20181014 FT8, does the t-shirt fit?

I won’t go in to my ‘history’ of how I came to be an amateur radio operator and what I was expecting from the community, that is elsewhere on my site… however I truly wasn’t expecting so many to be so opinionated and demeaning to their fellow hams on just one subject!

FT8 has divided many and I just don’t get it – so what if someone wants to use it, likes it and that they aren’t using SSB or CW or anything else for that matter? – it’s generating RF, isn’t that what its all about?

One argument that’s given is “use it or loose it” in respect of the band width that we are granted. Regardless of what we do or don’t use if the powers that be decide to take a frequency away then they will do just that, do you honestly think that we as amateurs have any say over what part of the spectrum we can or cant use. If a government decides to say we want that frequency they will just take it away! BUT, consider this, us using the bands (in whatever form) helps them understand conditions at any one time – they can see when a band is open or closed and I would guess that that is really useful for all manner of reasons. If we aren’t operating, messing about, trying different things then they stand to loose a lot of free development and data gathering capability of what’s going on…

The main reason for my ‘grump’ is the minor RSGB FT8 T-Shirt debacle… The production of such a shirt was seen by many as controversial. Some points of view were that they shouldn’t have produced an “I hate it!” shirt – Personally I found it amusing and thought the RSGB were on to a winner and being interestingly proactive! By making such shirts they were appealing to everyone… if you don’t like FT8 that much then buy the “I hate it” shirt, if you love it buy the “I love it” shirt… it’s very simple – if you don’t support the idea at all then don’t buy either, that would stop the production and it would be given up as a bad idea, one not to be tried again and in my opinion that would be a shame as its all in jest – we all like a little bit of a laugh eh!

I wonder how many of each they have sold so far?

So many times things on TV and the likes are requested to be censored because a minority disagree with the output – the response to some censorship is usually “you don’t have to watch it” and the use of FT8 is not like it’s anything sordid or demeaning – live and let live eh…. personally I don’t like hams that consider their views to be the only answer, I do however respect their right to make their opinions known, but I wish they would do so in such away that it’s a personal opinion rather than belittling those that they disagree with. Also, give up with the line that it’s “the destruction of amateur radio as we know it” – what utter tripe – it will have a lifespan but at the moment its just new and conditions aren’t the best… to continually berate the operators that do indeed enjoy FT8 (for whatever reason) goes 100% against the ‘spirit’ of amateur radio doesn’t it? just take a step back and “wind your neck in!” (I love that saying ha ha ha…

My personal view on FT8 is that when on on a lively band it’s like shooting fish in a barrel, great if you want to fill your log and cross off the DXCC’s but that’s not my thing and I don’t find it fun (but thats just my opinion). When conditions are such that the band sounds dead then this is where I enjoy calling… 10m for example – its great to catch the 5 minute opening to South America that just appears from nowhere… I call when messing in the shack doing something else… so its a great way to play radio AND get other projects moving at the same time. I neither love it but nor do I hate it – I do however enjoy it when I use it! 🙂 I’m currently calling CQ on 160m through a 40m & 20m dipole – the band is quiet but who knows what will happen?

I can tell you – nowhere! ha ha ha

These are my opinions and I’m new to the hobby (just a couple of years) so I’m sure I’ll be shouted down for them – because what do I know? Well what I do know is that we are calling for changes and to make the hobby more appealing, surely having a bit of fun along the way will do just that…?

Anyway, now I’d like to see a t-shirt that says – “FT8 – I don’t give a fig what you think!”

Thank you RSGB for some amusing creative thinking, keep up the good work! 🙂

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