Recent sporadic-E propagation openings on 6 meters and elsewhere have pointed up the need for a digital mode having faster turnaround time than currently available software versions offer. A recent WSJT-X reflector discussion allowed that, while the slow ’JT modes like JT65 and JT9 have excellent sensitivity, their 1-minute long transmissions may not permit completion of a contact when evanescent signals pop up and quickly disappear under certain E-skip conditions. MSK144 and the fast JT9 submodes allow much shorter transmissions, but they do not offer the multi-decode capability that JT65 users find so effective. Iain MacDonnell, N6ML, was among those remarking that, while the use of JT65 for working E-skip on 6 meters has really taken off, it’s too slow to be practical for openings that only last a couple of minutes or so.
Joe Dzekevich, K1YOW, of Harvard, Massachusetts, sounded a similar theme. “A few days ago we had a great opening on 6 meters, especially here in the New England USA area, given our latitude,” he noted. “I often find that often one cannot complete a QSO due to QSB and the ins and outs of Es. Yet, being a propagation buff, I love the idea that I can leave the rig on 50.276 in JT65 mode and then see who I hear throughout the day via PSK Reporter.”