[amsat-bb] WSJT-X FT8 QSO confirmed between W2JAZ and W5RKN on FO-29

Ronald G. Parsons w5rkn at w5rkn.com
Sat Oct 14 03:15:43 UTC 2017

A few days ago, Rick, W2JAZ, asked me if the new, short, weak signal protocol, FT8, could be used on satellites. I posited it might work near AOS or LOS where the Doppler corrections are small. FT8 is operationally similar to the older protocols but four times faster (15-second T/R sequences) and less sensitive by a few dB. 

So we set out to configure our satellite stations to use WSJT-X with FT8. With some configuration advice from W0DHB, we each got our systems configured. Mine (W5RKN) is a Flex-6500 with two DEMI transverters running SmartSDR, SatPC32, FlexSATPC, and WSJT-X. Rick’s (W2JAZ) is a Flex-5000 with U/V module, running PowerSDR, SatPC32, FlexSATPC, and WSJT-X. 

After a couple runs on AO-7 without success, we tried again tonight on the 0220Z (14 Oct) pass of FO-29. I started out at my AOS calling CQ W5RKN EM10. After several transmissions without success, the reply W5RKN W2JAZ FN29 popped up on the screen. Then followed the usual signal report, RRR and 73 transmissions.

As soon as I can figure out the appropriate fields for LoTW, we’ll log the QSO there.

I am not aware of other WSJT-X QSOs on the satellites, so I’d be interested in other’s experiences,

Ron and Rick

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