WSJT-X Version 2.0.0-rc1 Released – Download FT8

Go to New Features in WSJT-X 2.0 for a detailed description of its new features.  Further technical information (primarily of interest to programmers) is available here.

Release Schedule: Because the FT8 and MSK144 protocols will not be backward compatible with those in Version 1.9.1, there will be a staged schedule for testing and eventual release.  Target dates for candidate releases are as follows:

  • September 17, 2018:   -rc1        Expires October 31, 2018
  • October 15, 2018:       -rc2        Expires November 30, 2018
  • November 12, 2018:    -rc3        Expires December 31, 2018
  • December 10, 2018:      GA        Full release of WSJT-X 2.0

Candidate Release -rc1 for WSJT-X 2.0
Candidate releases are intended for beta testers: individuals interested in testing the program’s new features and providing feedback to the WSJT Development Group.  At the time of this first candidate release we have not yet completed the WSJT-X 2.0 User Guide.  Potential users of the candidate release should read Quick-Start Guide to WSJT-X 2.0 before proceeding.  

Installation packages:


Linux, macOS:

  • Installation packages will be posted here as soon as they are available.

Source Code:

  • Source code for WSJT-X 2.0-rc1 is available here: wsjtx-2.0.0-rc1.tgz
  • New Features in WSJT-X 2.0
    September 17, 2018
    ————————–This document is an update to the white paper “Plans for WSJT-X
    Version 2.0″ that was publicly distributed on July 26, 2018. It
    describes the most important enhancements in WSJT-X 2.0 relative to
    version 1.9.1.A majority of new program features involve the FT8 and MSK144
    protocols. Both modes have been upgraded to use use 77-bit
    information payloads rather than the 75 bits of the older FT8 protocol
    or 72 bits of JT4, JT9, JT65, MSK144, and QRA64. Cyclic redundancy
    checks (CRCs) that protect against false decodes have been increased
    from 12 to 14 bits (FT8) and from 8 to 13 bits (MSK144). These
    changes bring many benefits, including support of structured messages
    optimized for the following special types of QSOs and exchanged
    information:1. NA VHF Contest operation with full and transparent support of grid
    locators and “/R” (Rover) callsigns

    2. EU VHF Contest operation with the exchange of 6-digit locators, QSO
    serial numbers, and “/P” (portable) callsigns

    3. ARRL Field Day operation with standard Field Day exchanges such as
    “6A SNJ”

    4. ARRL RTTY Roundup operation with standard contest exchanges such as
    “579 NJ” or “559 0071”

    5. Compound and nonstandard callsigns (up tp 11 characters); no need
    for distinctions about “Type 1” or “Type 2” prefixes/suffixes

    6. A special “telemetry” message format for exchange of arbitrary
    information up to 71 bits

    7. All features of FT8 DXpedition mode, as in WSJT-X v1.9.1

  • Enhancements to the FT8 decoder ensure that in most situations
    decoding sensitivity is slightly better than for the old protocol.
    Symbol rates and occupied bandwidths are the same as before, and
    false-decode rates are significantly lower. The decoding threshold
    for MSK144 is a fraction of a dB higher than before, owing to the
    slightly larger message payload and higher code rate.

    OTHER PROGRAM ENHANCEMENTS: WSJT-X 2.0 has several other new features
    and capabilities. The WSPR decoder has significantly better
    sensitivity, by about 1 dB. Color highlighting of decoded messages
    provides worked-before status for callsigns, grid locators, and DXCC
    entities on a “by band” basis. Color highlighting can also identify
    stations that have (or have not) uploaded their logs to “Logbook of
    the World” (LoTW) within the past year. (Recent information from LoTW
    for this purpose can be downloaded from the ARRL web site.)

    WSJT-X 2.0 introduces no significant changes to any of the modes JT4,
    JT9, JT65, QRA64, ISCAT, Echo, or FreqCal.

    IMPORTANT: For the convenience of beta-testers, the first and second
    release candidates — releases with “-rc1” or “-rc2” in their names —
    will have Rx and Tx capability for both the new FT8 protocol and the
    older one. Starting with the third release candidate (“-rc3”), and in
    the general-availability full release of WSJT-X 2.0, only the new
    protocol will be supported. In contrast, the new MSK144 protocol
    replaces the old one from the outset, without backward compatibility.
    To minimize on-the-air confusion, it’s important that users be aware
    of these distinctions and the schedule for release of WSJT-X 2.0, as
    detailed below.

  • MESSAGE FORMATS: The following table shows examples of message formats
    supported by the new FT8 and MSK144 protocols. Parameters i3 and n3
    (shown in the first column) are used in the software to define major
    and minor 77-bit message types.———————————————————————————-
    i3.n3 Example Messages Comments
    0.0 TNX BOB 73 GL Free text
    0.1 K1ABC RR73; W9XYZ -08 DXpedition Mode
    0.2 PA9XYZ 590003 IO91NP EU VHF Contest
    0.2 G4ABC/P R 570007 JO22DB EU VHF Contest
    0.3 K1ABC W9XYZ 6A WI ARRL Field Day
    0.3 W9XYZ K1ABC R 2B EMA ARRL Field Day
    0.5 123456789ABCDEF012 Telemetry (71 bits, 18 hex digits)
    1. CQ FD K1ABC FN42 ARRL Field Day
    1. CQ RU K1ABC FN42 ARRL RTTY Roundup
    1. CQ K1ABC FN42
    1. CQ TEST K1ABC FN42 NA VHF Contest
    1. CQ TEST K1ABC/R FN42 NA VHF Contest
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ EN37
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ -09
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ R-17
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ RRR
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ 73
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ RR73
    1. K1ABC/R W9XYZ EN37 NA VHF Contest
    1. K1ABC W9XYZ/R RR73 NA VHF Contest
    1. K1ABC/R W9XYZ/R RR73 NA VHF Contest
    1. W9XYZ Compound call
    1. W9XYZ 73 Compound call
    1. W9XYZ -13 Nonstandard call
    1. W9XYZ R+02 Nonstandard call
    1. W9XYZ RRR Nonstandard call
    1. W9XYZ RR73 Nonstandard call
    2. CQ G4ABC/P IO91 EU VHF contest
    2. G4ABC/P PA9XYZ JO22 EU VHF contest
    2. PA9XYZ G4ABC/P RR73 EU VHF contest
    3. K1ABC KA0DEF 559 MO ARRL RTTY Roundup
    3. K1ABC W9XYZ 579 WI ARRL RTTY Roundup
    3. KA1ABC G3AAA 529 0013 ARRL RTTY Roundup
    3. TU; KA0DEF K1ABC R 569 MA ARRL RTTY Roundup
    3. TU; K1ABC G3AAA R 559 0194 ARRL RTTY Roundup
    3. W9XYZ K1ABC R 589 MA ARRL RTTY Roundup
    4. CQ PJ4/K1ABC
    4. CQ YW18FIFA Nonstandard call
    4. YW18FIFA RR73 Nonstandard call
    4. PJ4/K1ABC RRR Nonstandard call
    4. YW18FIFA Nonstandard call
    4. YW18FIFA 73 Nonstandard call
    4. PJ4/K1ABC Nonstandard call
    4. PJ4/K1ABC 73 Nonstandard call
    4. YW18FIFA RRR Nonstandard call

    In the above list, callsigns enclosed in angle brackets (e.g.,
    , ) are transmitted as hash codes. They will be
    displayed correctly by receiving stations that have copied the full
    callsign without brackets in a previous transmissiion. Otherwise the
    receiving software will display <…>. Hash collisions are possible
    but should be rare, and extremely rare within a particular QSO.

    Some minimal message sequences that take advantage of the new 77-bit
    formats are illustrated below. Model QSOs 1 and 2 are the same as
    those used by the old FT8 and MSK144 protocols, and QSO number 3 is
    the same as the existing FT8 DXpedition Mode. Model QSOs 4 through 9
    were not possible with the old protocols.

    1. Standard QSO
    CQ K1ABC FN42
    K1ABC W9XYZ EN37
    W9XYZ K1ABC -11
    K1ABC W9XYZ R-09
    K1ABC W9XYZ 73

    2. Short-cycle QSO
    CQ K1ABC FN42
    K1ABC W9XYZ -09
    W9XYZ K1ABC R-11
    K1ABC W9XYZ RR73
    W9XYZ K1ABC 73

    3. FT8 DXpedition Mode
    CQ KH1/KH7Z
    KH7Z K1ABC FN42
    K1ABC KH7Z -12
    KH7Z K1ABC R-14
    KH7Z W9XYZ EN37
    … possibly other callers …
    K1ABC RR73; W9XYZ -08

    4. ARRL Field Day
    CQ FD K1ABC FN42
    K1ABC W9XYZ RR73

    5. ARRL VHF Contests
    CQ TEST K1ABC/R FN42 “/R” is optional
    K1ABC/R W9XYZ EN37 on either callsign
    W9XYZ K1ABC/R R FN42
    K1ABC/R W9XYZ RR73

    6. ARRL RTTY Roundup
    K1ABC W9XYZ 579 WI
    W9XYZ K1ABC R 589 MA
    K1ABC KA0DEF 559 MO
    TU; KA0DEF K1ABC R 569 MA
    KA1ABC G3AAA 529 0013
    TU; G3AAA K1ABC R 559 MA

    7. EU VHF Contest
    CQ TEST G4ABC/P IO91 “/P” is optional
    G4ABC/P PA9XYZ JO22 on either callsign
    PA9XYZ 590003 IO91NP
    G4ABC/P R 570007 JO22DB

    8. Compound or nonstandard callsign calling CQ
    CQ PJ4/K1ABC
    W9XYZ -11
    W9XYZ R-09
    PJ4/K1ABC 73

    9. Compound or nonstandard callsign answering CQ
    CQ W9XYZ EN37
    W9XYZ -11
    W9XYZ R-09
    YW18FIFA 73


    RELEASE SCHEDULE: Candidate releases of WSJT-X 2.0 will have built-in
    expiration dates after which they cannot be used. Target dates for
    planned releases are as follows:

    September 17: -rc1 (expires Oct 31)
    October 15: -rc2 (expires Nov 30)
    November 12: -rc3 (expires Dec 31)
    December 10: GA Full release of WSJT-X 2.0

    WSJT-X 2.0-rc1 provides the first chance for beta testers to use the
    new 77-bit messages. It supports the old (v1.9.1) FT8 protocol as
    well as the new message types illustrated above. To avoid QRMing
    legacy FT8 users with incompatible messages they can’t decode, and to
    help concentrate testing activity into a few sub-bands, we recommend
    using the new FT8 capabilities on the 40- or 20-meter bands at dial
    frequencies 7.078 or 14.078 MHz. These frequencies are offered as FT8
    alternatives on the drop-down frequency-selection control on the main

    The new MSK144 is fully functional for QSOs between any two stations
    using a WSJT-X v2.0 release. MSK144 is not backward compatible with
    earlier program versions. Therefore during the testing period,
    approximately Sept 17 through December 10, we recommend using the new
    MSK144 capabilities on 50.380 MHz (IARU Region 1) or 50.280 (Regions 2
    and 3). By specific arrangement, or as soon as most regular users
    have upgraded to a v2.0 release, MSK144 activity can be moved back to
    50.360 (Region 1) or 50.260 (Regions 2 and 3).

    By design, our proposed release schedule will make WSJT-X 2.0 usable
    for all relevant ARRL operating events and Eurpoean VHF contests after
    January 1, 2019.

    Dates of relevant upcoming ARRL contests
    RTTY Roundup: January 5-6, 2019
    VHF Sweepstakes: January 19-21, 2019


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