April 28, 2020: Frank O'Donnell K6FOD: Adventures in FT8

PLEASE NOTE: Because our meeting location is unavailable due to the coronavirus situation, this presentation will be webcast on the internet. See the IMPORTANT NOTE at the top of this page.

In recent years the FT8 digital mode has been taking the ham world by storm, becoming the most popular mode on the air according to statistics from the ClubLog.org website. If you’ve been thinking of giving FT8 a try but are wondering where to start, PRC’s April 28 online presentation by Frank O’Donnell K6FOD is one you won’t want to miss.

After earning his ham license just two years ago, within nine months Frank earned the ARRL's DXCC award for verifying contacts with 100 countries — all on FT8. In 2019, he received the Southern California DX Club’s Clipperton Award for newcomer of the year. As of now he has logged 147 countries on FT8.

Topics Frank will cover in his talk include an overview of how FT8 works, setup for Windows, Mac, and Linux systems, a basic FT8 QSO, “fox and hound” mode for DXpeditions, and the new FT4 variant for contesting.

Frank took up ham radio after retiring from a 32-year career in public affairs at NASA’s  Jet Propulsion Laboratory. While at JPL he led the press office for more than a decade, directing newsrooms for missions including Galileo to Jupiter, Cassini to Saturn, the Mars Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and numerous Earth science missions. In addition to HF DXing, this past winter he operated using digital modes on the new 630-meter band. He also participates in the ARRL’s twice-yearly Frequency Measurement Tests, determining frequencies of signals received from thousands of miles away to within as little as a couple of hundredths of a Hertz. He and his family have lived in South Pasadena for more than 20 years.