[CQ-Contest] Contesters review: new FT8, WSJT 2.0.0

Tim Shoppa tshoppa at gmail.com
Fri Dec 14 14:48:40 EST 2018

Keep in mind that I write the below from a "Contesters perspective" but
maybe toned down for lower FT8 expectations.

The official flag day for the new 77-bit FT8 messages was Monday Dec 14
with the release of WSJT 2.0.0. Within a day almost all the activity had
flipped over the the new version.

I spent many hours (20+ hours) trying it out, with "RR73" turned on to get
max rates, and it is an improvement. I had also been involved a little bit
with pre-release WSJT software in the mock-contest hours and the "FT8 mock
test" the first weekend of December.

With the new WSJT 2.0.0 FT8, my peak S&P rate approaches one QSO a minute,
my peak run rate approaches one QSO every 90 seconds, and my average rate
over an hour is s 20 or more. It is hard to achieve peak rates on a super
packed busy band like 20M FT8 but on a WARC band or "off peak" band it's
quite achievable.

Contrast that with the old WSJT where my typical FT8 rate in an hour was 8
to 12 QSO's an hour.

Now, in a real RTTY contest, 20 an hour is NOT something to write home
about. It's dullsville, like maybe I should be doing something more fun
like mopping the kitchen floor or raking leaves. But it is a real
improvement for FT8 rate.

I DO NOT PLAN to do ANY FT8 in RTTY Roundup. Again, 20 an hour is a bad
rate if you are trying to enter that competitively.

Tim N3QE
Hardcore RTTY contester

More information about the CQ-Contest mailing list