Re: FT-8

Detrick Merz

Here's an excerpt a recent email on the WSJT-X mailing list that describes the "directed CQ" thing pretty well:

"Anyway, that aside, you seem to be using the free text message to send a directed CQ – fair enough but at the receiving end, users cannot just double-click it to respond, because as free-text the contents are not interpreted as a CQ call.  A better way to make directed CQs is to use a 2 letter code within the standard CQ message Tx 6, as in “CQ xx ZL2IFB RF80” where xx might be DX or NA (North America) or PY (a common prefix for Brazil) or whatever.  We only have those two character positions to play with in a standard CQ message, otherwise it reverts to being a free text unclickable message (e.g. I might send “CQ PAC ZL2IFB” if I want to Pacific stations to call, but they would have to respond manually … whereas “CQ OC ZL2IFB RF80” achieves the same ends with the standard message, using OC for Oceania).


Gary  ZL2iFB"

On Jan 15, 2018 17:45, "Detrick Merz" <detrick@...> wrote:
Unfortunately, no. That isn't allowed by the FT8 message format.


On Jan 15, 2018 5:30 PM, "KFF Coordinator" <kffcoordinator@...> wrote:
Can you use CQ 44? That is one of the recommended ways WWFF gives for calling CQ. 

On Mon, Jan 15, 2018 at 5:18 PM Detrick Merz <detrick@...> wrote:
I believe I was the one with thoughts on FT8. As a low power operator (I use a KX3), I've often had trouble making even 10 QSOs, under the old rules. It's great to say, "just go back to the park again," but many of the parks I've worked from aren't near my home state (I did 3 in WA, and live in VA). For my last activation, in FL, I decided to haul a laptop in and try FT8. It really saved the day, getting me half my contacts before the laptop battery started getting low.

But I have a general concern: it's hard for people to tell I'm in a park. This results in a few other concerns:

1) I'm less likely to get spotted - spots are super important to a low power op.

2) I'm not doing a good job of promoting WWFF.

3) After a little while, I'm going to show up as "already worked" for most people. They have no reason to work me a second time if they don't know I'm in a park.

I did a little testing with a friend across some dummy loads. My hope was that I could generate a "free message" CQ, replacing the grid square with "WWFF" (CQ K4IZ WWFF). Unfortunately, while this transmitted and received perfectly, on the receive side double clicking on my CQ would do *nothing*, making it difficult for someone to work me.

The FT8 message format does allow for directed CQs, things like CQ DX or CQ WY. Any two letters can be used, but not digits. My thought, to solve most of my concern, is to use CQ FF. Hopefully this would be clear enough. But I also think we should come to a concensus, so everyone uses the same format. Maybe there are better ideas!

There's also the matter of (ideally) exchanging the park identifier. The only solution I've come up with is to send it in the last message, as a free message: 73 KFF-0000. The other person has already been prompted to log by the time the activator sends this message, so it's less than ideal, but I can't see where else it might fit.


On Jan 15, 2018 4:39 PM, <kffcoordinator@...> wrote:
I've been asked about working FT-8 from the parks. I know the exchange is very short and you are limited on characters. How would you recommend the exchange go when using FT-8 from a park? My knowledge of FT-8 is very limited so I really cannot comment on this.

Roger Meadows, AE4RM
WWFF-KFF Coordinator

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