Been on the road the last few weeks without much time off but I got home this evening ready for 10 days of R&R. After dinner I spent about 30 minutes in the shack and what do you know, I finally managed to work a station in Wyoming via FT8 on 80 meters.

WY had been the lone holdout in my quest for WAS on the new mode and I was beginning to think I might never close that circle. Even better, the operator on the other end confirmed our contact via LoTW within minutes and the deed was finally done.

I’ve already applied for the FT8 endorsement and I can finally move on to other operating goals!

I’m still a rank novice when it comes to digital HF operation but I want to share a technique I’ve used with some success, and it’s the way I worked the Wyoming station this evening.

In some previous Twitter whine about needing WY on FT8 someone had mentioned that I should keep an eye out for K7HRO. Just by chance I noticed him in QSO with someone in the receive window but he wasn’t calling CQ. I watched his QSO end and didn’t see him for a few minutes so I called him - off the frequency he had been on as it was busy.

I found a clear spot and just called him. If you think about it, if he decoded my signal the software would highlight it in red. It doesn’t matter if we’re on the same frequency or not. If someone calls you and you can copy it, your call sign will be highlighted - like sending the “bat signal”.

He saw it, called me back and I had finally worked all states using this intriguing new mode.

This can also be handy for a pre-arranged contact too. I have a friend who lives a few hundred miles away and we were talking one evening and decided to see if we could make contact via FT8. He asked me what frequency I would be on - and I said just go to 40 meters and call me, I’ll see you if I can copy you.

My own call sign popping up in red is hard to miss.