Is fully automated FT8 now acceptable?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WF4W, May 21, 2019.

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  1. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    I came across this thread in the "Working Different Modes" sub forum:
    WSJT-X Full-Auto mod

    it's all about a mod that allows fully automated FT8 operation - no interaction from a control operator. It looks as if the moderators began editing/pruning to disallow links to the the software but it seems that they gave up or decided that fully automated FT8 "QSOs" are permitted. Seems to be based on a particular FCC finding in 1995 that reads:


    8. In summary, we are amending the amateur service rules to authorize automatic control of amateur stations. To lessen the possibility of inadvertent interference, the automatically controlled station either must be connected to another station that is under manual control, or the automatically controlled station must transmit only within a subband designated for communications between automatically controlled stations. .."
    So apparently I missed something over the past few months where the community has moved from being against automated FT8 operation to accepting it as the inevitable. . .

    While I used to enjoy FT8 - I got WAS and DXCC on FT8 - my activity waned just out of boredom. However, knowing that a Full-auto mod is in use, it makes me even less inclined to use it knowing that there is a distinct possibility there is no human on the other end, at a minimum, pushing a button.

  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I don't think so. Some are ok with it but I'm against it.
    I hear plenty of what appear to be bots on the FT8 frequencies. Most are like CQ beacons and get very few calls. For some reason it seems these bots have no ears and don't respond to the few that call them.
    KB8YGC, KK5JY and KA4DPO like this.
  3. VA3VF

    VA3VF Ham Member QRZ Page

    FT4 may be partially responsible for the shift in thought, that said, the fork in question has other nice features. I'm not interested in the Auto CQ part, it needs to be enabled to work as such, I simply don't do it.
  4. WF4W

    WF4W Ham Member QRZ Page

    if i read the full-auto mod documentation correctly, y0u can set the parameters so it does not respond to stations if it does not meet your criteria, i.e some state, dxcc, grid, etc. that YOU need.
    KK5JY likes this.
  5. WT4W

    WT4W XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    That certainly seems kind of selfish, doesn't it (but I suppose that's kind of a reflection of the direction our society is moving in). I frequently get unsolicited calls from other stations, I have to assume they need my state or grid, and I feel it would be flat out rude not to let them get the QSO.
    KF0FBK and WS4JM like this.
  6. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, I understand that and I suspect that explains a lot of it.
  7. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    So you really can get WAS or DXCC while mowing the lawn?
    W1BR, KB8YGC, VK6APZ and 7 others like this.
  8. N2SUB

    N2SUB Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This refers to an operator controlling equipment from an operating point that is not at the station location, for example a link over the internet. The operation is not automated, it is manually controlled by an automated link.

    This refers to a "control frequency", like that used with repeaters.

    I don't think you missed anything. A MOD to the software is just that.....a modification that results in the software (WSJT-X) doing something it was not designed to do. Since WSJT-X is open source, there's no way to stop modifications of this sort, but I'd say it's a safe bet Joe Taylor did not envision fully automated operation. The popularity of the MOD will determine the inevitability of fully automated operation, but I agree with you; I feel that it would violate the spirit of the hobby. I stopped using FT8 and haven't even looked at FT4. I'm going to wait for the dust to settle.
    K4AGO likes this.
  9. WD0BCT

    WD0BCT Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is how we can assure ourselves that ham radio will be alive when we are gone!
    KN4LGM likes this.
  10. K1VSK

    K1VSK Ham Member QRZ Page

    And not ever qualify for a participation trophy.
    W4KVW likes this.

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