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FT8 for DX Communications with Low Power

10/18/2021 6:01 PM

WSJT-X is said to provide the FT8 protocol for digital Amateur Radio communications. FT8 is said to receive signals 19 dB below the background noise. World-wide communications are possible with 20 watts or less, and that is the norm.

The "operating manual" on the web says Ubuntu 20.04 (Linux) will work on a 64 bit computer. In fact, 18.04 with some added "dependencies" is said to work also. I have upgraded mine from 14.04 to 20.04. The program page comes up, but is missing a menu line which includes mode. Without that menu, mine is stuck on the JT9 protocol. I have deleted all files of WSJTX and reinstalled with the same results. I have upgraded Ubuntu to 21.04 with no success.

Have any of you got this to work on a Linux system? Any suggestions?

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#1

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/18/2021 6:54 PM

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/18/2021 9:03 PM

Thanks, SE. There was useful information there. I used the synaptic package manager to completely remove wsjtx 2.5 from my system and then install the latest version which was then version 2.3! I installed it from gdebi, but it still doesn't have the menu. In the video he used Ubuntu 16.04 and wsjtx 1.8, and the menu was there. There was even a 32 bit version. I am at a loss as to what to do other than use a machine with Windows on it.

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/19/2021 5:00 AM

Don't know if you're interested but found this...

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/19/2021 10:31 AM

Interesting. A fellow told me a few days ago about the Raspberry Pi. That may be what he was talking about. I don't know yet whether I am interested in FT8 either long term, but wanted to try it out. Wsjtx provides other protocols that can be used for moon bounce. That sounds like fun.

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#7
In reply to #4

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/19/2021 12:13 PM

It looks like JS8call is the next evolution: www.js8call.com

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#3

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/19/2021 3:49 AM

This is a download of wsjtx 2.3 from Ubuntu

https://ubuntu.pkgs.org/21.04/ubuntu-universe-arm64/wsjtx-data_2.3.0+repack-2_all.deb.html

Of course I realise that that may be where you got it from. Just ashot in the dark really.

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#5
In reply to #3

Re: FT8 for DX communications with low power

10/19/2021 10:24 AM

The arm64 is not for my version, it's deb64. Princeton University is where it was developed. Thanks for trying. The real problem is why my system does not show the menu. I suspect there is a corrupt file somewhere, but don't know how to find it. I may have to completely reinstall from scratch. That will take hours and hours and hours.

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#8

Re: FT8 for DX Communications with Low Power

10/20/2021 9:40 AM

This is not my field of expertise. But, have you tried asking the Ubuntu users forum (I suspect there is one)?

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#9
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Re: FT8 for DX Communications with Low Power

10/22/2021 2:16 AM

I assume there is. My son would likely be able to help me but he is out of town. I will wait for him before trying a forum like that.

So I tried another machine with Ubuntu 12.04 in one partition, and Win XP in another. The machine is 64 bit according to the internet, but 12.04 is a 32 bit installation. I tried to download 16.04 from a website which claimed I would be able to try it out before installation. It failed after 3 hours with 1 hour left. It should have completed by then. The second time it failed with 12 minutes left which had been displayed for at least 12 minutes.

Then I tried to upgrade to 14.04 at the prompt to do so. It said 49 packages to be removed, 583 packages to be installed, 1351 packages to be upgraded. The fetching took 2+ hours and the installing took a couple more. Then it said 108 obsolete packages to be removed. I clicked ok, and went to bed. In the middle of the night I answered a pop-up question about a file then went back to bed. In the morning I discovered it had stalled (went to suspension mode?), so I had to power down to restart. Hard disk activity resumed with periodic flashes of the cursor alternating with monitor showing no activity. I let this continue all morning then concluded it was stuck in a loop.

My son had left me with a boot-up CD with Puppy Linux with a partition changing utility. My luck with that was just as unfruitful. Now I can't even boot with the boot-up CD.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: FT8 for DX Communications with Low Power

10/22/2021 5:29 AM

As long as you still have one working PC it should be easy to download whatever version you want, and burn a bootable DVD. Reformat the target drive before re-installing.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: FT8 for DX Communications with Low Power

11/05/2021 11:40 PM

With Linux you don't reformat the drive. It seems to do it instantly. I have several versions burned to CDs or DVDs. It turns out the missing menu wasn't missing at all, it was at the top of the screen but only showed up with the mouse pointer up there. The upgrade kept the old system, but my son showed me how to change it to the new format. So now the menu is where I expect it to be (matching the user manual). So now it receives just fine, but apparently I need another cable for transmit. Oh well, that can be achieved. Thanks everybody for your inputs.

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