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Friday, February 23, 2018

FT8 Liddom is next imminent threat - Action required ... fast !!

Well, after having published my video tutorial on how to set up a fully automated, working unattended FT8 robot (link), and after that witnessing hordes of so-called "Hambots" roaming the bands, I thought my part of the job was done!

Just recently, a newsflash came out, informing of the development of the new "DXpedition Mode" version of FT8, implemented in soon-to-come release of WSJT-X ver. 1.9.0-rc1 (link). After reading the complementary guide about it (link), I realized that although the new possibilities will be endless, we are all going to witness a major liddom conquering the digital spectrum of the amateur radio bands. As many point out in this eHam's Digital forum post (,115948.0.html), things will get rough on FT8 QRGs, unless the allocated bandwidth spreads out.

From what I understand, there is a strong tendency to overpopulate digital mode users, in order to overexpand the use of digital modes, restricting at the same time bandwidths of other modes. With today's frequency limitations, FT8 frequencies are going to become useless, when the new version of WSJT-X comes out.

Just imagine infinite "Hambots" calling CQ, responding to and logging multiple contacts for ever, under the new principle ... it would only take 2 or 3 Lids to fill up the allocated FT8 bandwidth !!

Wayne - N6KR , Dan - KB6NU and Jose - N2LRB have really put together my clouds of thoughts with their articles, which you can read here:
I can feel Dan when he writes "It’s been fun to try something new, but to be honest, I’m not really feeling the magic." & "Part of it is that I don’t feel like I’m really doing anything".

It really is very much to do about nothing !!

In order to add to this, I have already started setting up another fully automated, working unattended FT8 robot, which will only work S&P, rather than just call CQ and log contacts. This will be working as per each user's filtered wishes. It will have the option i.e. to work just new bandslots,or a specific callsign (e.g. DXpedition), or new WAS per band, or new WPX prefixes, or specific world areas, or ... whatever. It will be almost 100% customizable to the way an operator "behaves" on air, like calling on split frequency, number of times to call before trying again, wait if another caller gets his chance first (or not!), or call only stations received with signals lower/higher than -xx db, etc. It will also be using PSKReporter spotting, DXCluster spots, or any other custom spotting alert system, to adjust radio's VFO frequency accordingly.

Will wait for the public release of WSJT-X ver. 1.9.0-rc2, just to assess damage, before publishing the new S&P FT8 Robot.


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