I haven’t been that active on HF recently and often look on FT8 for some quick-fire activity. 7 MHz is my band of choice from home, but the FT8 allocation is often rammed! Quite why everyone squeezes into that 3KHz of the band and doesn’t migrate up or down a few kHz bemuses me.
I was operating the lovely IC705, but with just 10w you need to have a strategy and this can sometimes be a challenge on a crowded bandlet. Having looked at the FT8 allocation on 7074 USB was packed, you couldn’t fit a proverbial fag paper between the stations, so I decided to look at FT4.
Often overlooked, but was sensitive enough to make good QSO, and super fast at 6 seconds for a TX/RX cycle. You can read more about this mode on the ARRL website. The advantage is the band section is not packed, and you can find space for your low power signal.
Imagine my surprise when I saw JI4POR on 7 MHz calling CQ, and even more when he answered my little 10w signal.
Thanks for picking out my little 10w signal, I have no doubt his antenna system did all the work. So next time you are looking for a digital QSO, why not consider FT4.