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FT8-Helper-1.7.2c.exe   ; current version for WSJT-X v2.2.2 and v2.2.1

ownloc.txt  (Example for DL location)

Version History:

Known Issue:
When using with "default" configuration, FT4/FT8 synchronisation fails. Create a copy using e.g. the name of your TCVR.

Version 1.7.2c released on 09.08.2020
To decreas the risk of false virus alarms, the executable was created using an updated version of the macro engine generator (Quick Macros).


Version 1.7.2b released on 03.06.2020
Logging problem with WSJT-X v2.2.0 is solved.


Version 1.7.2a released on 25.05.2020

Known Issue:
Automatic logging does not work with WSJT-X 2.2.0

Changes and new features in 1.7.2
- The layout of the FT8-Helper window was re-designed.
- The button "Edit config" opens the notepad to edit the callsign.txt file. The changes will be activated at the next restart.
- Adding the line "MIN-LEVEL=-18" into the callsign.txt file will ignore CQ-calls with signals less S/N ration than -18.
- The checkboxes "Auto Seq", "Call 1st" and "Hold Tx Freq" are set automatically by the FT8-Helper.
- Extended logging, e.g. band changing

I received lot of e-mails because of problmes with band-hopping.
Please note, that all bands, even the not used ones, shall be entered into the configuration, but without time information (see example below). The list of bands in callsign.txt shall be match to the band selection list in WSJT-X.

Version 1.7.1 released on 24.02.2020

Known issue:
-
The FT8-Helper runs on Windows-7 computer only if the "Windows-7 Basic" design is used.  Therefore, I would expect problems with Window designs for Windows-10, downloaed from the internet.
- Space characters at the end of the band-hopping configuration lines are not accepted (will be fixed in the next version)

New feature: Band Hopping including 60m, 4m and 2m.
On request of several OMs, I added the possibility to use the 60m 4m and 2m bands in a band hopping sequence. The only limitation is, that only 10 bands can be selected. So if you want use 60m, you must delete one of the not used bands, e.g. 12m or 6m. The configuration in "callsign.txt" has been changed: Now, you have to add and entry for all 10 bands, even if it is not used. If a band is not used, enter the band followed by ":" without timing information. The band hopping settings in the "callsign.txt" must match to the band order in the band selection menu of WSJT-X (see below). If you want add/remove bands, change the "frequency" settings in WSJT-X and modify the callsign.txt accordingly.
- Please note, that the frequency settings can be different for FT8 and FT4!
- In the example below, the band entries for 12, 10 and 6m can be omitted.

Example:

160:
80:0-0600,1830-2400,XCHG
40:0-0900,1730-2400,RUN    

30:
20:0900-1800,XCHG,DX
17:
15:0900-1800,XCHG,DX
12:
10:
6:    
  
    
Bugfixes:
-
the "known issues" from 1.7.0
- in some rare condition (if RRR received after our third repetition), QSO was not logged
- Some station use DXpedition mode for normal QSOs. Now, QSO is not broken, if the qso-partner sends to another station too.
- DXpedition style RR73 is accepted as RR73:  "K1ABC RR73; W9XYZ <KH1/KH7Z> -08"


Version 1.7.0 released on 11.02.2020
Known Issues with version 1.7.0:
 - The time being, band-Hopping for 60m is not supported. If you use FT8 on 60m, you should create -as a workaround solution- a copy of your configuration removing the 60m frequency from the WSJT-X configuration. The next update will fix this issue.

- It is important to enter all FT8 frequencies between 160m and 6m, except 60m, into the WSJT-X frequency configuration. If you want to use FT4, you should enter the frqueincies for FT4 too, even if you do not want to use FT4 on all bands.

- In the band-hopping confirmation window, RUN and S/P are reversed, with no effect on the function itself.

- The band-hopping confirmation dialog (and other popup windows) are  modeless. They will be changed to modal (i.e. the pop-up sessions will block the main FT8-Window).

- The band-hopping parameter have to be entered into the "callsign.txt" and not into the config.txt as it was written in a previous version of this page. 

New feature: Band Hopping
It allows CAT-controlled transceivers to change the bands according a pre-defined timetable.
For each band two time ranges can be specified, typically day, night and/or grayline times according to the current propagation forecast. When starting the Band Hopping function, the FT8-Helper scans the specified bands and starts RUN and/or S/P sequences on the first available band where the current time is in the specified time ranges. The sequences are stopped if the specified number of unsuccessful attempts is reached. At the end of the sequence it continues on the next higher band available at the current time.  If the highest band is reached, it continues again from the lowest band. The Band-Hopping field shows the current band and mode, RUN, S/P or XCHG. If no active band found, it shows "IDLE". Before starting, be sure that your radio and antenna works well on all specified bands.

The band-hopping schedule can be entered into the "callsign.txt file"
Example:
<Your CALL>
MAX-S/P=5                  
;maximum number unsuccessful QSO attempts in a S/P cycle
MAX-RUN=5          
                ;maximum number unsuccessful QSO attempts in a RUN cylle
160:0-0500,2200-2400,S/P   
;in the specified time range S/P cycles are started
80:0-0600,1830-2400,XCHG   
;in the specified time range an S/P then a RUN cycle is started
40:0-0900,1730-2400,RUN    
;n the specified time range an RUN cycles  are started
30:0-1000,1700-2400,S/P,DX  :in S/P cycles, only DX stations are called

20:0900-1800,XCHG,DX        ;
RUN and S/P cycles, in S/P only DX stations are called
...cont`d for all bands 17,15,12,10 and 6m.

Important:
Be sure that in WSJT-X the scroll-down menu for band change contains all  bands from 160m to 6m, but not the 60m! Bands over 6m are ignored. If required, modify the "Frequencies" settings in WSJT-X.

Notes:
- The specified times are local computer times.
- Lines starting with '#" are ignored, not used bands can be omitted.
- Band-Hopping always activates the "<-x->" and the "Auto-Frq" functions.
- On first start of Band-Hopping it starts with the lowest available band
- When stopping and re-starting Band-Hopping, the continues with  the next available band


Version 1.6.4 released on 21.01.2020
New features:
-
Number of CQs is adjustable:
 
MAX-CQ=10: this entry in callsign.txt will send 10 time CQs before going to sleep
- S/P and RUN procedures are accelerated, the next QSO starts immediately after closing or breaking the running QSO
-
Unsolicited calls during a QSO will be stored and responded at the end of the QSO

Bugfixes:
- Plausibility check of the callsigns is enhanced: typos in call e.g. CQ  DXDG5LP or invalid callsigns e.g. 33B...are not responded
- Some other minor bugfixes

Version 1.6.3 released on 02.01.2020 
New features:
-
In S/P-mode, countries can be excluded from calling. See ownloc.txt
- Allows limiting the bandwidth if required (e.g. 60m band)
  MAX-AF=1450:  the transmission spectrum will reman between 500 and 1500 Hz

Bugfixes:
 -
Unexpected QSY blocked in S/P-mode if station calling CQ nnn <callsign>
 
- Midniht rollover bug fixed: does not stop at midnight
 
- QSO logging during RRR-procedur modified: QSO logged on reception of RRR
 - Some other minor bugfixes

Version 1.6.2 is recalled and obsolete. Do not use if already downloaded!

Version 1.6.1 released on 06.11.2019
Bug in 1.6.0 fixed (see below)

Version 1.6.0 released on 19.10.2019
Known error: It crashes when starting the program, if  the callsign.txt only contains the callsign.
It works with the additonal line e.g. LOGGING=OFF



New features in 1.6.0:

Changing between FT8 and FT4 changes the Mode in WSJT-X
(to avoid mode mismatch)

Band-Usage was changed to "Free-Channels"
The Band-Usage did not considered the fragmentation of the band. Now, the number of free channels shows how many continuous 50/75Hz segments are available. If no channel could be found, the FT8-Helper waits for a free slot.

Automatic RUN <-->  S/P switching
A
dd a new line to callsign.txt to overwrite the default limits of20:
MAX-S/P=10     ;will initiate switchover after 10 unsuccessful QSO attempts.
MAX-RUN=10   ;will initiate switchover after 10 unsuccessful attempts.
"'#" at the beginning of the line invalidates the line

Automatic stop of RUN in case of band inactivity
If no stations are received at the end of the "sleep" phase, the RUN-Modes is switched off automatially. If the Auto-RUN/SP feature is used, it switches to S/P and remains in S/P as long no messages received. If the band is alive again, the normal S/P-RUN switchover procedure is continued.

Limit the audio bandwidth:
I
t can help if older TCVRs are used without sufficient slope-control
A
dd a new line to callsign.txt to overwrite the default value (2800 Hz) :
MAX-AF=2100   ; will limit the bandwidth to 500-2100 Hz (lowest possible value is 1500)
For all commands in the callsign.txt: "'#" at the beginning of the line invalidates the line.

Logging:
Additionally to the log written to the main screen, the log can be written into the file ../logs/log-YYYYMMDD.txt. For each day a new file is opened. To do it, add following line into the callsign.txt:
LOGGING=ON

If you want log additionally the messages from the RX-Frequency window of WSJT-X, add the following line:
LOGGING=MSG     ; the LOGGING=ON is not required

For investigating incorrect behaviour, enter the following line:
LOGGING=EXPERT   ; send me the file for investigating what happened.