FT8 on 20m this afternoon

I was able to find some spare time this afternoon and in true ham radio spirit I hauled out the MFJ mag loop set it up on the balcony and gave FT8 a go on 20m. Last week I finalized the setup of WSJT-X 2.0 and my rig the Icom 7610. Once all the settings are looked after running WSJT-X with the 7610 is a breeze. I was spotted all over the U.S. and Canada and even into Europe while on 20m. I did make 3 U.S contacts but only logged 2 as I at first did not have the setting in Reporting "Log Automatically" or "Prompt me to log QSO" Unfortunately my memory is not what I think it to be and  I lost the first contact by forgetting to log it. So it was then that I went to Settings-reporting and checked the box "Log automatically" I was excited to see my FT8 signal was heard in France, Spain and Portugal. Over all it was a very relaxing day on the radio!
I found this site that offers some great FT8 tips:

I did remove the tick from the "auto Seq" box as by doing this it did give me somewhat of a feeling of interaction with the QSO. This evening it's going to be a cup of Earl Grey tea and go over the WSJT-X 2.0 manual very closely and see what I can glean from it. Also search out some writeup's on the internet for more tips with this mode. 

Mike Weir, VE9KK, is a regular contributor to AmateurRadio.com and writes from New Brunswick, Canada. Contact him at [email protected].

8 Responses to “FT8 on 20m this afternoon”

  • Ray:

    You might want to check out JTDX for ft8.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good afternoon Ray, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. This evening during tea time and relaxation I will certainly do that.
    Thanks and have a good week.

  • Bart AA7VA:

    Add WSJT-x JT Alert to the mix – there is a huge advantage in adding this excellent companion software, with many additional very useful features. I use DXLabs suite, and this addition autologs to DXKeeper in the DXLabs software, and rig control, etc integrates as well.

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Bart very nice to hear from you, I have heard about JT Alert but that’s about it. I will have to take some time and have a look at it. One thing I read was if you have HRD it allows auto logging of contacts. That won’t help me as I don’t use HRD but there may be other useful things for me in the program.
    73 and have a good week.

  • Harry K7ZOV:

    Hi again… OK here is my setup for my IC-7300.
    1) First load Dimension 4 time control at boot up of computer
    2) Then I fire up Win4Icom
    3) In my case I am using 3rd party program autoload, thus I first load WSJT-X-FT8, followed by my logging program Log4OM, then once it is loaded JTAlert.

    JTAlert has the built in feature of automatic logging, as well as nice features like letting you know what State or country a call sign is being decoded. Plus I have a feature turned on that will be a -b4 after the call sign to let me know I have worked them before… Lots of other features I still not have explored, but well worth doing.

    If you need more details please email me directly. I will be more then happy to go in depth as to how I setup com-0-com for virtual memory, the virtual radio ports used by Win4Icom, as well as OminRig used my Log4OM. You can use many other logging programs, I just fell in love with Log4OM many years ago and dumped the HRD logger. Hope this helps.. Have fun

    73 Harry
    (BTW you don’t have to use the internal feature of auto startup in Win4ICom and you might not want to, but just do it manually. I assume you will be doing SSB and CW so this feature might be a pain since you will have to back out of the other programs… But maybe not.. )

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Good morning Harry and sorry for the late reply, I too have Dimensions 4 and it works great. I also have Win4Icom suit as well. I also have ( for my Elecraft KX3) Win4k3 suite. It is a great piece of software and is being updated all the time with great features. I do have log40M on my PC but for logging I use AClog. I just found out while surfing the next that JTAlert will also work with AClog and auto log contacts. I have been doing some reading about JTAlert online along with the info that you gave me as well. Seems like a great little program! As for the virtual comports I have a copy of VSPE BUT having said that once I start setting all the programs up to talk to each other a may shoot an email your way if I run into issues. My setup here is only digi and CW no SSB……..not that I am against SSB it’s just I find being in a condo I am more pron to interfering on neighbors electronics with SSB.
    Have a great weekend Harry and it’s been great talking to you and thanks very much for all the info!

  • KyD BG2KAJ:


    Just a reminding, If you are looking for the first QSO information, Try to search for the log file of WSJT-X (Usually named “ALL.txt”) in your PC.
    GL & HF with FT8!

  • Mike VE3WDM:

    Thanks very much for the tip….still learning about this new mode (new to me that is ) but have a blast with it.

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