Wanted to give JS8Call, the more PSK31 variant of FT8, a whirl.
Loaded up quickly on my WI-001L Washington Island station computer and quickly got the hang of things.
The pace is decidedly different than FT8 and it was a pleasure to exchange a bit of “the human touch” during QSOs.
The pace is pretty slow. I’m thinking that is largely baud rate limitations combined with technical load limits.
Operators seem to pride themselves on minimal power, unlike FT8 where operators do run QRO often.
QRP, 10 and 30 watts seemed to be the norm.
Not so much of a potential background mode excepting the various beacon-like Heartbeat, All Call, and Auto Response features.
Worth abbreviating types text where possible, much like CW or the slow digital modes. Always a balance between abbreviations and forcing that “again?/unclear?” Response that ends up using more time.
Typical exchange works through calls, signal reports, name, grid and a freeform “info” exchange. “Info” is kept much shorter that the typical PSK31 format, and mine runs “On WI-001L HXBEAM FLEX6700 STEVE” to which I should add my wattage.
Logging is built in and it does the neat network broadcast that lets other loggers capture QSOs as you log them.
Neat experiment and experience.