The WSJT Project
The WSJT Project includes the following programs:
1. WSJT-X: Modes JT4, JT9, JT65, WSPR, Echo.
2. WSJT: Modes JTMS, FSK441, ISCAT, JT6M, JT65, JT4, Echo, CW.
Optimized for meteor scanner, ionospheric scatter, and EME at
3. WSPR: Probe potential propagation paths using low-power
4. MAP65: For EME an VHF and higher frequencies. Implements a
panoramic, polarization-matching receiver for JT65.
5. WSPR-X: Experimental version of WSPR, including the slow mode
End-user packages are posted at http://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/K1JT/
One of the best online helps for the WSJT software:
If ever there’s been an application that has impacted amateur radio, it would be Joe Taylor’s WSJT-X, WSJT, MAP65, and WSPR. An open-source program which has been pressed into service for other applications such as JS8Call, GridTracker as well as others. The software suite is comprised of the following:
This software allows amateur radio operators a chance to work weak signals using nothing more than an ordinary SSB transceiver and a personal computer equipped with a soundcard.
WSJT-X is the most popular of the listed apps due to the ability to use it on VHF/UHF and LF/MF/HF frequencies as well as moonbounce, meteor/ionosphere scatter. Digital modes available in WSJT-X are FT8, JT4, JT9, JT65, QRA64, ISCAT, MSK144, and WSPR.
WSJT was the original program (2001 release date) using the JTMS, FSK441, FSK315, ISCAT, JT6M, JT65, and JT4 modes.
MAP65 is a wideband receiver using JT65 digital signals primarily for EME (earth-moon-earth) or moonbounce communications on the VHF/UHF bands.
WSPR is short for ‘Weak Signal Propagation Reporter’ and referred to as ‘whisper,’ which is used to send/receive low-power (approximately 1 watt or less or QRP/QRPp) transmissions to test propagation paths and antenna efficiency.
These days the FT8/FT4 are the goto modes when it comes to DXing, chasing awards such as WAS and the much-coveted DXCC. Even the poor propagation of the current solar cycle is no match for these two modes. DXpeditions of the past rarely, if ever, used the digital modes. Now with the Fox/Hound concept, the DXpeditions can control the traffic, so to speak and give out more contacts to those with lesser stations or antenna restrictions.
Not everyone sees the digital modes in a good light, especially the FT8. The old guard is out in email lists, QRZ posts, and social media complaining about FT8. Some of what’s being said about FT8 are nothing more than lies created by people who are fearmongering. One of the most outlandish, uneducated things said about FT8 was that Joe Taylor was out to shut down CW operations on the amateur bands. Next to that is the “no computer” modes one can see posted on social media and some state QSO parties. The SSB/CW folks love poking fun at people who use FT8, yet they are seen on the waterfall using the very mode they deride.
You see people making remarks like, I got my (insert award name here) the “honest” and not without using any digital modes. What could be considered dishonest about send and receiving information over the airwaves using digital modes? How does one justify condemning the use of digital modes and stating “no keyboard QSO’s” when that’s what they do during contests and QSO parties? In the N1MM software, the use of function keys and macros are used like the modes the digital modes opponents criticize. They use CW and voice keyers, but digital mode users are ridiculed for doing the same thing. CW contesters use CW Skimmer to decode signals off the air, yet those using digital modes are ‘too lazy’ to use SSB/CW.
Why do so many use the digital modes such as FT8 instead of the supposedly more robust SSB or CW modes? Could it be that FT8 is highly efficient during poor propagation periods? Could it be that people with less than optimum antennas can make DXCC without have stacked monobanders on Rohn 45 towers? Might it also be that people hindered by HOA mandates can work 200 countries without their neighbors being able to discern an antenna on their lot? Those using digital modes of all flavors will tell you they can work DX without running their rigs at full power and without a multi-thousand dollar amplifier. One would think the digital modes detractors might want to stick to their favorites mode(s) and allow those who prefer digital communications to their favorites.