Charles Fricks (AF5FB) recently put his station back together and is now up on FT8. Our phone conversations and email exchanges provided me with a little insight into what further questions might arise after someone new to FT8 figures out rig control, audio levels and then proceeds to make an actual FT8 contact.
On the left side of WSJT-X, (sorry, due to limited resolution, you’ll see more clearly if you look at your own FT8 screen) you’ll see all decoded transmissions every ~13 seconds (followed by ~2 seconds of silence… except for those who do not have their computer clocks adjusted accurately). When you see a (example:) “CQ KE8KW FN44” and double click it, click “enable transmit” and ensure “Auto Seq” is checked; you’ll see the “Std Msgs” auto-populate and the attempt to answer this CQ begins.
004130 -11 -0.0 628 ~ CQ KE8KW FN44
004149 Tx ______628 ~ KE8KW AF5FB EM22
004200 -10 -0.0 628 ~ AF5FB KE8KW -15
004226 Tx______ 628 ~ KE8KW AF5FB R-10
004230 -10 -0.0 627 ~ AF5FB KE8KW RR73
004245 Tx______ 628 ~ KE8KW AF5FB 73
-The six numbers on the left is the time, in zulu.
-In the next column, “-11” or “-10” is how well you’re copying his signal, in signal to noise ratio, in dB.
-In the next column, “-0.0” is the time difference between your computer clock and his computer clock
-In the next column, “628” is the audio fequency you’re using
And the rest is a complete QSO:
Call signs acknowledged
Signal reports (in dB) exchanged
and then the optional: RR and 73
There’s also a log book incorporated into WSTJ-X.
And now there’s a growing number of hams racing to collect grids.
WARNING: This aspect of amateur radio can be addictive.
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