What a CF (you can figure out what that means). First off, there is almost zero chance of people in the US to work this station unless they have a yagi or a really great wire setup with no obstructions and probably running high power. From what I can tell, they are not running high power — and they are running MSHV, multiple QSOs at a time, so whatever power they are using is divided by the number of QSO streams going on. [This likely explains why I haven’t heard them once even though I’m constantly checking the various bands for them when they are reportedly on]

Then you have the moronic amateurs who start transmitting without even verifying that they can hear the FT8WW op. And let us not forget the fact that there are always goobers out there calling FT8WW during the same interval that he is transmitting. Good grief.

I’m so glad I have nowhere near all DXCC entities and no hope of ever being on the honor roll. This affords me the opportunity to pass up this CF and move on to any other DXpedition that I can actually hear and who can actually hear me (which is pretty much every one of them except for this one).

Adding insult to injury — There are apparently pirates galore. So if you think you’ve worked the real FT8WW, you better be checking your call against his Clublog uploads to verify. Otherwise you may have worked a pirate.

Why FT4?

Why not? Why wouldn’t you use it? Ok, it doesn’t have as good of an SNR as FT8. But it’s a hell of a lot more fun than watching paint dry with FT8. I’ll often jump on an FT8 subband and see strong signals all over the place (good band conditions somewhere). The subband will be full. I’ll switch to FT4 and see no signals.

You can complete an FT4 QSO so much more quickly than an FT8 QSO. This is especially true if you disable TX1 when calling another station. It can become really fast paced on FT4 when the conditions are good and a lot of stations are on. It is actually much more fun than the monotony of FT8.

I’d encourage everyone to switch to the FT4 subband once in a while and see if you find signals active there. If you do, start calling stations. If you don’t see any signals, make a few CQ calls to see if there are any lurkers waiting… there often is.

FT8 and FT4

If you are running FT4 or FT8, even with good signals between you and the other party, you really need to consider disabling TX1 when calling another operator. In WSJT-X you can do this simply by double-clicking on TX1. Why?

    It saves on time. FT8 exchanges are already monotonous
    Rarely does anyone give a damn about your/my grid square (on HF at least)
    When dealing with weak/fading sigs, keep back-forth as short as possible

Also, there are so many LIDS out there (usually long time DXers) who sit and wait for their choice DX, not paying attention to their TX slot, and they simply call out to their DX without any thought of who is already using the slot. This is especially noticeable amongst American ops — usually the guys with higher DXCC totals, beams and amps who know better but just don’t give a damn. There is usually plenty of free space available to transmit, and all it takes is a little courtesy and a moment of your time to actually find an open slot before transmitting.