is not 100% a HAM mode for the DX. It is a hybrid between a real digital mode and HAMSPHERE, because it uses the synchronization system of its Internet clock and for instant access to the database for receptions with errors. That is to say that a large part of your QSO is completed thanks to the Internet and that is not really HAM.

    It is like the Happy World of Aldous Huxley where, despite knowing the reality, about what is a “mode” for propagation studies and that the “SOMA” is the achievement of the DX assisted by the Internet, we prefer to think that it is our radio , antenna and propagation what the DX do when the truth is different, just for the pleasure of achieving something that looks like a real DX.

  85. Especially during this low sun spot period, FT8 is a blessing. I would of been bored stiff looking for DX the conventional way via Phone. I do not do CW as my brain cannot work that fast (ha ha ) Now I just achieved 300 DXCC for phone as well as mixed. I would not of stuck around if I did not have RTTY and FT8 to keep me occupied.

  86. What happened to advancing the hobby with new modes and new excitement? I enjoy FT8 and all the other digital modes. When you do not have room to stretch out with an antenna farm and are limited to how much area you have to work with, the digital modes look better and better. Are we not supposed to advance technology because someone says the new stuff is going to kill everything else? Come on… It is change. It is a way of life. get used to it or get out and let someone else enjoy it.

  87. if it brings people into the hobby and gets them on air and excited about the hobby its a great thing. if it creates another group of dx’ers thats even better. if you haven’t noticed this hobby doesnt have alot of young blood ft8 and other modes could change that. To thrive we need to change and develop. With the high levels of man made noise and the smaller houses and apartment. this mode has helped us retain more people in the hobby at the bottom of the cycle when normally people drift way.
    Do i use ft8, not often that doesn’t mean other people shouldnt
    de vk3meg

  88. I totally disagree with the fact that FT8 kills our hobby. You can argue for a very long time, but try to answer yourself only to one simple question: how much time do you spend to work DX in a pile up, if you have 100 watts and a simple antenna? And it’s useless to compete with big-guns. So, what remains? The FT8 remains, because it allows even a small power to work DX stations. Many of you can say: buy an antenna masts, good antennas, a new amplifier, etc. etc. But not everyone has such an opportunity. Therefore, no one shouldn’t criticize those who cannot have 5 kilowatts and antenna fields. Therefore, FT8 mode is the only one possibility, without special effort, to work with rare DX stations (also IOTA peditions).
    Of course, the culture of work must be! However, listening CW and SSB pile-ups, we can conclude that the culture there has long been zero. Do you want to ban FT8 or oppose something to? But first, learn how to work in the pile-ups without censure and abuse. When you learn, you can continue to talk about FT8.

  89. Not sure why people would give a damn what mode another ham would want to run, it’s a hobby, not a religion. If you don’t want to use FT8 go use another mode it’s really simple.

  90. The main argument I hear against FT8 is that it is a PC to PC qso.
    But every digital qso with the exception of cw is a PC to PC qso.
    RTTY/PSK qsos have been accepted for DXCC for years – I see no difference between RTTY and FT8 (or any other digital mode)
    FT8 is also criticised because the qsos are “too easy”. On that basis are we to rank qso mode type by level of difficulty, and if so, ssb qsos must be the most highly valued, as ssb is the most difficult mode with which to make a qso (again the cw guys will not be happy!!)
    For years there has been whinging and complaining on DXWorld that small pistols do not get a fair go when it comes to working major dxpeditions. Leader boards have been torn down, dxpeditions have ATNO days etc – finally a mode has been invented that levels the playing field and still I see the same whingers on here now complaining that they do not like the bona fides of the mode best suited to them.
    I was never a fan of digital modes until FT8 and JT-65 came along because the old digital modes did not help me make a dx qso – they were slow – and actually less than sensitive than cw. Because these old digital modes were frankly “pretty dumb”, I rarely used them.
    These “dumb” digital modes received no criticism from the DX Commmunity, probably because they were…ummm.. dumb. We now have some decent, useful, sensitive and fast digital modes and all of a sudden these modes (FT8 in particular) are being criticised.
    Of course it is the choice of any dxpeditioner (spending his own money) to employ whatever mode he likes best. But I would argue it is the responsibility of any publically funded dxpedition to use FT8 as to do otherwise is deliberately depriving the dx community of qsos that would otherwise be achievable.
    I find it ironic that dxpeditioners who have focused purely on qso quantity (not quality / diversity) in recent years are now the ones arguing against FT8 qsos because FT8 is a…ummmm… lower quality qso.

    SAVE ME!!!

    Paul – vk4ma

  91. FT8 isn’t ruining the hobby, nor is any other mode. What might kill the hobby is selfish and complacent veteran hams with bad attitudes who don’t keep up with technology and won’t do anything to help the new hams learn. Why would you care what mode someone else uses for DXCC if they do it within the award rules and abide by the DX code of conduct? It doesn’t diminish your accomplishment if you did it a different way. You know how difficult it was and how much effort you put into it. Do 1.5 kw stations with multiple towers have an advantage over 100w and a wire or QRP stations for every mode? Should high power be a different category for DXCC awards? Don’t like digital? Use your preferred modes and have fun, but don’t put down other hams pursuing that aspect of the hobby.

  92. Long ago, hams build his own radioequipment. Yaesu or Kenwood killed amateur radio?
    Same way, digitalmodes, make possible a qso in a very difficult conditions.
    FT8 drives an evolution procces in ham radio.

  93. Dick W6WVW
    Regarding FT8 and awards: DXCC awarded using this mode should be assigned to the computer not the operator. Those using remote transmitters can assign their award to their bank account. It’s not about how much you win, It’s about how you play the game.

  94. It’s just another mode guys. I suspect 50% of the CW operators thought the introduction of telephony was going to kill Amateur Radio. In fact isn’t Morse Code a form of digital? DMR isn’t for me but there is plenty of room for it in our hobby. The amount of modes keeps this hobby going.

  95. Already there are not enough people talking to each other. 59 or 599 and away you go. In USA the VHF and UHF bands are dead because of this. FT8 is just something to do right now, but it as like watching paint dry … when the solar flux comes back up I won’t even think about it.

  96. I have given the mode a try but as for me it can’t compete with the thrill of breakinga CW pile-up. FT8 seems to me as computers talking to eachother. Furthermore, dozens of the stations my computer contacted mention “no paper QSL” on their listing. So I guess I will loose interest in FT8 pretty soon.
    But it can be worse: some claim digital voice contacts such as DMR as being HAM radio while it’s just VOIP.

  97. I voted ‘YES’, but that’s strictly from a DX-ers perspective. I agree with ZS2DL, modes that make QSOs but which are not audible at the same time should not be a classic DX mode and not be eligible for DXCC purposes unless in a separate category. I do admire the technology, which is also part of our hobby in its entirety and an important part for that matter. And I understand people who use it due to (very) high local noise levels.
    I wonder how the upcoming 6m season will develop. If all the nice DX (multi hop / transatlantic Es) will go easy and use FT8 or JT6 or whatever JTxxx, then I am afraid I will support the more outspoken opinions against these screen modes …
    BTW. I have done RTTY and PSK31 in the past as 9V1CW. Slow and not very exciting at all, but you can hear the sigs at least ….

  98. I’m a die-hard, experienced CW DXer since ’78, and I love it just as much now as always. However, I also enjoy SSB and occasionally RTTY. FT8 is simply a new and interesting mode, one which allows me to work certain areas of the world that I normally hardly even hear (let alone work) on the old modes, as I have only dipoles and no amplifier.
    New modes don’t supplant or threaten the older ones, they’re just interesting new developments which open up new possibilities. If I had an amp and monobanders on all bands across 2 towers, I’d still experiment with new modes, as I like to explore new tech as it becomes available. This affects my love for CW DXing not at all. To each their own.

  99. Si a FT8, un modo interesante que nos permite aprovechar la baja propagación y seguir disfrutando nuestro querido hobby. Actualmente me he mudado y no tengo posibilidades de montar mi torre y direccional, con muy baja potencia y antenas bazooka tengo la posibilidad de seguir contactando con el mundo. SI a FT8

    Yes to FT8, an interesting way that allows us to take advantage of the low spread and continue enjoying our beloved hobby. Currently I have moved and I have no chance to mount my tower and directional, with very low power and bazooka antennas I have the possibility to continue contacting the world. YES to FT8

    73 de LU3CM

  100. It’s another digital mode. I like it, as well as the JT modes. Why is this mode any worse than the macro jockeys that run PSK, or those who use a computer and decoding software for CW?

    As a few have mentioned already, if you don’t like it, don’t use it. It hasn’t cheapened ham radio in anyway. It’s an advancement. I remember when I got my novice ticket 30 years ago and heard about DX packet stations reporting rare DX. That to me was considered being lazy. People use them to this day. Why do hams still rely on DX clusters and reporting sites? Because we’ve become lazy. It’s easier to find what freq a rare DX is on from a web site, than it is to spin the VFO dial.

  101. Jealous much. Grow up and enjoy your part of the hobby and keep your nose out of what other enjoy.

  102. I’ve read though negative opinions and found not a single sensible argument supporting the “Yes” answer. For example:
    – “Its a catastroph for Amateur Radio” -> and the reason is?
    – “NO FT8 NO FT8NO” (and 100x more times) -> Okay.
    – “More computer less fun” -> I have much more fun working further DX when PC helps me. I cannot decode FT8 by ear, unfortunately.
    – “FT8 and many another Digi mods demage the real Amateur Radio” -> tell this RTTY guys, they’ll love your opinion. This would also make me a Not Real Amateur Radio Lover. I’m really sad…
    – “The FT8 mode ciller for HAM RADIO, this is easy. “. Being easy doesn’t make a killer. Would SSB do? 🙂

    I think we are going to miss the point trying to use a great tool for wrong desires. Reminds me of SSB vs AM battle read in some old ham newspapers.

  103. Can not give the equation between FT8 and CW. FT8 is qso between computers. Where the spell disappeared. Cluster, Remote out of the continent what the scams will be.

  104. FT 8 has allowed me to operate with moderate power in the urban noise pit where I live. WAS stalled at 44 untill dipole can be rotated 90 degrees to broadside New England. With PSK Reporter mapping it is an excellent tool for antenna comparison and clearly shows propagation conditions .

  105. Can not give the equation between FT8 and CW. FT8 is qso between computers. Where the spell disappeared. Cluster, Remote out of the continent what the scams will be.

  106. When I started in 1995 I was told that there were room for everybody. And there is! Digimodes makes the hobby even more interesting and challenging. We are still challenged by conds what ever mode we deside to use. Besides… Younglings might find hamradio more appealing if they get to know digimodes, looking at our hobby for the first time.

  107. In addition to LA7DFA who correctly recognized the #1 threat to ham radio – rapid and exponential rise in urban noise level, I’d like to bring up one major factor that no one seems to want to acknowledge: our ham radio population is aging and dying off rapidly (median age 55-60’s).
    I personally couldn’t care less about FT8, but if that’s what it takes to bring new blood into the hobby and/or sustain operating level during the sunspot minimum, we should all support it. Once the sunspots return, FT8 activity will subside anyway.

  108. I’m a cantankerous old fart. If anyone didn’t pass their 20 wpm code test seated next to a urinal in a men’s room at a cheap Italian restaurant in Warren, PA, or doesn’t do ham radio exactly the same way I do, or who enjoys modes that I don’t like, well, then they’re just not a real ham and all that stuff that I don’t do and don’t like to do is gonna be the death of the hobby and if it’s gonna continue like this, we all might as well go back to 11m and all you youngins need to get off my lawn so I can fix up my spark gap rig and work some REAL ham radio…

    Did I cover it all?

    Sheesh. Lighten up, people.

  109. Have tried the other digital modes, RTTY and PSK on HF and packet on VHF and did not find them to be very interesting or much fun. However, if that’s what you enjoy then go for it! Will stick with a DX-60/2-B, Drake C-Line or K2 on CW for my fun.

  110. I am glad digital modes exist, why?
    Did you experience QRM levels over S7 to S9 for most of the time?
    Not pleasant to listen to when working phone right.
    Now with all the new digital modes available today you can even work DX while having lots of QRM.
    I am telling this because I am a really active DX chaser on Phone, but im experience this for a couple of years now. And im glad I now still have fun again in working the bands.
    Note that this is a more common situation as you think….

  111. Personally, I find FT8 a complete, utter bore. I cannot understand what pleasure anybody can take from watching two computers exchanging a few bytes through a largely automated procedure. But if people do, they should go ahead and have as much pleasure as they want. FT8 is a drag – I believe – but is certainly not killing amateur radio. I think the question was badly formulated.

    A different question is the meaning of DX awards. To my fellow, diehard DXers I would like to say: the real value of your #1 DXCC HR is not in the piece of paper. It’s in the countless hours of suffering, and of pleasure, YOU have spent over the years chasing it. Only YOU know how that was achieved, and THAT is the value the award has. If you’ve got it through a few fake QSLs, maybe a few QSOs made by friends, or through remote stations, and you are satisfied with it, that is who you are. If it has taken you 25 years and a lot of skills/knowledge, or massive investments in gear and antennas, that is who you are. If you are happy with your computer working 200+ countries for you, that is who you are. We are all different, the piece of paper is the same.

    73 Pete MM0TWX

  112. Only those that never tried it will not have no idea what it is all about.
    There is no real difference between using RTTY, PSK or FT8. After all your computer do the talk work and in most cases that counts for CW too. If FT8 should not count for Digital DXCC then neither should any of the other Digital modes.
    As hard as I tried, my computer does not want to sit and DX on its own and work new ones. I still have to operate the PC and the radios. You can unplug the internet and the decoding will be the same as there are no “via internet decoding” as another DX’er stated. Really, just because you have no clue does not mean you have to be negative about something.
    Johan ZS1A

  113. I don’t care what any of you think… and I’m sure you don’t care about what I think of your chosen operation practices. I hear a lot of stupidity on the amateur bands these days and it’s not getting any better… FT8 has no influence on any of this… do what you want to do and stay within the rules.. that’s all that matters is we do what we do right.

  114. Para nada. Al contrario. Puede haber diferentes formas de pensar, pero es un modo más nuevo para operar. Sino les gusta que sigan haciendo otro modo. Si les gusta bienvenidos. Y para los que opinan sin fundamentos que se remitan a las estadísticas y vean la cantidad de usuarios que hay en FT8. 73s

  115. I have made a couple of hundred ft8 qso but it has lost its newness for me so I haven’t been on ft8 in a while. I think that will be true for a lot of ops. I don’t see what the problem is actually. Whatever spurs activity on the bands has to be a good thing and Those guys are not taking up much spectrum. The only time I run across them is during a contest. A lot of people have problems with that too!

    As far as not being a proper qso/conversation, about the most I hear on cw isn’t much more than rst, name, qth, wx. I hardly call that a conversation.

  116. Solo dejo mi humilde comentario , es un perfecto Modo para las tres hermosas letras QRP , poca Potencia , poca ganancia de Antena y saber donde puedo llegar , nada mas es un muy buen Modo Digital

  117. Contesters go for dxcc, there are nets that focus on such things. FT8 is not always easy. Spotting has always been popular. Is not ham radio about experimentation and tech advancement ? If you like cw, do cw, if you want to chew the rag…use ssb. Hams go where’s there activity, I have zero problem with ft8 or any other digital mode. But I also enjoy traditional modes, cw in particular. You want to complain? Complain about no code.

  118. What a noise guys? You better start to stop DX cluster, DX chats, WebSDR, MS and EME decoding software. Oh, yes, you love RTTY which also automaticly decoding without human asisstance Take it easy, its our hobby which should go ahead with up to date technology.


  119. Just make a different award for FT8 lovers, similar to DXCC, but not DXCC.
    Or make list them in separate standing, not mixing with CW/Phone/RTTY.
    A lot of older folks who worked hard over the years to achieve their results in DXCC program using CW or Phone are really offended by this new type “wisper” mode.

  120. FT8 will in time be seen as a useful tool for DXing that has a place in ham radio when used at the right time and in the right circumstances.

    The number of mindless people who make EU-EU QSOs on 20mtrs using FT8 when more social and rewarding QSOs are readily available on CW & SSB will dwindle eventually.

    Opportunities to work via FT8 new openings, fringe propagation, DX on extreme bands such as 160mtrs/80mtrs, 6mtrs/4mtrs, and DX when your local environment is unhelpful (balcony antenna, local noise etc) are there for those who can see the advantage of the mode.

    FT8 should not be castigated for it having a computer involved. It is as much a legitimate method of making QSOs as using a CW reader or using another digi-mode. Instead embrace it, accept that in its infancy it will be misunderstood and abused, but look forward to having it as a respected tool to be utilized when appropriate and to enjoy along with the other modes.

  121. Gentlemen!

    The FT8 mode ciller for HAM RADIO, this is easy. NO human mode for every band’s because im hard work on 160m many antenna’s and amplifier etc equipment long time lisening on band and one call for DX station.
    the FT8 is not realy fanatic DX-er mode!!!! The way??????????????????????

    FT8 LOL…

    Im anty ft8 mode realy old AMATUR RADIO MAN! CW+Lisening for DX, and contest !

    FT8= 99


  122. Talk about going back in time. This sounds like the same question the CW ops asked when AM came along and later the AM ops asked when SSB came along. For crying out loud, if you don’t like something, don’t do it. If you do like it, do it. It should not be “this Mode is better than that Mode.” It sounds like a child stomping his/her feet and saving, “It’s not the way *I* do radio so it must be wrong!”

    Get over yourselves already.

  123. Each to one’s own, CW, RTTY,SSB or VHF, whatever floats your boat. FT8 suits me, I also use SSB and other modes but FT8 allows me to work stations when propagation is poor. When the propagation is good again in a few years I guess there will be only a handful using FT8 but for now, FT8 is king. Most of the moaners have never used FT8, it’s a bit kile all the people that knock the IC7300, 99% of them have never used one.

  124. I see FT8 as an alternative to the down side of the sun spot cycle. I believe it has given a boost to the small stations that would be inactive at the sun spot cycle bottom. True that FT8 seems to be drawing many stations from other modes, but with few new ones out there to work for me on CW or SSB a new mode like FT8 keeps me more active. I don’t think it will go away. At least the ARRL keeps it in a separate category.
    I think the real damage to DX’ing and ham radio is REMOTE HAM RADIO. The so-called rules for RHR are out the window. On any day you can witness west coast stations using European and Asian remotes to work DX on 80 and 160. There should be a separate category for RHR.

  125. My preferred mode is cw but ya gotta love FT8. It is amazing how much activity is in the FT8 sub band. An awesome weak signal mode and it looks like the the Dxpedition mode may produce rates of 3, 4, or 5 hundred QSO’s per hour. This mode is a game changer. IMHO it is wonderful to have another mode to DX with.
    Rich KB8GAE

  126. It is a great mode for limited stations but some hams did not realise that it is an qrp-mode and forget to swicht off their pa
    Thanks to Joe, K2JT developing this mode

  127. CW is the original digital mode …Yes
    When AM came along did it ruin ham radio …No
    When SSB arrived did it ruin ham ruin …No
    When RTTY became popular did it ruin ham radio …No
    When the digital modes like packet ; Olivia; MSK; JT65 developed did they ruin ham radio…No
    Did the merging of computers into our ham stations ruin the hobby…No
    Will FT8 ruin ham radio …NO! IMHO

    What will ruin ham radio is deciding that you no longer wish to learn and develop in your hobby. If you decide to stop learning and growing then you should give up ham radio and go sit on a park bench or in the shopping mall.

    The hardware and software technology of ham radio will continue to evolve — lets accept it and be proud that amateur radio is making such a great contribution to the evolution of communications.
    Ham radio WILL be damaged by apathy and myopic thinking and foresight by those in the hobby who think the sky is falling when it is clearly not. Just look at the hard evidence of the thousands of hams who have been off the wire for years for myriad of reasons have suddenly discovered they can make contacts worldwide with a minimalist station.

    Lets get with it and embrace the tech changes. I have been enjoying ham radio for 54 years and love to see new developments happening such as SDR and FT8 etc. and I always try to absorb as much of it as my brain can comprehend. I see nothing but good coming from FT8 and the other digital modes and I will continue to use them as much as possible.

  128. Next year, I guess many will revert more to the classic modes. For me FT8 has been an easy way to get digi DXCC’s. And it is also a way to work really weak 6m signals, and discover new openings, even during nighttime. Its been fun working new DXCCs, but its not a way I want to make regular HF QSOs.

    But for those with a lot of urban noise, I guess FT8 is a blessing. Noise is the killer of amateur radio, not easy new modes.

  129. I might just add another view from someone who was very active for over 50 plus year and mainly an avid CW operator. Back about 5 years ago I had a stroke and as a result lost total ability (due to short term memory loss) to carry on a proper chat with my fellow hams. Now with the likes of JT9, JT65 and FT8 I am able to able to carry on as an active amateur all be it via a different mode. Some of what I have lost is the ability to carry on regular chats with old friends.
    On the positive side – there is one less station running high power on the bands…!
    I find low power works fine. To date I have never applied for DXCC – not likely I ever will.
    To me this hobby is all about friendship and not awards.
    To Joe Taylor (K1JT) I say thank you.
    Regards all… VE9DX

  130. Very funny to read this – I paid so much for my big tower and my amplifiers. Now this guy with a simple wire is working 150+ DXCC’s in 4 Month – WE HAVE TO STOP THIS! Our hobby should develope and FT8 is a real chance for little pistols, We should stop money competition and old mode monopoly which came from past century. IMHO!
    73,s Igor UR5LCV, DXCC HR#1 holder

  131. FT8 mode Is OK fer testing QSO – FT8 not OK fer DX Exp here is the old mod Phone – CW – clasic RTTY the best!
    FT8 and many another Digi mods demage the real Amateur Radio – echolink on UHF/VHF is the best sample fer beginning the Digital Chaos on Ham Radio and ending with FT8 here work the Computer the QSO and not a Operater!

  132. Donovan/ZS2DL Says it perfect.YES It has to be outside at least
    present dxcc.May be ,make a seperate dxcc for FT8. ALSO Andy B says perfect .IF there is no challange
    it destroy the fun, and the hobby. Enough. If you prefer FT8, of course, go ahead and do it.
    But sorry for impact of ,,,,HEARD, modes/signals. Kind regards

  133. I’m Afraid even though I have used FT8, I believe it has no place in working for DXCC awards as it is actually not a true qso, but PC talking to PC, with retry after retry.
    Its okay to play with but should not be recognised for award purposes.

  134. I paid so much for my big tower and my amplifiers. Now this guy with a simple wire is working 150+ DXCC’s in 4 Month – WE HAVE TO STOP THIS!

    Hamradio is only for the wealthy!

    100w and wire stations are not allowed in the game!

  135. I am a lover of digital modes, like the phone, but I think we must adapt to time, solar cycles are down and in these times the digital do not require 2k to transmit.

    But good as it is said in colors there is no taste.

    73 Edmundo CE2VQF

  136. Its good to have different opinions, that also push things forward. Have a nice day on empty bands.



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