* (Disclaimer: This video content is intended for educational and informational purposes only) *
In this video, you can see an example of live decoding of the FT8 digital protocol used by HAM radio operators worldwide.
FT8 (“Franke-Taylor design, 8-FSK modulation”) is an extremely weak signal, digital, narrow bandwidth (50 Hz), QSO-only communication protocol used by amateur radio (“ham radio”) operators. It is popular among amateur radio operators for its ability to send signals despite challenging propagation conditions, high noise environments, low power operations (QRP), or even compromised antennas.
FT8 transmits and receives only the bare essentials needed to make an amateur radio contact (QSO): Exchange of callsigns, readability report, signal strength report, and “best regards” (“73”). Because only this information can be sent, FT8 is not a “conversation” mode. FT8 transmits this minimum of information in a semi-automated fashion in its own time frame. Therefore, FT8 is not a “keyboard-to-keyboard” (real-time chat) mode.
JS8 is a variant of FT8 which allows operators to send more information and converse with each other. JS8 was created to allow the basic principles of FT8 to be applied to sending actual messages (instead of just the bare minimum QSO information that FT8 limits operators with).
Both FT8 and JS8 are heavily dependent on an accurate computer clock since the modes send/receive information in a recurring, automated, 15s transmit/receive cycle. Transmissions occur in 12.6s intervals (within the 15s transmit cycle window) until an entire message has completed transmitting. FT8 uses 8-GFSK modulation, includes forward error correction (FEC), and has an effective data rate of 5 words per minute. FT8 transmissions can be decoded at S/N down to -21dB (a very weak signal).
FT8 was developed by Joe Taylor (K1JT) and Steve Franke (K9AN). It is one of the modes included in the open-source, weak signal, ham radio software package, WSJT-X. – From SigidWIKI
App for decoding – FT8RX (Google Play)
App for live SDR – Magic SDR (Google Play)
Unfortunately, the FT8RX app still not yet supported sound through UDP, in that case, some fluctuations in the decoded text are issued.
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