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Author Topic: KH0/KC0W Operating Fox mode.........Help  (Read 3170 times)
KC0W
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Posts: 762




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« on: April 25, 2019, 04:45:32 AM »

 I have very little experience with FT8. I downloaded the program this afternoon & gave it a try. Bedlam ensued from the JA stations calling. I plugged along anyway making QSOs one by one. My screen was absolutely red with stations callsigns so I think I should expedite the process by operating F&H. As previously stated I have little experience with FT8 but ZERO experience with this new F&H stuff.

 I downloaded the F&H manual & read it thoroughly but I'm unclear on what frequency to manually enter to set my transmit frequency. I guess it's not supposed to be (for example) 18.100 for 17 meters. Sorry guys, I'm strictly a CW op so this FT8 & F&H stuff is all new to me. Would someone be kind enough to give me a quick cheat sheet on being the Fox? Any other tips you may have regarding operating in the Fox mode would be most welcome.................. Also when I tried running a little power my amplifier cut in & out when sending FT8. I assume this must be a VOX threshold setting issue? Radio is a KX3.

 Thanks for the assistance. I want to understand being the Fox before I fly solo with it.

                               
                                                               Tom KH0/KC0W
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KC0W
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« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 03:30:49 PM »

 
It's no joke about too many stations calling. Can anyone help me out with Fox instructions?

 


                                                           Tom KH0/KC0W
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K0UA
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« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 04:27:18 PM »

Well, I have never operated on the Fox end, but I can tell you this much. After putting your software in the Fox mode by going into the configuration advanced and selecting Fox, you need to find yourself a clean frequency, and NOT operate on the regular FT8 frequencys.  On 20 meters most go to 14.090.  You set up on the  audio frequency below 500 hz.  Each carrier is 50hz wide and seperated by 10 hz I think.

 You can run up to 5 concurrent carriers.  The callers call on 1000 hz and up until as they go into the que and you select them from your que they will be told to drop down to one of your carrier frequency s to finish the contact. As they go to one of your frequencys and finish up when they get your RR73.  if the sequence did not complete 3 tries, they go into the "discard pile between 500 and 1000 hz. They can continue there for a while still calling you, and if you hear them they can be selected again to drop down onto your freq and finish.

I think that the number of carriers is adjust automatically by the "load" of the number of callers. Note that as the number of carriers increases your power of course is divided among them. Therefore as the number of carriers increases your effective radiated power in each carrier decreases of course. Of course the more carriers you run, the more "traffic" you can handle simultaneously.
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
WO7R
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Posts: 4112




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« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 05:14:17 PM »

From the manual on Fox power levels:

Quote
Important Note for Fox Operators: When using N Slots > 1, your transmitted signal will
not have a constant envelope. To avoid producing unwanted sidebands you must ensure
good linearity throughout your Tx system. One way to get things about right is to use the
WSJT-X Tune button to generate an unmodulated carrier. Configure your transmitter and
PA as required for the desired peak output power, say P0. Then pull the Pwr slider
(bottom right of the WSJT-X main window) down until your output power decreases by
about 10%. Use this audio level setting for all your Fox transmissions. If you are using N
Slots signals, your average transmitted power will be P0/(N Slots) and the power in each
signal will be P0/(N Slots)
2. Thus, for N Slots = 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 the average power per
signal will be down from P0 by about 0, 6, 9.5, 12, and 14 dB, respectively.


Basically, as the Fox, you should be on one of the alternate frequencies and learn to manage the queues.  You should have an appropriate power level (see above).

In your case, you probably don't need more than one or two slots, especially after the first day or so.

As for F&H, just keep trying.  The rest of us will be fine with your learning curve.  And, there's lots less QRM on FT8.  Even if there is, you can shut off the rig and not even notice it.


Finally, don't worry too much about F&H at all.  Stations like S01WS, back before F&H was even invented, managed to work down the pile without F&H.

Let's say you manage 30/hr with ordinary FT8 mode.  Well, 10 hours is 300, 1000 hours is 3000 calls.  If you do enough of your "good ol' CW" and knock down the pile that way, somewhere between the 100th and 1000th hour, you will have most of the rest taken care of with FT8.  1000 hours sounds like a lot, but in FT8, you can be answering emails and so on while you are active, so it's surprisingly easy to chip away at the needful time while doing other things.  Even at 8 hours a week (4 hours each on Saturday and Sunday), you can knock it down very well.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 05:17:34 PM by WO7R » Logged
KC0W
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Posts: 762




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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 05:19:44 PM »

 Thanks Jim but I'm still totally lost. If I choose to work 5 stations at once do I need to individually select each station or does F&H do it for me? I'm also unclear as to how to set a different transmit frequency apart from the usual assigned FT8 frequency. As previously stated I'm coming into this whole thing with almost zero experience with FT8. It's frustrating to be sure. I'm not a quitter but this FT8 stuff is starting to test my nerves working stations one by one.

 As far as the multiple carriers go I understand that part. Each carrier is attenuated by how many different carriers you choose to run. The above shown screen shot was taken when I was running 2 Watts. My amplifier is capable of 1kW but I doubt I would need to run that much to compensate for the multiple carriers.

    
                                                                               Thanks!!!

                                                                            Tom KH0/KC0W        
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KC0W
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 05:25:44 PM »

 Thanks Larry,

 I was typing as you posted.............OK about just running "normal" FT8. I will keep on giving that a try & see what happens. I hate to keep guys waiting & waiting & waiting as I work stations one by one. I know, welcome to 2019 the era of instant gratification for all.  Smiley  

 EDIT: The amplifier situation was fixed. Call it operator error at 3:00 AM as I was experimenting putting it in line for FT8.


                                                               Tom KH0/KC0W
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 05:39:23 PM by KC0W » Logged
K0UA
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Posts: 4810




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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2019, 06:56:43 PM »

You can change frequency easily enough.  Just type it in to the box instead of using the pulldown box. Like 14.0900  or 7.0560
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
K0UA
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Posts: 4810




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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2019, 10:34:06 PM »

be sure to use the decimal point after the Mhz.  So 14decimal point090 as an example

the rest seems intuitive. Your starting frequency will be 300hz by default, the max carriers will be 5 (depending on load) The callers will appear on the left pane the right pane will show what is going on with each carrier. 
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
WO7R
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Posts: 4112




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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2019, 10:36:41 PM »

I made an elementary math error.  100 hours at 30/hr is 3,000 QSOs (not 1000 hours as I said), which is quite a bit of who you need to work.  100 hours is about a month at four hours in the evening with many days off at that.

So, if all else fails, you can work the pileups down, eventually, even at a "mere" 30 per hour in normal FT8 mode.  It will take a while, but it will happen.  
 
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KC0W
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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2019, 11:03:42 PM »

 Thanks guys.

 I really don't know if I can keep on plugging along working one station at a time. It's very boring. I'm not sure if this is "normal" or not but I counted eleven in a row completely red Band Activity screens. This was during the middle of the day here when the band wasn't even open to North America, Europe or beyond. If I'm still "into" FT8 I will try to get F&H configured this weekend otherwise it was kinda a fun experience.

 

                                                              This times 10 more!!!  Smiley


                                                                       Tom KH0/KC0W    
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VA3VF
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« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2019, 05:14:30 AM »

If I'm still "into" FT8 I will try to get F&H configured this weekend otherwise it was kinda a fun experience.
Tom,

If for whatever reason WSJT-X's F & H does not work for you, try MSHV. I think it allows for multiple concurrent contacts without the F & H particularities.

See the Multi Answering Auto Seq Protocol:

http://lz2hv.org/node/10

The interest is there, you saw it. It's going to be a zoo in the beginning, but it'll get better with time.

Thanks for trying.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 05:29:21 AM by VA3VF » Logged
K0UA
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« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2019, 06:13:36 AM »

I set up as a fox last nite and called CQ, and not a single person called me. I even self spotted and still no callers. I suppose no one "needed" a stinking KØ

Can't say I blamed them.  The reason I did it was to try and help to answer KC0W's questions. But I have zero experience as a fox and considering how rare DX I am, I suppose I never will.  Sad
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
VA3VF
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Posts: 3002




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« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2019, 06:43:26 AM »

I set up as a fox last nite and called CQ, and not a single person called me. I even self spotted and still no callers. I suppose no one "needed" a stinking KØ

Can't say I blamed them.  The reason I did it was to try and help to answer KC0W's questions. But I have zero experience as a fox and considering how rare DX I am, I suppose I never will.  Sad
Try P5/K0UA next time, just for a brief test. Grin Shocked

That will also show that the actual SFI is 230, not 68. Roll Eyes Grin
« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 06:46:36 AM by VA3VF » Logged
K0UA
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Posts: 4810




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« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2019, 08:08:09 AM »

I set up as a fox last nite and called CQ, and not a single person called me. I even self spotted and still no callers. I suppose no one "needed" a stinking KØ

Can't say I blamed them.  The reason I did it was to try and help to answer KC0W's questions. But I have zero experience as a fox and considering how rare DX I am, I suppose I never will.  Sad
Try P5/K0UA next time, just for a brief test. Grin Shocked

That will also show that the actual SFI is 230, not 68. Roll Eyes Grin

I will keep that in mind.  Smiley
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73  James K0UA
ARRL Missouri Technical Specialist
KC0W
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Posts: 762




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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2019, 05:25:08 AM »


 KX3 stops transmitting & I get this:

 

                                             Anyone have any helpful hints?


                                                              Tom KH0/KC0W

 
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