YES! There’s a new mode, FT8. FT8 is fast and the ability to make contacts quickly is pretty exciting. Also, more good news: Ham Radio Deluxe V6 logging is again supported by JTAlert. In addition to logging my QSO’s from WSJT-X in to HRD Logbook, JTAlert notifies me when a needed station is on. We’re back in business!
I know, I know, not another digital mode! Well this time it is pretty exciting. The transmission/receive duration on FT8 is only 15 seconds. So the ability to make a lot of contacts, DX contacts too, quickly is pretty exciting to me. It’s a little like contesting, but no contest 🙂
Join The FT8 Excitement
WSJT-X makes it easy with auto sequencing. If it wasn’t for automatic sequencing, I don’t think I would have tried it. It’s so fast at first! “Check Auto Seq in WSJT-X software to have the computer make the necessary decisions automatically, based on messages received.” – WSJT-X User Guide
WSJT-X also generates the standard messages for you.
If you already have WSJT-X, just upgrade to the latest and the same goes for JTAlert, get the latest if you want to use logging to HRD v6 or if you want the FT8 mode.
Icom 7300 Software Tutorials
If you are new to this, I have a article on getting everything installed and working. See WSJT-X JTAlert Automatically Logs To HRDLog.
Also, have a look at Icom7300 WSJT-X Combined With HRD and JTAlert.
In the video above: Icom 7300 settings, NR & NB settings, turning AGC off, increasing FIL1 to 3.6k, split mode operation, USB driver date, WSJT-X settings and JTAlert settings.
In this video: Calling CQ and making FT8 contacts. This is using automatic sequencing. WSJT-X does all the work. Using JTAlert, it logs right into HRD logbook v6.4. From there it is uploaded to QRZ.com, HRDLog.net and eQSL.
Things I’ve Encountered
- FT8 is not recognized in LOTW.
- If using auto sequencing when sending CQ, it disables the transmit after sending the 73 message. So you’ll need to click the “Enable Tx” button in WSJT-X to continue sending CQ.
- Sometimes the other person sends the same transmission over and over. They are either not able to decode my message (poor prop, QRM) or it’s user error. They may not be using auto sequencing.
The next version of TQSL will support FT8, so I am holding off uploading those QSO’s. I fear the workarounds for logging FT8 as data and getting the confirmation in LOTW will cause unintended consequences in the future. So, I’m just saving my FT8 contacts to upload at a later date.
Questions or comments? Please make them below.
Update: I got a message that HRD v6 support in JTAlert will be discontinued after v2.10.