Search my Blog
Sunday, January 17, 2021
Monday, January 11, 2021
I guess most of you are well-aware of my views on FTx modes, set back in early 2018:
I had quite early stated that on Dec. 31st, 2020 I'd make my last FTx communications on HF, and I kept my word!
Since the initial release of these time-synced modes, and the rapidly growing popularity they gained among everyday HF DXers and casual HF operators, due to their simplicity and already great level of automation, thus making the "QSO" procedure easier than copying a file from one folder to another, it was just a matter of time before high profile awards, like the DXCC, the WAS, the WPX, but also the lower profile ones, lost their prestige.
On the other hand, the cashiers of awarding organizations started experiencing increasing money flows, which led to even more marketing of FTx modes. Nowadays, it is not uncommon to tune around the Amateur HF bands, and finding no signals other than Funny Transmissions, with one's RX s-meter peaking s9+.
We have to be fair. FTx modes attracted not only new hams, or even the more experienced ones, but also brought back the interest to the ones that had abandoned our hobby for years. This can only be considered as a plus.
I'll stick to the opinions mentioned in my post from 2018, pointing out that the initial purpose of the modes supported by the original developers suite, was the Weak Signals, and work for VHF/UHF and higher, in particular.
Yes, these modes are *just* what is needed to experiment and test the various propagation modes on that spectrums. But, stocking "QSOs" with them on HF bands, that could otherwise be possible with the classic, more humane modes, such as CW or SSB, finds no place in my books.
Moreover, it is now obvious that many new hams, who have entered our wireless world and directly fell into the Funny Transmissions pandemic, are more or less, technically incompetent and lack some very basic skills an Amateur Radio Operator is supposed to exhibit.
Where is this leading us as Radio Operators? I leave this as food for thought, for everyone.
I've fully automated my FTx operations, from the beginning till the end. With custom coding, lots of filtering options, smart algorithms to avoid "broken" or "lost" QSOs, always having in mind station safety - avoiding TX with high VSWR, online ALC level control, and others. Then, I let the system fly by itself, working completely unattended, while I was enjoying life, and it worked flawlessly till the end.
But, there's no point in running an expensive amateur radio station round the clock like this; it gave me no joy; it stopped being a hobby and I came to the point of losing interest in my shack. I just checked my FTx Robot's performance each day, and that's that!
So, here we are, getting back into "sanity road", and waving goodbye to all Funny Transmission modes on HF. You will only find SV5DKL on the air onwards, in CW, SSB and RTTY, not only in contests, but in casual everyday QSOs.
Here are some facts about the performance of my unattended, FTx Robot operations, till 31.12.2020:
ALL OF THE ABOVE "ACCOMPLISHMENTS" REQUIRED JUST 1 HF TRANSCEIVER RUNNING AT 45W, A 3EL. TRAPPED 10-15-20 YAGI, AND AN INVERTED-L BASE COUPLED FOR THE REST OF HF BANDS ... IN JUST 2.5 YEARS ... WITH NO HUMAN INTERACTION. MORE THAN ENOUGH FOR AN AVERAGE OP, RIGHT?
LET'S ALL PROTECT OUR ALLOCATED HF SPECTRUMS, BY INVESTING MORE TIME ON HUMAN MODES, SUCH AS SSB AND CW. THEY ARE MORE FUN, ANYWAY.
IN THE END, EVERYONE IS FREE TO ENJOY OUR HOBBY BY WHATEVER WAY ONE FEELS FINE WITH, LET'S JUST NOT FORGET THE SKILLS AND TECHNICAL BACKGROUND WE'VE ACQUIRED OVER TIME, AND WASTE THEM, MAKING THE CLASSICAL MODES OBSOLETE.
73 & CU ON AIR
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Saturday, August 29, 2020
Monday, July 13, 2020
Tuesday, July 7, 2020
for the, currently, latest version of the American-made Suite, found on eBay: