There seems no shortage of interest in FT8, the new digital mode that first appeared only a few weeks ago in a beta release of WJST-X. It’s similar to JT65, with a minimal exchange (callsign, locator, signal report) but with much faster timing. It’s ability to dig out really weak signals will be tested in the coming weeks but a few things stand out.

First, the Daily DX reported that A92AA, OY1DZ, VR2XMT, YE2IJ, TR8CA and YI3WHR had already been spotted using it. If the DXers are onboard with it there’s a good chance it will begin showing up on future Dxpeditions. Maybe even on the Bouvet Island expedition. With band conditions ranging from “not great” to downright “lousy” a mode like FT8 could be a real lifeline for many DX chasers.

Also, I noticed that Koos van den Hout, PE4KH has been using FT8 since it was released and he reported just days later that he had managed to upload those contacts to eQSL. According to him that was “about a week between first seeing mentions of FT8 in radio amateur news and the first confirmed contacts”.

This is moving with amazing speed…