It has been quite sometime since I’ve worked a new DX station. The bottom of sunspot cycle 24 has created havoc with DX. With solar flux almost constantly locked between 68 and 72, propagation on many HF bands has been very poor. Fortunately, Joe Taylor’s invention of the FT8 mode has come at the right time and rescued an other wise boring period.

Since my first FT8 contact in July 2017, I have worked 250 countries!! Without even trying I now have 211 countries confirmed via LOTW in FT8. Hunting new ones has become quite an exercise with popularity of the mode causing over crowding in the 3KHz FT8 frequencies.

Fortunately DXpeditions have taken up the FT8 model. My #250 FT8 country yesterday was the VP8PJ DXpedtion to South Orkney Island. I was able to work them on 20M. This is also my ATNO #311.


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