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

Here is some information about version 2.

A quick scan didn’t suggested it will be any better for SOTA so maybe other smarter people can review and comment…

Paul M/W6PNG

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I would say that having ‘/P’ possible for callsigns is helpful to identify potential activators at least in ITU region 1.

Not sure what this will bring:

6. A special "telemetry" message format for exchange of arbitrary
   information up to 71 bits

In the example provided it looks like freetext:

 0.5      123456789ABCDEF012                  Telemetry (71 bits, 18 hex digits)

so it could potentially allow SOTA references (and other awards like WWFF/IOTA/COTA) but that’s just a guess.

73 Joe

There’s a new release (0.6) of FT8CALL just come out as well - it sends multiple overs to send freeform text - this one you have to join the group to be able to download it.

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this doc. explains everything and should be read ++++

73, de Bruno F6HHK

A key point in there is that JT has asked that the JT9/FT8CALL frequencies should be used (7.078 & 14.078 MHz) rather than the normal FT8 ones while testing the new features of FT8 v 2.0. I wonder what the JT9/FT8CALL users feel about that ??

73 Ed.

As its not backwards compatible with the old FT-8 I guess we all should upgrade to remain workable?

RC1 and RC2 of V 2.00 WSJT-x FT8 are still backwards compatible - the final version (or RC3 if there is one) will not be. So at the moment, it is not mndatory to update unless you want to use the new features (such as /P on a callsign) and these will only wo5rk if the other station si already using v 2.00.

I’ve upgraded to WSJT-x v 2.00RC1 and had a contact with a station who was still using V 1.91 and I had no problems.

73 Ed.

I’m not sure why but WSJT-x v 2.0RC1 has just been “released” 7 hours ago on Sourceforge as opposed to the Princeton website - As far as I can see, this appears to be the same version - perhaps this is simply the more “public” release action?


NEW VERSION: WSJTx - V 2.00 rc2 Is here … WSJT - Browse Files at

Perhaps the previous RC1 release from Sourceforge should really have been this one?

There doesn’t appear to be any changes in the release notes for 2.00 RC2 over RC1 so I’m not sure what has changed - often this is only announced the day after release.

73 Ed.

There are 7 bug fixes in RC2 over RC1, Ed. One of the bugs in RC1 was hit regularly using the VI2MARCONI call. RC2 fixed that and has been running smoothly here. The bugs were deemed serious enough to rush out RC2 ahead of schedule.
Download from:
RC2 bugfix details: here

73, Gerard - VK2IO

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Thanks Gerard, I should have thought to check the Princeton site, but my alerts come from Sourceforge - hopefully the release notes there will be updated soon (if not already done).

73 Ed.

RC3 of this v 2.00 software was released this evening on Sourceforge.


     Release: WSJT-X 2.0-rc3
	        October 15, 2018

Changes from WSJT-X Version 2.0.0-rc1 include the following:

  • Improved SNR calculation for FT8
  • Test grid4 (not grid6) for matches in ADIF log
  • Auto-generate 77-bit messages for callsigns with /R or /P
  • Fix auto-sequencing for “CQ ABC …”, “CQ ABCD …”, etc.
  • Fix the “CQ RU RU …” bug
  • Implement AP decoding for contest messages and for Hound
  • Check Field Day and RTTY Roundup exchanges for validity
  • Implement “Select next caller” and use of “TU; …” messages
  • Option to “auto log” in contests
  • Real-time display of contest log
  • Contest exchanges sent to ADIF log and N1MM+
  • Function to export Cabrillo log
  • Convert DXpedition mode to always use 77-bit messages
  • Fix bug associated with opening “houndcallers.txt”
  • Remove end-of-line numbers from MSK144 decodes
  • Finish MSK144 encoding/decoding for Sh msgs and nonstandard calls
  • Halt Tx before resetting power after Tune
  • Auto update of LoTW info, and faster program startup
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RC4 has now been released:
Release notes:
Release: WSJT-X 2.0-rc4
November 12, 2018

Changes from WSJT-X Version 2.0.0-rc3 include the following:

  • Fix the “cannot open file fort.81” bug
  • Avoid too many redirect loops related to openSSL support
  • Fix the auto-generated messages for nonstandard callsigns
  • Remove all support for the legacy FT8 protocol
  • Disallow selecting MSK144 with RTTY or Field Day messages active
  • Correct and expand support for color highlighting decoded messages
  • ESC key aborts a QSO, clears DX Call, and selects Tx6
  • Disable “nextCall” procedure for RTTY contest; it still needs work
  • Correct a flaw in handling MSK144 Sh messages
  • Prevent Fox from inadvertently toggling Tx 1st/Even
  • Re-organize the Fox/Hound/Contest selection boxes
  • Improve the validators for contest exchange boxes
  • Disable Tx after 5 minutes of no mouse movement
  • Remove end-of-line AP info when using contest messages
  • Fix forwarding of Sent and Rcvd exchanges to N1MM+ and ADIF log
  • Don’t auto-log a QSO with incomplete exchange info
  • Fix two sequencing flaws after double-clicks on a decoded msg
  • New facilities for Contest and Fox-mode logging

Candidate Release WSJT-X 2.0-rc4 Candidate releases are intended for beta testers: individuals interested in testing the program’s new features and providing feedback to the WSJT Development Group. At the time of this release we have not yet completed the WSJT-X 2.0 User Guide . Potential users of the candidate release should read Quick-Start Guide to WSJT-X 2.0 before proceeding.

Installation packages

Installation instructions for Linux can be found here in the User Guide. Download the package file appropriate for your system, from the list below. (Versions installable with “apt-get” and “yum” will be made available as soon as our package maintainers create the packages.)

Macintosh macOS:
Installation instructions for version 2.0.0 can be found here in the User Guide.

Source Code:

THIS VERSION IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH NON V2.00 Versions!! (I have checked this and unlike RC3 - I am not able to receive any FT-8 signals on the bands so far - As I presume all are running in the previous protocol format.)

Starting with the fourth candidate release, WSJT-X 2.0-rc4, only the new 77-bit message protocols are supported for FT8 and MSK144. Henceforth all MSK144 activity should use the v2.0 protocol and revert to 6-meter working frequencies 50.360 (IARU Region 1) or 50.260 (Regions 2 and 3). We recommend also starting to use the v2.0 protocol for FT8 in the conventional FT8 sub-bands — for example, at dial frequency 14.074 MHz on 20 meters. Inevitably this will cause some initial confusion: users of v1.9.1 and earlier will be unable to decode transmissions from users of v2.0.0-rc4, and vice-versa. To minimize this cross-protocol interference we suggest initially using the RC4 release at audio Tx frequencies 2000 Hz and higher. As more users upgrade their software to RC4 or later, activity can gradually move downward in audio frequency. By December 10 or very soon afterward, everyone should upgrade to the full WSJT-X 2.0 release.
To make FT8 QSOs with stations who use version 1.x software:
• You must use WSJT-X v1.9.1 or earlier
• Operate in the standard FT8 sub-bands with audio Tx Freq < 2000 Hz.
To make FT8 QSOs using WSJT-X 2.0-rc4:
• Operate in the standard FT8 sub-bands with audio Tx Freq ≥ 2000 Hz.

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I think “some initial confusion” is a euphemism for “total chaos”!

I will not be upgrading until the General Release of ver 2.0 comes out. I suspect a majority of users will do the same.

To add to the confusion, a new version of JTDX has recently come out which supports the ver 1.9.1 FT8 protocols, but not ver 2.0.

IMHO, if ver 2.0 is so different from ver 1.9.1 (and completely incompatible with it), it should have been released as a completely new mode with a different name from FT8.

At the time of this release we have not yet completed the WSJT-X 2.0 User Guide

It is also very unsatisfactory (but fairly typical) that the new version should have been released before the User Guide has been completed. Why is a proper User Guide always something of an afterthought?

Walt (G3NYY)

Because nobody wants to write documentation.


It does not just apply to WSJT-X. It has been a common feature of software packages for as long as I can remember.


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Hi Walt,
In the release notes there is advice on how to best work each other across versions (where possible) and how to keep out of each others way at other times - i.e. stay above 2000 with the versions that support the 77 bit mode and you are running in that mode.

It initially comes down to how many people are using the latest version - those wanting to use FT8 in contests will be using the latest RC versions to be able to transfer the data required in (some) contests.

The “average Joe” who is just playing with the mode, will probably not want to touch a “release candidate” - and that’s fine but I do think there is going to be a lot of confusion over the next 4 weeks or so, which is why I have covered that point here.

In the v 2.00 manual on the website where I pointed to - chapter 3 - Installation - states:
3.1. Windows
Download and execute the package file wsjtx-2.0.0-rc4-win32.exe
2, following these instructions:
• Install WSJT-X into its own directory, for example C:\WSJTX or C:\WSJT\WSJTX , rather than the
conventional location C:\Program Files\WSJTX .

So it looks to me as if the manual HAS been updated to reflect RC4 already and someone forgot to remove the other comment!

I expect the manual will be further updated once the final version 2.00 is released - the RC versions are effectively pre-2.0 releases although that is confusing sometimes - they are really v 1.99-test in many ways.

73 Ed.

To be honest, it seems to be roughly equal between software that has no documentation but needs it, and software that has documentation but you wish they hadn’t bothered.


The same applies to hardware. I found the documentation for my mother-in-law’s new mobility scooter to be a complete load of …%$£&^%. They couldn’t even get button A and B the correct way round in the operation instructions.

As for the compatibility between the versions of WSJT-X, surely this just manifests itself in their being fewer people to work as one version does not read the other and some will move over to the new version while others won’t. I don’t see that as being chaos, just the equivalent of two different programs… nair the twain shall meet.

As an op of both, I can tell you how we fell on JS8 - annoyed they appear the same on the waterfall so you think you are missing decodes…