QO-100 Poor FT8 Operating Practices

  • Yesterday 7 Jan it was sad to see some many poor operating practices by some trying to use FT8 on QO-100.

    With badly over driven transmitters with one station clearly resolvable on three different frequencies.

    Many stations where running far too much power which was continually tripping Leila frequently for most of the afternoon and spoiling FT8 for the many operating correctly.

    Please monitor your own signal.

    73 Keith GU6EFB

  • Yes Keith, I could not agree more.

    I am now listening to a station who is triggering Leila and yet giving reports of -7 to -14 to stations who are giving him reports of +8 or +9.

    He obviously does not have a good receive signal and is trying to compensate by using too much power.

    Everyone using FT8 Must be able to monitor their own transmission, or chaos ensues.

    Some stations also have too much drift to enable good decoding.

    On the subject of Fox/Hound mode, I am not certain that this is appropriate for the satellite. HF operators use this mode successfully for rare DX expeditions but on the satellite, some operators do not understand the correct procedure for QSY'ing.


  • <DISCLAIMER> My knowledge about FT-8 is very limited. I once was a member of a small team operating as TO5M from FP, Saint Pierre & Miquelon. My teammates showed me which button to push now and then to keep the program going. So i sat there for a few hours and watched the contacts coming in , filling the logbook. I haven't worked FT-8 from home (not beyond a few test-qso's). <DISCLAIMER>

    While i agree with Ernst, PA1EJO, for the most part of his mentioned article, i disagree that FT-8 is a low power mode. If you need the extra 10dB to make a contact on shortwave, why not crank up the power to a kilowatt? Just set everything right to put out a clean signal, or - at least - try do do so. On satellite, you usually have a dish to add the missing dBs to your signal.

    No, it is a LOW SIGNAL Mode.

    Now that i said that, i really don't understand why most of the FT-8 signals i can see on the satellite are beacon level or even above. There is no real reason for that. Correct me if i'm wrong.

    I suspect many FT-8 users on QO-100 just can not monitor their signal because they can not receive while they transmit. They will never know they triggered Leila, because their transmit cycle is longer than the warning signal coming from Leila. Even if they hear or see Leila, most people on QO-100 think "some 1D10T triggered Leila, but not me". <polemic on>This also applies to many SSBers.<polemic off>

    Flamesuit on.

    73, Martin

  • Hi Martin, Yes I agree that FT8 or any of the Weak signal modes do not imply using low power transmitters.

    They are 'what it says on the tin' Weak signal modes. A station on 20Metres in New Zealand could be running a kiloWatt and be a very weak signal here in the UK -- FT8 would be appropriate in those circumstances.

    However; The HF bands will always be there, QO100 will not be. Lets make sure it's amplifiers last as long as possible by using sensible power from our transmitters.


  • Some observations:

    • FT4 works fine as well, but discipline that PC clock as well with a NTP link, the FT4 decoder is less time tolerant
    • FT4/FT8 can easily co-exist in the same part of the band, there was no problem with that last night.
    • No more spurious signals seen last night, I guess everyone understands that the audio drive has to go down.
    • Updated my blog with an ICOM transceiver specific issue, if you find more of these then please comment

    --... ...-- . .-. -. ... -