Wednesday, May 1, 2019


Since its availability, I've been periodically operating with FT4 on 15-80 meters  using (of course) WSJT-X.

By now everyone else who's using the latest test version of WSJT-X knows that the "OK" to log button moves in position from one contact to the next. The reason for this is to thwart the making of a "QSO machine" that will automatically work and log stations without operator intervention. There are a number of 3rd party programs that can be configured to virtually click the "OK" button based on its X-Y coordinates on the computer monitor.

Moving the "OK" button around prevents this.

But FT4 was designed to be comparable to RTTY (in terms of speed) in contests. Part of being efficient in a contest is the development and use of "memory muscle" - in other words, performing necessary tasks automatically, without having to think about (and look for) them.

I'm not (so far) much of a contester and, although I understand the reason for it, I find this practice annoying - so much so that, if the "feature" is still present in the final version of WSJT-X to be released in July, I plan to be a JTDX convert. JTDX does not support FT4 yet, but it will.

In the meantime I'm reading comparative reports of the two programs and am unable to find anything negative about JTDX. Like WSJT-X, it has good support, perhaps even better when you consider that the developer is directly involved in answering questions from users.

Much respect to K1JT for developing WSJT-X and the modes therein - but I hope he'll see fit to stay out of the policing business.


  1. Hello John, I stepped over to JTDX again a few weeks ago. Although I doubt it decodes better it certainly is a lot faster here. Besides that it has features that WSJT-X doesn't have. One is the automatically call CQ after a QSO. But main feature for me is that it keeps transmitting RR73 if a 73 or RR73 is not received yet were WSJT-X just stops transmitting (at least here!). 73, Bas

    1. Hi Bas, your review is on that I recently re-read. I did try at back when you first wrote about it but had an initial problem (that you provided the solution for) but never really went back to it. I'm going to go back to it this weekend.
      73 - John


    From the horse's mouth. Joe himself is uninterested in hearing complaints about this change. Unfortunate.

    1. That's too bad. He makes a mode for contesting and then implements an efficiency-reducing feature into it - for all of us, because of what one individual did briefly. And now that "feature" is present for FT8 as well as FT4. JTDX, here I come.
      73 - John

  3. An interesting comment from K2CR with whom I agree:

    "> We really do not need further advice on this topic, or a lecture about good
    > UI practice, or code to undo the obviously intentional changes we made.

    Joe, the patch was not necessarily for you. It was for others that might be
    packaging the software or for those likewise frustrated. You and Bill were
    clear in that this was intended behavior.

    Bill, I'm replying on-list so that others can join a constructive
    discussion. There's no sense in shutting away a discussion when the
    community wants to talk about it.

    For this reason, I also object to removal of my message from the mailing
    list archive.

    For those interested, generation of this patch is trivial. One merely needs
    to copy the logqso.cpp, .h and .ui files from version 2.0.1.

    > I'm sure you must understand what our purpose has been. Similarly, we
    > understand all of the reasons why you (and others) do not like it. We don't
    > like it, either; but we decided to try it anyway.

    Joe, you're throwing the baby out with the bathwater here. I understand you
    see automation as undesirable, and that's fine. But to sacrifice usability
    of the software doesn't make sense, since any third party can just apply
    their own automation patches.

    As to attempts to discredit wsjtx, those certainly don't make sense to me.
    You made your product and its great. Preventing people from abusing it
    shouldn't be your focus. And its not even possible since the code is open.
    This whole thing is a giant distraction.

    These kind of heavy-handed changes and heavy-handed moderation don't help
    the community.

    Lastly, I'll appeal again to not destroy the accessibility of the dialog for
    those needing assistance. Software like screenreaders and voice command are
    needed by some to operate GUI software. Having people frustrate that
    software with code and comments like

    // randomize accessible name of buttons

    must be quite disheartening when one sees that it was done purposefully.


    -Chris K2CR"

    1. You'd think someone with a Nobel Prize would have learned how to put criticism in its proper context and consider the greater good. I can't fathom why such a smart person would throw his ordinary users for a loop (and throw his disabled users under the bus) in an attempt to placate unreasonable critics who'd never be satisfied anyway. The runaway success of WSJT-X and its variants is all the refutation required. Hey! Teacher! Leave us users alone!