FT8 from zero to fifteen seconds

A FT8 contact
Well I took the FT 8 plunge this weekend, I have read many blog and twitter posts about it and it's such a cool digi mode! After watching some YouTube videos  I downloaded WSJT-X 1.8.0 bata software. The only changes I made was I  went into the General tab and set up some custom "behavior" settings:
1. Double-click on call sets Tx enabled.
2. Disable Tx after sending 73
 All the Radio settings were passed from the older release to the beta release. I found as others have posted that the FT 8 section of the band is very busy for a brand new mode it sure has caught on very fast. Watching the YouTube videos was a big help as this is a very fast mode compared to other digi modes. In the past with JT8 and JT65 I was able to get some blog writing done when operating BUT this new mode you have to pay attention. If you are searching and pouncing the software is very automatic when you make contact with a station as it moves through the contact process on it's own. I have up to this point only made State side contacts but having said that with the solar conditions that's great for my QRP.
Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

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