My first JS8 contact

Today is dipped my toes into a whole new ham radio digital mode called JS8CALL. I recorded the transcript of the QSO below. As I did not know what I was doing, we did not get to exchange signal reports.

What is JS8?

JS8Call is a digital amateur radio mode that uses the modified KISS protocol, developed by TAPR. The protocol was designed to be used with personal computers and sound cards. JS8Call uses FSK modulation and can be sent at speeds from 1200 baud to 9600 baud.

The mode is optimized for weak-signal communication and includes features such as automatic repeat request (ARQ), forward error correction (FEC), and message integrity check (MIC). JS8Call has become popular for use on HF, VHF, and UHF bands.

FT8Call is an experiment to test the feasibility of a digital mode with the robustness of FT8, combined with a messaging and network protocol for weak signal communication on HF, using a keyboard-to-keyboard interface.

My first JS8 contact
JS8CALL software

JS8 QSO text

15:00:51 – (1041) – VE3CNU: STATUS IDLE 0M VERSION 2.2.0 ?

15:10:41 – (1039) – K4GMX: @ALLCALL CQ CQ CQ EM56 ?

15:12:29 – (1041) – VE3CNU: INFO IC7300 31′ VERT ?

15:13:42 – (1041) – K4GMX: VE3CNU GM, NAME IS KENT IN KENTUCKY. ALSO IC7300 EFHW AT 22WATT. ?

15:14:46 – (1041) – VE3CNU: HI KENT. RICK HERE. MY 1ST TRY AT JS8 ?

15:15:46 – (1041) – K4GMX: VE3CNU CONGRATS! PERFECT! ?

15:16:45 – (1041) – VE3CNU: YOUTUBING HW TO DO THIS ?

15:17:47 – (1041) – K4GMX: VE3CNU THAT WORKS, TOO, RICK. THERE IS SO MUCH TO LEARN ABOUT JS8. I’VE ONLY BEEN ON FOR A MONTH. ?

15:18:49 – (1041) – VE3CNU: K4GMX GOOD! LOOK FWD TO IT ?

15:19:43 – (1041) – VE3CNU: K4GMX SNR? ?

15:20:07 – (1039) – ……. I’LL LEAVE IT ON WHILE I ‘WORK FROM HOME’! 73 CU AGN ?

15:19:46 – (1041) – K4GMX: VE3CNU FREE TO USE AUTO……. I’LL LEAVE IT ON WHILE I ‘WORK FROM HOME’! 73 CU AGN ?

15:21:13 – (1041) – VE3CNU: K4GMX 73 – THX FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT ?

15:22:07 – (1041) – K4GMX: VE3CNU 🙂 ?

There you have it – the entire QSO. Kent and I have a few things in common, we’re both 64 years old, and use an Icom 7300 rig for HF.

My first JS8 contact
Kent – K4GMS near Nashville

Interesting. It’s a kind of mashup of CW, FT8, and APRS. It has message forwarding, weak signal reception, and operators use short form words.

Rick Blythe

I have yet to find a lot of amateurs operating in this digital mode yet. But I suspect that many other hams, like me, will tire of FT8 and make the move. It’s actually a mode with a lot of potential. I like it.

ADIF log entry

JS8Call ADIF Export<eoh>
<call:5>K4GMX <gridsquare:4>EM56 <mode:4>MFSK <submode:3>JS8 <rst_sent:0> <rst_rcvd:0> <qso_date:8>20221031 <time_on:6>151657 <qso_date_off:8>20221031 <time_off:6>151752 <band:3>20m <freq:9>14.079041 <station_callsign:6>VE3CNU <my_gridsquare:4>FN03 <operator:6>VE3CNU <eor>
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