Ive been waiting for this one for a while, although Market Reef should be an easy one to work the reality is there hasnt been much 6m operating from there in recent years, OH0 Aland Island seems to be much easier to find on the magic band, anyhooooooo OJ0DX has been popping up on 6 for the last few days, unfortunatley although ive heard him many times they have only been at ESP level, IE just above the noise and albeit for long periods of time, they simply never heard my 100w to a 6 Element OP-Des.
Today things changed, I listened this morning whilst doing some work in the workshop, they were the same very weak signal for over 30 minutes so I switched off and carried on with the work I was doing, and hour or so later I thought I would have a break and have a quick listen, I was gobsmacked as I switched the radio on to hear OJ0DX at 599, after picking myself up from the floor I worked them quickly, and then proceeded to work them a little later on SSB, job done and another ATNO on 6m enters the log, not far off that magic DXCC from G land now.
Anyway for your viewing/listening pleasure I grabbed my phone and recorded a few videos of them today
Ive been against FT8 right from the start so why am i posting this, have I changed my mind, not quite but I have to conceed that FT8 and subsequently FT4 is here to stay, does it detract from conventional modes such as CW and SSB, of course it bloody does, just have a tune around, especially on 10m and 6m, you will often find the band is open and the FT8 frequencies are brimming with signals but move down to the CW portion of the bands and all is dead, its supposed to be a weak signal mode so why do most still continue with it when the band is wide open and FT8 signals are upwards of S9 on the meter, anyway it is what it is.
Ive decided to join the FT8 ranks, only on 6m and ive decided its not a mode I will enjoy or love but its another weapon in the radio arsenal, its as simple as that, am i sad that a huge amount of Hams have migrated onto FT8 and all but abandoned conventional modes, too right, I will always be a CW guy and sometimes a phone guy. I have worked 59 countries on 6m in my first . 4 weeks on 6m FT8 after being on 6 for over 30 years, it would probably have taken me a few years to amass 59 countries via normal modes, in a way that saddens me but it is what it is and there is little we can do about it.
6 opened up today again and for a change there was actually quite a lot of CW activity which cheered me up no end, im not here to bash FT8, its a mode that im never gonna be in love with but I will use it, it enabled me to work my first JA stn (4 of them) on 6m a couple of weeks ago