Today I logged into my FT8DMC account and hit the Award Download button, only to find that I'd won 42 awards for my digital work. I didn't set out to win anything, but it's nice to get a little bit of recognition for what is sometimes hard work 😂
This has been achieved using between 2 and 10W on a variety of antennas, but mainly on a 66ft EFHW.
BUT HOLD ON - what about the haters?? Those amateurs who think there's no place for FT8 in the shack and it's little more than "two computers handshaking". Of course a lot of it's said in fun and is no more than banter between friends, but some Hams are quite vocal in their opposition. We all have opinions and we're all entitled to them.
Personally, I like a bit of FT8 from home and considering the very high noise levels in and around my QTH, I'd spend less time playing radio if digital wasn't available to me. In fact, there's many a time where I try voice and fail miserably due to noise or general band conditions. If digital wasn't available to me, then I'd probably switch off the radio and move to one of my other hobbies.
But FT8 is available and in the spirit of experimentation and self-training, I get stuck in and see how far my 10W can go and how efficient (or not) my antennas are. And let's face it, there's no 59's in the digital world - just absolutely objective signal reports!
As band conditions improve, I will undoubtedly reduce my digital efforts at home and focus more on phone. Until then, I'll carry on experimenting with whatever is available to a new operator.