Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Made my first QSO with JT65 mode tonight

Tonight marked another milestone in the shack of EI2KC. I worked my first few contacts using the low power, long distance, digital mode known as JT65. Although I had installed the JT65-HF software some time ago, I hadn't been able to figure out how to use it properly. I could decode received signals, but could not transmit.

Doug EI2CN in my shack.
In stepped my good friend, Doug, EI2CN, who visited the shack tonight, and who has recently begun using this mode himself. So within a short time, Doug was sitting in the "hot seat", showing me how it's done!! We had a little bit of difficulty getting the software to key the PTT via the SB-2000 interface, until I finally realised that it was looking for the wrong COM port. It had selected COM11 instead of COM2. With a quick change of the settings, everything was working and I was able to transmit.

That magic moment when VA3MJR
called me on JT65!!
Within a short time, I was transmitting a CQ with JT65 on 20 metres, on 14.076 Mhz. And, within another short time, I had a Canadian station, VA3MJR, replying to my call. You can see where he called me in the screenshot on right. JT65 is a slow mode, much slower than PSK31. It takes about six minutes to make one QSO. Although it's slow, it's very effective. Running just 15 watts, I could be heard as far away as Alaska, Argentina, and Japan, according to the PSK Reporter website (see screenshot below). Although JT65 is quite slow (each transmit cycle lasts about 45 seconds), it is a very effective way of making long distance contacts using low power and modest antennas. It will be interesting to see how it performs here in the future!


  1. Good evening Anthony, thats great you have gotten into the digi modes. I have in the past tried and not been successful at it. In time I will give it a go and start the digi adventure myself.

    1. Mike, It's great fun. I am fond of PSK, particularly PSK63, as I find PSK31 a bit slow! I cannot see myself becoming a huge JT65 user, but it's something I will dip in and out of.

  2. Hello Anthony, nice to see that you're getting involved in digital modes. JT65 is very slow indeed, just like JT9-1. But you can make very nice DX with only a few watts and a modest antenna. JT65-HF became very populair and so the frequencies are crowded making a good low power QSO difficult these days. I recommend JT9 to you, with a much smaller bandwidth there is room for more stations within just 2000Hz. And it´s even more sensitive. I recommend JT-Alert as well for a DXCC chaser like you are! Good luck! 73, Bas

  3. Bas, can I ask you a few questions about JT9-1? What software would you recommend? Does it take the same length of time as a JT65 QSO? What is the 20m frequency for JT9-1? Are the frequencies listed in the software, like they are in JT65-HF?

    Having just tried out JT65, I would be very interested in trying JT9-1 also. I have been following your exploits on your blog and it looks fascinating.

    Do you know how I can export QSOs to ADIF so I can put them in my LOGic8 logging software? Also, does LoTW accept JT65 and JT9-1 modes?

    1. Actually, just seeing one or two answers to my questions on your blog Bas !!

    2. Lots of questions are already answered on my blog. But here some answers for you personally. Software: WSJT-X, Length: same as JT65A 50 seconds with 10 second gap for decoding, Frequencies are listed in the program, export no problem search for the log file in the WSJT-X directory which is ADIF format. Yes LOtW does support JT65 and JT9-1, you need to follow instructions on my blog. Keep an eye on my blog as I am planning to write a review about the new JT-Alert. But won't be able to be in front of my radio before friday. 73, Bas


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