Remember FT8 is a weak signal mode not a low power mode.
A perfect example this morning working a ZL on 80 meters I decoded him at -24. I started at 200 Watts no reply. At 400 Watts no reply. I continued replying increasing power in 200 Watt increments. Finally at 1200 Watts he gave me a -18 and I gave him a -20. Of course I do not know how much power he was running on his end or his receive antenna situation. Even at 1500 Watts your signal can be weak (weak signal mode) to the station you are attempting to work.
Where did you come up with one does not need to run more than 250 W using FT8?? I have never read that anywhere in the literature I have read about FT8.
How many countries have you worked on 160M using 50 or so watts? I have worked more than one country on 160M using 1500 watts feeding a pair of phased verticals and have received a signal report below -20db. I highly doubt 250W would have been sufficient.
A good rule is to run the minimum power necessary to make the contact; and yes, many times 250W is way more than you need.
Let's end the thread for now to avoid this one expanding any further. Unlike FT8
we need a fairly high signal to noise ratio here. ;-)
In general, please try to avoid getting into arguments on the list over what is
the 'proper' power to run for any mode of operation. Like politics, these
discussions can be endless with strong options on every side that can easily
take up too much list b/w.
Moderator and other stuff..
I strongly agree with this. Years ago, I had a similar experience with
JT65 on 160M in a sked with a station in ND. He decoded at -12 and said
he was running 40 or 50W, so I called him at that power level. No
response, so I increased power in 2X (3dB) steps until he answered. I
had to get to the top of the KPA500 before he responded.
50W IS plenty of power for most QSOs on the HF bands, but it is NOT for
5,000 mile paths on 160M, or multi-hop E-skip on 6M. I'm about 70 miles
S of San Francisco (which puts EU in the range of 5,000 - 6,500 miles
and over the polar region to get there) with a pretty decent antenna
farm, including both a Beverage and pair of phased loops beamed to EU.
For at least three years I never heard a single EU station on CW, heard
only three this year, and running 1500W, managed to work only one of them.
Running FT8 on 160M this season, I made about 20 QSOs to EU, 10 of them
new countries on the band. I had to run 1500W to do it, and I made lots
of calls to stations who were in the range of -12 to -22. I'm also
trying to finish 160M QRP WAS, and need VT and SC. Unfortunately, the
stations working FT8 in those states are either noise limited, or don't
have (or don't use) RX antennas pointed in this direction.
I've had similar experience on 6M -- I regularly give better signal
reports than I receive.
OTOH, I AM bothered by stations constantly CQing on 160M running high
power when the band is not open to DX, and working less than 1,000
miles. I almost never call CQ, but rather find a clear spot to TX, lock
my TX to that frequency, and wait for decodes on stations I want to work.
DXpeditions are often the easiest to work with low power, because they
have very good operators, take both RX and TX antennas seriously, and
mostly work to keep noise levels low. I often work DXpeditions with 5W.
73, Jim K9YC
On 3/22/2019 12:51 PM, RIchard Williams via Elecraft wrote:
> Where did you come up with one does not need to run more than 250 W using FT8?? I have never read that anywhere in the literature I have read about FT8.
> How many countries have you worked on 160M using 50 or so watts? I have worked more than one country on 160M using 1500 watts feeding a pair of phased verticals and have received a signal report below -20db. I highly doubt 250W would have been sufficient.
> A good rule is to run the minimum power necessary to make the contact; and yes, many times 250W is way more than you need.