User reports have been favorable in the wake of the release of another new beta version of the FT4 protocol by the WSJT-X Developoment Group this week. WSJT-X 2.1.0-rc7, which is now available for testing, is not compatible with any previous FT4 releases. A short mock contest session to wring out the contesting features of FT4 took place on June 4.
“Thanks to all who participated in yesterday’s FT4 mock-contest practice session — and especially to those who provided useful feedback. It is much appreciated!” said developer Joe Taylor, K1JT. “Everyone likes the 7.5-second T/R sequences, which provide operators with significantly more human interaction time than in previous revisions of FT4. Users also appreciated the sensitivity improvements and a larger range of acceptable time offsets (DT).” DT represents the combined clock difference for the transmitting and receiving computers, he explained.
Based on data compiled by Steve Franke, K9AN, Taylor said that it appears developers have the WSJT-X timing behavior under good control on all supported platforms, and the range of measured signal-to-noise values extended down to –21 dB.