The development team behind WSJT-X announced the new release candidate for WSJT-X version 1.8.0 (WSJT-X 1.8.0 rc1) for about two weeks ago. Since then, more and more users are “upgrading” to the new RC-version exploring the new exciting functions that have been developed.
The greatest attention has undoubtedly been the new mode FT8, Franke Taylor 8-FSK modulation. Since the release the number of stations working FT8 has been growing immensely on the bands. The supporting software, JTAlert by VK3AMA, have also been updated to support the new mode.
The new mode have been developed by K1JT and K9AN and uses 15sec TX/RX-sequences. Compared to JT65/9:s 60sec this means it´s about 4 times faster. Because of this, the modes puts the operators timing skills to the test and requires a much more quicker operating style than JT65/9. But don’t worry, the software has a built in auto-sequencing function that will help you with the fast maneuvers required. The message structure is similar to the other JT-modes and the normal JT65 user will find it familiar right away.
The list below summarizes more details on the FT8-mode (according to release note):
- 15 sec T/R-sequence length.
- 75 bit messages length + 12 bit CRC.
- LDPC FEC-code.
- 8-FSK modulation with 6.25 Hz tone spacing.
- Constant-envelope waveform.
- 50 Hz bandwidth.
- 7×7 Costas array synchronization at start, middle and end.
- 12.64 sec transmission duration.
- -20dB decoding threshold. With the forthcoming “AP” decoding some extra dB:s will be possible.
- Multi decoder to decode signals i passband, just as in JT65. Multipass decoder possibility is under development.
- Auto sequencing (optional) as well as optional auto reply function when sending CQ.
More functions are being developed and as usual the input from the users is an important factor for enhancing the operating experience. Hopefully there will be an second release candidate some time soon so more exciting functions will be available.
If you would like to download the release candidate, click here and choose the correct package for you platform.
Regarding the user guide, the work with translating it to Swedish is under way. However a release date for the user guide is not available for the moment.
73 de SM7VRZ