credit AE5X

Guest post by Marc, DO4DXA

More and more stations and DXpeditions are using the new FT8 mode.

It’s a great mode, but there has to be some improvement in the operating procedure (with the current software) when working DXpeditions or rare DX stations in general.

When there are a couple callers at the same time on the same frequency in FT8 it’s nearly impossible to decode anyone.

So when working “DX” we all know people should use “split” from time to time & now the problem starts. In WSJT-RC2, when the caller clicks on a different QRG in the spectrum to call split, the software starts to call the DX in split mode, but when the software replies with a report the frequency changes to the simplex QRG of the DX station. The result is that the DX station will not copy the report because of all the other callers, even when someone started calling in split mode.

So what could we do and how to prevent this?

The easy solution in a FT8 pileup is using XIT: Do some operators remember for what that XIT knob is made for? 🙂

XIT : Xmitter Incremental Tuning is the ability to shift the transmit frequency of a transceiver away from the receive frequency. The callers click on the DX station to work him BUT they should use their XIT to change (shift) their TX frequency up or down. No matter how much 100Hz, 120 Hz, 150Hz, 300Hz, 500hz up or down whatever. In this way using XIT the TX frequency will not be changed by the WSJT-RC2 software only by the radio and then it’s easy to work split in a FT8 pileup!

73 Marc DO4DXA

*If you have words of advice or interested in being a guest writer on DX-World then simply get in touch

14 COMMENTS

  1. That´s not true and unnecessary complicated. Why not use the software function?
    Deactive LOCK TX=RX box and you do not jump back after the report to simplex.
    Use TX & RX from software accordingly where you want RX & call. Using XIT could end in chaos because you going without check probably to other busy frequencies and create QRM.

  2. Hi all, well I am setup and ready to become the very first FT8 station on PJ4. I hope to be an ATNO for you on this mode BUT I need your help. It is very difficult to finish a QSO on FT8 until my system has received the report from the station I have acknowledged.

    For example:
    CQ PJ4/MW0JZE FK52
    XX0XXX DE PJ4/MW0JZE R-15
    PJ4/MW0JZE DE XX0XXX R-12
    XX0XXX MW0JZE RRR
    CQ PJ4/MW0JZE FK52

    ONLY call me when I call CQ, if you call me before I have finished my QSO/CONTACT I cannot move on and you will not get in my log.

    PSE PSE PSE do not call until I call CQ, its simple and it is the most basic of the DX code of conduct rules, please help me to make as many QSO as possible, I want you in my log.

    TNX de Ant PJ4/MW0JZE

  3. The problem is more basic than that. In FT8 the station calling can actually see your the DX stations CQ call and then respond with thier call with the click of a mouse, simple really. If after one call with no reply they should stand by until they Rx the DX stations CQ call once more not call over and over and over, I have screen shots if you want any! Call once and wait or it will be a very long 14 days in front of the pc!!

  4. Ps I thought split would be the answer but it is not, I did mention this on my qrz page but after 15 minutes on FT8 from PJ4 I was proved wrong, operator behaviour from stations calling kills FT8 🙁

  5. Like previously stated, I frequently TX on a “clear” segment of FT 8 to make the QSO. Not difficult if you remember to unlock TX/RX and hold control key while shifting frequencies. WAS Digital #2112 , FT 8 WAS

  6. Comment from DF5WW from September 19, 2017 at 8:34 am is not my comment.
    Here original DF5WW, Juergen in Hoehr-Grenzhausen. Please ignore the comment
    above.

    73´s, Juergen, DF5WW

  7. Hi Ant PJ4/MW0JZE

    I have a suggestion.
    when you call cq, many stations copy the same and start replying you. It may be in the same frequency you call CQ or may be in split and may be with GRID or may be with RST only, depending on the DX stations operating style.

    Here you are waiting for the exact procedure of a QSO for a rare station!!

    For example:
    CQ PJ4/MW0JZE FK52
    XX0XXX DE PJ4/MW0JZE R-15
    PJ4/MW0JZE DE XX0XXX R-12
    XX0XXX MW0JZE RRR
    CQ PJ4/MW0JZE FK52

    Now If you try to answer all the decoded stations with the RST and final RRR positively in SPLIT MODE helps a lot. Once the QSO is logged and uploaded to LoTW you will get the correct grid of all stations worked as we include GRID in TQSL signing procedure.

    Try it out… I copy you in many bands, but no luck to make a QSO. I need you in the log.
    73 de SHAJI VU2WJ

  8. PJ4/MW0JZE: In other modes, when you send 73, you often follow with QRZ? You are finished when you send 73. Why wait for a CQ? In managing a pileup, you are ready for your next QSO as soon as you have sent 73 for your last. Keep things moving by accepting a next call immediately. That’s what an experienced DX op would do.

  9. As everyone upgrades to RC2 the following will be the most efficient DX procedure.

    CQ PJ4/MW0JZE FK52
    PJ4/MW0JZE K6SJT -15
    K6SJT PJ4/MW0JZE R-12
    MW0JZE K6SJT RR73
    K6SJT PJ4/MW0JZE 73

    I’ve had a number of contacts using this method, completing a QSO is just 60 seconds.

    However at present, the ‘Auto seq’ in RC1 apparently does not recognize the RR73 and creates a road block to the QSO. Therfore, RC1 version ‘Auto seq’ keeps sending a signal report (R-12) waiting to see an RRR.

    73 de Stephen K6SJT LoTW WAS FT8 #2084 17M – 20M – 30M – 40M

  10. Nice for digital types but I fail to see how this is a move forward for ham radio. QSOs in less than 60secs…for this year at least. And next ? May as well unplug that tribander and hook your whole station directly into your DSL modem. My view, at least. 73 de ZS2OE

  11. Some of us don’t have triband antennae and enjoy working qrp. This mode is great for predicting band openings together with WSPR and allows low power stations to still make contacts when SFI is bumping around the 90 mark and K is above 3. Everyone can make a choice on the mode they prefer to use.
    regards 2E0JFY

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