Presentation of Digital Mode FT-8

This following information was presented at the May 7, 2018, BAARC club meeting by Dan, W5BM, Guy, WB5MXO, and Kent, K5WTS.  Attached are the presentation slides (as a pdf file) and a copy of the WSJT-X software guide of which FT-8 is one of the modes available. Dan W5BM

BAARC-WSJTX-05052018 v2 (PDF slides)

WSJT-X User Guide

Notes from Feb. 2017 BAARC Meeting

QRP School: Getting Started with Digital Modes:

This comprehensive video explains the concept behind amateur radio digital modes and describes the hardware and cabling required to get started. The video lays the groundwork for future, in-depth videos that will demonstrate RTTY, PSK31, JT65, and Winlink.

Notes from Scott KD5NJR: Audio cables are required for those who want to make their own cables. It is also recommended that most people purchase a Signalink or Rig Blaster external sound card in order to resolve the audio and push-to-talk cabling issues.

Sample of WSPR:

A 1W JT65 Contact

FT817 QRP 20m Phone Contact

Note from Scott KD5NJR: Vero Beach looks nice.

  • 20m on whip antenna on the beach
  • tape measure counterpoise
  • watch his SWR on his dipole. It needs a trim.



Note from Scott: Olivia works down in the dirt, but it’s slower than PSK-31. FLDIGI supports the transmission of pictures over these wider, slower, digital modes.

Demo starts at 8 minutes. He connects to a Winlink station at 13′.

…while camping




Paxon Terminal

So you’ve downloaded UZ7HO soundmodem from UZ7HO’s website and you’ve checked the connections between your radio, rig interface and computer if it’s been a while.

With some luck and browsing through the manual, you’re adjusted your audio settings, set the speed (baud rate) and you’re looking at 1200 baud signals on 144.390 or 145.01 or 300 baud signals on HF.

How to transmit ?

You want to use the Paxon terminal. Download it. Run the installer. It puts an icon on your desktop. The Paxon terminal program has some instructions in the window on the right hand side. It’s pretty straightforward. But one thing you want to do is when you’re In Devices, the “TNC” you really have is AGW. So there’s a tip.


Winlink 2000

Has anyone (for EMCOMM use or otherwise) looked into Winlink 2000 ?

Seems like you can access the system via HF, VHF or Telnet and once you’re connected to a Winlink node, (a.k.a. RMS, or Radio Mail Server)  you can send email and keyboard-to-keyboard chat using the RMS Express or Paclink software.  The RMS nodes talk to a hanful of servers that sort and forward messages.  To some extent, it looks like this can continue during some Internet outages, but I’m still reading up on it. 

Looks like something interesting to look into as there is a node up in Owasso on 2m (145.010) and some new software.  In some ways, it’s an updated version of Packet Radio.  The ability to check your winlink email account from 2m or HF or webmail worldwide is pretty cool.    Imagine connecting to a RMS on HF from way in the boonies.  You’d want to keep the messages short and sweet but hey, it’d work.  You can even sign up to get an APRS notification that you have new Winlink mail pending. 

Years ago I tried to use Airmail package to talk to Winlink, but it didn’t cooperate.  I gave up in frustration.  But now some folks are starting to dust off their old TNCs, and there are those Soundcard TNC emulators like UZ7HO Soundmodem that let you use the rig-interface you’re already using for PSK31 and RTTY.

Thoughts ?  Then reply.