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WSJT v2 beta releases and details (GA as of 10/12/18)


Mr. Viterbi didn’t make money from his “invention” for a long time. He did in the end, setting up and running an enormously successful company called Qualcomm. Everyone with a 3g phone has some real Qualcomm hardware in their phone or licenced copies of it. Which explains why Andrew Viterbi was worth about $650million (US) when he retired.


Arguments about modes are just plain silly - and I should know, as a brand-new SWL sixty-odd years ago I listened spell-bound as venerable hams argued the toss between AM and SSB, and look where that led to!

FT8 isn’t my cup of tea, I am a voice man happy with a well-worn microphone, but I will equally happily cheer on those who use MGMs, its all radio and radio is a broad church. We don’t HAVE to be state of the art, radio can quite happily be a legacy pastime.


But at least those that don’t possess the skill or proficiency to operate a microphone now have the chance to enjoy some of the action. I’m all for inclusivity.


To be fair, it’s had the same name since I introduced it, and I’ve resisted attempts to change it, so that’s several years now. So I guess you could say this week it’s called what it was last week…and the week before that and turtles all the way down :slight_smile:

Happy to exclude you from the RBNhole spotting service for the occasions you pick up the key for an activation - a simple email/PM or response to this thread will suffice.


Oh, I shouldn’t worry about it too much, all of my contacts have been made without so much as a single dit or dah and I’m more than happy with my results.

Right now, I’ve no immediate plans to change my operating MO.

Nevertheless, I’ll bear in mind what you said.


I agree Tom and getting your pieces of station equipment to talk to one other and be 100% reliable - for instance when setting up for FT8 or indeed any data modes, is a learning experience and not so easy for those of us legacy mode hams. Its can be quite challenging…

As a legacy mode user I enjoy the new modes in addition to what I already do and I say to those doubters - don’t knock it unless you’ve tried it and if you don’t like it then do something else and leave the rest of us to get on with it!

73 Phil


Hi Wunder,

Once again history is repeating itself. Some new and improved method offered up and only accepted at first by a limited number of users.

In 1870 Baudot invented a 5 bit digital code to transmit over telephone lines. No need to learn Morse although you did need to learn his coding machine operation. The Post Offices in many countries stuck with Morse for another 80 years.

Murray updated the code so a typewriter type keyboard could be used in 1901. End of Baudot transmitter system. OK some users refused to change but it was only viable to do so if kept in-house and you could afford the skilled operator instead of a typist.

The military soon grasped the usefulness of this mode when applied to radio (wireless links). Of course they could use code books to keep the communications secret.

In 1963 the 7 bit ASCII code emerged and was the basis of most computer input/output. All those 5 bit machines? Grabbed by amateurs of course. No matter that it’s 60 year old technology.

So when I dabbled in RTTY in the 1970s it wasn’t cutting edge technology by any means but I l learned a bit. Anybody want a Creed?

Some amateurs still play with RTTY even though PSK31 is technically better.

Some people will play with FT8 V1.9.1 because they can, not because it is better.

Amateurs like to think of themselves as being up-to-date if not leading the charge. The truth is these days we are dragged screaming and kicking into the current era or languish with ancient technology.

Depending on who you listen to, the numbers of FT8 users vary but there are either 20,000 to 30,000 operators on the mode now. Unprecedented rapid uptake of a new mode.

Yes I use CW and SSB for my SOTA activations. CW (using wireless) is nearing 120 years old and SSB transmission is 100 years old. this year. And we thought it was modern in the 1950’s.

Joe Taylor has done exceptional work on many digital modes for nearly 18 years. He continues to come up with improvements. Phenomenal!

I am running WSJTX V2.0 rc5 and it’s amazing. And yes Ed you can use it for SOTA, or IOTA or JOTA.



Well, today is the last day you can use RC3 before it time-expires. RC3 is the last version that is capable of working on both the old and the new protocols, so this will force people to decide tomorrow whether to use Ver 1.9.1 or Ver 2.0.0-RC5. These two versions are not mutually compatible.

Today, less than one percent of the activity on 20m and 40m is using Version 2.

Walt (G3NYY)


Hi Walt,
If you can please do your calculation again tomorrow, I think it will be interesting.

I would also correct your statement here to now say “Today, less than one percent of the activity on 20m and 40m is using the Version 2 protocol”. As there could be people on version 2.0 RC3 program still running the Version 1 (non-77 bit) protocol as we have discussed.

It will be interesting to see what people do when their RC3 installation stops working - whether they go to RC5 and then the release version on the 10th or fall back to the old 1.91 version - or simply wait until the 10th. and then get the full 2.0 release version.

As you commented earlier the pre-set frequencies are getting really full, perhaps, just perhaps, Joe will add new frequencies into the defaults for version 2.00 release? I’ve given up on hoping that people will move frequency for themselves.

I think the attraction is like it used to be on 2 metres where everyone wanted to stay and talk on the calling channel.

I for one will be staying off FT-8 until after the 10th of December by which time things might be somewhat clearer.

73 Ed.


That will bring the pains on, if he does! The few residual users of other modes like JT9, JT65, PSK, Olivia, etc will all start howling that he is encroaching on “their” frequencies! There is no solution that will please everybody, even though there is plenty of surplus space in the digi-modes sections of the bands.

Tomorrow, I shall probably revert to Ver 1.9.1 for a couple of weeks. Hopefully after 10th December there will be an upsurge in activity on the Ver 2 protocol. We shall see.

Walt (G3NYY)



One may think that Joe Taylor is turning into a “God like overseer” wielding his power?

Surely he should not be allowed to dictate a bandplan? I thought the IARU were the appropriate authority for issues like this or is the banplan for data modes a complete free for all once you are into the data segment of the band?

I know this thread is here on the SOTA group, and I’m enjoying following it and contributing.

Even though I have now enjoyed 100s of FT8 contacts I was trying to recall as a chaser, if I have actually had an FT8 contact with an activator on a summit. After combing my log I believe I have had just one FT8 QSO - this was with Roger F5LKW/P on 50 MHz on F/CR-254 Cap Canaille on 28/06/18, however as Roger had already activated that summit earlier in the year I can’t cross check my log as he didn’t put a log into the database. Anyway, I did log a QSO on 50 MHz FT8 at 1239z that day and I’m wondering if any other Chaser made an FT8 contact with Roger around then or did I log the QSO in error? I don’t think so, as I have the freq entered in my logbook via CAT of 50314.1 MHz.

If Roger doesn’t see this to reply maybe another chaser can confirm that they also made an FT8 QSO. I know Juerg HB9BIN and others have operated FT8 from summits, and Juerg gave an interesting talk on his experieinces as an FT8 activator at Ham Radio this year.

73 Phil


Hi Phil,
The bandplans in various countries, plus the IARU regional ones define a portion of the band where it is expected that stations running digital modes will operate. In some countries this is a voluntary bandplan, in other countries it is quite literally “LAW”!
The frequencies that come up as default for use in WSJT-x all fall within the digital section of the band, Within that section of the band I would hope there are other frequencies that can be used otherwise how do DXPeditions use FT8 (for example) they do not use the default frequency as defined in the program. Defining a default frequency in the version 2.00 release than the one defined so far e.g. 14.074 on 20m. This frequency would be left for those using the old FT8 and the menu installed with the new 2.00 release executable would have a different frequency. I wont take a guess here at the actual frequency, someone would need to make that investigation in the WSJTx development group as this would be a new frequency replacing the current default one on each of the bands in the drop down menu.

73 Ed.


Well, RC3 duly stopped working at 0000UTC on 1 December. Everyone now seems to be using Ver 1.9.1.

Walt (G3NYY)


Hi Walt,
That’s what I thought may happen,thanks for the confirmation. Those who are “daring enough” to use Release Candidate versions will have moved on from RC3 to RC4 to RC5 as part of their testing and support of the WSJT-x project. So there were probably only a few using RC3 in “old protocol” mode.

The weeks following December 10th/11th will be the telling time, whether people will switch. I’m still hoping that the release version of 2.00 will come configured with different default frequencies for FT-8.

73 Ed.


I am puzzled by the suggestion that the suggested frequencies in the software dictate where I should set my transmitter dial. Unless I’m linking from the computer to the radio for tuning purposes, I can set the dial however I like, can’t I?

Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH


You can - but many don’t! and those who do, from what Walt has confirmed don’t get contacts. The exception of course is DXPeditions - so it is “possible” for operators to move away from the preset frequencies - they just don’t do it.


Today and tomorrow sees the first FT8 contest - the ARRL FT8 Round-up - rules here - https://www.rttycontesting.com/ft8-roundup/rules/
As you’ll see a MINIMUM requirement is the use of WSJT-x V 2.00RC5 to be able to make the exchanges.

Expect to hear lots of FT8 V2 177bit protocol signals on today! As the default frequency slots will fill quickly, the FT8 users will have to learn the art of TUNING their radios (you know that old method that was there on the radios with the big knob on the front! or nowadays via the mouse clicking, dragging etc).




I shan’t be bothering going into the contest at this stage… but what a good way to get the latest protocol accepted and well tested.

73 Phil


“Suggested frequencies are 3.590-3.600, 7.080-7.100, 14.130-14.150, 21.130-21.150 and 28.160-28.200 MHz. Set the WSJT-X dial frequency to a multiple of 2 kHz, for example 7.082 MHz.”


Walt (G3NYY)


I’ve done it Walt & Ed and downloaded and operated v2.0.0-rc5 on my 2nd computer / transceiver (IC7300). There are few stations active on 20m at the moment and reports were exchanged using the new protocol with K8XXX. I don’t see many stations on at present - on the standard 14074 freq with a beam pointing to USA I see 4 active stations in a 3 KHz bandwidth.

K8XXX continues to make repeated CQ calls now with no takers… hang on, he’s just worked G7KHV. I rarely call CQ on FT8 - preferring to pick off the stations by calling them myself.

PS I’ll leave it running on RX while I go and do some DIY then return in 30 mins and see what has been seen…

73 Phil


Interesting. I suppose there will be a gradual increase in the uptake of RC5 over the next week or so. The definitive Ver 2 is expected to come out on 10 December.

I find the rules for the FT8 Contest difficult to understand. It says you are allowed to transmit only one signal, but in the next line it goes on to say you may transmit multiple signals so long as the total power output is not more than 100 watts. Also, it says you are supposed to send “report followed by a serial number starting from 001” as the contest exchange. What do you send for the report? 59, or 599, or something like -13 or +04 ? The suggested frequencies for the contest look like a recipe for disaster. :slight_smile:
Walt (G3NYY)