FT8

I’ve made lots of references to the ham radio digital mode called JT65 in this blog. But over the summer, it pretty much got replaced by a new mode called FT8.

Operationally, it is very similar to JT65, but four times faster. So, instead of a one-minute transmission cycle, it is 15 seconds. Activity has been brisk. It seems as if a lot of inactive hams are getting back active with FT8, and there are a lot of new hams on the mode as well.

The software for FT8 is WSJT-X. WSJT-X has been around awhile, but you have to get the latest “development” version to get support for FT8. I have not found any issues with the latest release whatsoever.

Weak Signal Propagation Reporter (WSPR) has been around for awhile. But I had never played with it until recently. WSJT-X supports it, so I thought I would give it a try. I’m running 5 watts into a Gap Eagle vertical that handles all the bands 40 meters through 10 meters. My station is typically running WSPR when not being used for something else.

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