What is FT8? by our friends at Sigidwiki.com
FT8 (“Franke-Taylor design, 8-FSK modulation”) is an extremely-weak-signal, digital, narrow bandwidth (50 Hz), QSO-only communication protocol used by amateur radio (“ham radio”) operators. It is popular among amateur radio operators for its ability to send signals despite challenging propagation conditions, high noise environments, low power operations (QRP), or even compromised antennas.
FT8 transmits and receives only the bare essentials needed to make an amateur radio contact (QSO): Exhange of callsigns, readability report, signal strength report, and “best regards” (“73”). Because only this information can be sent, FT8 is not a “conversation” mode. FT8 transmits this minimum of information in a semi-automated fashion on its own time frame. Therefore, FT8 is not a “keyboard-to-keyboard” (real-time chat) mode.
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