JT8 (?) - where to start and what is the current "status" ?

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by AA7EJ, Sep 28, 2019.

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  1. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    After reading the mostly negative "missuses of automated QSO " using JT8 I opened this resource


    only to find out the INITIAL purpose of this mode was what I am interested in - meteor scatter communication AKA "weak signal" communication.

    The link is fairly dated and goes into , also dated, description of various "digital modes".
    At present , Mr Google returns multiple references , this indicating there in NO single "digital weak signal " communication protocol / usage.

    Hence the post title.

    As a greenie , I am NOT interested in analyzing sub-versions of "digital weak signal software" or arguing about "is it ham radio ? " .

    I like to start with current ( no need to post link, I am capable to find it myself , just references will do ) software suitable to be used for meteor scatter experiments.

    73 Shirley
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    K3RW likes this.
  3. G0JUR

    G0JUR Ham Member QRZ Page

    what bands? I use msk144 on 2m
  4. KV6O

    KV6O Ham Member QRZ Page

    Since you don't want a link, I won't provide one, but there is a QEX article from a few years ago about the MSK144 protocol and meteor scatter. WSJT-X is the software.
    KA9JLM likes this.
  5. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Especially the MSK144 article is very helpful,
    Long way from recording "pings..." on cassette!

    "Too many " download sources , including WSJT_Z, - little confusing.

    Running WSJTX under Ubuntu 16, does not seems to be the latest version.

    Now is the time to RTFM.

    73 Shirley
  6. K3CHB

    K3CHB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    are you referring to JS8Call? best new digital mode there is if you ask me....
  7. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I am primarily interested in meteor scatter and currently have no preference in any specific mode.
    It would be nice to have "ready to run" software, but it has to be "open source" .
    Been testing / looking at wsjtx desktop and as soon as I get "Qt creator" IDE clean up I'll take a peak at the software.
    It looks OK for the task, but I already see rather typical "open software conflicts " - everybody is making clones .
    That is why I asked in my OP for current status.
    Of course each clone is better than somebody else ....

    To be honest , and after I posted another "discussion " about FT8, I did not expect much technical talk.
    Seems FT8 is all about sun spots . making DXCC in 24 hours , about "digital " QRM and rules.

    Since I am interested in meteor scatter AKA VERY short and VERY weak signals - my primary requirements for hardware and software should be able analyze such signals.

    For example to find out how long, how many "pings",
    it takes to send / receive fixed / known message or what is the longest known message send / recived in one ping...

    Basically play statistical games bouncing signals from the meteorites traces.

    So my current status is to check JS8Call if it can play the above games.

    73 Shirley
  8. AD0FL

    AD0FL XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    JSCALL is a conversational mode of JT8 and not meteor scatter

    Have you read the first page of the WSJTX manual? Here. I’ll copy the bit you need

    ISCAT, MSK144, and optionally submodes JT9E-H are “fast” protocols designed to take advantage of brief signal enhancements from ionized meteor trails, aircraft scatter, and other types of scatter propagation. These modes use timed sequences of 5, 10, 15, or 30 s duration. User messages are transmitted repeatedly at high rate (up to 250 characters per second, for MSK144) to make good use of the shortest meteor-trail reflections or “pings”. ISCAT uses free-form messages up to 28 characters long, while MSK144 uses the same structured messages as the slow modes and optionally an abbreviated format with hashed callsigns.​
  9. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    thanks for reply.
    No, at this point I do not need "how to push buttons" manual.

    I was initially looking for very basic technology explanations , thus trying to bypass all this "I can make DXCC using FT8 in x hours ".
    Something similar to "CW is ..." type of technology description for FT8 which seems to be buried under all these operating practices ( automatic QSO ) which I have no interested in.
    From all the posts in this thread I gather that people are also " hung-up" on variations of the basic principle - including modulation and "TX/RX swapping processes".

    I am of understanding that FT8 - in principle - and its derivatives are really what I am looking for - replacement of tape reorder and automatic CW sending machine coupled with procedures and conventions.

    It really does not matter which variant of FT8 I settle on , it will do the job I am after - electronically tracing meteors.

    73 Shirley

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