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Anyone using FT8 for SOTA activations?

Just wondering if anyone is using FT8 or JS8 for SOTA activations?
If yes, what equipment are you using? What is your experience?
Just built a QDX and am wondering if it might make sense to give it a try with SOTA…

Thanks
Ingo

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I would recommend to use the search function (magnifing glass icon) here on the reflector first. This was discussed quite a bit. But the short answer is yes.

https://reflector.sota.org.uk/search?q=FT8%20Operating%20or%20setup

73 Joe

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Apologies and thanks for the hint…
:slight_smile:

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I’ve done a bit. I used a raspberry pi3b, a miniproSC interface and a Tablet with my ft-857d

The next time I forgot to take the tablet and managed just as well using my phone.

Maybe one day I’ll work out how to share YouTube links without displaying the big previews…

Cheers,
Fraser

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Just add a blank before the link.

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I’ve got the equipment but haven’t tried it from a SOTA summit yet but I have tried it portable from a local non-SOTA hill. My equipment is an IC-705 and a MS Surface Go 2 loaded with WSJT-X of course and the ICOM RS-BA1 software which allows it to connect to the IC-705 by wifi. My understanding is you can add the SOTA refence as a Tx Macro in the Settings in WSJT-X and then select this as the final message you send at the end of a QSO. I suspect it will mean nothing to the majority but it might please a chaser.

This was my setup yesterday from a local hill. I was trying FT8 on 2m and actually had replies!

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Good to see so many chasers well known from CW also active in FT8.
First video was also very helpful!

Thanks Fraser
Ingo

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I am currently testing my setup for next year activations.

mcHF QRP → USB cable → Raspberry Pi 4B running WSJT-X → WiFi → Moto X Android phone with VNC

Same mobile is used for spotting and logging of SSB and CW QSOs.

73 Marek

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Great one.

There are rumors that the only reason to produce this video clip was to sink a pint in the pub afterwards.

Ahoi
Pom

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Good reason :wink:

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:laughing: :joy: :rofl:

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Planned setup QDX + Raspberry Pi + some kind of Visual Interface…something light but no smartphone…
Might need a GPS-USB based solution to set the time. Still looking for something feasable…
something that is independent of the mobile network…

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If your watch is accurate you could enter the time directly into the Raspberry Pi with something like:

sudo date -s ‘2021-02-05 15:30:00’

But another way might be to find some way of “nudging” the time. I’ve heard of Windows programs which do this but there may be Linux alternatives. With this you could use the FT8 signals you are receiving to adjust the time. For example if the DT is showing say “1.3” you could adjust or nudge the time by 1.3 seconds. If it was completely off and there was no decoding you could still see the start and end of the signals on the waterfall and use these to get close.

Time consuming though and a GPS alternative would be better. You can get GPS HATs for the Pi.

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For FSK and MSK, setting the time manually from a GPSrx is good enough. The question would be, how long does it take until Pi time and real time differ more than 1 s.

Ahoi
Pom

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You could ad an external RTC module to the Raspberry. That will be good enough if you sync it in the home wifi before heading out.

Or get a USB GPS module and sync the time from there.
Here are instructions how to use GPS modules to update the internal time of the raspberry.

Easier version just to include in the NTP config:
https://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/ntpd/ntp_mit_externen_lokalen_Zeitquellen/

73 Joe

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Using a similar solution with QCX… it might take 5…15 minutes
But still a good solution…
Time to drink a cup of tea or coffee :slight_smile:

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Don’t you have a handy GPSrx with you like an eTrex or GPSmap64?

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USB GPS module is the bit I am looking for … it would be good to be able to select the SAT system…
usually 4 systems available GPS, Galileo, russian and chinese system… 2 can be selected simultaniously…

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FT-857d bluetoothed to Microsoft Surface Go/Pro for band hopping on WSJT-X. SCU-17 tethered to USB-C. Either use tethering to phone or LTE in my case for timing, real time logging and eQSL - Job’s a goodun. Tried Raspberry PI too much hassle.

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Yes I have but would like to have a separate solution. Don’t like dependencies between devices :slight_smile:

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