It was not my intention to make you feel bad for having fun with FT8 ;-)
As I have discussed elsewhere: one essential thing for me having a QSO is that I can switch into "chat mode" whenever it is getting interesting. FT8 doesn't provide this (and that's by design). In my eyes the only justification for contacts in the manner of FT8 is a contest situation where everything is about speed and saving time.
How about other digital modes? At the beginning of this year I had a bunch of contacts in contestia and olivia. They also decode below the noise level - maybe not as efficient as FT8 though. There are some guys from the UK on 80m almost every evening and from time to time conversations there expand to 30 min or so - haven't seen something like this before.
@es0mhi sadly time efficiency is actually pretty useful for me.
I have a lot else going on at home so managing to get a qso or 5 in when I can is much preferable to a 30 minute rag chew most of the time.
For example, the last few qsos were conducted on my phone via vnc from elsewhere in the house.
I absolutely do want to try some other modes, I remember success with psk in the past.
Knowing your experience is very useful too, I know which modes are worth trying first!
Thank you for explaining, how you deal with time constraints. Because we all operate under these conditions and it sheds a light on the question why there are so much less amateurs active in SSB and migrated to the digital modes.
Since my schedule practically doesn't contain any routine tasks, this kind of multi tasking - having some QSOs while actually being occupied with something else - doesn't work for me. I'm not so much after logging contacts but take my time meeting interesting operators. That actually results in much less QSOs but that's fine.
Lots of input for a blog post I'm trying to write ("My growing concerns about the digital modes"). When I did a restart with amateur radio, it was because of the digital modes but now I'm doing 90% SSB. A longer story.
@es0mhi I definitely have never made a qso on my phone via vnc to the raspberry pi, whilst on the toilet...
I have never had a great setup for hf and ssb has often resulted in lots of what felt like being ignored.
Or contest stations answering but not wanting to talk.
I might have more luck now though, especially as my FT8 seems to be getting out well I can only assume that I have a good baseline for more demanding modes like ssb voice.
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