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I've been using FT8 recently, and I'll add a couple comments to the discussion.
Once you're set up for that mode, it's quite possible to just plunge in and make contacts. With some experience, though, your success improves. Especially in my case- running 10 watts- it pays to watch what's going on fairly carefully. At that power level, I watch the signal-strength trends. It doesn't pay to call a weak station at that power level. Everything else aside, I'm ~ 10 dB weaker than other folks. QSB contributes to the challenge- fading runs 15-20 dB on 40M and even more on 20M. I've had several instances where our signal reports differ by as much as 31 dB. That's propagation- not relative power.
There's also a common scenario where you call someone and they don't answer. You're probably competing with someone else on the same frequency- and don't know it. Good practice suggests that you quit transmitting until their contact is complete.
I think there is more is more to it than just 'point and click'. For that matter, for some activities, I simply press buttons to send CW. In that case, the fun wears off pretty quickly. Just not my thing. What is?- CW, of course. I ran 1B over the Field Day event. 180 contacts at 5 watts, including 28 on 40M FT8, and the rest were all CW- no buttons.
I agree wholeheartedly with Martin- it's all about having fun and doing whatever works for you.
73- Dave Benson, K1SWL
I agree completely. Maybe an email or letter writing campaign to the ARRL would get them thinking.
If I was part of the rule making committee the increasing weight for scoring would be Digital , SSB (or other phone), Satellite, then CW..... however each venue sets their rules and I guess we have a choice..... play or not.
Your points however are spot on because every other mode requires far more skills than any digital mode although the setup may take some finesse initially, the point scoring should not be the same as CW....... IMHO, but ARRL needs to address it I think.
I have been around microcomputers since ‘75, love ‘em but they are not radio and the clicking on some of the modes reminds me of playing “PONG”.....never liked the game.
If you need a parachute and don't have one you probably won't need one again.
Out of 52 Qs I had 6 1E contacts. I was doing 1B with a 5W S/N
001 from a park
5 blocks from the lab. Started on 20m at local sunset when the
band opened up.
Repeat on Sunday a.m.
I got 22 states and N7WY couldn't hear me this a.m. No DX worked,
But, I might bring up the following question and squash me if I am
Do you believe that a digital operator should be given the same
points as a CW operator? Should not the CW op be given some
the time and energy in on learning a skill that is not done
without a (*&*)(*
computer? I put this in the same category as 'dumbing down' the
level of the ham population. Go for the bucks.
For your consideration from a grumpy old guy.
On 6/23/19 5:28 PM, Paul Goemans wrote:
I noticed the same. It’s getting easier with the
available power gates and better batteries/ quieter
generators these days!
Paul Goemans WA9PWP
Sent: Sunday, June 23, 2019 9:44 AM
Subject: Re: [4SQRP] Field Day
Personally, I am encouraged by the number of
stations I hear operating 1-E or 2-E. In a true emergency, anyone not already
deployed to service is very likely to be directed to shelter in place. Being
able to operate for an extended period of time on emergency power from a home
station is a true asset that is sometimes not considered.