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.