Digital Modes

Let me say first an foremost, I love RTTY! Unfortunately as the hobby has evolved more digital modes have come on the scene and diluted the avail QSO pool for each of the modes so we find fewer contacts to talk to.

When I started in this hobby back in 1971 the only modes available to me were CW, Phone (AM and SSB) and RTTY. Now the digital modes have outpaced the original 4 modes by at least a factor of 4.

RTTY these days are only found during RTTY contests. I have sent RTTY CQ’s for hours with no response.

Since I could not find many RTTY Q’s I finally took the dip in the digital end of the pool in 2013 with JT65 on HF. Each QSO takes approximately about 4 min to complete. In 2017 Joe Taylor K1JT introduced FT8 mode which takes about 15 sec to send and receive each sequence. In 2018 Joe came up with FT4 which takes half the speed of FT8. FT4 is designed for DXPeditions to get through all the traffic trying to call them. The caveat with FT4 is that it is designed to be faster and hears down to -20 where JT65 hears down to -28 which is beyond human hearing.

I was hoping to work WAS on all HF bands on JT65 but everyone jumped ship to FT8 by January of 2018 as I found no more stations on JT65 so I jumped ship as well and am one of the crazies on FT8/FT4.

I have Worked All States on 160-17m and only need a few more for 15-6m. Here are my current standings for FT8.

C means confirmed via LOTW. DX is how many countries on FT8, and Zon is how many CQ Zones confirmed on FT8.

I made this form using OpenOffice. If you would like a blank form to record your FT8 contacts send me an email at and I will send you a pdf of the form or I can send the original OpenOffice.ods file.