Category Archives: Digital


You might have read about a new digital mode in QST this month.  Apparently it was part of a pre-release version of WSJT-X, but it is already in wide use.  If you saw our program on JT65 last fall, or have used JT65, this is very similar.  In JT65 each exchange is 1 minute, and a full QSO takes 5 minutes.  In FT8, an exchange is 15 seconds, and a QSO takes about 1 minute and 15 seconds or 1 1/2 minutes.

JT65 obviously allows contacts with weaker stations, but FT8 is substantially quicker to complete a QSO.

Because of the minimal time allowed between decoding a transmission a the start of the next one (2 seconds), FT8 usually requires auto-sequencing of the standard exchanges.  This makes the QSO almost automated (except for choosing the station to contact or calling CQ).

This might make FT8 more fun, or less fun, depending on your point-of-view.

If JT65 was boring for you because of the length of each transmission, FT8 is a mode you might want to try.

Search WSJT-X, and download the latest version (currently a version 1.8 Release candidate.  The released version doesn’t have FT8)

Fusion Net

I have schedule another Fusion net on the W2XRX repeater – here is the info:

Fusion Net

Tuesday Feb. 28 at 8PM, there will be a Fusion net on the 145.29 W2XRX repeater (Canadice, NY).  The mode will be digital narrow DN.  It will be on Wires-X room #21704.  The purpose will be to discuss Fusion news, equipment, Wires-X, tips, etc.  Check-ins are encouraged from all CNY/WNY Fusion stations.  Initially we would follow-on with a net every 4th Tuesday of the month.  More frequent nets could be added if enough interest.