JS8Call – Why? What’s New? and Download Link
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.
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
So, What’s New in 0.8?
- 0.8 should be much better for decodes where time has drifted between stations. But, because of this and some message format changes, 0.8 is backwards incompatible with 0.7.
- A few directed commands are a little more verbose so they are easier to remember and easier to read. No more “?” vs “@” vs “&” vs “^” vs “*”. Those still work for now, but the preferred method is the long-form “SNR?” “QTH?” “QTC?” “GRID?” “STATUS?”
- BEACONs are gone. They are called HEARTBEAT now.
- The idle watchdog timer now only applies to HEARTBEAT transmissions, so it should help to encourage folks to heartbeat while they are near the station control point and can make a QSO.
- There’s a new Group Callsign feature. It allows you to direct a message to a pre-arranged group name.
JS8Call and JS8
JS8 is a easy mode and very exciting for many Hams. I’ve noticed a huge uptick in searches for JS8 and JS8Call, 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!
JUST OUT 11/4/2018
What are your thoughts on JS8?
Stay in touch and 73,
JS8Call Download Links (Join the Group) Mac, Windows, RaspberryPi and Linux.