With some help from our friends at WSJTX@groups.io.com
FT8 is one of the many digital modes in the WSJT-X software suite from Joe Taylor, K1JT and his team of collaborators. The basic software covers everything from weak signal HF to earth-moon-earth and meteor scatter transmissions on 2 meters and 70 centimeters in the VHF and UHF bands. WSJT–X really took off about 4 years ago with the introduction of JT65 and since the introduction of FT8 in spring of 2018, FT8 has become one of, if not the most popular HF digital mode. Please see the Know How Resources Tab for additional articles about the WSTJ-X suite, other digital suites and various digital modes.
Are there any psychologists out there, professional, amateur or wannabe, who have some theories about why FT8, its sibling FT4, and even its older cousins, JT65 and JT9, are so addictive?
FT8, it’s all the fun of Ham Radio – without the jibber-jabber!
For me, since I have hearing loss & tinnitus, I enjoy being able to turn the volume to zero & avoid the noise. And you can certainly multi task in that environment, have a meal, conduct a transaction, pay a bill, even watch a favorite TV show, etc.
In other words, having a life AND playing radio using FT8 are totally compatible – enjoy!
73 – John – N7GHZ
It’s addictive because it works well in crappy conditions, you can quickly and easily see where prop is going, and you can surf the web while operating.
Or clean up the shack. I use WSJT-X software because they make QSOs that I can’t make on CW, the mode I enjoy most.
73, Jim K9YC
I could tell you, but right now I am in a 15 second continuous, never ending, loop … 🙂
from another poster:
Hook up GridTracker and use a Mario Coin sound when it successfully uploads a grid to LOTW and it’s like a video game!
That is a major advantage. One can work stations all over the world even in the horrible current band conditions. Since starting with JT65 and moving to FT8 (a little FT4), it got my digital DXCC and have credit for 100 countries confirmed digital on QRZ and eQSL. I just need a confirmation from an Alaskan station I worked a few days ago on 10M (that was a surprise) and a QSO and QSL from Maine (Hello, any amateurs there — almost never see a balloon.) to complete my 10M digital WAS. I have confirmed all states digitally on 15M, 17M, 20M, 30M and 40M. Due to high SWR on my DX-88 vertical, I don’t work 80M much at all.
It “does exactly what it says on the tin”
And, you don’t need a big all singing station to get heard, just a few watts will work the world!
Whether you love it, or hate it, FT8 seems to be here to stay for a while. Will it be around over 150 years from now like Morse Code (CW)-the original digital mode? or fade away to become about as commonly used as the Telex-Over-Radio (TOR) modes like TOR, PACTOR and other variants of those that were common in the 1980s and 1990s but are rarely heard today? Either way, for now, it has given a lot of Technician class licensees the incentive to upgrade to General and sold a lot of radios.
See ‘ya down the log!