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2018 July RCARS Intro to Operating FT8 Mode

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Slides from 7/3/18 presentation at River City ARCS club meeting on Operating FT8 Digital Mode

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2018 July RCARS Intro to Operating FT8 Mode

  1. 1. Intro to FT8 Digital Mode Kevin Hooke KK6DCT July 2018
  2. 2. Intro to FT8: Summary  FT8 Mode – what is it?  FT8 vs other digital modes  JT65 recap  What do you need to operate FT8?  Alternative approaches to operate (where is my radio?!)  What do JT65 vs FT8 signals look like / sound like?  Demos:  Receiving FT8 using a WebSDR  FT8 QSOs via a remote rig (remotehamradio.com)
  3. 3. FT8 Mode – what is it? Latest digital mode from Steven Franke K9AN and Joe Taylor K1JT “The numeral (8) designates the mode’s 8-frequency shift keying format” From http://www.arrl.org/news/ft8-mode-is-latest-bright-shiny-object-in-amateur-radio-digital-world “FT8 is operationally similar to JT65 but is much faster, using T/R cycles only 15 s long” From https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html FT8
  4. 4. FT8 vs JT9, JT65, PSK31, RTTY etc What’s different between FT8 and all the other digital modes? Dave Casler KE0OG, YouTube episode #104 Describes 3 generations of digital modes: 1 st Generation: RTTY, Packet, PACTOR, AMTOR 2 nd Generation: PSK31 (and others) - 3khz – multiple QSOs in parallel 3 rd Generation: WSJT-X software: JT65, JT9, FT8 (and others) - weak signal modes - software receives signals barely audible to the ear - error checking, redundancy
  5. 5. JT65 recap http://www.n6na.org/meetings/programs
  6. 6. What do you need to operate FT8? SSB transceiver (FT8 uses USB) A computer WSJT-X software: https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html - Windows - Mac OS - Linux Depending on your radio, either a soundcard interface or USB (see previous JT65 presentation on soundcard interfaces)
  7. 7. What do you need to operate FT8? Alternative approaches WebSDR – receive audio online - pipe audio to WSJT-X with - VB-Cable (Windows) - Soundflower (free, MacOS) https://github.com/mattingalls/Soundflower - Rogue Amoeba Loopback ($99, MacOS) https://rogueamoeba.com/loopback/ RemoteHamRadio.com - remote station operation over the internet - operate station remotely - run WSJT-X locally, pipe audio to remote transceiver (with virtual audio cables)
  8. 8. How is FT8 different from JT65? Typical JT65 QSO exchange:
  9. 9. How is FT8 different from JT65? Typical FT8 QSO exchange:
  10. 10. How is FT8 different from JT65? Time for JT65 QSO: 7 minutes
  11. 11. How is FT8 different from JT65? Typical FT8 QSO exchange: 1.5 minutes!
  12. 12. JT65 transmit / receive timings
  13. 13. FT8 transmit / receive timings
  14. 14. What does JT65 look like? Over several days, at different times, haven’t seen any JT65 in use on any band!
  15. 15. 20m band activity Thursday 8am KFS WebSDR – several FT8 QSOs, not much other activity across whole 20m band: http://69.27.184.62:8901/
  16. 16. What does JT65 look like? Software: JT65-HF
  17. 17. What does JT65 sound like? WSJT-X JT65 transmit demo
  18. 18. What does FT8 look like? Software: WSJT-X JT65 FT8 At least 15 QSOs in parallel in 3khz
  19. 19. What does FT8 sound like? WSJT-X FT8 transmit demo
  20. 20. Physical computer and radio setup
  21. 21. Show me your shack: KK6DCT
  22. 22. Computer setup with virtual audio cables
  23. 23. Virtual audio cables – in and out
  24. 24. Demo: Receiving FT8 using WebSDR http://websdr.org/
  25. 25. Demo: remotehamradio.com FT8 demo http://www.remotehamradio.com/

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