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

Ed Muns ed at w0yk.com
Sat Dec 15 18:53:50 EST 2018

The discussion below is based on the WSJT-X non-contest protocol.  Did you
achieve any higher rates using the ARRL RTTY Roundup contest protocol in the
FT8 Roundup two weeks ago?  If so, probably not by much.

That protocol will eventually have a "TU, NW" feature added which will get
instantaneous rate to 120/hour.  SO2R double that.  Of course, average rate
over a full hour will be less, but it will be much faster than then the
current WSJT-X contest version.


-----Original Message-----
From: CQ-Contest [mailto:cq-contest-bounces at contesting.com] On Behalf Of Tim
Sent: 14 December, 2018 11:49
To: PVRC; cq-contest at contesting.com
Subject: [CQ-Contest] Contesters review: new FT8, WSJT 2.0.0

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
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