Friday, March 01, 2013

WSJT-X update

A couple of days ago I had an email from Joe, K1JT, author of the WSPR and WSJT software. He had read my post about my first JT9-1 QSO in which I said that I missed the JT65-HF user interface. Joe pointed out that WSJT-X is in a very early stage of program development, and user input will surely help to define its future evolution. He asked what features of the JT65-HF GUI I found desirable.

I replied with what I thought were the key points that made JT65-HF easier to use. The result is a new version of WSJT-X which I have just tried. One change is that the horizontal 'panadapter' display scale now matches the waterfall when the user has set FFT Bins/Pixel greater than 1.

However, the real big change is that double-clicking on a decode line now generates a set of messages addressed to the second callsign on the line, regardless of where you double-click. It also sets the Tx and Rx frequencies to that of the decoded transmission and selects the first message in the sequence. This is a big time and error-saver in the few seconds you have between receiving a call and having to reply. You still have to set Auto to ON to enable the transmitter and select the next message in the sequence after the first has been received. Perhaps it's a matter of personal preference but I don't think it is a bad thing for the user to take control of this rather than have the program try to work out the appropriate reply. In other words, double-click on a decode when it is a CQ call or a reply to your CQ. Use the Tx n buttons to select the next message in the sequence as you progress through the QSO.

Try this latest version of WSJT-X. I think you'll find it a big improvement. Now all we need is for Laurie VK3AMA to come up with a version of JT-Alert that adds logging and 'worked before' detection and there will be no reason not to switch to this much narrower JT mode.
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