Sunday, July 23, 2017

FT8 from zero to fifteen seconds

A FT8 contact
Well I took the FT 8 plunge this weekend, I have read many blog and twitter posts about it and it's such a cool digi mode! After watching some YouTube videos  I downloaded WSJT-X 1.8.0 bata software. The only changes I made was I  went into the General tab and set up some custom "behavior" settings:
1. Double-click on call sets Tx enabled.
2. Disable Tx after sending 73
 All the Radio settings were passed from the older release to the beta release. I found as others have posted that the FT 8 section of the band is very busy for a brand new mode it sure has caught on very fast. Watching the YouTube videos was a big help as this is a very fast mode compared to other digi modes. In the past with JT8 and JT65 I was able to get some blog writing done when operating BUT this new mode you have to pay attention. If you are searching and pouncing the software is very automatic when you make contact with a station as it moves through the contact process on it's own. I have up to this point only made State side contacts but having said that with the solar conditions that's great for my QRP.


  1. Hello Mike, this mode is great to see what propagation is like on a certain band within 30 seconds. I don't like the fast way of QSOing but since most of the real DX is now on FT8 the choice is easily made. 73, Bas

    1. Good evening Bas very nice to hear from you, it is very fast and the auto macro replies help out with the speed of the mode. I too did notice lots of DX on the band and up to this point my 12 watts have only made it state side.
      73 and have a great week

    2. Hi guys!

      I'm a recent re entry to Ham radio being initially licensed as VE4VA in 1969. I've always run low power, the highest 30W to a tribander. Now I'm retired and in a townhouse on Vancouver Island, BC with antenna restrictions, So I have a homebrewed 5 band trapped dipole in the attic and running 5W FT8 from a nifty kit form SDR transceiver called the Proficio. Lots of QSOs from here near the ocean, all states and provinces and a bit of DX to Russia, Japan, Hawaii, Mexico and a few South America. Can't wait until the band conditions improve!

      73 .... Garry VE7VAU

    3. Hi Garry great to hear about the attic antenna I had one that was great as well. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.