Friday, 4 August 2017

Faster QSO in JT mode

Back in 2009, when I made my first experimental JT65A QSO there was no WSJT-X and no JTDX. We used WSJT (for EME use) and later JT65-HF which was developed W4CQZ, W4CQZ also had a reverse beacon and chat page on which you could meet other interested amateurs for experimenting. Actually I think JT65-HF was easier to use compared to WSJT and increased popularity of JT65 use on HF. Those first years a lot of amateurs were arguing that JT65 was intended for UHF/VHF communications on troposcatter and EME (Earth-Moon-Earth) and improperly used for HF. But soon many discovered that this mode is excellent for weak signal communications especially in surroundings with high noise floors and QRN/QRM. Today in 2017 the popularity of JT digimode is still growing and all radio amateurs want is make a quick QSO on a preferable as long distance as possible. Originally to complete a QSO would last 6 minutes in total. A example here making a contact with my neighbour Gerrie PA4GB:

WSJT-X buttons
(1 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB JO33
(2 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS -1
(3 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB R-1
(4 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS RRR
(5 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB 73
(6 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS 73

JTDX buttons, notice the options!

Now, this are the rules that are made to complete a JT65 QSO. But why this difficult? HF operators are not really interested in QTH locators (except if distance is part of a contest or a personal issue). JTDX already has a option to skip the locator and skip the RRR. A QSO would look like this:

(1 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB -1
(2 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS R-1
(3 minute) PE4BAS PA4GB RR73
(4 minute) PA4GB PE4BAS 73

A complete QSO in 4 minutes. And you can even skip the last 73 and call CQ again but that would not really be polite. For a DXpedition however that would be a essential amount of won time.

I already use this kind of 4 minute QSO making for as long as I use JTDX. However the QSO purists do not agree. And I got a lot of refused eQSL just because I did not send the locator or skipped the RRR or they didn't see my last "73". I really don't know why you would like to see a RRR to confirm a HF contact? And what's the use of that last "73" except that it is polite! Oh my, I'm going to get some hate comments now I guess.

Personally I would confirm a 4 minute contact without any problems. We did a signal report both ways just like you work a DXpedition and that is valid as well.

Imagine how fast a FT8 QSO goes when it will be implemented in JTDX! 1 minute!


  1. Hallo Bas, het is moeilijk om iedereen tevreden te stellen omtrent de werkwijze en afhandeling van een digi-QSO.
    Persoonlijk vind ik het belangrijk om te zien waar het station zich ongeveer bevind. De rest, zoals RRR en 73 mogen van mij samengevoegd worden. Ach zo heeft ieder zijn wensen. Ik ben benieuwd naar reacties van anderen. 73, goed weekend, Hans, PE1BVQ.

    1. Wat dat betreft zijn we het met elkaar eens Hans. 73, Bas

  2. After using FT8 for the past several weeks I find it difficult to go back to JT65 - it seems much slower now than it used to.

    Also, TX5EG is currently on the air using FT8 on 20m and are proving that FT8 is a viable mode for DXpeditioners. Their operating technique differs from what one might expect on CW or SSB where a DXpedition normally listens for callers very near in frequency to the station previously worked. Instead of that, TX5EG is answering callers anywhere within the FT8 window that have called them, ie changing his freq to match that of the caller and then working them simplex. This prevents the "many callers on one freq" that would result in poor decodes and instead gives many a better chance of working him. It seems to be going well.

    1. Hi John, FT8 is a great mode if you want to make a fast QSO with reasonable noise/signal ratio. I think we are just at the start of these kind of digimodes. I'm curious how things are in 10 years from now. 73, Bas

  3. Hallo Bas en Hans, van mij mag het ook zo kort mogelijk. Net als een CW DX QSO. Dus ook ik wacht op implementatie van JT8 in JTDX. ;-) Fijn weekend, 73 Paul PC4T

    1. De dingen gaan vrij snel Paul, geen idee of FT8 al in JTDX zit nu? Ben een paar weken niet echt met de hobby bezig geweest. 73, Bas

  4. Ik wil juist weten waar mijn tegenstation zit. Niet iedereen is aangemeld bij QRZ en sommige zijn helemaal niet online te vinden. Ik draai geen QSO's om maar QSO's te draaien. Zonder locator, geen QSL! Ik heb zelfs een macro: LOCATOR PSE. Ik kan me voorstellen dat je dit verandert in contest regels maar anders (op de RR73 na) laten zoals het is. De wereld is al gehaast genoeg ;)

    Fijne woensdag en 73, Patrick PD3HF!

    1. Hallo Patrick, gelukkig denkt iedereen er weer anders over. Ben blij met je reactie want het laat zien dat er ook amateurs zijn die het wel belangrijk vinden. Als een call niet online te vinden is constateer ik meestal dat het een piraat is. Hoeft niet altijd waar te zijn natuurlijk. Tot nu toe is het niet vinden van een call me 1x overkomen, het bleek dat de call fake was. Als iemand mij zou vragen naar mijn locator zoals jij dat doet dan doe ik dat natuurlijk. Maar zonder dat gegeven geen QSL gaat mij te ver. 73, Bas


Thanks for your comment. Bedankt voor je reactie. 73, Bas