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


Hi Walt,

Elsewhere there is advice that says the V2rc5 software calculates reports of the form 5n9 based on the measured signal to noise. Real reports in a Contest! Just leave the calculations to the software, like getting the value of sine 60 degrees. Yes I can do it in my head but outside a small range of values I need help.

Now before anyone starts grumbling about the choice of S units for each range of s/n ratios consider how hard it is to give someone a 57 report on SSB or 539 on CW in a contest. The other guy has it prewritten as 59 and is moving on. So something with a defined basis has to be a step forward.

I agree the frequencies for 40 and 20 m are a problem and not compatible with band plan in our part of the World. But for a 1 hour test I was prepared to run the gauntlet of the band police. We are already used to US contests running to the beat of a different drum in effect and it is regrettable that we have to join them in non-standard operation for the sake of having a useful exercise. I rationalized my involvement on the basis that 1 hour would not get my ticket cancelled and useful data may be obtained.

OK yes I know, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I learned what that really meant from the late Terry Pratchett.



Hi Ron.

How many contest QSOs did you make on FT8 during the 1 hour that you were on? I was not aware of any contest activity on FT8, but then I do not have RC5 installed so I would not have been able to decode the signals, if any.

The one mode that does seem to be dying a death is JS8 (JS8Call). Despite the constant hype in certain forums, as each week passes there is less and less activity - certainly in Europe. I installed the Ver 0.10.1 update this morning, but could hear not a single JS8 signal on 20m, 40m or 80m. Meanwhile, the regular FT8 sub-bands were crammed full of strong FT8 signals - all using the Ver 1 protocol.

Walt (G3NYY)


Hi Walt,

I wasn’t on for the full hour in truth although that was my plan.

I was late because I wanted to finish a household chore and then I had some finger trouble with the settings.

After working a ZL calling CQ I called CQ and was worked by a VK4. No other signals on the waterfall at that stage.

This was no surprise as it was about the worst possible time of day for 40 m or 20 m here. It was not helped by me having to use a 5 MHz dipole which has a nice null into the Pacific and the US where most of the action was.

Then a VK3 on SSB came up. I was after all on the VK SSB segment. Rather than be a source of QRM I moved up to the next recommended FT8 Test frequency, even further into the local SSB allocation. I saw no action on the waterfall. Even on 14.074 there was little going on. 40 m was on vacation.

However, even with a mere 2 contacts the experience was worthwhile.

I had played with this version on a computer to test out the extended call sign and message content (it’s a definite improvement) so am embarrassed that I snaffued at the start of my session.

I had used this version on air before the contest and found 5% to 10% of signals on the waterfall were on V2, which is pretty good for a beta version.

That number might double over the next few weeks but I suspect the average amateur using FT8 doesn’t know or care about V2. The first DXpedition they miss out on because it is on V2 will cause howls of indignation. Even so the migration to V2 is going to be slow IMO and some will never move.

All this goes to show that trying to please the amateur population at large is not an easy process. Joe produced V2 because some of us wanted to be able to use compound call signs, or to call CQ SOTA VK3AFW/P QF01 and others wanted contest compatibility and so on. In the process of expanding the capabilities he ditched compatibility with V1.9.1.

I have both versions on my computer so switching between the two is easy but it needs to be understood that the log is common and some of the ticked boxes in the SETTINGS menu might get unticked when switching from one to the other. Easy to reset.

Best of both worlds?



Hi Ron.
Thanks for your observations … very interesting. Yes, I agree with all your comments. It looks like the change-over to Ver 2 will be very slow. I may also install both versions on my computer.

I looked on Top Band last night and there were many European stations on 1.840 calling CQ JA and listening on 1.908 (split). I listened for a while on 1.908, but heard nothing. I can’t easily operate split at the moment because I have not set up CAT control on my transceiver.

Good luck!

Walt (G3NYY)


Hi Walt,

If I want to operate Split I use VFO A for rx and VFO B for tx. No CAT or DOG control in this shack.



I have both version 1.9.1 and version 2.0 rc5 installed and find that activity is virtually all on the former. Last night I copied just 3 signals using rc5 whereas there were more than 60 using version 1.9.1 within a similar timescale. I can only assume that everyone is waiting until the “full” version 2.0 is released as they can’t be bothered to report their findings on rc5 back to the developers. How this equates to the release having been fully beta tested I don’t know, but it will be what it will be. I certainly don’t use the mode sufficiently to be a beta tester.

One thing that I find strange is that versions actually have expiry dates. Is that Big Brother watching ready to blank out your signals if you use the out of date version post expiry? If so, why is Mr Microsoft still letting me use Windows XP? :wink:


It’s a sensible plan to enforce the death of versions which become outdated. In this case new versions don’t talk to old versions so make the old versions die at some point and people have to use the new versions.

Because he wants to keep all the idiots in a known place?


I have yet to find a radio ham who prefers Windows 10 over Windows 7…


I do. But not the cheapskate versions. W10 Enterprise run rings around W7 Enterprise on the same hardware for performance increases and stability. Significantly better graphics and disk performance than Win7.


When I tried to answer anyone who was calling “CQ 908”, the software displayed a red banner saying “QSY to 1.908” and it wouldn’t let me transmit.

Walt (G3NYY)


Because you have paid for it with no expiry date!

Walt (G3NYY)


DXPedition, such as the forthcoming reattempt at Bouvet, will use FT8 v2 and presumably hassen adoption. However I agree it will be slow.


I participated in the contest for about 30 minutes on Saturday and was very unimpressed. Not many participants and the much vaunted DX was a non reality, as all I could find were State side stations (where I am at present). I went back to operating 1.9 and found lots more stations to work.

One thing that made me chuckle was the realization that I was using the same tone offset as K1JT who showed up on my decode list.


I am amused by the “CQ RU” calls, Paul. Over here in Europe that would be taken to mean that you were looking for replies from Russian stations only!
Walt (G3NYY)


I don’t have an answer to that Gerald but there’s a awful lot of spammers, DDoS Bot builders and bank details seeking virus writers very happy that there are people like you still around on Windows XP. Note: if you are running Windows XP and the PC is NOT Internet connected you’re fine - otherwise the lack of security updates given the (IMHO) sloppy way Microsoft have always written their code would worry me.:sweat:

73 Ed.


When I first saw it I was confused and then realized it stood for Round Up. Very Cowboy Western but in this case I didn’t corral many stations.


Did Bayer (nee Monsanto) know their trade mark was being abused ? :slight_smile:


Hi Walt,

Haven’t seen anything like that. Dumb questions: did you have anything ticked in the Advanced menu? Have you ticked CAT control? I think you will say no to both but can’t see how their CQ can do that.

If someone is in contest mode and you call them you get a prompt asking if you should be in contest mode.



I think it was more a debugging exercise or more precisely a bug finding exercise for V2 rc5. Anyone who does not want to participate in beta testing has been encouraged to stick with 1.9.1 until the public release of v2.

FT8 is first and foremost a weak signal contact mode. Contest capability has been added at the request of a bunch of US amateurs but if you are serious about RTTY type contests then you need to run FT8 in conjunction with another program in order to get the right logging and scoring and dupe checking.

There is only so much the developers can do in a short time.

A big driver for changes to V1.9.1 was to facilitate the use of compound call signs that would not fit in the V1,9.1 packets. I understand that bit works fine and will be a big help to the DXpeditions. You can now call CQ SOTA VK3AFW/P QF22 (21 characters) but it seems free text messages are still limited to 13 characters.



Is it posible you had the software in DXpedition mode Walt. In that mode the DXpedition calls below 1000 and the “hounds” answer above 1000, so a suggestion to answer 1000 up from the DXPedition on 908 is a possibility I guess.

Just a guess though… RTFM for me I guess.

73 Ed.

Copyright 2001 - 2018 by Joe Taylor, K1JT.

	       Release: WSJT-X 2.0
	        December 10, 2018

WSJT-X 2.0 is a major update that introduces new protocols for FT8 and
MSK144. The new protocols become the world-wide standards on December
10, 2018.

WSJT-X 2.0 cannot communicate in these modes with other stations using
WSJT-X v1.9.1 or earlier.

Please help by urging everyone to upgrade no later than January 1, 2019.

New features since WSJT-X v1.9.1:

  1. Compound and nonstandard callsigns are automatically recognized and
    handled using new message formats.

  2. The new FT8 protocol provides optimized message formats for North
    American VHF contests, European VHF contests, ARRL Field Day, and ARRL
    RTTY Roundup. Similarly, the new MSK144 protocol provides optimized
    message formats for North American VHF and European VHF contests.
    Full support is provided for “/R” and “/P” calls in the relevant

  3. The new protocols provide nearly equal (or better) sensitivity
    compared to the old ones, and lower false decode rates.

  4. New logging features are provided for contesting and for “Fox”
    (DXpedition) mode. Logging is optionally integrated with N1MM Logger+
    and WriteLog.

  5. Color highlighting of decoded messages provides worked-before
    status for callsigns, grid locators, DXCC entities, continents, CQ
    Zones, and ITU zones on a “by band” and “by mode” basis, and for
    stations that have uploaded their logs to Logbook of the World (LoTW)
    within a specified time interval.

  6. The WSPR decoder now achieves decodes down to S/N = -31 dB. For
    the particular benefit of LF/MF users, an option “No own call decodes”
    has been added.

  7. The UDP messages sent to companion programs have been expanded and

Some details of changes since WSJT-X-rc5 include the following:

  • Initial load of ADIF log in background
  • Correct the UTC displayed in Fox/Contest log
  • Faster entry and correct scrolling for Fox/Contest log
  • Add contest exchanges and contest type to UDP logged QSO message
  • Fix a bug that suppressed decodes with negative DT.
  • AK and HI are DXCCs, not states, for RTTY Roundup
  • Fix improper truncation of some non-FT8 messages in ALL.TXT
  • Various minor bug fixes and code cleanup
  • Update the WSJT-X User Guide to v2.0 (more to come…)
  • Update cty.dat