locked Is anyone developing a comprehensive "best practices" document for FT8 etiquette? #QSO_practices


Randy, WS4C
 

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful, and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8 etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC


Gary Rogers
 

On Jul 10, 2022, at 12:10 PM, Randy@... wrote:

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful, and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8 etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC





Jeff Stillinger
 

Honestly, the "best practice" has already been written.   Chapter 7.1 of the User Guide has an example of the recommended Standard QSO exchange, along with explanation.   This is a non-contest exchange used in day to day operations.   Further in the chapter non standard callsign usage is covered, such as KB6IBB/MM, etc.. It's excellent ground work, but open to a lot of interpretation within the "peer review" of the user base.

My suggestion would be rather than totally reinventing the wheel, to get with the development team, and contribute to the existing documentation.    This will retain continuity in the total documentation portion of the project.    One of the issues we face now are the hundreds of You Tube videos and thousands of social media posts that do not provide a stabilized consistency in operating practice and configuration.    Then to support the written documentation, a series of "official" You Tube videos that basically explains the written documentation and how to deploy it.    The team will have to also do this in roughly 60 different languages or dialects.

Yes, the QSO format has been a long discussion dating back long before FT8.   Being the stubborn old man that I am, even I have had to adapt to operating practices that I don't exactly agree with if I want that rare QSL.

On 7/10/22 13:32, Randy@... wrote:
Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful, and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8 etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC



--
Jeff Stillinger - KB6IBB
KB6IBB Laboratories, Wylie Tx
http://kb6ibb-15.ham-radio-op.net/


AC9XW Doug
 

in no order:
1. keep your ALC as low as possible
2. search for an open frequency, and remember it may not look open to
another operator.
3. Click the "hold freq" box so that your transmitting freq stays
(presumably what looks like an open space) and move to be on top of the
other ham's freq.
4. propagation changes quickly and it may take a few 73's for the other ham
to receive a pop up box. He may also have lost you and moved on. This
means, its difficult to have a best practices guide.
I realize that you mean well, and i read the other posts. I would tell
you that you should qso a lot of FT8 and FT4 and then you can see what lots
of hams say about this mode. Also,
you check your signal with PSKreporter and see what you signal looks like
where its received.

AC9XW

On Sun, Jul 10, 2022 at 2:10 PM <Randy@...> wrote:

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes
abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had
sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely
ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at
all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks
to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful,
and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown
was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply
respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general
sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did
seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does
happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned
in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8
etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and
comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do
include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that
topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know
where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering
whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile
such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new
developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such
a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for
flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall
situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So
the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people
who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense
and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment
of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very
quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not
attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint
of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll
assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience
and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would
become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on
matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous
to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out
by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that
controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that
document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that
discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial
matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the
good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out
bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll
appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a
document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an
impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as
possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC





--
Douglas S. Iverson
Ripon, WI 54971
920-509-4618


Randy, WS4C
 

With all due respect to the helpful replies so far, I must say that I apparently have not made my point adequately clear. No, what I am envisioning has not yet been written in either of the documents cited above. Those discussions are very helpful as far as they go, but I am envisioning a discussion that goes further into some decisions that operators must make beyond the basics that those documents cover.

Though I hate to write at length, I guess the nature of the discussion requires greater length than I wish. I'll remain as succinct as possible in offering these examples of discussion topics that I think could be helpful to new and seasoned ops alike. So, in no particular order . . .

Gary, ZL2IFB, makes the excellent point that FT8 is a WEAK SIGNAL mode, not a LOW POWER MODE. So he is not absolutist at all about keeping output power under, say, 50-100 watts. Very good. Here's my situation. After about 35 years of DXing, spread over 50 years time, mostly with 100w and tree-hung wire antennas, I have yet to snag a QSO with CQ Zone 26 (XU, XV, XW, HS, VU4). This is due in part to my having lived in topographically challenging locations over the years. Over the past few weeks, I've been decoding some HS stations around 12-1400Z on 20m. If I had a kilowatt linear, I would not have hesitated to kick it on and FINALLY work Zone 26! Well and good; I don't think anyone would legitimately complain. But, what I REALLY want is not just one QSO with any Zone 26 station who will QSL; I'd love to fill in quite a few missing DXCCs in that part of the world: A5, S2, XZ, VR2, T8, etc., in addition to those Zone 26 entities. So on a day when the propagation is decent, especially given the relative rarity of my WS4 prefix that makes me attractive to some ops, I would be very tempted, if I had a kilowatt, to set up camp and call a general CQ (or maybe CQ ASOC, if that directional could be assumed to be understood as Asia or Oceania) and work all comers, hoping that among them might be at least one of these entities that I need. (I realize that many of these have no resident hams to show up on the air on any random day. But some do.) With my wire antennas, even my kilowatt may well arrive as a weak signal in the part of the world I especially want to reach. But calling CQ for an hour or more is very different from kicking on the linear to make one QSO. I'd be collecting a lot of strongly positive SNR reports from a good many of those QSOs. How does the FT8 community feel about this particular use of high power?

Here's another one. Especially with my modest signal, holding a clear TX frequency for myself can be pretty tough. And with my weaker signal, I'm often in the second layer of decodes for the stations I'm trying to work, so I often must wait patiently in line for a good many QSOs. When my target station calls somebody else, I have a decision to make about whether I should go ahead and call while the other station being worked is sending his report, so that I don't leave a gap on the waterfall that invites someone else to jump into that slot (think 20 meters at its busiest!), or whether I should avoid cluttering my target station's decode window, to allow him to finish this QSO as efficiently as possible. I may be just one of quite a few stations calling him, and if they all call him in the middle of his QSO, he may have some trouble keeping things sorted out with clarity. So here's an idea that occurs to me: I could transmit for about half of my transmit period, whether first half or second half doesn't really matter. This posts my presence on the waterfall but is unlikely to produce a decode that will distract my target station. As one who wants to be conscientiously ethical, is this half-transmission viewed as selfishly occupying my TX frequency by sending something that I don't intend to be decoded? Or is it a smart idea that promotes stability in TX frequencies among the current occupants of the band? It seems to me that stability of the TX frequency on the part of band occupants contributes to efficiency of QSO-making and is therefore desirable. So my wanting to keep my own TX frequency is not purely selfish; it promotes the common good.

I won't lengthen my message with further questions of this sort that I've entertained as I've contemplated possibilities for how I might maximize my FT8 success, but sometimes I think of something that I might do to help myself that I'm unsure whether others would view as unfair to them. And I don't find discussions at this level of detail in the documents that have been cited above. As I've said, I don't envision a lawbook to throw at people but rather a discussion of the kinds of issues involved and the various factors to consider in making operating decisions in real time.

Oh, phooey. Let me add another topic anyway. Someone in the other thread spoke of getting several answers to a CQ and then wasting a good bit of time, after working one of them, in calling the others fruitlessly. That's a good topic for guidance. While I'm calling one station fruitlessly, another may actually be ready to reply to a call from me if I were calling him (or her, of course) instead. I'm filling my 50Hz with RF in vain when I could be making a QSO. Might it be a good idea to recommend that in this situation, those additional calls be limited to one per station? if the other station is already in another QSO and can't respond, he can see that you copied him and take it as an invitation to return and work the QSO when he can. Having sent that one call, I would then be obligating myself to complete that QSO as soon as I can, and I'd appreciate his taking a moment to wait if necessary so that we can finish the QSO efficiently rather than having another round of "one call, no answer". I haven't seen discussion of this sort in any of the available guidance. Have I missed something?

And then just a tip FWIW. When you've been holding down a frequency on a busy band for a while and working some Qs but then you get no callers for an unusual number of cycles, it's hard to decide whether to risking losing your TX slot on the waterfall by omitting a TX cycle to see what the waterfall looks like. I've found it helpful to do one of those "half transmissions" that I mentioned above. Start a CQ, and at about 10 seconds, unkey and see what the remainder of my slot looks like. My call is short enough that these shortened transmissions are often decoded anyway, so sometimes I get both a look at the waterfall and another Q to boot. I don't see any ethical issue here at all, other than to promote QSO efficiency by encouraging people to take this tip rather than to either just sit there CQing their brains out or QSY unnecessarily at the risk of complicating somebody else's operating session by your sudden appearance at the new frequency. Operating practices that promote QSO efficiency should be viewed as good operating etiquette and ethics, it seems to me! And I doubt that I'm the only op who would profit from reading the kinds of discussions and recommendations I'm envisioning as worthwhile.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC


Randy, WS4C
 

Jeff, I should acknowledge that your suggestion that any discussion such as I envision that might be developed would best be located within one of these larger documents on FT8 best practices seems like a good one, as long as the keepers of those documents don't mind their being lengthened with discussion at this level of detail. Such details can tend to obscure the more basic information that these documents exist to convey.

Knowing what kinds of information are best incorporated into an existing document and what kinds are best presented separately seems to me to be something of an art that I don't solidly possess.


Michael Black
 

ALC level depends on the rig.  Some are cleanest at no ALC -- some at higher levels.
The document we put together will help you learn how your ACL behaves...basic idea being you should be able to transmit at 80% of full power (e.g. 40W into a 50W rig setting) and that will show you your expected ALC level.  If it's zero than it should stay at zero -- if it's has some level to it then taking your power up from 40W to 50W will see the ALC increase a bit.
I've not seen a rig yet that can't do 90% of full power and still have a clean signal.   Some rigs will start harmonics above 90%.
Mike W9MDB

On Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 06:44:33 PM CDT, AC9XW Doug <ripondoug@...> wrote:

in no order:
1. keep your ALC as low as possible
2. search for an open frequency, and remember it may not look open to
another operator.
3. Click the "hold freq" box so that your transmitting freq stays
(presumably what looks like an open space) and move to be on top of the
other ham's freq.
4. propagation changes quickly and it may take a few 73's for the other ham
to receive a pop up box.  He may also have lost you and moved on.  This
means, its difficult to have a best practices guide.
I realize that you mean well, and i read the other posts.    I would tell
you that you should qso a lot of FT8 and FT4 and then you can see what lots
of hams say about this mode.    Also,
you check your signal with PSKreporter and see what you signal looks like
where its received.

AC9XW

On Sun, Jul 10, 2022 at 2:10 PM <Randy@...> wrote:

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes
abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had
sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely
ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at
all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks
to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful,
and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown
was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply
respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general
sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did
seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does
happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned
in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8
etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and
comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do
include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that
topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know
where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering
whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile
such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new
developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such
a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for
flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall
situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So
the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people
who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense
and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment
of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very
quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not
attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint
of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll
assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience
and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would
become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on
matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous
to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out
by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that
controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that
document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that
discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial
matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the
good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out
bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll
appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a
document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an
impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as
possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC





--
Douglas S. Iverson
Ripon, WI 54971
920-509-4618


careyfisher@...
 

Ignore the comment about ALC. ALC level doesn't matter for these modes,
and, in fact, some radios need ALC for proper operation.
73, Carey, WB4HXE

On Sun, Jul 10, 2022 at 7:44 PM AC9XW Doug <ripondoug@...> wrote:

in no order:
1. keep your ALC as low as possible
2. search for an open frequency, and remember it may not look open to
another operator.
3. Click the "hold freq" box so that your transmitting freq stays
(presumably what looks like an open space) and move to be on top of the
other ham's freq.
4. propagation changes quickly and it may take a few 73's for the other ham
to receive a pop up box. He may also have lost you and moved on. This
means, its difficult to have a best practices guide.
I realize that you mean well, and i read the other posts. I would tell
you that you should qso a lot of FT8 and FT4 and then you can see what lots
of hams say about this mode. Also,
you check your signal with PSKreporter and see what you signal looks like
where its received.

AC9XW

On Sun, Jul 10, 2022 at 2:10 PM <Randy@...> wrote:

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes
abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had
sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely
ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain
at
all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks
to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful,
and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive
lockdown
was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and
simply
respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general
sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did
seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs
does
happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also
mentioned
in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8
etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and
comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do
include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that
topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know
where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering
whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile
such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new
developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also,
such
a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need
for
flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall
situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So
the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at
people
who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common
sense
and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment
of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very
quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not
attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any
hint
of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly,
I'll
assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past
experience
and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would
become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on
matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous
to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered
out
by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that
controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of
that
document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that
discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial
matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the
good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out
bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll
appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a
document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an
impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as
possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC





--
Douglas S. Iverson
Ripon, WI 54971
920-509-4618





--
Carey Fisher
careyfisher@...
--
73, Carey, WB4HXE


William Smith
 

There seems (to me) to be a misunderstanding here. I get that you think this is _your_ frequency, but:

1) It's not _your_ frequency. Every one of the 4,000-ish available offsets is a shared resource. While it's bad practice to deliberately set your transmit audio frequency to the same offset as someone else, you are probably sharing a transmit offset with someone else, but that's OK, WSJT-x can decode two separate signals at the same offset! [And yes, Hold Tx will avoid multiple folks jumping to the same offset on the alternate timeslice, but I think of that as a newbie filter, otherwise I'm mystified as to why it's not the default. 8*]

2) Someone else who can't hear you is probably using that same offset, and both of you are probably interfering with a QSO by some third party that neither of you can hear (or see on the waterfall). Nature of the beast.

3) I've found giving my transmissions a break for a few minutes to watch the waterfall (and run a Python program to find the gaps I can't see) is a good thing, as you've indicated. This allows me to pick a different offset and try again, reducing QRM at my original offset (and yes, increasing it at the new one, that's RF for you).

4) IMHO, moving my Tx offset when I don't seem to be making any progress is good practice for a number of reasons, which have all been discussed here previously. A short list:
- My QSO Partner has a narrow filter, either by mistake or in the belief that it increases SNR. I've found that being near (or even on) his offset gets better results.
- The middle of the waterfall is busy, and the edges, either in the low hundreds of Hz or the upper KHz, (many radios will Rx into the 4KHz range) work just as well without the QRM
- The 'hidden transmitter' problem, you don't know who you are interfering with, and you don't know who is interfering with you, so try somewhere else.
- The 'partner QRN' problem, you don't know what your partner's RFI looks like, maybe a different offset will work better.
- Folks who do _not_ have 'Hold Tx" selected will end up 'camping' on 'your' offset. Rather than building a ruleset document they'll never see, move your offset.
- All of the above changes constantly as propagation wanes and waxes in all different directions.

5)
I really don't think "stability of the TX frequency on the part of band occupants" is nessesary, desired, or best practice. Nor is channelization, or any of the other schemes that have been advanced for increasing FT8 efficiency. I kinda like the chaotic nature of trying different offsets, and don't think it negatively impacts anyone else's use of the bandwidth.

73, Willie N1JBJ

On Jul 10, 2022, at 8:54 PM, Randy@... <Randy@...> wrote:
[...]
set up camp
[...]
holding a clear TX frequency for myself can be pretty tough
[...]
leave a gap on the waterfall that invites someone else to jump into that slot
[...]
selfishly occupying my TX frequency
[...]
stability in TX frequencies among the current occupants of the band? It seems to me that stability of the TX frequency on the part of band occupants contributes to efficiency of QSO-making and is therefore desirable. So my wanting to keep my own TX frequency is not purely selfish; it promotes the common good.
[...]
I'm filling my 50Hz with RF
[...]
holding down a frequency on a busy band
[...]
risking losing your TX slot


Neil Foster
 

Check out the document from Gary Hinson ZL2IFB / G4IFB Go qrz.com for the link Neil N4FN


Jim Brown
 

On 7/10/2022 5:54 PM, Randy@... wrote:
With all due respect to the helpful replies so far, I must say that I apparently have not made my point adequately clear. No, what I am envisioning has not yet been written in either of the documents cited above. Those discussions are very helpful as far as they go, but I am envisioning a discussion that goes further into some decisions that operators must make beyond the basics that those documents cover.
I use WSJT modes primarily on 160M to work EU from W6, and work double/triple/quadruple hop on 6M to the east coast of the US, Europe, and Japan. I very occasionally use it to work DXpeditions on the HF bands. For ALL of these applications, which are weak signal work, I run legal limit. I call CQ ONLY on 6M during openings, mostly listen for rare countries, grids, that I want to work. I've also been using FT8 on 60M, where legal limit in the US is 100W ERP, and I work at that level to work on DXCC on that band. Again, I rarely CQ, jump in with power for who I want to work.

I strongly recommend this approach -- a LOT more listening than transmitting. Stay out of the way of others, jump in to work what you need, and continue listening. The primary reason I run high power when I do is that the stations I want to work are bathed in noise from their own homes and those of their neighbors, and I need to get over that noise. It's NOT about QRM from other stations.

73, Jim K9YC


Kevin McQuiggin (VE7ZD/KN7Q)
 

The "FT8 Operating Guide" by ZL2IFB has been the standard for several years. It is updated regularly and can be found at https://www.g4ifb.com/FT8_Hinson_tips_for_HF_DXers.pdf.

73,

Kevin VE7ZD/KN7Q

On July 10, 2022 8:18:32 p.m. PDT, "Michael Black via groups.io" <mdblack98@...> wrote:
ALC level depends on the rig.  Some are cleanest at no ALC -- some at higher levels.
The document we put together will help you learn how your ACL behaves...basic idea being you should be able to transmit at 80% of full power (e.g. 40W into a 50W rig setting) and that will show you your expected ALC level.  If it's zero than it should stay at zero -- if it's has some level to it then taking your power up from 40W to 50W will see the ALC increase a bit.
I've not seen a rig yet that can't do 90% of full power and still have a clean signal.   Some rigs will start harmonics above 90%.
Mike W9MDB



On Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 06:44:33 PM CDT, AC9XW Doug <ripondoug@...> wrote:

in no order:
1. keep your ALC as low as possible
2. search for an open frequency, and remember it may not look open to
another operator.
3. Click the "hold freq" box so that your transmitting freq stays
(presumably what looks like an open space) and move to be on top of the
other ham's freq.
4. propagation changes quickly and it may take a few 73's for the other ham
to receive a pop up box.  He may also have lost you and moved on.  This
means, its difficult to have a best practices guide.
I realize that you mean well, and i read the other posts.    I would tell
you that you should qso a lot of FT8 and FT4 and then you can see what lots
of hams say about this mode.    Also,
you check your signal with PSKreporter and see what you signal looks like
where its received.

AC9XW

On Sun, Jul 10, 2022 at 2:10 PM <Randy@...> wrote:

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes
abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had
sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely
ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at
all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks
to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful,
and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown
was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply
respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general
sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did
seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does
happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned
in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8
etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and
comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do
include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that
topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know
where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering
whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile
such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new
developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such
a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for
flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall
situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So
the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people
who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense
and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment
of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very
quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not
attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint
of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll
assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience
and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would
become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on
matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous
to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out
by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that
controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that
document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that
discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial
matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the
good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out
bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll
appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a
document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an
impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as
possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC





--
Douglas S. Iverson
Ripon, WI 54971
920-509-4618











 

I just got “404 – Page not found” on that URL

Phil GM3ZZA

Sent from Mail for Windows

From: Kevin McQuiggin (VE7ZD/KN7Q)
Sent: 11 July 2022 16:05
To: main@WSJTX.groups.io; Michael Black via groups.io; main@WSJTX.groups.io
Subject: Re: [WSJTX] Is anyone developing a comprehensive "best practices" document for FT8 etiquette? #QSO_practices

The "FT8 Operating Guide" by ZL2IFB has been the standard for several years. It is updated regularly and can be found at https://www.g4ifb.com/FT8_Hinson_tips_for_HF_DXers.pdf.

73,

Kevin VE7ZD/KN7Q



On July 10, 2022 8:18:32 p.m. PDT, "Michael Black via groups.io" <mdblack98@...> wrote:
ALC level depends on the rig.  Some are cleanest at no ALC -- some at higher levels.
The document we put together will help you learn how your ACL behaves...basic idea being you should be able to transmit at 80% of full power (e.g. 40W into a 50W rig setting) and that will show you your expected ALC level.  If it's zero than it should stay at zero -- if it's has some level to it then taking your power up from 40W to 50W will see the ALC increase a bit.
I've not seen a rig yet that can't do 90% of full power and still have a clean signal.   Some rigs will start harmonics above 90%.
Mike W9MDB



On Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 06:44:33 PM CDT, AC9XW Doug <ripondoug@...> wrote:

in no order:
1. keep your ALC as low as possible
2. search for an open frequency, and remember it may not look open to
another operator.
3. Click the "hold freq" box so that your transmitting freq stays
(presumably what looks like an open space) and move to be on top of the
other ham's freq.
4. propagation changes quickly and it may take a few 73's for the other ham
to receive a pop up box.  He may also have lost you and moved on.  This
means, its difficult to have a best practices guide.
I realize that you mean well, and i read the other posts.    I would tell
you that you should qso a lot of FT8 and FT4 and then you can see what lots
of hams say about this mode.    Also,
you check your signal with PSKreporter and see what you signal looks like
where its received.

AC9XW

On Sun, Jul 10, 2022 at 2:10 PM <Randy@...> wrote:

Yesterday I posted a question about whether stations were sometimes
abandoning in-progress QSOs in favor or a juicier opportunity that had
sprung up. Saying that the discussion had entered territory that rarely
ends well, a moderator locked it down. I'm new here, so I won't complain at
all about the moderator's action. I do, though, want to express my thanks
to all who replied. I found the collective input to be extremely helpful,
and I detected no animosity in any of it. Whether the pre-emptive lockdown
was necessary, wise, or helpful, I'll refrain from conjecturing and simply
respect it. So let's not restart that discussion at all.

One of my main objectives in posting was to get a feel for the general
sense of etiquette on that topic. As that discussion developed, there did
seem to emerge some general agreement that impolite abandoning of QSOs does
happen to some extent. And other breaches of etiquette were also mentioned
in the process of discussion. I googled for significant documents on FT8
etiquette, and I did not find anything that attempted a systematic and
comprehensive discussion. Of course there are numerous documents that do
include material on etiquette, but I'm talking about one devoted to that
topic. I did not find such a document. If one exists, I'd love to know
where it is.

So, assuming that no such document currently exists, I am wondering
whether there is any interest in good heads getting together to compile
such a resource? It would probably have to be a living document, as new
developments will likely spawn some shifting operator practice. Also, such
a document shouldn't be a straitjacket; people need to recognize a need for
flexibility. I personally find it easy to be flexible when an overall
situation manifests relatively little indication of boorish behavior. So
the purpose of such a document wouldn't be as a lawbook to throw at people
who deviate from it in the slightest but would rather promote common sense
and flexibility within reasonable bounds to maximize everyone's enjoyment
of operating in these digital modes.

I suppose it's possible that this post, too, will get locked down very
quickly, or perhaps even deleted. I hope my tone makes clear that I'm not
attempting to stoke controversy. If there's a hypersensitivity to any hint
of controversy that requires such discussions to be shut down quickly, I'll
assume that that sensitivity is unfortunately justified by past experience
and will apologize for treading too close to some sort of cliff. I would
become puzzled, though, about how we're to make any progress at all on
matters of operator ethics if all such discussion is deemed too dangerous
to even engage? A document such as I envision would have to be hammered out
by a process that would inevitably involve disagreements. It that
controversy would be intolerable here, then I guess the developers of that
document would have to start another group somewhere, dedicated to that
discussion, where the polite discussion of potentially controversial
matters that was not allowed here would be encouraged for the sake of the
good that could emerge from it.

Bad idea? Good idea? Good idea in theory that would inevitably turn out
bad in practice? I don't consider myself astute enough to know. So I'll
appreciate any input that will help me to know whether to hope for a
document like I envision or whether to dismiss that hope as an
impossibility and just muddle along the best I can, trying as much as
possible to give others the benefit of any doubts.

Randy Leedy, WS4C
Greenville, SC





--
Douglas S. Iverson
Ripon, WI 54971
920-509-4618

















--
73 Phil GM3ZZA


Robert Lorenzini
 

Yes, 160,80,20,6 have a larger percentage of high power stations. High and low power stations do coexist
peacefully. Run Spectrum Lab on a channel and you will see why. If you run split like you should there
are few problems, and Incessant retries create much more QRM. I think much of this bias is left over from
PSK31 where it could be a problem.

Bob - wd6dod

On 7/11/2022 3:22 AM, Jim Brown wrote:
On 7/10/2022 5:54 PM, Randy@... wrote:
With all due respect to the helpful replies so far, I must say that I apparently have not made my point adequately clear. No, what I am envisioning has not yet been written in either of the documents cited above. Those discussions are very helpful as far as they go, but I am envisioning a discussion that goes further into some decisions that operators must make beyond the basics that those documents cover.
I use WSJT modes primarily on 160M to work EU from W6, and work double/triple/quadruple hop on 6M to the east coast of the US, Europe, and Japan. I very occasionally use it to work DXpeditions on the HF bands. For ALL of these applications, which are weak signal work, I run legal limit. I call CQ ONLY on 6M during openings, mostly listen for rare countries, grids, that I want to work. I've also been using FT8 on 60M, where legal limit in the US is 100W ERP, and I work at that level to work on DXCC on that band. Again, I rarely CQ, jump in with power for who I want to work.

I strongly recommend this approach -- a LOT more listening than transmitting. Stay out of the way of others, jump in to work what you need, and continue listening. The primary reason I run high power when I do is that the stations I want to work are bathed in noise from their own homes and those of their neighbors, and I need to get over that noise. It's NOT about QRM from other stations.

73, Jim K9YC




Randy, WS4C
 

This is exactly the kind of mind-expanding discussion that I am looking for and find to be very helplful. Thanks!

And, by the way, I didn't mean "my TX frequency" to sound possessive; it is "mine" only in the sense that I am currently transmitting there and would like to continue doing so if possible. I don't think of it as an entitlement, but general operating practices that reduce the likelihood of interference moving in seem to me to be superior to general practices that increase that likelihood. Your perspective to the contrary seems well worth considering, and discussion from experienced FT8 hands on matters like this is just what I've been hoping to find.

Randy, WS4C


Randy, WS4C
 

Hi, Jim, we've worked a time or two. I remember your patiently working to complete a CW QSO with me on 30m back in 2006 (I think) when I was on a campout with my son and a nephew. I BARELY heard your signal in the noise around sunrise here, so it was really the wee hours for you. The three of us were trying to see how many states we could work on that campout, and you patiently repeated your QTH several times for me. Don't ask me why I've remembered you and your callsign all this time, but part of it is that I've heard you in the pileups now and then in the meanwhile.

Anyway, my general mode for working DX has been just as you describe, except without the kilowatt. What I've found on FT8, unlike CW, is that when I call CQ, I get loads of calls. I don't know exactly why this is: is it my rare prefix? Is there an ethos among FT8 ops that they like to work as many different stations as possible? Am I just being called by robots that will call anybody and everybody indiscriminately? The fact that my CQs get answered makes me think that these QSOs are desired on the other end, and so I feel like I'm helping other people by offering more QSOs than my more typical mode of hunt-and-pounce DXing. If I knew that most of these QSOs actually had little or no value to the other station, then I would happily return to my typical operating mode for FT8, too.

I will say, though, that it has been fun to call CQ successfully. My little-pistol signal on CW hardly ever raises any response, and that was the case even before FT8 "took over" the bands as it has.


Randy, WS4C
 

I gather that the people who are pointing me to Gary's, ZL2IFB, fine document are not taking the time to read my whole discussion. I can't blame them; life is short! So I'll say it, once again, here in a short message that will perhaps get read: I am well aware of Gary's work, as well as the more official WSJT documentation. I have read both from end to end. They do not contain the kind of discussion that I'm trying to elicit and promote here. The longer posts in this thread are where you will find the kind of discussion I'm seeking. It is happening here, at least to some extent. And the things discussed in those longer posts are not to be found in those documents. This is not to complain about those documents at all. They achieve their purposes admirably. But there are deeper levels of detail to consider regarding operating practice, and that's what I'm digging for here.


Don Roden
 

Bots will do that.

On 2022-07-11 12:42 pm, Randy@... wrote:

Am I just being called by robots that will call anybody and everybody indiscriminately?


Randy, WS4C
 

For those who have noticed my failure to make clear which messages I'm replying to, I'll inform that I've now acquainted myself with the "quote" function within this group infrastructure. I was hoping that my messages would appear directly under the ones I'm replying to, but I see that this platform doesn't function that way. Sorry for any confusion I've created as I've been climbing the learning curve of how this group functions.


Evan Hand
 

Randy,

Have you read this document?
https://www.g4ifb.com/FT8_Hinson_tips_for_HF_DXers.pdf

It was sent to our club board by one of our hams who has done a significant amount of FT8 use.
73
Evan
AC9TU