I'm liking this FT8

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  • Updated 11 months ago

It did take me a bit, even with help, to get everything set up and running like it should. But I have to say that 4 ATNO's in the last week on FT8 makes me a believer.

Now I need to get my hex beam fixed so I can get some of the really weak ones that can't hear me. I'd never heard Ceuta and Melilla until FT8.

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David Edgar

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Posted 12 months ago

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Dave - W6OVP

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Hi Dave. Can you share some hot tips on your setup? I ran PSK31 and JT65 on my 6300 long ago and want to start again now from scratch with FT8. Suggestions welcomed. TNX -Dave.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I love it! Bring on the robots...

PSKReporter gives you a good idea of what your station is doing too.

40 meters - this is where I am being heard. (bidirectional SteppIR pointing NE/SW from NNJ)


And this is what I am hearing:


Ria
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Dave - WB5NHL

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135 countries worked since mid-July. FT8 is certainly the cure for low sun spots hi hi
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Mark WS7M

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FT8 is great.  I lovet the fast turn around on QSOs.  I recently put up an 80m loop and to check how it was going on various bands I ran the WSPR mode of WSJT-X and looked at different power levels and where I was heard.

Of course if bands are bad (which they are) this still doesn't give the full picture but it was pretty cool to see 25W working down into New Zealand very easily with good SNR.

Here is a post to a doc I did a while back on how to setup for WSJT-X.  It might help some with setup:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6q5q9b0tli0w6at/BeginnersGuide-WSJT-FlexRadio.pdf?dl=0
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Al Reeves

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I'd love to get on FT8.  Does anyone have the detailed setup for the Flex 6300 to use FT8?  Also is there an Elmer that I can talk with on the phone to work through the setup?
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Mark WS7M

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Al,

Phone calls are tough for me except possibly a Saturday or Sunday morning but I am willing to help.  

mark - ws7m   ws7m@arrl.net
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Alan W4FBI

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Mark WS7M

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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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I like your doc as an in-depth guide. Mine is more of a quick start.

One tip is that I keep a WSJT-X profile in the radio so whenever I want to quickly get on FT8 I just click the profile and start up WSJT-X.
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Mark WS7M

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Thanks Ria,  That is a great tip!
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Jeff - K5JEF

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I have a profile for each band I use with FT8.  Works great.  I love using pskreporter in conjunction with FT8 as well. Don't forget to install JTAlert along with it.
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Dave - W6OVP

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Mark- I printed out your 26 pager and followed it almost exactly to nearly instant success. TNX. This after I switched to DIM4 instead of Meinberg (bah!). Have used DIM4 for years in other digital setups with no probs.

FT8 etc now works good with the 6300 on both a HB (Asus mobo) Win7 desktop and a Tosh Win10 portable. What fun!

However, I have a HB (different Asus) Win10 machine giving me fits. It will not consistently decode. The worst part is the decoding is intermittent --- mostly OFF. EVERTHING else works normally including transmit. If it had never worked it would be different, however sometimes it does! Aagggh!!!

Have reinstalled everything multiple times to no avail. Besides trying Meinberg instead of DIM4 the only thing I've tweaked is audio level but to no avail.

Any ideas?  TNX -Dave
(Edited)
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David Edgar

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Got a couple more ATNO's last night on 40M. One of them (South Africa!!) reported my signal at -21db. To get that one I had to crank the 6300 up to 90 watts. 
I'll be able to reach out further once I get the hex beam repaired.
Dave W6OVP, check out the links that others have posted above. Don't get discouraged if things don't work at the start.
It took more than a week and several different website forums of people helping before Murphy left me alone. It wasn't working when I shut everything down for the night but did work fine the next morning when I started it all back up again.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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With FT-8, and putting up my 80 Inverted 'L'  I have added several new LOTW confirmations for 80 Meter DXCC. 

I'm up to 77 so far and rising rapidly.

I am also up to 89 on 30 Meters,
and 88 on 12 meters (With a couple more this morning awaiting confirmation.) 

When those three bands are completed, I will have "Run the DXCC table" on 80-10 Meters!

FT-8 has also helped me finish my last 8 WAS on 15 Meters,
and cut my deficit on 10 Meters in half - only 8 more to go at the bottom of the solar cycle and I will have 5B WAS! 

Later this fall I hope to get AK on 160 to finish that band's WAS.

Unfortunately, I have 24 states to go on 12 Meters - My Log Periodic is mis-adjusted and performance is lagging behind the other bands.

The neat thing is that running FT-8 with JTAlert I have been able to knock off one or two new DX contacts or states every day or two.  (why did I wait so long to try JTAlert?)   It is only a matter of time until the job is done!.

My next LOTW credit payment is going to be a BIG one as I will apply for 5BDXCC, 5BWAS, and endorsements on individual bands, CW, SSB, Digital, RTTY, FT-8, and a host of others all at the same time!  Thanks in part to FT-8. And a great deal more to my 6500! I never would have experimented with all the new Digi modes without it!

Time to polish up the credit card....

Ken - NM9P
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John G3WGV

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Not my cup of tea at all I'm afraid. For me, amateur radio is about using my own operating skills to communicate. I am a keen CW op. I use computers and write a ton of software to support my operating but I make the QSOs, not a machine. Old fashioned perhaps but that's where I stand. And I freely admit that I am lucky in that I can put up good antennas, etc., so I don't need weak signal capabilities beyond what my own ears can provide.

There does seem to have been quite a drop off in CW activity since FT8 came along, especially on 6m. Perhaps the novelty of having the machine do all the work will wear off eventually!

John, G3WGV
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Dave - W6OVP

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Having been on the air for 63 years and done most modes I find FT8 to be an exciting and refreshing change. Especially during this down cycle. Nothing moldy about it at all, and I cut my teeth on the Railroad Code while in the 2nd grade during WW2.

Modern digital ham radio is a wonderful confluence of several technologies and points the way forward. And no one is being forced to do anything.

-Dave (Former M20J)
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John G3WGV

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Congratulations on 63 years of amateur radio, Dave! I can only muster 50 years so far but it's still as fascinating as it was way back when I was a teenager.

As I've said elsewhere in this thread, I am fully supportive of all these new modes and experimentation in general - it's what the hobby is about. It's great that others are enjoying FT8 but it doesn't grab me personally. That's all.

73, John, G3WGV
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mikeatthebeach .

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Well, think FT8 is here to stay !

73 Mike

249 Countries so far and counting, not bad !!

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John G3WGV

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I'm quite certain that it is, Mike, and I have absolutely no problem with that at all. In fact as an inveterate experimenter, software writer and all round geek, I think it's great. It's what amateur radio is about - experimentation.

But like SSTV, moonbounce, repeaters, DMR and so on, all of which have their ardent supporters, I will not be joining them any time soon!

73, John, G3WGV
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Justin - KL2D

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I read this thread and thought "FT8, what is that..." 

Some quick reading, Ria's as-always excellent tutorial (and Mark's more in depth one), and a couple of quick installs.... and PRESTO!!!   FT8 up and running, and within 1 hour I had 5 new DXCC locations worked.

Amazing! Especially given the generally poor band conditions lately, at least for me.

I had not played with WSJT-X at all, very nice software to use. Overall had a blast this weekend. 

It sure is a treat to find something new (to me) with the hobby. :-) 

Thanks to all the Elmers out there that make it easy to learn new things!

Justin
KL2D
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Mark WS7M

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Hi Justin,

It is fun isn't it?  For me I like CW.  It is work as my code speed is hovering around 20.  I do some voice and that is a kick.  But...

Like right now.  I'm sitting in my living room.  With my laptop, running WSJT and my flex over the LAN and I've made 5 contacts all silently while watching the KC/Houston football game.

I mean that is just fun.  While watching football I got both England and Italy on 40m.  

Glad it worked out for you.  It is easy, fun and it just works and it is like it was made for the flex.
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Ria - N2RJ, Elmer

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Justin,

Thanks for the kind words. I love to help out the community (and ham radio in general).  

You can of course thank me by working me on 12 and 160 meters which are the only bands I am missing for Alaska. ;)

At your convenience of course!

73/88
Ria
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes!  Several of us need AK on 160!
And I also need it on 6 Meters.

Perhaps we can do some MSK-144 and hit some rocks!

Have a lot of fun.  FT8 is a real Hoot!

Ken - NM9P
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Justin - KL2D

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I’d love to work on 160. I may have to string some more wire.... don’t tell the XYL. :-)

Might be a good project for late fall/early winter. If I get something up that works I will let you all know...

Justin
KL2D