It’s like slot machines for amateur radio.


Anthony, K3NG, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com.

18 Responses to “FT8”

  • Dave KJ8U:

    I have a hard time understanding why this mode is getting such a bashing. I enjoy it, it’s quick and easy to make some QSO. Lot’s of older hams rage on about it not being a proper operating mode. If that’s the case might as well call DMR that as well.

  • Goody K3NG:

    I’m not bashing it. A lot of people enjoy slots, for hours on end.

  • Dave KJ8U:

    I know you aren’t 🙂

  • Bryan M0IHY:

    Whatever floats your boat…

    There are enough modes of communication for all, whether they be rag chewing or seeing how many contacts you can make in as short a time as possible, low power, all sorts of digital modes.

    At the tender age of 15 back in ’63 my father took me to a local ham in Newbury, Berkshire, UK, he was talking to a ham in the USA and allowed me to say ‘Hi’, now that was something, this was at the time of the British red telephone boxes, the Beatles and more. In 2016 at the age of 68, I decided to get my license and by 2017 had progressed through Foundation, Intermediate and finally Advanced in July 2017.

    I suppose I’m ‘old school’ but providing I can operate on the bands using the modes I want I’m happy.

  • Dave NT9E:

    I think the complaint from older hams and, I tend to agree, the whole draw for this hobby in my case anyway was having a conversation with another ham at a distance. With JT65 and now FT8 we don’t converse anymore, we just make the contact.

  • Kelly AE5II:

    It’s like a fist bump over the radio 🤪

  • Tony Everhardt:

    The draw to amateur radio to me is dx’ing. I very rarely rag chew on hf. I dx on hf. What the hell is the difference if I get a fake 5X9 on SSB or a fake 599 on cw or a more reasonable signal report on FT8. As a matter of fact it’s none of anyone’s business what I do on amateur radio. Just like it’s none of my business what anyone else does with their radio. That’s the problem with people today….poking their nose in others business. Go rag chew and let us dxer’s dx.

  • Bob W5BR:

    My interest was to keep making contacts, especially DX while the sun took a breather for a few years. Note that I’m in an antenna restricted community so I needed all the help I could get. FT8 has helped tremendously in that respect. Also it doesn’t bother my wife as much.

  • Robert McMillan:

    Everyone to his on game, I just wish the FT-8 operators would keep in their part of the band plan and keep out of the Olivia section. Use the JT65 portion, it is empty now that FT-8 has taken over.

    As a small boy, I used to sit by the side of the road with a note pad and pencil. I would write down the registration numbers of all the vehicles that past me. FT-8 reminds me of that a great deal.

    If FT-8 is what turns your crank, then good for you, keep on rocking.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    It seems like at least once a month someone will crawl out from under a rock and piss and moan about FT8 and before the JT65/JT9 or PSK31 … in the past the piss and moaner bitched about Spark being real ham radio and CW not being. Then AM was not real ham radio only CW. Let’s not forget that guys who sound like Donald Duck (SSB) need to get off the air waves since AM was king. That is the short list…

    I like rag chewing and chasing DX as in voice SSB… I am a QRS CW person (S for sucks at it), but it is fun also. I have don RTTY, PSK, Olivia, AM, FM, D-Star, C4FM, ATV JT-65 and JT-9 and now have logged well over 3,000 FT8 and thanks to eQSL have my first wall paper.. 9 to be exact and LoTW and the ARRL DXCC and WAS. No place to hang them, but loved the challenge of getting them.

    I chance DX with side band at 500 watts, 100 watts and 5 (or less) using QRP and I would say 40 out of 50 are just like FT8.. Your are 59 73 or 599 73… That said I have had some enjoyable long QSO’s with DX and State side. When I want a QSO I try side band first. If the bands are dead, I will check CW. If no action there then PSK and Olivia. Nothing there the FT8. 99.9% of the time at least one band will have FT8.. 100% of the time the signals are well below the noise floor and well below SSB or CW.

    Those who piss and moan about FT8 not being a “real ham mode” need to get a real life… Ham radio is NOT CW and not SSB and not RAG CHEWING and not just DXing. It is all of the above and ALL of the modes and antennas, and locations etc… But mostly having fun. If you find you are not having fun, don’t blame it on the solar cycle or that only WSPR and FT8 are working… Blame it on yourself for being so limiting in your thinking and probably in all other aspects of your life…

    If you feel I am being to hard on those who complain… Oh well… I have been a ham since 1063/64 when I was KN7ZOV. I am K7ZOV and proud of being a happy ham with tons of options.. My next being making contacts with a old TS-711A and TS-811A and two eggbeater antennas and taking though satellites… Unlike many others I have no set limits… Maybe others need to expand their limits and their limited thinking…

    73 and learn to have fun guys and gals…

  • Gery Allen NA5GA:

    For those of us — and there are many — that live in HOA antenna restricted areas, any mode that works makes HAM RADIO FUN. It’s certainly wonderful that some folks have viable options for their antennas and have the power available to “reach out and touch someone” using SSB — but those options aren’t available to everyone. We need to do all we can to encourage people to participate — with whatever mode and equipment they have at their disposal. Constant complaints and alienation of a mode, such as FT-8, when that is their only option – serves only to discourage people and make them think they are less than they really are – simply because of where they live and what they have to work with. Just get out there and communicate — it’s all good !! 73 NA5GA

  • Fred PA1FJ:

    They heard many people say yes I have again a lot of new countries worked in FT8 today, but in fact they mean my computer has made these qso’s. A little while later they turn on their PC in the morning to go to work and in the evening they watch how many QSO’s un computer he has made! is this now Hamradio? NO!

  • Clive Smith GM4FZH:

    Yes, there is room for all the modes. However, will we just become like many with mobile phones and just using fingers and texting and lose the art of talking? I look on DXMAPS for 50 MHz and all I see is line after line of FT8 – I find that sad. Technology is good and to be able to make contacts in poor conditions BUT please come on and speak!!

  • Goody K3NG:

    “It’s like a fist bump over the radio”

    I like it! 🙂

  • Don WA2SWX:

    I’m in line with those that endorse a live and let live philosophy when it comes to amateur radio. I enjoy CW and digital modes and usually stay away from voice. Others have their own preferences. Whether it’s bouncing a signal off the moon, D-Star/Fusion/DMR, working sats or working QRPP with a little pixie-type rig it’s all good.

  • Nikolay R7TO:

    TKS! 73!

  • Luke AD0KI:

    It’s like a slot machine that pays out on almost every pull!

  • W7CAI:

    Are FT-8 programs compatible with
    windows 11?

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