I attempted my first FT8 activation today and it was a disaster.
I could not get my time sync’d. I struggled with setting Windows 10 system clock to the second. I didn’t realize that to set the clock down to the second, you have to go in through Control Panel and can’t just set the time from the taskbar. So now I know for next time. FWIW, I also had a GPS receiver and BktTimeSync software installed but BktTimeSync kept hanging and wouldn’t connect to the GPS COM port, even though my GPS receiver was paired and connected. It was never that bad a problem when I tested this at home.
But I believe the show stopper was noise/hash somehow coupling into the rx audio feeding my USB soundcard. At home it worked perfectly but on the summit the waterfall looked noisy without distinct signal traces and I could hear it in the headphones. I wonder if RFI from my tablet was getting coupled into my nearby antenna or feedline. I was using a random end-fed wire into a 9:1 UNUN and 6ft coax feedline. Also, the KX2 vox seemed problematic and everything points to some kind of feedback, probably also related to RFI/soundcard/tablet. If I try an FT8 activation again, I think I’ll use a resonant antenna with a long coax feedline.
I switched to cw and at least got a bunch of contacts.
73, Barry N1EU