FT8 contest mode incompatibly

Keith Morehouse
 

Anyone seriously operating this weekends contest and using FT8 probably had this happen.

You're cruising .313 looking for those new mults or whatever, you see someone CQing WITHOUT the word TEST in the CQ message and you instinctively know they're not in contest mode.  No worries, you think.  The WSJTX boffins have tuned the program to compensate for the difference in exchange and you know autosequence will seamlessly pull you through.  You call and, sure enough, back comes the 'funny little number' exchange.  You reply with a NA contest mode exchange (because you're contesting, right ?) and.... back comes a repeat - no autosequence.  What ??  OK, maybe I got QRMed.  Try again, and same thing.  You can't progress to the finish.

What you do now is left to the individual.  What I did was terminate the Q and moved on.  You might have fiddled with the setup to switch out of contest mode.  Whatever... the Q was either made or not.

What this did, other then temporarily piss me off and cause name calling that nobody heard but me and the shack spiders, was confused me.  HOW could this happen....the boffins....they fixed this.  Was the other guy manually interfering with autosequence ?  Was the other guy that insistent on his funny number ?  I started ignoring those obviously not in contest mode.

This morning, after reading a soapbox comment on 3830, it finally hit me.... (I'm pretty focused on operating during the 'test).  It's.....The Clones !!  Those knock-offs of WSJT - JTDX, MHSV !  THEY don't have contest mode !   They can't autosequence past TX2.  So, what to do about this incompatibly ?  It's pretty obvious the clones aren't going to add CM if they haven't already and there are those contest haters that wouldn't use it anyway, but still insist on trying to WORK contesters.

I'm thinking maybe the solution is to add some kind of 'quick button' behavior to WSJTX that drops the program out of contest mode for just one Q and resets back into CM after the 73 (or something).  Does anyone have another idea ?  If a number of high level contesters presented such a request maybe the WSJT powers would respond.  Or, maybe you think it's a non-issue....or maybe a quick work around all ready exists that doesn't require a guy to drop in and change his setup and I'm just clueless ?

-W9RM



Keith Morehouse
via MotoG

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