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Quicker-Turnaround Digital Modes In Experimental Stage For WSJT-X Suite:

from The ARRL Letter on June 15, 2017
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Quicker-Turnaround Digital Modes In Experimental Stage For WSJT-X Suite:

Recent sporadic-E propagation openings on 6 meters and elsewhere have demonstrated the need for a digital mode with a faster turnaround time than what is offered by currently available software versions. A recent WSJT-X reflector discussion allowed that, while the slow 'JT modes like JT65 and JT9 have excellent sensitivity, their nearly 1-minute-long transmissions may not permit completion of a contact when evanescent signals pop up and quickly disappear under certain E-skip conditions. MSK144 and the fast JT9 submodes allow much shorter transmissions, but they do not offer the multi-decode capability that JT65 users find so effective. Iain MacDonnell, N6ML, was among those remarking that, while the use of JT65 for working E-skip on 6 meters has really taken off, it's too slow to be practical for openings that only last a couple of minutes or so.

Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW, of Harvard, Massachusetts, sounded a similar theme. "A few days ago we had a great opening on 6 meters, especially here in the New England area, given our latitude," he noted. "I often find that often one cannot complete a QSO due to QSB and the ins and outs of Es. Yet, being a propagation buff, I love the idea that I can leave the rig on 50.276 in JT65 mode and then see who I hear throughout the day via PSK Reporter."

WSJT-X developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, weighed in to express his appreciation to all who shared their ideas and experiences using JT9 and JT65 modes during recent multi-hop E-skip openings on 6 meters.

"We are very much aware that a mode with most of the excellent characteristics of JT65, but with faster turnaround time, would be a big winner in such situations," Taylor commented on behalf of the WSJT-X development team. "We are experimenting with several such possibilities. Tentative goals include 15-second T/R sequences, sensitivity around S/N = -20 dB, occupied bandwidth less than that of JT65, and capability to decode as many as 10 or 20 signals in a 2-kHz bandwidth."

But, Taylor added, developing new modes takes a lot of time, and results are not guaranteed. "We will report significant progress if and when available," he pledged. Read more -- Thanks to Joe Taylor, K1JT


The ARRL Letter

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