Thursday, April 11, 2013

W(h)ither JT65A?

I was looking at all the stuff in my ham software folder and thought about deleting JT65-HF. I no longer see the point in continuing to use JT65A when an alternative exists which uses the same messages and takes the same amount of time but is more sensitive and much narrower. The fact that this alternative has come along at the same time as W6CQZ, the author of JT65-HF, has stated that he can no longer develop it seems to me very fortuitous.

Okay, there are still a lot more stations to work with JT65A but that is surely only temporary. Like Tim, G4VXE I can see activity switching from JT65A to JT9-1 over time and JT65A activity on HF withering away from lack of use. JT65A has been a lot of fun but it can also be frustrating when you can't find space to operate within it's 2kHz or when a very strong signal stops the software from decoding anything. JT9-1 has people using too much power too, but the decoder seems more robust and a lot more stations can concurrently use the same bandwidth. It just seems an all round better solution.

I expressed this opinion in one of the Yahoo! groups this morning and several people replied to disagree with me. As one person put it "if I am half way to WAS (worked all states) using JT65A then I am not going to stop using it until I have finished it."

To me, I can see no reason to continue using a mode once a better alternative exists, which is why I have no interest at all in using RTTY, for which there are several superior alternatives. The idea of making contacts just to put a tick in a box in a matrix ordered by band, mode and prefix/country/state makes me quite depressed. I will use JT9 until something even better comes along, after which I will lose interest in it just as I have lost interest in JT65A.


g4fre said...

The JT65-HF programme uses JT65A mode. Its not a different mode its just a multidecoding GUI for JT65A
I did suggest a while ago the ability to select jt65a/b/c in jt65-hf to allow it to be used in multi signal vhf environments (like 6m sp-e)but nothing transpired
Like Tim, having dabbled with jt9-1 i can see its advantages with the increase in "qsos per kHz"


Patrick said...

I just noticed that since the beginning of this year, I made only 8 QSO's in JT65, but multiple ones in JT9. Since my first JT9 QSO in mid november, my interest in JT65 also faded, because of the same reasons you just mentioned.

73 Patrick ON4CDJ

PE4BAS, Bas said...

You made a point. Now waiting for a program like JT65HF. Although WSJT-X has improved I still find JT65HF easier to use. It only takes some time. I'm shure there is something developed right now! 73, Bas

Unknown said...

I actually found WSJT-X quite easy to use once I had adapted to the differences. But in a week or so we will have a JT-Alert for WSJT-X which will be a great improvement.

Julian, G4ILO

Patrick said...

On the page I noticed that there are several stations already posting signal reports with their spots.
Could that be JT-Alert betatesters ?

Patrick ON4CDJ

Tim said...

Interesting thoughts all round.

The GUI for JT65-HF is open, so in theory we could probably find a way of adapting it to call the other JT65 variants.

I've also been musing on trying JT9-1 on VHF in due course. Sadly I'm not on 144MHz currently, but I'm sure there's some mileage there...

73, Tim

Unknown said...

Hi Julian,
I have nothing against continuing to use a mode once an alternative exists (notice I left out Better) since there may be people out there who don't or can't use the alternative.

Like you I don't like idea of making contacts just to put a tick in a box I would rather work whoever is out there.

Although this is all a bit a academic for me at the moment since I am yet to get Tx working with HF data modes.


Daveduke said...

I have just started using JT9 over JT65 and find I receive better reports with less power, hopefully more people will start to use JT9 when they see the benefits.
Thanks for an excellent blog,always look forward to it,
David. G0RKT.

SV1GRN said...

I can wait for 1-2 weeks for new JT-Alert. But will not quit JT65 while there is activity, I am not oriented to very-very weak signals only.
Thanks for the great blog, always I am learning from it.

Virgil said...

You are on my screen right now :-)