First Experiments with FT8

A project log for Magnetic Loop Antennas for QRP Amateur Radio

An ongoing exploration and experiment about the use of small magnetic loop antennas for QRP (low power) Amateur Radio.

Mark Dammer MM0DQMMark Dammer MM0DQM 11/04/2018 at 09:070 Comments

This first experiments with FT8 this summer showed very encouraging results. I used the FT818ND with 5W output power to the loop. 30m turned out to be the best band for daytime activity. The antenna was not fully optimized at this point - the simple air gap variable capacitor was used for tuning.

I was able to make successful contacts with Norway, Germany and France over a maximum distance of about 1500 Km.

Once I had started using the vacuum variable capacitor for tuning I was up for the big surprise: Suddenly my CQs got picked up by stations thousands of kilometers away in both directions: The Ukraine to the East, Wyoming in the USA to the West and the Canary Islands to the South.