I know that a few people here use datamodes for SOTA including JT65 and JT9.
In a recent update of WSJT-X (1.8) there is a new mode FT8. I tried it out at home on 20m and 6m and it works great on both. The QSO structure of FT8 is the same as JT65/9 qsos but the main difference is that the transmit/rcv segement is only 15 seconds opposed to 1 minute for JT65/JT9. A total qso time of 1 minute versus 4 minutes.
This results in decodes to about -20db rather than -26db but the gain is in shorter transmit/receive times which can overcome propagation issues such as qsb. Also if portable the amperage per qso would be lower giving obvious benefits for battery requirements.
Now for a question. Due to the fact I dont have any old PC’s lying around, I can’t gauge what the decode time is like on the processor, or to be more precise, what the decode time would be on some small portable intel device. On my i7 PC there is not much of a noticble difference in decode time, but considering its less than a second on JT9 its very hard to measure.
If anyone is interested or willing to try out FT8 there is lots of activity on 7.074, 14.074 and when conditions allow 50.313 on something slow. This would enable us to see if it was a suitable mode for SOTA using old/cheap equipment.