Now that I have the Field Strength Meter working as it should, its time to get on FT8, but do it using the Asus Tinkerboard. I will be upping the ante by using the Asus Tinkerboard following Mike, KJ4Z’s instructions:
I’ll also set the KX3 up to be the rig that works with the Tinkerboard. In fact, I’ll set them up at the Maker desk – not the ham radio desk in the shack. Why? Because I think FT8 represents an amateur radio Brave New World.
I have been watching the FT8 action and feel the need to get in on the action – and NOT because of DXCC or chasing new one’s using a new mode, but just for the “advancement of the radio art”. The “convergence” of technologies has me more excited than when I started DXing in 2001. The possibilities are only limited by my imagination. The “staleness” of just waiting for entities that I need DXCC wise is washed away because I now have lots of little projects to work on – both Ham Radio V1.0 and V2.0. One day the Mod Bob (V1) next day the URAT (V2), make a 160M new one contact (V1), the next day the 1979 Field Strength Meter (V1), the next day FT8 and Tinkerboard (V2). So I don’t see any of this as black and white – I see it as a continuum.
Several friends and I have been chatting about FT8 and we have been amazed at how fast its caught on – this is the biggest thing to happen in ham radio in years. It will prove to have been a very serious turning point – even more significant than Remotes. Here is a list of the implications of FT8:
I understand how some may believe that something like DXCC will never be the same any more because we didn’t all tough it out with any “assists” be it remotes or FT8 making “robot” QSO’s. DXCC may actually be saved by FT8 because when the sunspot cycle is at the bottom – you will miss out on extremely rare entities as I did with 3Y0E and FT5GA. If we had FT8, I might have made those contacts – both at the bottom of the cycle. My 20M Moxon up 30′ would have been enough and with 100 watts or less, where with the “Way its always been done”, I was toast and I missed these. The big problem with this is that having a hobby where you have to wait 20 years is something that while may give you certain bragging rights – for me (who has patience but with limits), the danger in waiting too long is that I would drop out of the hobby all together because it just seemed “boring”. Also – when the Baby Boomers age and go SK – if DXCC doesn’t attract younger hams – then it will reach its shelf life anyway.
From 1977 – 2001 ham radio seemed boring, so there was a precedent in my life where I just dropped out completely. Now – take young people – they do not have the patience I have, and would rather play with Maker boards and radio and DX and whatever and maybe continuously change their station – just because. Socially, FT8 moves the emphasis from sitting there operating like with CW or even SSB, and offers something perfectly suited to young people interested in technology.
This is really a big deal.