“The thread began when veteran 160m DXer Steve, (VK6VZ) posted an observation that also hit home with me … the seemingly overnight disappearance of a huge percentage of CW / SSB activity on the HF bands. With the sudden popularity of the new FT8 weak-signal fast-mode, the bands have changed”.
Is FT-8 killing ham radio? Probably not. But there’s no question the new mode is crazy popular and has displaced a lot of CW and phone activity on the HF bands.
Whether it’s a passing fad or here to stay is unknown. But let’s not get all weepy about it. You’re only lying to yourself if you believe that every CW and phone contact is awe inspiring. Most are little more than rote exchanges of basic contact information regurgitated over and over again.