Friday, December 14, 2018

FT8 Roundup Draws Big Crowd

The upgraded FT8 portion of WSJT-X 2.0 had a final on-air "shakedown" prior to its general release in the form of an on-air operating event - the first FT8 Roundup - on the weekend of December 1 and 2. The roundup was coordinated by CQ RTTY Contesting Director Ed Muns, W0YK, and Don Hill, AA5AU. 

According to the AMSAT News Service, approximately 1300 logs were submitted for the event from 91 countries, and included more than 131,000 contacts. The new version of FT8 "performed with no major complications," reported Hill. Muns said participation "far exceeded our expectations," but said additional enhancements will be needed for FT8 to "really take off" as a contest mode on its own. 

The 2019 ARRL RTTY Roundup (<>) in early January will be the first regularly-scheduled contest to include use of the new version of FT8.