Try WSJT for weak signal contacts
About the mode, history and origins
The mode can allow one to work signals that are not audible to the human ear, many dB below the noise floor. It does this by repetition and slow transmission. This is why you can't rag chew with it, but it is great for working DX and new grid squares.
It is used extensively for moonbounce (EME) where signals are reflected off the moon. However EME operators often use 500+ watts to compensate for path loss. Prior to the WSJT modes you'd see EME enthusiasts with stacks and stacks upon stacks of yagis pointing at the sky, and 1.5kw on 2 meters. They'd run CW and sometimes SSB. They'd send Ts to verify the signal and make skeds on HF or internet. While much of that is still done today, it is now possible to point at the moon and CQ with just one or two yagis and a few hundred watts. It is also possible to make contacts on supposedly dead bands like 6 meters. It is also possible to work DX on HF with small wire antennas.
- SSB capable radio and your antenna
- Sound card interface - external sound card interface like a SignaLink or some newer radios (like the Elecraft K3S or IC7300) have it built in and accessible via the USB port.
- PC or Mac with WSJT software (JT65-HF or WSJT-X usually)
- Internet synchronized PC clock (very important).
- Patience and quick reaction time.
A note about time sync: JT65 is a timed mode, meaning that everything fires off at certain times. Therefore your PC clock must be in sync. You can use software like Dimension 4 or Meinberg to do that. Unfortunately the built in time sync feature in Windows doesn't seem sufficient. You may need administrator privileges on your PC to do this.
- 160m - 1836-1838
- 80m - 3576
- 40m - 7076
- 20m - 14076
- 30m - 10138
- 20m - 14076
- 17m - 18102
- 15m - 21076
- 12m - 24917
- 10m - 28076
- 6m - 50276
How a typical JT65 QSO works:
|But I was this close to working that rare grid on 6!|