FT8/FT4 operation in WSJT-X - Calling stations NOT calling CQ

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by KC8QVO, Jul 22, 2021.

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  1. KC8QVO

    KC8QVO Ham Member QRZ Page


    I was going to post up on here and ask a question. When I came to the forum I happened to see the below thread:

    and that largely answered what my question was - how come I was getting DX calling me when I was answering other stations?

    I did some analysis of the software, watched PSKReporter, and I just recently started using a software called Grid Tracker also so I played with that some. Below is a synopsis of how I see things are happening.

    Why am I getting stations calling me when I am in QSO, or trying to get in QSO, with another station? How are they doing it?

    See the screen shot from Grid Tracker below:
    Grid Tracker Call Roster 2 Labeled.jpg

    Note the top 2 call signs - F4DIA and CE1PTT. Note that CE1PTT is highlighted in Green.

    Now look at the top left. Note the Call Roster and the data in the top left that breaks down "Logbook", "Callsigns", and "Hunting". Lets say that a DX station is chasing WAS (Worked All States). In that case, they can toggle the "Hunting" criteria to "US States WAS" or "US State Single". If my location fits in their "Hunting" criteria then my call is going to pop up in their Call Roster list and, if they have Alerts enabled also, they will get an Alert (audible) on their computer notifying them of receiving my signal.

    Now - lets go over to WSJT:

    Note the red boxes and red arrows. See the call signs?

    WSJT-X Ops Screen 2 Labeled.jpg

    One thing to keep in mind, first and foremost, is the "CQ Only" check box - red oval on the left. If you select this it blocks all decodes except for those where stations are calling CQ. Hopefully you have your Colors set up. What the colors pertain to is the past history in your log book. Different colors signify different classifications of stations - new countries/DXCC entities, new continents, new grids, new ITU regions, new CQ regions, and furthermore - it breaks each in to "totally new" (brightest colors) and "new on band" (dimmer colors). However... And this is a large However - The only coloring pertains to CQ calls. Note CE1PTT in the "RX Frequency" box. Notice how that is tan in color - this is what the tan represents - its a new CQ zone for me (zone 12 - that is the data that WSJT displays for me off that call, sometimes it is country, sometimes its ITU region, and sometimes it is Grid - all different colors, of course). CT1PTT being the call I am watching over is also why the Call Roster page in Grid Tracker highlights that call in Green - because that is the station I have selected/am going to try and work.

    The Grid Tracker software, and also the feed for PSK Reporter, pulls off of ALL decoded data, not just CQ calls. When you use the "CQ Only" check box it hides all but CQ's, but your computer still decodes EVERYTHING. Note the call sign F4DIA. Where does it show up in the Call Roster on Grid Tracker? Where do you see it on WSJT-X? That call is in QSO with EA1NT. If I had the "CQ Only" checkbox checked F4DIA would never be in there. Yet, Grid Tracker (because WSJT still decodes everything) pulled it and alterted on it. Since I can hear F4DIA that means I have a chance at working that station.

    Think about it for a minute - if you are able to hear a station that is somewhere on your "wanted list" doesn't that mean you have a chance at working them? So why do you want your computer saying "you can't work this station" by not "showing them to you" in your CQ list? That is the beauty of WSJT and the Grid Tracker program combination (there may be others, JT Alert comes to mind also) - WSJT does not entirely block decodes and there is software out there that can give you a giant edge up on working "new ones" (whether that is states, grids, ITU regions, CQ zones, DXCC entities, what have you) - the only way to find these without using such additional software is to know your logbook and what prefixes you need to work. Grid Tracker, for example, does that automatically - it knows your log book and in a split second of a station being decoded at your station - if that call fits in your "hunting" criteria - you get an alert, no matter what their operational status is - if they are calling CQ, in QSO, or calling another station to initiate a QSO - you get a notice they are THERE.

    If a station you want to work is THERE it means YOU have a chance to work them!

    Think about that for a minute...

    Now flip that around.

    If YOU are the station THEY WANT - they can call you just as easy.

    Simple as that. Embrace it. Thank technology for giving you that giant edge on being able to work new ones.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021

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