I left the radio on 28 MHz all day today listening on the FT8 frequency. From what I could hear, the band seemed to be open from early morning until after midnight.
This is what was heard during the 24 hours of Thursday the 10th of May 2018...
Considering the solar flux levels are down at 70, it was pretty amazing what could be heard on 10 metres. Some of the notable signals heard were....
Five stations in Indonesia.
One in China as well as several in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
One in South Africa and a maritime mobile station off the coast of Angola.
Brazil, Argentina and Chile in South America.
Two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in Dominica in the Caribeean.
And of course, plenty in Europe...
According to the PSK reporter website, I heard 865 stations in 59 countries in the last 24 hours.
It was interesting that because I was the only station in Ireland for most of the day, I was sometimes the only person hearing a distant station because of my westerly location.
At one stage, I had a look at the WSPR website. At that instant, there were 70 stations monitoring the 10 metre band on WSPR then where as there were 302 on FT8 at the same time. That's the thing that impresses me most about FT8, it seems to have the critical mass of people using it for it to be useful. I have noticed that on WSPR in the past, the band was obviously open to certain areas but there just wasn't anyone on from those locations.
Another advantage of just listening on this mode is that I don't actually have to be there. I was away from the radio for most of the day and the PC was doing all the work of decoding the signals and uploading the spots to the PSK reporter website.
This was only my second day listening on FT8 and I'd imagine I'll be using it now for the Summer for the Sporadic-E season.