Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by NN2X, Aug 12, 2018.
Many operators have it running on Windows 7.
Works well, had a great keyboard to keyboard QSO from Ohio to NM for 15mins
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT NORMAL VOICE AND CW PORTIONS OF THE BANDS??? R U GUYS GONNA JAM AS USUAL ON THE LOW END OF BANDS AND UPPER ENDS AS USUAL>>>? WE HAVE PHONE PORTION ALREADY, WHY DO WE NEED THIS TO CLUTTER UP THE BANDS??? JUST REALLY CURIOUS.
I cannot tell whether or not this is a serious question. So, I'll default to yes and I'll say that our spectrum is a shared resource and that we all try to be good stewards of that resource. These digital modes (including FT8Call) are in a shared digital band allocation as defined by the IARU. We all have VFOs and should be able to occupy our shared spectrum together.
Did I miss something, won't this be running in the usual FT8/digital area?
You missed some confusion, yes. Suggested frequencies are 4-6kHz away from FT8 within the digital sub-band allocations.
From my short & limited experience perhaps it should be mentioned or repeated that despite both being based on the basic FT8 scheme, at this time, WSJT-X software does not decode FT8CALL signals, and vice-versa, FT8CALL does not decode signals sent by WSJT-X.
So don't sit at the wrong "watering-hole" monitoring with the wrong software. The two types of FT8 signal sound and look very similar. However it is possible to tell the difference between the two through examination by ear or eye on the waterfall by checking the xmit sequencing carefully; WSJT-X xmits every other 15s period, FT8CALL often sends across multiple contiguous intervals. Even signals discovered at random frequencies could be discerned that way.
I'm sure Jordan will clarify this if needed.
There will be even more confusion when WSJT-X Version 2.0 is released this fall, because FT8 in Version 2.0 is not compatible with FT8 in previous versions of WSJT-X. So we are going to end up with at least three different flavors of FT8 which will not be able to communicate with one another, and which will need separate frequency allocations in each band!
The bandwidth for SSB is about 2.4Khz, while FT8 or FT8CALL is about 50 Hz (Almost 50 FT8 channels can fit into one SSB). I don't think there is much of a threat...and further it is assigned near FT8. FT8CALL is set through the program at `14.080 (For 20 meters) which is way below the voice portion. You can adjust anywhere you desire through the VFO, but you might not get an answer when calling CQ, as the program points towards 14.080
CW is great, but with now FT8CALL is far more efficient, (about 16 dB) when considering 10WPM. FT8 and FT8CALL can decode at -24dB below the noise floor. While we are at the bottom of the sun spot cycle this is a great mode to work DX and have a QSO (FT8CALL). CW is neat to know (I passed the Extra back in 1980 , which required 20WPM), but I like to work DX and have a QSO, so FT8CALL is the answer while we are at the bottom of the sun cycle.
So lets talk about clutter on 20 meters the bandwidth for CW and digital is from 14.000 to 14.150 or 150K, CW uses about 150hz while FT8 only 50 hz, That is plenty of room! You can have 1000 transmit CW TX carriers or FT8 could have 3,000 TX carriers. Of course this never happens, the point is plenty of room!
I wouldn't be quite so pessimistic.
You forgot to mention that the current WSJT-X v1.9 is not entirely backward compatible, ie DXped sub-mode. And those DX'ers already set up shop on other ad hoc "frequency allocations". From what I read v2.0 will be mainly an improved decoding, so everyone will want to upgrade; that shouldn't drive any change to the "watering hole" channels.
Both variations, WSJT and FT8CALL, really could conceivably all exist on the same dial USB channel since the signals are the same relatively narrow bandwidth. Just a different software decodes different versions. If you're really clever you might even get both running on the same PC simultaneously QRM is QRM, so choosing a clear SLOT, or not clobbering someone, still applies. Until it gets too crowded. So lets not do that.
As Jordan said, we all have a VFO. Find and choose a clear freq to QSY and spin the knob. The longer format text messaging of FT8CALL enables conveying that info a bit easier.
I think its inevitable that FT8 signals will spread out into segments of bands that are now not being used as much, ie, CW and phone. I do not see that as a negative; "use it or loose it".