A second hour-long FT4 “practice contest” set for May 14 UTC has been cancelled, following the success of an initial mock contest held on May 9 UTC (the evening of Wednesday, May 8, in continental US time zones). The event followed ARRL RTTY Roundup rules, with everyone working everyone. WSJT-X program suite developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, was among those jumping into the fray. He called the exercise “very useful” and has drawn some preliminary conclusions as to how the FT4 protocol functions in a contest setting.
“FT4 works well, but — as implemented WSJT-X 2.1.0-rc5 — it has some rough spots and performance issues,” Taylor said in a post to the Yahoo WSJT Meteor Scatter and Weak Signal Group. “Many of these have been fixed already during this beta-testing period, and more improvements are still to come.”
Taylor said a second mock contest session using the current -rc5 “release candidate” (beta version) would not be helpful, and it’s not convenient for the developers to build and distribute -rc6 in time for a session early next week, a few days before the Dayton Hamvention. “Instead, we are aiming now to release WSJT-X 2.1.0-rc6 about 2 weeks later — probably in the last week of May or the first week of June,” Taylor said. “Another mock contest practice session will be scheduled soon after that release.” The current -rc5 beta version will expire automatically on June 7.