It’s been almost 4 years since Joe Taylor, K1JT announced on June 29, 2017 the availability of a new mode in the WSJT-X software, FT8.
According to Wikipedia, FT8 is described as being designed for “multi-hop Es where signals may be weak and fading, openings may be short, and you want fast completion of reliable, confirmable QSO’s”.
FT8 has many lovers and haters, yet here’s a thing. There appears to be many well known and capable operators using this mode instead of CW or SSB, and most DXpeditions also use FT8 big time nowadays. Is it simply to fill their data-mode band-slots?
FT8 has been a game changer for many small pistols, but has it changed the ham radio DX-ing game completely for better or worse these last 4 years?
Here’s a few pros and cons selected from social media recently.
This FT8 computer play is a shame for our hobby. It has killed all challenge and efforts from the operators.Sorry K1JT you destroyed our hobby.
It’s all Ham Radio, so it is all good. (Yes, I’m the guy who originated the notion of the ARRL “Triple Play” award.)
As a consequence of FTx canibalization of SSB, I have decided to support my second favorite mode (SSB) by slightly reducing my normal 90% CW contact content. Make CW Great Again & Make SSB big again.
It’s too easy to just fill the log with FT8 qso. I make a point of actually conversing with people I meet on air.
Hate it or love it – it is the New reality.
I uploaded 22 CW QSO‘s 8 SSB and 600+ FT8 QSO‘s
We could go on and on. Our own view is that CW and SSB will make a major comeback once the sunspot cycle starts to peak, but what do you think?