Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"Very few signals being decoded!"

This is the Twilight Zone. We control the vertical; we control the horizontal...

Unfortunately, unlike the Twilight Zone, an episode of "what's wrong with my upgrade?" may last longer than 30 minutes.

Of the changes in WSJT-X rc4 relative to rc3, the one that should be printed in bold is that rc4 is not backward compatible with previous versions. Whereas rc3 gave the option of 75- or 77-bit protocols, rc4 is fixed, write-it-in marble 77-bits of digital communicative pleasure.

This is written in the updated Quick Start Guide, but many people are not reading it, based on comments in various forums and emails.

In full disclosure, I must plead guilty myself (but my guilt was short-lived):

I updated the laptop/Anan-10e digital test platform to tinker prior with the newness-ness prior to applying said upgrade to the Flex/desktop. The waterfall on WSJT-X rc4 showed many signals - yet only 3 or 4 decodes per 15-sec pass.

Did I do something wrong? Should upgrades not be made after a dose (or two) of Baily's Irish Cream?

Then, and only then, did I do that Thing I normally eschew in favor of progress - I read the release notes again.

Rod Serling then informed me that "there is nothing wrong with your set". So I currently have two FT8 set-ups - rc3 on the main rig, rc4 on the QRP side.

If you have WSJT-X rc3 and want to communicate with stations operating rc4, you must enable 77-bit protocol in Settings>Advanced. Better yet, just upgrade to rc4 to be better prepared for the main V2 release coming next month.

Note the Zone number appended to CQ calls:


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6 comments:

  1. Hi John, I keep it at the last stable release for now. It decodes fine. Have enough computer problems and don't want ad a extra one. 73, Bas

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    1. You don't have long to wait, Bas - the next stable version will be released on Dec 10 (although the rc# versions seem pretty stable too).
      73 - John

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    2. I guess I was too quick to upgrade to rc3. . It says it won't work after Nov. 30. . . Guess I have to download another rc to keep FT8 alive till Dec. 10 then. . . Hmmmm

      73 - Odd

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    3. I think it will keep working even after that date, the developers just prefer (that if you're going to use an rc-# version) that you use the latest flavor of it so that bugs can be found and corrected before the next full release.

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  2. "We control the vertical; we control the horizontal..." is from the opening narration of _The Outer Limits_, not _Twilight Zone_. I used to watch both shows. Larry, KE0BTV.

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    1. You are absolutely right! I'd forgotten about that show but used to watch it too. Thanks for the correction, 73 John

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