Guidelines for FT8

Guideline for FTB operations
Download the latest version of WSJT-X operating software (google it, as there several sources). Do not use the WSJT-Z version as it is not permitted to be used for awards such as DXCC and WAS. It is also against the law to leave your station and not personally  supervise and operate your equipment.

Download the FT8 Operating Guide by Gary Hinson, ZL21FB, from the link on his QRZpage. Then read it.

Download the JT Alert from and read the instructions on this page.

Install the WSJT and JT-Alert according to the instructions.

Now for the operating:
First, make sure that the software is controlled by your computer and then make sure that your radio is controlled by the software.

For operating, it is almost always the best choice to check hold tx freq, auto sequence, and 1st call (on the WXJT-X software).

Make sure your receiver bandwidth is at least 3 kHz and you are operating in USB mode. Before you transmit check to see if any local stations are on the band you plan to operate. That takes a couple mins as you watch the JT alert or the left side of the WST J X screen. If there are other local stations on move to the opposite end of the band.

Example (click to enlarge)

Call someone who is CQing, this will set even/odd for you, or go to a clear frequency set your even/odd and call CQ.

Calling CQ from your Station (click to enlarge):

Do not call a station on his transmitted frequency, hold tx freq, as those who do not use the hold tx freq option will be calling on that stations freq. This means if he has lot of callers he will not be able to copy any of them. Always look for a clear freq and hold tx freq.

Hold TX Freq (click to enlarge):


When operating keep your eye on the red marker (ur tx freq) on top of the waterfall. If the waterfall turns bright red under the red marker then it is probable that other stations may have a problem hearing you. Change you transmit frequency. I change frequency even in the middle of a QSO.

Red marker on top of the waterfall (click to enlarge):

Keep in mind that the entire bandwidth of the waterfall is capable of  being decoded by the software. I have had more than 36 simultaneous decodes.  After 4 to 6 decodes and you don’t receive a confirmation go to the next caller or call CQ again.

You don’t need to run full power to make contacts, this is a low power mode of operation. I usually run 25 to 50 watts to make QSOs. I have worked the east coast of the US with as little as 5 to 10 watts and the same for EU stations.

Power output [TX] adjustment via WSJT-X (click to enlarge):



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