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The FT-8 CQ hook

John - AI4FR
John - AI4FR Member ✭✭
edited November 2019 in SmartSDR for Windows
While doing FT8 I've noticed what I termed as the "CQ Hook". Think of it like fishing in which you drop a line and a hook into the water. While watching the waterfall on SSDR one can easily see who is calling CQ and who is in a QSO with others. I use this little trick at times for a number of things. Say I am trying to answer a station calling cq, I can see right away on their next transmission if they heard me or are still calling CQ. From there I will make the appropriate adjustments, changing frequency, more power, etc.

The below picture is a screen capture of 30m this morning. It's quiet with not a lot of stations on the band but please take note of the arrows I have placed pointing at the CQ hooks. One can easily see that 2 stations are calling CQ while the other stations are in a QSO with others. While the previous time slot(further down the waterfall) shows one person calling CQ.


John / AI4FR


  • Mark_WS7M
    Mark_WS7M Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Hi John,

    Very cool.  It actually looks like a C  as in CQ.
  • Duane_AC5AA
    Duane_AC5AA Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Interesting.  I just use JTAlert - also tells me if they are LOTW users!
  • Pat N6PAT
    Pat N6PAT Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    Also lets you know of needed calls, prefixes, states, zones and DX
  • Rick N0VT
    Rick N0VT Member ✭✭
    edited November 2019
    If you check the "CQ Only" box above the WSJT-X band indicator it will filter the incoming signals and only show stations calling CQ.
  • John - AI4FR
    John - AI4FR Member ✭✭
    edited July 2019
    I also use JTAlert with multiple instances of wsjt-x and have all instances of wsjt reading/writing to the same wsjt-x adif log file so that all instances of wsjt-x will show the appropriate color for calls decoded(new calls, worked before and so on). And jtalert does automatically send all qso's to my main logger and informs me of LOTW and eQSL use. I also have the cq only boxed checked. JTAlert has sent well over 30k qso's to my main logging program. I also have custom audio files installed in JTAlertX. Right now it is audio that you would hear on Startrek the next generation, "Captain we are being hailed"(heard when my call is decoded), "Incoming message"(heard when I receive a text message). Silly stuff that aggravates the wife in another room. I change it from time to time.

    The point of this post was just a simple little trick that some may not have noticed while watching the waterfall and wondering if the calling station they just called is still calling CQ or are they now in a QSO with someone, possibly you. You don't have to wait for the transmission to finish to know if the CQing station is still calling CQ.

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