Radio Arcala (OH8X), the consortium of serious Finnish contesters, has heaped more praise on Nobel Laureate and software developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, for the recent beta release of FT8 mode. OJ0BH/OJ0JR will be active August 12-19 from Market Reef and expects to make use of FT8 and other modes that are part of Taylor’s WSJT-X suite of Amateur Radio digital software.
“Tuning the poor 20-meter band month after month represents a major frustration nowadays,” said Martti Laine, OH2BH/OJ0BH. “Particularly on SSB, only the occasional DX signal breaks the sea of noise, consequently reducing activity levels even further.” Laine said FT8 has given bands a new lease on life, since it enables stations to copy signals buried in the noise.
He and Henri, OH3JR/OJ0JR, will attempt to land on Market Reef on August 12, weather permitting, and “will immediately break the noise floor by getting FT8 QSOs under way.” They will also hand out the OJ0 multiplier in the Worked All Europe DX Contest (WAEDC) CW and deploy a variety of traditional modes, propagation permitting.
Laine said FT8 can serve as a “booster shot” in demonstrating Amateur Radio to today’s youth. The recent beta release of WSJT-X, version 1.8.0-rc1, included FT8, which features faster turnaround and an auto-sequencing utility that offers the option to respond automatically to the first decoded reply to your CQ.