Another JS8Call Newbie

Yep, that’s me. At an ARES-RACES meeting the other night, a few fellow members were discussing JS8Call. I decided to download the software and give it a whirl.

After installing the software and looking it over, I watched a few YouTube videos to learn how to use it. Once I thought I had the basics down, I fired up my KX3 to take JS8Call for a spin.

I didn’t see any activity on the waterfall, but after a while, I was able to decode a transmission on 20M. That was a good sign. I called CQ few times with no response. Checking PSKReporter, however, I saw spots from as far away as southern California. Not bad for 5 watts and a rainspout antenna.

My initial CQs with JS8Call made it out to southern California on 20M. Not bad for 5 watts and a rainspout antenna!
My initial CQs with JS8Call made it out to southern California on 20M. Not bad for 5 watts and a rainspout antenna!

I dropped down to 40M and saw immediately saw a few decodes pop up. I called CQ a few times and received a call from N4YTM in North Carolina. Gordon, as it turns out, was only slightly more experienced with JS8Call; I was his third contact. Despite our collective inexperience, we had a nice, albeit slow, chat with this new mode.

I found that carrying on a basic QSO with JS8Call was pretty intuitive. I still have a lot to learn about some of the more advanced messaging features, though. JS8 is an interesting mode and less robotic than FT8. It’s slow for a keyboard-to-keyboard chat mode but I was decoding signals I could hardly see on the waterfall.

Although CW will always be my primary mode, I’m sure there will be more JS8Call activity in my future.

72, Craig WB3GCK

2 thoughts on “Another JS8Call Newbie”

  1. Thanks for your post! Can you share your JS8Call settings for the KX3? I’m also trying to get up and running on this.

    Like

    1. I use a Signalink USB to interface my laptop to the KX3. I use this same set up for a variety of digital modes.

      The Signalink I use came configured for the KX3 (and KX2) and included the appropriate Mic and Phone cables.

      I run the KX3 in the DATA A mode. It should default to operating on the upper sideband, but if you wind up on the wrong sideband, you can use the ALT button to change sidebands.

      In JS8CALL, I just needed to select the Signalink as the soundcard for input and output.

      From that point, it was just a matter of setting the audio levels for transmit and receive.

      You can run the digital modes without a Signalink. Many folks use a USB soundcard of some sort. Some folks run directly from the computer’s audio. I haven’t used either of these methods, so I can’t help with them.

      If there are some specific settings you have questions about, email me via the contact page on the website and I can send you some screenshots.

      73, Craig WB3GCK

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s