[Moon-Net] Coming soon: WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1

Joe Taylor joe at princeton.edu
Tue May 5 18:17:57 CEST 2020

Hi all,

This message is to let you know of some important WSJT-X development 
plans.  We plan to make a first candidate release of WSJT-X 2.2.0 next 
Monday, May 10.

WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1 will be a beta-quality release candidate providing a 
number of new features and capabilities.  These include:

   - Improvements to the decoders for five modes:

       FT4: Corrected bugs that prevented AP decoding and/or multi-pass
       decoding in some circumstances.  The algorithm for AP
       decoding has been improved and extended.

       FT8: Decoding is now spread over three intervals.  The first
       starts at t = 11.8 s into an Rx sequence and typically yields
       around 85% of the possible decodes for the sequence.  You
       therefore see most decodes much earlier than before.  A second
       processing step starts at 13.5 s, and the final one at 14.7 s.
       Overall decoding yield on crowded bands is improved by 10% or
       more.  (Systems with receive latency greater than 0.2 s will see
       smaller improvements, but will still see many decodes earlier
       than before.)

       JT4: Formatting and display of Averaged and Deep Search decodes
       has been cleaned up and made consistent with other modes.  JT4
       remains the digital mode of choice for EME and other extreme
       weak-signal work on microwave bands.

       JT65: Many improvements for Averaged and Deep Search decodes and
       their display to the user.  These improvements are particularly
       important for EME on VHF and UHF bands.

       WSPR: Significant improvements have been made to the WSPR
       decoder's sensitivity, its ability to cope with many signals in
       a crowded sub-band, and its rate of undetected false decodes.
       We now use up to three decoding passes.  Passes 1 and 2 use
       noncoherent demodulation of single symbols and allow for
       frequency drifts up to ±4 Hz in a transmission.  Pass 3 assumes
       no drift and does coherent block detection of up to three
       symbols.  It also applies bit-by-bit normalization of the
       single-symbol bit metrics, a technique that has proven helpful
       for signals corrupted by artifacts of the subtraction of
       stronger signals and also for LF/MF signals heavily contaminated
       by lightning transients.  With these improvements the number of
       decodes in a crowded WSPR sub-band typically increases by 10 to

  - New format for "EU VHF Contest" Tx2 and Tx3 messages

       When "EU VHF Contest" is selected, the Tx2 and Tx3 messages
       (those conveying signal report, serial number, and 6-character
       locator) now use hashcodes for both callsigns.  This change is
       NOT backward compatible with earlier versions of _WSJT-X_, so
       all users of EU VHF Contest messages should be sure to upgrade
       to versiion 2.2.0.

  - Accessibility

       Keyboard shortcuts have been added as an aid to accessibility:
       Alt+R sets Tx4 message to RR73, Ctrl+R sets it to RRR.

       As an aid for partial color-blindness, the "inverted goal posts"
       marking Rx frequency on the Wide Graph's frequency scale are now
       rendered in a darker shade of green.

  - Minor enhancements and bug fixes

       "Save None" now writes no .wav files to disk, even temporarily.

       An explicit entry for "WW Digi Contest" has been added to
       "Special operating activities" on the "Settings | Advanced" tab.

       Contest mode FT4 now always uses RR73 for the Tx4 message.

       The Status bar now displays the number of decodes found in the
       most recent Rx sequence.

Release candidate WSJT-X 2.2.0-rc1 will be available for beta-testing
for one month starting on May 10, 2020.  We currently plan a General
Availability (GA) release of WSJT-X 2.2.0 on June 1, 2020.

For those looking even farther ahead: We are well along in the
development of two new modes designed for the LF and MF bands.  One
mode is for WSPR-like activity and one for making 2-way QSOs.  Both
use Low-density Parity Check (LDPC) codes, 4-GFSK modulation, and
two-minute T/R sequences.  The QSO mode reaches threshold SNR
sensitivity around -31 dB on the AWGN channel, and the WSPR-like mode
better than -32 dB.

With best wishes,

	-- Joe, K1JT, Steve, K9AN, and Bill, G4WJS

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