While I still think FT8 is the most exciting new digital mode, the oldest digital mode, CW is still the King for DXpeditions.
Here is the Update I have added to some of my more “exuberant” FT8 posts:
“UPDATE: After the VK9MA DXpedition I have changed my tune. FT8 surely is the beginning of something very exciting, but when VK9MA kept switching between FT8 and CW I realized just how much better CW is. On paper, using a mode that could work when CW was too hard to “hear” seemed like magic, but because there still was enough back and forth with FT8, what you gain in being able to decode a weak signal – you lose is the back and forth with QSB. FT8 would be better if it could send CW and just do the 599 TU thing.”
I do think FT8 will be especially excellent for the upcoming ARRL International Grid Square 2018 operating activity. I also think that operating activity will help the developers of FT8 move it closer to a fast mode that could be all that I see as a great future for DXpeditions.
Make no mistake – FT8 is the beginning of something really great – but it is just the beginning.