JS8Call – Why? What’s New? and Download Link

In Discussion, Software by K0PIR6 Comments


FT8Call is gone and it’s now JS8Call. From 0.7 and onward, FT8Call will be called JS8Call and the FT8Call mode will become JS8 (Jordan Sherer-designed 8-FSK). Over the weekend, October 7, 2018, the new JS8Call software was born. I have downloaded and installed the new JS8Call and the software looks good. I have already made a few contacts with it using my iMac, Icom 7610 and 5 watts into a 2 element beam.


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Why the Name Change to JS8Call?

The primary reason for the name change is because the designers of FT8 (Franke and Taylor) asked Jordan, KN4CRD to change it.

The mode is JS8 and that sounds better to me than FT8Call.

See my FT8Call article: New Mode FT8Call Hitting the Ham Bands

What’s New in JS8Call v0.7.2?

  1. Message compression allows transmit at up to >20WPM on some sentences.
  2. There’s a new “selective calling” (SELCALL) mode. When enabled, it acts like a filter, preventing ALLCALL and BEACONs from being displayed in your RX text area.
  3. For Hams operating portable,  there’s an easy place to manually synchronize your clock time or insert a time drift.
  4. Beacon mode now includes an automatic “BEACON ACK” reply. It works as an automated “ALLCALL?” when you BEACON. This allows you to not have to send “ALLCALL?” manually any more. Just BEACON instead.

There are a few more things, but overall, the software has some bug fixes and should work better now.

FT8, FT8Call and JS8

These are easy modes and very exciting for many Hams. I’ve noticed a huge uptick in searches for FT8 and FT8Call, so I am going to experiment more with it.

I plan to take advantage of these modes while mobile and portable when conditions are poor.

It may not be everyone’s bag of tea, but it’s here and being used!

I’ll have a video on JS8Call coming out soon.


What are your thoughts on JS8?

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Stay in touch and 73,

Rich, K0PIR


JS8Call Group and KN4CRD

JS8Call Download Links (Join the Group) Mac, Windows, RaspberryPi and Linux.

New Mode FT8Call Hitting the Ham Bands (K0PIR)


  1. It is my opinion that JS8 will bury FT8. FT8 with chat…what is there not to like? Contests, schmontests. That is just a more automated version of FT8, if that were possible.

    1. Author


      Nice to hear from you!

      WSJT-X is further along and offers much more. JS8Call just does JS8.

      I’m anxious to use FT8 in a contest, just for kicks.

      Rich, K0PIR

  2. JS8 is not for contesting, but more for chatting IMO. It has great potential, but I hope it evolves to something more streamlined for two way chat, than today’s version.

    1. Author

      Hi and thank you for commenting. I can see your point and two way chat is nice. It takes a little time to understand how it works in a QSO, but the more time I spend with it the better I understand it.

      The auto is a little confusing at times. I found myself having a QSO with a station on auto mode, HI HI!

      Maybe there is some potential for emergency communications with JS8.

      Thank you again and 73,
      Rich, K0PIR

  3. Unless someone comes up with a structure for competition JS8 will set on the sidelines as FT8 continues to attract significant activity. FT8 already had a competitive structure – the Contest. Unless JS8 can offer a form of competition that is more efficient than FT8 it will remain on the sidelines.

    Let us hope that JS8 can foster some competition structure that will contribute to the market for Ham Radio products.

    1. Author

      Hi Dick,

      Nice to hear from you and well put!

      I have not downloaded the beta of WSJT-X yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

      Best 73,
      Rich, K0PIR

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