WSJT issues with FT-8

Discussion in 'Working Different Modes' started by N6RGR, Sep 21, 2020.

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  1. N6RGR

    N6RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am running a Icom IC-7300 connected to an older Dell laptop running windows 10. It seems to decode and goes into transmit but I do not get any response to CQ's, or when I answer a CQ. I have the following settings:

    RF POWER: 35%


    FILTER: FIL1 (3.6k)

    P.AMP/ATT: (leave default)
    AGC: Off
    NB: OFF
    NR: OFF
    USB MOD Level: 40%
    USB Serial Function: CI-V
    CI-V Baud Rate: Auto
    CI-V Address: 94h
    CI-V Transceive: ON
    CI-V USB Port: Unlink from [REMOTE]
    CI-V USB Baud Rate: 115200
    CI-V USB Echo Back: ON
    PTT Start: ON (except on 6m where tuner can’t be used with my MFJ-929)

    Baud Rate: 115200
    Data Bits: 8
    Stop Bits: 2
    Handshake: None
    PTT Method: CAT
    Mode: Data/Pkt
    Split Operation: Fake It

    What is interesting is the PSKreporter shows people hearing my signal, but I get no movement on my ALC meter (Strange!). So what gives? Is there something else I should try? This is my third try with FT-8, and I am beginning to lose interest as it seems to not work with my particular set-up. I would like to have a QSO, as it seems everyone and their mother's brother is using FT-8!!

    Roger N6RGR
  2. WA4BCS

    WA4BCS Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check 7300 user forum . A lot of good youtube for 7300 abut FT8. You may need to use more power out. FT8 is weak signal not low power. Good luck.
  3. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    What antenna are you using? I only see 4 reports on PSKReporter, one is local. Maybe your setup is ok.
    You DON'T want to drive the rig so hard that the ALC is kicking in.
  4. KC3PBI

    KC3PBI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Remember to check your computer clock. You want that to be as accurate as possible. I've made a habit of re-syncing mine at the top of each session just to be sure.

    I like to run the modulation up until I see ALC deflection, then bring it back down until there is no ALC, then bring it down a hair more.

    Last night seemed weird here. I called CQ on a bunch of busy bands, pskreporter said I was heard on 3 continents; and nobody at all came back.

    This morning was less busy but I got a few bites. :rolleyes:
  5. KY1K

    KY1K Ham Member QRZ Page

    More power! Many/most people will only respond to a CQ call if it's a rare DX or needed state. Especially if they have a very low signal report! I know a couple of people have an opinion that anything under -10 is "too weak" and will fade before the QSO is complete. (Not true of course as I make -20 contacts just fine) 50 watts is completely reasonable with a clean output. I have used up to 175 for Asia and never had anyone complain. Just make sure you are not over driving the audio and your clock is correct!
  6. W4HWD

    W4HWD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    "You DON'T want to drive the rig so hard that the ALC is kicking in."

    Maybe on the Icom, but not all rigs. On the Elecraft you want 4 bars of ALC with a flickering 5th.

    "Remember to check your computer clock. You want that to be as accurate as possible."

    That's mostly true but not the problem. I routinely see and work stations with clocks as far out of whack as 1.7s.

    To the OP, listen to yourself in an online receiver. Set a frequency just outside the FT8 window (e.g., 3576kHz), set your program to call CQ (TX 6) and listen to your own transmission.
    That will let you know you are getting out.

    FT8 is a giant shouting match and in true ham radio "horse racing" form there are plenty of stations that are running 1500w. It's easy to get buried, unfortunately. FT8 is a "weak signal" mode, at least theoretically; but there are so many stations on there now it's devolved into a bit of an arms race - kind of like trying to hold a conversation, with someone sitting next to you, during a tractor pull.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
    KC3PBI likes this.
  7. N6RGR

    N6RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks for the responses. Antenna is a NA4RR hexbeam and I was on 20 meters (14.074). I had the radio set at at 35%RF power and ran it up to 50%RF power with little difference. Interesting, I guess I had PSKreporter set up wrong, because when I was transmitting it appeared that more than 4 stations received my signal. Well, I guess I will keep "fiddling about", until something happens.

    Roger N6RGR
  8. K7GQ

    K7GQ Subscriber QRZ Page

    Set you power to maximum and use the audio slider control to set to no more than just a flicker of ALC.

    Since 14.074 is the center of the feeding frenzy, go below the mob, or above. You'll mostly be in the clear and able to make more Q's.
    W9FL likes this.
  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Its actually the bottom edge. I've never made any QSOs outside of the 14.074 to +2.700 range.
    ND6M and KY1K like this.
  10. W9FL

    W9FL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Turn your power up to 100 percent. And on my 7300 I run ALC from 30 to 50 percent, no problem with Icom running that way.

    Check reports on PSK reporter.

    Lots of stations may hear you, but not respond, because they don't need your state.

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