I’m excited to bring you the next development version of FT8Call, version 0.5, and boy do I have some fun stuff included in here for you! If you forgot what FT8Call is, no worries… it’s an experiment to test the feasibility of message passing over FT8 modulation using a new protocol (but, it has certainly evolved into a lot more than that now!).
There is also a new website: http://ft8call.info/ that you should bookmark. We’ll eventually be transitioning documentation and download links over to the new site.
So, without further to do, here are the notable changes in 0.5:
* There’s a compiled MacOS version 🙂
* Directed messages are now the default if you have a callsign selected. You shouldn’t have to double click the call for each subsequent message.
* New Frequencies. Sliding down 2kHz for most bands into the JT9 territory. Now, before you grab your pitchforks…the application also is blocking transmitting in the lower 500Hz of the passband. This means that there’s enough room for over 25 simultaneous JT9 signals on their frequencies:
160m: 1.842 MHz // 2kHz above FT8
80m: 3.578 MHz // 5kHz above FT8
40m: 7.078 MHz // 4kHz above FT8
30m: 10.130 MHz // 6kHz below FT8
20m: 14.078 MHz // 4kHz above FT8
17m: 18.104 MHz // 4kHz above FT8
15m: 21.078 MHz // 4kHz above FT8
12m: 24.922 MHz // 9kHz above FT8
10m: 28.078 MHz // 4kHz above FT8
6m: 50.318 MHz // 5kHz above FT8
* Added a new GRID directed message that allows grid locators up to 12 characters to be transmitted. For those grids, we now allow spotting to both PSKReporter and APRS-IS! (APRS-IS will receive spots for locators >= 6 chars, and you can configure which APRS-IS server to spot to)
* You can also send and spot raw APRS packets, but that’s undocumented for now 😉 Email me if you’d like to know how to use it!
* You can now send a query to see if another station has heard a specific station with the “QSO” query. e.g., ALLCALL QSO KN4CRD? This is helpful if you’re trying to set up a relay to a specific station.
* The band activity, call activity and rx windows are now restored when switching to and from other bands.
* Added some new generic directed messages.
* Added a “REPLY” button, so there’s no more question about how to reply to a CQ. This message is configurable, but it defaults to “HW CPY?” so new users know what to do.
* You can now sort the band activity and call activity windows!
* Improved the usability of the waterfall.
* Removed the PWR command. It wasn’t being used frequently. Feel free to put your power level in your QTC message!
* Squashed a ton of bugs!
I hope you enjoy testing this new version! Let me know if you run into anything weird or have any other improvements to the application. Most of these changes above came from feature requests from other operators. Your great idea could be next!
One last thing before I go… the ft8call groups.io is switching from an announcement-only group to a discussion group. If you’re not interested in discussion…head over to your preferences https://groups.io/g/ft8call/editsub and select to receive “Special Notices Only” (these emails).
Complete change log for version 0.5.2:
Added tooltips and better labels
Added warning message about empty callsign before transmitting
Fixed incorrect labels for frame type enum
Slight modified frequencies for 80m and 12m to avoid PSK
Fixed issue with QSY during message sending
Added alternate frequencies we can switch to for the next build
Fixed restricted characterset for configuration messages and macros
API: Added RX.GET_CALL_SELECTED
Fixed jumping of band activity and call activity tables on update
Added a couple more frequency options. Decisions. Decisions.
Added ability to change directed message window background color
Fixed display of allcalls. No longer red
Added warning message with a timeout for automatic band switching
Updated frequencies to be closer aligned with existing allocations
Bump version of frequencies settings key to intialize new frequencies
Fixed issue with allcall buffering responses while autoreply is disabled
Make sure to initialize the structs
Open settings if no call has been set
Fixed issue with background colors
Added right click menu to the band activity window
Added enable/disable for UDP API. Added DATA for logging instead of RTTY
Tweaks to the directed menu
Remove restriction of grid locator to 4 or 6 chars. Upped to 16 chars
Added sorting of band activity and call activity window
Added menu items for band and call activity sorting in the main menu
Block lower 500Hz from being used to allow frequency separation
Bump EOL. Ensure grid is also configured before transmit. Optionally show warning message. Display configuration when not conf
Renamed labeling for sort
Added a few additional optional directeds
Added a few additional directed message short commands
Added option to enable/disable immediate transmission of directed items
Generic label for spotting
Added spotting to APRS-IS for grids larger than 4 characters. Added supporting commands for QTH QTC and GRID
Added double spacing between message lines
Added function to determine the checksum size needed for a buffered command
Added APRS payload sends to APRS-IS
Added caching and restoring band/call/rx activity on band change
Added reply button back into the main window
Added offset to call activity display and sort menu
Added API entry for logging QSOs
Added writing hashed messages to a file on disk
Removed from callsign from message save log…redundant
Added scroll wheel support for waterfall. Added hover indicator to make selection of signal easier
Remove QSY checkbox from settings
Updated beacon default to 30 minutes
Added QSO query for finding a remote station
Added reply message to configuration
Updated listCopyReverse to support older versions of Qt
Fixed bug with SNR report menu item
Updated APRS spotting connections for better reliability
Updated APRS client to be more resilient to server failure
Added compound callsigns to APRS position comment
Fixed scrolling bug for band activity and call activity lists
Fixed issue with double printing of directed and undirected activity. Fixed enter key press with no message
Updated GRID command to no longer ACK a reply. It was giving off the wrong impression when APRS-IS is unreliable.
Added deselect to the activity menus
Updated message textbox placeholder default
Fixed bug in waterfall displaying mouse hover without mouse over
Added auto-prefix messages with directed callsigns
Fixed compound buffered commands double printing in the rx window
Added APRS configuration.
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