WSJT-X co-developer Joe Taylor, K1JT, has announced that major changes are coming to the FT8 and MSK144 digital protocols when WSJT-X version 2.0 arrives in a few months.
Taylor said version 2.0 should be ready for prime time by January 2019. “Much of the necessary programming is finished,” Taylor said in a post to the Packrats reflector. “Many of the new features have been tested on the air and we find them to work well.”
Taylor was quick to point out that the new capabilities are not yet publicly available, not even in beta form. He said that he, Steve Franke, K9AN, and Bill Somerville, G4WJS, have been developing “enhanced versions of the MSK144 and FT8 protocols that extend the message payload to 77 bits.”
“Do not rush to download something,” he cautioned. “There is more testing and code optimization to do.” He said current plans call for a beta-testing period “probably starting in mid-to-late September,” with a full release “possible a couple of months later.”