FT8 spread

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Answered
  • (Edited)

I've found two stations I tried to contact that responded with 'spread'. Okay, they're doing split ops. But there is no indication of them listening up/down or how far.

Is there some standard split for FT8?

Photo of David Edgar

David Edgar

  • 21 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
spread???  First time I have heard of it.  Clearly, FT8 needs to be based on more than just 1 VFO frequency.  There is no reason in most parts of the world it is not that structured.  

There is no standard split.

Are you sure you signal wasn't overdriven and you may have been wider then you should have been?  Make sure that your audio level is not too high.  Watch the drive level on SSDR.

Photo of Ria - N2RJ

Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

  • 2314 Posts
  • 954 Reply Likes
There is a proposal for a separate DX window on 6 meters. With that said, split operation is the norm.

The newer dev versions that I’m testing will modify the behavior somewhat to make sure split works smoother for everyone.

Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
Dana VE3DS and I have been pushing for that.  :)
Photo of Tim VE6SH


  • 286 Posts
  • 38 Reply Likes

You need to convince Dana to go Flex!



Photo of Mike va3mw

Mike va3mw

  • 824 Posts
  • 198 Reply Likes
He's on my list.  :)
Photo of Bill Axelrod

Bill Axelrod

  • 33 Posts
  • 12 Reply Likes

There is no protocol yet. It will evolve. For nowm just keep in mind the WSJT copies the whole 2 Khz FT8 spectrum all at once. Just find an empty spot and call there. He will print all the callers in the clear and pick one a t a time to respond to. Good luck.

73... Bill K3WA
Photo of Mark - WS7M

Mark - WS7M

  • 1321 Posts
  • 500 Reply Likes
I take this to mean they want others to spread out.  Several times now I've gotten reponses "spread out" and they seem to want the stations to spread apart when they are on top of each other.
Photo of Bob Craig, K8RC

Bob Craig, K8RC

  • 255 Posts
  • 104 Reply Likes
Since the software decodes everything in the audio bandpass and the other station's software will recognize its' own callsign, transmitting "zero-beat" with a station is not necessary.and can, in fact, be detrimental if others are also piling up on the frequency... Just unlock transmit from receive in the FT8 software.

Transmit anywhere handy.
Photo of Ernest - W4EG

Ernest - W4EG

  • 215 Posts
  • 39 Reply Likes
Dave and Bill - that's the way I have been doing very successfully. Sometimes, It may take several tries and hopefully you'll be successful.
Photo of David Edgar

David Edgar

  • 21 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes

Thanks for the info. I'll try it next time. Find an 'empty' spot and transmit there.

Photo of Ken - NM9P

Ken - NM9P

  • 4239 Posts
  • 1351 Reply Likes
With FT8, when a station says "Spread out," it usually means "find a hole between other stations and call me."  The waterfall is a wonderful tool for guessing where the "holes" are.

I have nabbed a great many DX stations doing this, even when they didn't say "spread."  I can call during the other station's "73" transmission and I don't cover him up.
Photo of Dave - WB5NHL

Dave - WB5NHL

  • 285 Posts
  • 64 Reply Likes
The reason there is no "standard" spit is that the entire band (~3kHz) is decoded.  If your signal gets through (i.e. not clobbered by QRM) the station will see it. However, that still doesn't mean they will respond. Now that FT8 is popular QRM-less openings are getting hard to find hi hi. I can't remember the last station I DIDN'T work split!!   138 countries worked and counting!