Have you caught the FT8 bug yet?? I have and I love this new digital mode from Joe Taylor, K1JT and Steve Franke, K9AN. FT8 (Franke-Taylor design, 8-FSK modulation) is designed for situations like multi-hop Es where signals are weak and fading, openings may be short, and you want fast completion of reliable, confirmable QSOs. And the best part about FT8 is that you can complete a QSO in <2 minutes!
According to J. Taylor, the important characteristics of FT8 are:
Compared to the so called slow modes (JT9, JT65, QRA64), FT8 is a few dB less sensitive but allows completion of QSOs four times faster. Bandwidth is greater than JT9, but about 1/4 of JT65A and less than 1/2 QRA64. Compared with the fast modes (JT9E-H), FT8 is significantly more sensitive, has much smaller bandwidth, uses the vertical waterfall, and offers multi-decoding over the full displayed passband. Features not yet implemented include signal subtraction, two-pass decoding, and use of a priori (already known) information as it accumulates during a QSO." (Source: Wikipedia)
Joe Taylor also released an update to his software program WSJT-X to support FT8. I absolutely love this program compared to the JT65-HF that I have been using for JT65. It's more flexable and has an automatic sequencer so you can start your QSO and sit back while the software does the rest!
It also has a nice waterfall screen too!
You can download the new WSJT-X at: https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html
There are a number of operating frequencies for FT8 on the HF bands. They are:
|10 meters||28074 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|12 meter||24915 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|15 meters||21074 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|17 meters||18100 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|20 meters||14074 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|30 meters||10136 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|40 meters||7074 kHz||Upper Sideband|
|80 meters||3573 kHz||Upper Sideband|
Enjoy this new mode. Oh and I worked over 30 states in just 3 days. This is a quick way to reach WAS too! FT8 is now supported in LoTW.
© 2019 , Jonathan Tucker N8MDP. All Rights Reserved.