CQ Amateur Radio

DIGITAL CONNECTION

This month, we’ll take quick look at a variety of subjects. None is large enough to merit a whole article, but each has been vying for my attention for a little while now.

FT8

I have heard from a few readers asking why I have not yet written about the FT8 digital protocol. There are a couple of reasons, but I feel that foremost is my failure to appreciate the marvel of this mode. Here we have a digital mode that can pull signals from quite far below the noise (about 20 dB) to render a normally unusable radio channel into a spectrally-efficient communications mode.

If you are seeking to earn an award that focuses on making a lot of diverse contacts, then this mode is for you. But if you (like me) seek to have meaningful communications, then you might be a little disappointed.

I also note that several articles on the topic have appeared in the past several months, and internet resources on the topic abound, so it isn’t like there’s a lack of information available.

FT8 is

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