The third public test of FT8 DXpedition Mode on May 5 is being called a success. The goal of the exercise was to simulate a rare DXpedition pileup on FT8 by having many stations (“Hounds”) calling and trying to work a designated pseudo DXpedition station (“Fox”).
“A number participants and would-be participants reported that propagation was spotty, at best,” said Joe Taylor, K1JT, on behalf of the WSJT development group, which is sponsoring the tests. “Nevertheless, at AA7A, G4WJS, K1JT, and K9AN, we copied 405 unique call signs of stations acting as Hounds, and at least one Fox was worked by 305 of them. Many Hounds worked two or three of the Foxes. We’re sorry if we missed you, or if propagation was unfavorable for you.”
Taylor said a shift from the announced operating frequency to 14.115 MHz was necessary before the test got under way to avoid RTTY contest activity. “Soon after 1400 UTC, they also learned that W1/KH7Z had some unexpected setup problems and was unable to continue,” he added. As a result, consequently W7/KH7Z took over as the Fox at 1425 UTC and continued operating until 1600. K1JT was the Fox between 1600 and 1700 UTC, and G4WJS stepped in for a short bonus run between 1710 and 1750 UTC, Taylor recounted.