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Datamode - FT8 Part 2

Hmm, there are a couple of interesting mentions of SOTA in the WSJT-X guide for 1.9.1:

https://www.physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/FT8_Operating_Tips.pdf

However, it seems to indicate that FT8, at least prior to 2.0.0, does not have enough bits to store the SOTA reference in place of the existing grid square field used in the first two messages of an exchange. It’s specifically encoded with the limited alphabet needed for a 4-character maidenhead grid square, but a SOTA summit reference is a bit longer. The final 73 message exchange, however has a little more room since there’s not much information content like first several messages have.

I wonder exactly how this’ll change with the newest release.

Hi Loren,
This has all been discussed on other threads on this reflector at length. A method of using the earlier FT8 was worked out but was not perfect. Your assumption is correct that with the extensions in version 2.00 which was officially relweased yesterday, there is now support for various contest exchanges, which could probably be used for SOTA as well. We do need the community to agree a model for SOTA for WSJT-x v 2.00 FT-8 communications however, otherwise it will get somewhat confusing if the format varies between Ops.

We also need to decide a few points about which mode should be used etc. this is being discussed at present on a different thread. 20m FT8 DX S2S event / attempt ? (which you are already part of I think).

73 Ed.

The WSJT Development Group is pleased to announce the general availability (GA)

release of WSJT-X Version 2.0.0.

If you have been using version 1.9.1 or earlier, or one of the candidate releases

v2.0.0-rc#, it’s important to upgrade now. The original protocols for FT8 and MSK144

are no longer supported. With v1.9.1 and earlier you cannot communicate with WSJT-X

2.0 using these modes.

We now recommend using WSJT-X 2.0 anywhere in the conventional FT8 and MSK144

sub-bands. Everyone should upgrade to v2.0 by no later than January 1, 2019.

NEW FEATURES IN WSJT-X 2.0


  1. Compound and nonstandard callsigns are automatically recognized and handled using

new FT8 and MSK144 message formats.

  1. 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 contests.

  1. The new protocols provide nearly equal (or better) sensitivity compared to the old

ones, and lower false decode rates.

  1. New logging features are provided for contesting and for “Fox” (DXpedition) mode.

Logging is optionally integrated with N1MM Logger+ and WriteLog.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

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

A more detailed list of program changes can be found in the cumulative Release Notes:

http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/Release_Notes.txt

Upgrading from earlier versions of WSJT-X should be seamless. There is no need to

uninstall a previous version or move any files.

Please do not continue to use any release candidate – that is, any beta release with

“-rc#” in the version name.

Links to installation packages for Windows, Linux, and Macintosh are available here:

http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html

You can also download the packages from our SourceForge site:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/wsjt/files/

It may take a short time for the SourceForge site to be updated.

We hope you will enjoy using WSJT-X Version 2.0.0.

– 73, Joe, K1JT, for the WSJT Development Group

I’m hoping to give this a go today.

The uptake of Ver 2.0.0 seems to have been much faster in North America than in Europe. However on 40m and 20m yesterday it looked like there had been about a 40% changeover to the new version amongst European stations. If you are running Ver 2.0.0 you can see all signals as tracks on the waterfall, but only Ver 2.0.0 signals will decode.

73,
Walt (G3NYY)

Friday 14th December 2018 - The Cloud G/SP-015

Gig: Joe Longthorne
Venue: Shaftesbury Casino, West Bromwich

It was a case of “spot the difference” from my point of view with my first activation using WSJT-X 2.0. Everything seemed to be exactly the same, initially at least.

I soon worked out that I could call CQ SOTA M1EYP/P IO83 - which I definitely couldn’t before. I couldn’t get the ‘SOTA’ bit to stick and had to keep putting it back in manually. I didn’t get round to experimenting if the IO83 could be replaced with a version of the SOTA reference, so I continued to use my free text line at the end of the QSO for that.

6 QSOs made on 20m FT8, including one into the USA, followed by a couple on 2m FM, including S2S with GW4HQB/P on Foel Fenlli GW/NW-051.

And of course, another gig. My first ever in a casino, and preceded by the promoter taking us to a nearby Indian restaurant and treating all the band and sound crew to a very good curry.

Wonder if that was the Vine in Roebuck Street. If not go there next time you’re in West Brom… Not for everybody, but it’s an experience anyone who likes curry and decent beer should try at least once :slight_smile:

No, it was Akash Balti on the High Street.

Hi Walt,
Monitoring the WSJTx Groups.io list there are now people reporting that they can no longer get any (or only very few) decodes with their 1.9x versions of WSJTx - so (at least in the US it seems) most people have moved to v 2.00 as request by JT. I’m actually seeing lots of traffic when using WSJTx v2.00 where a couple of weeks ago that was not the case, so it looks like also here in Europe people are moving over.
My previous thought that JT may have changed the defualt frequency on 20m for FT8 was a red herring - the frequency I came up with on first start was one I had entered for a DXpedition.

By the way if anyone is getting the error panel related to accessing LOTW coming up with v 2.00 GA (even if you don’t use LOTW!) it is due to a problem with SSL verification - the solution is documented in the V2.00 quick guide document. There’s a pre-prepared package to download and install, after that all is fine.

Ed.

1 Like

These might be interesting for some people:

https://groups.io/g/crkits/topic/31005901#2529

2 Likes

Hi,

Interesting BUT I have to query his judgement launching a DSB data tcvr for 40 and 20 m. I know it’s QRPp but it’s still putting out half its power where it will be a nuisance. Other weak signal ops may not be best pleased. I see DSB as OK on VHFand above but on 40 and 20 it should be limited to an occasional experiment unless it is on the established AM nets where the extra bandwidth won’t increase QRM. A modified BITX makes more sense IMO. One sideband, good sensitivity, up to 10 W.

Plenty of other Chinese rigs out there that give all HF bands.

If you must go DSB then MFJ sell proven sets.

73
Ron,
VK3AFW

1 Like

DSB receive isn’t great either. It looks more like a toy for experiments (think Pixie) rather than something people would actually use on the air in meaningful numbers.

1 Like

…let’s hope that you are right!

Hi,
I built a DSB tx (1 W, 80 m) many years ago. It was a good learning experience. It’s not a bad thing to build one from a kit of bits but this unit is really just a fun thing and not a serious bit of kit. Nothing wrong with fun of course.

Oh and I may take my Frog Sounds tcvr (Chinese pixie - translated,) out for a spin this weekend. I paid $3.50 AUD incl postage so clearly not going to challenge Yaesu. Again a bit of fun.

73
Ron,
VK3AFW

That’d be about T4 then :rofl:

As long as it doesn’t croak, mid QSO. :wink:

Haven’t assembled my kit yet.

FT8 Sota Chaser point of view.

I’m set up here to chase Sota on FT8. It takes a few min’s to switch everything over and boot up the laptop. I can Chase FT8 from HF to UHF. I can chase FT8 on 50mhz using a Vertical. From my point of view I need to know who is using FT8 by watching the Alerts for activations and I will do my best to listen for them wherever they are. It would also help to know what HZ you were transmitting on split or even. I am very keen to Chase my first FT8 Sota outside of Europe. So when not working 12hr shifts Days or Nights I will be watching the Alerts page for FT8 and of course other Sota activations. Looking forward to working you soon whatever Mode.

P.S. 18mhz works well for me to Nth. America & Sth. America I have a good sea path on the west coast of Wales.

73’ Don GW0PLP IO72

1 Like

Wow, thank you.
Just ordered one for 40m. I make contacts with my 817 and 0,5W so the output should be OK.

Here’s my FT8 setup on Arenig Fach yesterday.

My gear:

  • FT-817 (powered by LiFePO4 with cell monitor)
  • Bluetooth dongle for CAT
  • Linx 8 tablet running Windows 10
  • Ancient Bluetooth G-Sat GPS RX for time synchronization
  • Micro keyboard (Bluetooth)
  • Home-made adaptor cable from FT-817 data connector to audio in/out on the Linx.

I’m running BktTimeSync to read the time (thanks to whoever gave the link).

1 Like

Hello Barry
Had the same issue with Surface Pro and KX2 using external usb hub and a cheap external soundcard. Looks like laptop is producing RFI heard in the radio although I had lot of success earlier this year from Martinique (operating from boat). Possibly quality or screening of the usb cables plays some role. Will try to use some RFI filters on USB cables.

Also keep your laptop as far as possible from KX2 to help reducing interferences.

73 Thomas