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JTMS vs FSK441

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  • Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
    I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn t think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for
    Message 1 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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      I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
       
      Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
       
      My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
       
      Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
       
      Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
       
      So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
       
      ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/Es/F2 work.
       
      Bill W5WVO
      DM65qh
      New Mexico
       
       
    • Randy Tipton
      I fully understand Bill s explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True
      Message 2 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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        I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
         
        The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
         
        I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
         
        I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
         
        I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
         
        Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
         
        I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
         
        my thoughts
         
        tip
        wa5ufh
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
        Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

        I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
         
        Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
         
        My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
         
        Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
         
        Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
         
        So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
         
        ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/Es/F2 work.
         
        Bill W5WVO
        DM65qh
        New Mexico
         
         
      • Russ K2TXB
        Some might say that this can lead to stretching the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW
        Message 3 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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          "Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument."
           
          Hi Bill.  I think your opinions about digging the decodes out of the garbage, compared to doing the same thing on SSB or CW are very well stated and exactly correct.  This is a point that many of the "died in the wool"  CW operators just cannot bring themselves to see.  When I hear a partial call on CW or SSB, I immediately begin thinking about whether the portion I got matches any call sign that I know.  If I think of a possible match, then the next time I hear the call I try especially hard to see if I can hear the missing letters that I think I know.  Often I do hear them, but I am sure that in many cases I would not hear them if I didn't already 'know' what they are.
           
          I think the above process is human nature.  We try to make sense of what we observe or hear, based upon what we know.  I doubt there is a single weak signal or DX operator who does not do this - mostly unconsciously or automatically.  I have seen this point raised repeatedly on moon-net, when people were trying to explain why the deep search decoder is not 'cheating'.  The CW ops there never even give a mention to those arguments and they continue, year after year, to make their claims that deep search decoding is not really decoding the calls.  I guess everyone is a little blind to some facts when defending a strong personal feeling, so I don't accuse these people of anything nefarious, but I really hope they eventually see reality - of simply give up.
           
          Anyway I wanted to thank you for expressing that issue in such an excellent way.
           
          73, Russ K2TXB
           
          PS: Another parallel.  Over the past 10 years my hearing has deteriorated to the point where I have a very hard time understanding normal conversation unless the speaker is a clear enunciator.  Watching TV, I almost always cannot understand a word spoken by many females or children.  Hearing aids help some because I hear the words louder, but I've found that they don't really help with understanding.  But if I turn on the closed caption display on my TV, sometimes the CC is displayed before the actual words are spoken.  It is amazing that when I know what the words will be, I always hear them correctly - no matter how poorly spoken, and even in the presence of other sounds such as music or other people speaking at the same time.  I think this is an exact parallel to the mental process that we often use to identify calls.  When we 'know' what the call will be, we can usually copy it!


          From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:16 AM
          To: wa5ufh@...
          Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
          Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

           

          I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
           
          Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
           
          My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
           
          Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
           
          Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
           
          So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
           
          ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
           
          Bill W5WVO
          DM65qh
          New Mexico
           
           

        • Barry Garratt
          Tip et al, Without turning this into a long discussion I really have to side with Bill on this one. Maybe that s because like Bill I was born a DXer. I don t
          Message 4 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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            Tip et al,

             

            Without turning this into a long discussion I really have to side with Bill on this one. Maybe that’s because like Bill I was born a DXer. I don’t know if I would call FSK441 flakey though, but I know what Bill is getting at. I would much rather have to work with partial decodes from short duration pings than just sit and wait for the decoder to produce a pristine decode. That’s the same as hearing a rare DX station but because there is QRM and or QRN pass up the chance to work him because he isn’t 599 and in the clear. The garbage decodes, if one is to call them that, is really no different. Certainly a nice loud and long ping is great but those are generally rare.

             

            As for newbies being confused by false decodes, and I use that term in a generic fashion, that comes from two things in my opinion. Firstly not having read and understood the manual and secondly to some extent lack of experience. Of course one might say if the newbie had experience they wouldn’t be a newbie which is true in a general sort of way. BUT there are a lot of folk who have been around quite some time and still act like newbies because they haven’t read the manual and or fail to understand exactly what they have read. Granted the manual is not “Meteor Scatter for Dummies” but all of the information about the modes is in there and the package comes with samples that the manual makes reference to.

             

            If all you do is fire up the software and expect it to do everything for you then you really need to examine why you are using it. Maybe MS isn’t for you.

             

            Joe is doing a superb job with the new modes and once he has done more refinements I’ll be happy to try them again. For now I’ll stick with the WSJT version 7 modes.

             

            And, like Bill, I’m impressed with ISCAT but also suffer from long decoder times even though I run it on a fast, multi- processor machine with lots of ram.

             

            Regards,

             

            Barry KS7DX

             

             

             

            From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
            Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:38 AM
            To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
            Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
            Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

             

             

            I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups

             

            The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.

             

            I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)

             

            I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 

             

            I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.

             

            Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.

             

            I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.

             

            my thoughts

             

            tip

            wa5ufh

             

            ----- Original Message -----

            Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM

            Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

             

            I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.

             

            Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.

             

            My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.

             

            Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon

             

            Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.

             

            So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.

             

            ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/Es/F2 work.

             

            Bill W5WVO

            DM65qh

            New Mexico

             

             

          • Russ K2TXB
            Hi Randy and all. I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying. Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don t think a contact
            Message 5 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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              Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
               
              If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
               
              I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
               
              73, Russ K2TXB


              From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
              Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
              To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
              Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
              Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

               

              I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
               
              The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
               
              I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
               
              I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
               
              I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
               
              Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
               
              I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
               
              my thoughts
               
              tip
              wa5ufh
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
              Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

              I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
               
              Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
               
              My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
               
              Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
               
              Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
               
              So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
               
              ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
               
              Bill W5WVO
              DM65qh
              New Mexico
               
               

            • Randy Tipton
              Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even
              Message 6 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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                Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.
                 
                 
                 
                Russ my discussion is only HSMS related where I have some experience.

                I started with HSCW and a few weeks latter WSJT was introduced. I only made a few contacts with hscw.  I did not know that was the earlier practice piecing letters copied. I don't remember seeing any procedures for assembling calls from individual letters or missing letters in the SOP's, how was this communicated as best practices etc? (Just curious as I have always been interested in the "early days of meteor scatter".)  I certainly am not questioning nor have the right to question anybody who did that prior to WSJT and I recognize it was part of the process. But now it is not necessary. Full calls are decoded in text in fact it is so good that if someone enters a call wrong, I see stations saying on PJ "Check My Call".  "YOU ENTERED MYCALL WRONG"
                 
                I often times during contacts accepted receiving both calls correctly from two different pings but not three or more. I suppose one could do that but with FSK441 and JT6M it has not been  necessary. I have now 3,561 meteor scatter contacts using wsjt modes and I have not had to piece calls together. Even weak e's using JT6M provide correct decoded calls with no need to piece together.
                 
                Thus the necessity of piecing calls together is not something I find necessary to do or practical with the wsjt modes.  I don't know what others do but for me, both calls mean "both calls" decoded during a single ping or two pings using today software and pc. 
                 
                Often time with two meters I find myself waiting for a single call to move forward in the contact. That is why I generally remove the last %R in Tx2 so stations have a better chance of decoding both calls with my Tx2 message. The double 2626 I suppose lets someone listening know who is transmitting.
                 
                So I suppose the answer to your question is I believe because it is possible to copy complete calls with the latest and greatest software and piecing of calls is unnecessary why not let the decoder do the assembling of the messages. Most HSMS contacts take less than 20 minutes using this method. It is not my call to say what "Both Calls" means and if piecing of letters over time is acceptable .... but I know when I decode and read in print K2TXB it is you. I ignore the garbage letters and character and wait for the next ping if I receive WSTXB. Most of the time it is just a few minutes away.
                 
                For me the most important information off a poorly decode ping is the df and sound. Yes I can tell if a station is 600 Hz low or High by the ears. But like Russ, the hearing is going fast.
                 
                By the way, if I remember right wasn't the line speed with hscw much faster than FSK441? If so seems like there should have been more information per ping.
                 
                Russ, when are we ever going to work on two meters?
                 
                my two cents...
                tip
                 
                 
                 
                 

                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:00 PM
                Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
                 
                If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
                 
                I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
                 
                73, Russ K2TXB


                From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
                To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
                Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                 

                I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
                 
                The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
                 
                I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
                 
                I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
                 
                I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
                 
                Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
                 
                I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
                 
                my thoughts
                 
                tip
                wa5ufh
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
                Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
                 
                Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
                 
                My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
                 
                Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
                 
                Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
                 
                So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
                 
                ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
                 
                Bill W5WVO
                DM65qh
                New Mexico
                 
                 

              • Russ K2TXB
                Hi again Randy. Well, it looks like you did not fully understand what I was referring to. I was not talking about the HSCW that we did for a few years - and
                Message 7 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi again Randy.  Well, it looks like you did not fully understand what I was referring to.  I was not talking about the HSCW that we did for a few years - and which the Europeans practiced for many years prior to that, using speeded up and slowed down tape recorders.  I was talking about plain normal speed CW and SSB meteor scatter work.  But I cannot see any reason why the rules that were used then do not still apply.  Just because it is easier (than it used to be) to get full calls in a single ping does not mean that it is necessary.  However I don't think you disagree, I'm just saying...
                   
                  As for how the procedures were communicated, there were QST articles about the practice of meteor scatter, and sheets handed out at talks at hamfests, etc.  We got together on 75 meters to make skeds and discuss operating procedures, and we used the US mail to make skeds and etc.
                   
                  As for when we are ever going to work on 2 meters, I am afraid that is not very likely from my new home QTH.  I have a significant noise problem to my west and my antenna is now smaller and only at 25 feet.  However I am working on getting going again on EME, and hopefully when the moon is high the noise will not be a problem, so there is hope then.  Also I hope to make the EME station a portable (antennas on a trailer), so maybe if I find a quiet spot we can make it on MS some day too.  You never know!
                   
                  73, Russ K2TXB


                  From: wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:33 PM
                  To: Russ K2TXB; 'Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO'
                  Cc: '[WSJTGROUP]'
                  Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                   

                  Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.
                   
                   
                   
                  Russ my discussion is only HSMS related where I have some experience.

                  I started with HSCW and a few weeks latter WSJT was introduced. I only made a few contacts with hscw.  I did not know that was the earlier practice piecing letters copied. I don't remember seeing any procedures for assembling calls from individual letters or missing letters in the SOP's, how was this communicated as best practices etc? (Just curious as I have always been interested in the "early days of meteor scatter".)  I certainly am not questioning nor have the right to question anybody who did that prior to WSJT and I recognize it was part of the process. But now it is not necessary. Full calls are decoded in text in fact it is so good that if someone enters a call wrong, I see stations saying on PJ "Check My Call".  "YOU ENTERED MYCALL WRONG"
                   
                  I often times during contacts accepted receiving both calls correctly from two different pings but not three or more. I suppose one could do that but with FSK441 and JT6M it has not been  necessary. I have now 3,561 meteor scatter contacts using wsjt modes and I have not had to piece calls together. Even weak e's using JT6M provide correct decoded calls with no need to piece together.
                   
                  Thus the necessity of piecing calls together is not something I find necessary to do or practical with the wsjt modes.  I don't know what others do but for me, both calls mean "both calls" decoded during a single ping or two pings using today software and pc. 
                   
                  Often time with two meters I find myself waiting for a single call to move forward in the contact. That is why I generally remove the last %R in Tx2 so stations have a better chance of decoding both calls with my Tx2 message. The double 2626 I suppose lets someone listening know who is transmitting.
                   
                  So I suppose the answer to your question is I believe because it is possible to copy complete calls with the latest and greatest software and piecing of calls is unnecessary why not let the decoder do the assembling of the messages. Most HSMS contacts take less than 20 minutes using this method. It is not my call to say what "Both Calls" means and if piecing of letters over time is acceptable .... but I know when I decode and read in print K2TXB it is you. I ignore the garbage letters and character and wait for the next ping if I receive WSTXB. Most of the time it is just a few minutes away.
                   
                  For me the most important information off a poorly decode ping is the df and sound. Yes I can tell if a station is 600 Hz low or High by the ears. But like Russ, the hearing is going fast.
                   
                  By the way, if I remember right wasn't the line speed with hscw much faster than FSK441? If so seems like there should have been more information per ping.
                   
                  Russ, when are we ever going to work on two meters?
                   
                  my two cents...
                  tip
                   
                   
                   
                   

                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:00 PM
                  Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                  Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
                   
                  If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
                   
                  I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
                   
                  73, Russ K2TXB


                  From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
                  To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                  Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
                  Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                   

                  I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
                   
                  The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
                   
                  I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
                   
                  I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
                   
                  I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
                   
                  Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
                   
                  I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
                   
                  my thoughts
                   
                  tip
                  wa5ufh
                   
                  ----- Original Message -----
                  Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
                  Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                  I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
                   
                  Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
                   
                  My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
                   
                  Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
                   
                  Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
                   
                  So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
                   
                  ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
                   
                  Bill W5WVO
                  DM65qh
                  New Mexico
                   
                   

                • Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                  Guess it s time for me to chime in and comment on some of the comments here. First, going in chronological order, I want to speak to the problem Tip mentioned
                  Message 8 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Guess it's time for me to chime in and comment on some of the comments here. Smile emoticon
                     
                    First, going in chronological order, I want to speak to the problem Tip mentioned of "newbies" (using the term very loosely, as Barry pointed out) gettng confused by false SH decodes.
                     
                    I agree with Barry here that this is an education problem -- and in some cases just an IQ problem, not to put too fine a point on it. Being a professional technical writer, I'm more painfully aware than anybody here that a lot of people decline to read technical manuals that contain (or should contain) information they absolutely need to understand. Sometimes it is because the technical manual is written in poorly constructed English; sometimes the manual doesn't actually contain all the relevant information it should; sometimes the manual is written in language or sentence structure that is too complex for the average user to understand. Sometimes it is a problem with users having learning disabilities like dyslexia, which make it impossible to extract usable understanding from written text. And sometimes the intrinsic nature of the material, no matter how well presented, is simply "over the head" of the person who is trying to understand it. Personally, I would have a comprehension problem with any advanced academic paper on particle physics. I'm simply not that smart or well enough educated in that area, and I wouldn't get all of it, or even much of it. I would have to admit that particle physics just "isn't for me," to use Barry's delightfully delicate phraseology -- that is, it's over my head.
                     
                    I wrote a paper a while back on using SH messages in FSK441, and I covered false SH messages (and how to avoid being confused by them) in pretty close detail. Looking back at that paper recently, I saw I could have written an even more granular treatment of this subject and presented even more options, but that would only have made the matter just that much more complex. And how many people have actually read that paper anyway? How many of the people who tried to read it actually understood it? I have no idea, but I think I can safely say it isn't anywhere close to 100% in either case.
                     
                    So, what to do? Bottom line, I don't believe that the opportunity to mask false decodes is any part of a good set of reasons for changing the digital meteor scatter protocol. Let's first do a better job of trying to get the operators who use the existing protocol smart enough to use it. Failing that, maybe we concede defeat and go to a less cognitively intense protocol.
                     
                    It could start with replacing the "you must read this - and also this" links on the PJ page with material that is more accessible, more up-to-date, and better written. I'd be happy to provide such material, but the owner of the page (whom I've never even communicated with on any basis) would have to concur. Tip might have a much better connection there than I have. Second, the accessibility of the material that I (and others) have written for the WSJT group on Tip's website could be more accessible in terms of web page design. Due to the use of frames, it's impractical to put together a URL that would take an interested person directly to any one document. (Not impossible if you know how to do it -- but most people don't. And then once there, you are outside the context of the website's frame structure with nowhere to go.) In summary, any one of us should be able to point a newbie (or a not-so-newbie) to a specific article's URL and say "go here and read this."
                     
                    I'm also willing to take on the project of writing a comprehensive manual for WSJT meteor scatter operation using FSK441, something that to the best of my knowledge hasn't ever been done -- or if it has, it hasn't been done well enough to become ubiquitous and essential. It is badly needed.
                     
                    Since this post has already become so long, I'll address the other matters I wanted to comment on in a separate post on this thread.
                     
                    Bill W5WVO
                     

                    Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:24 PM
                    Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                     

                    Hi again Randy.  Well, it looks like you did not fully understand what I was referring to.  I was not talking about the HSCW that we did for a few years - and which the Europeans practiced for many years prior to that, using speeded up and slowed down tape recorders.  I was talking about plain normal speed CW and SSB meteor scatter work.  But I cannot see any reason why the rules that were used then do not still apply.  Just because it is easier (than it used to be) to get full calls in a single ping does not mean that it is necessary.  However I don't think you disagree, I'm just saying...
                     
                    As for how the procedures were communicated, there were QST articles about the practice of meteor scatter, and sheets handed out at talks at hamfests, etc.  We got together on 75 meters to make skeds and discuss operating procedures, and we used the US mail to make skeds and etc.
                     
                    As for when we are ever going to work on 2 meters, I am afraid that is not very likely from my new home QTH.  I have a significant noise problem to my west and my antenna is now smaller and only at 25 feet.  However I am working on getting going again on EME, and hopefully when the moon is high the noise will not be a problem, so there is hope then.  Also I hope to make the EME station a portable (antennas on a trailer), so maybe if I find a quiet spot we can make it on MS some day too.  You never know!
                     
                    73, Russ K2TXB


                    From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:33 PM
                    To: Russ K2TXB; 'Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO'
                    Cc: '[WSJTGROUP] '
                    Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                     

                    Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.
                     
                     
                     
                    Russ my discussion is only HSMS related where I have some experience.

                    I started with HSCW and a few weeks latter WSJT was introduced. I only made a few contacts with hscw.  I did not know that was the earlier practice piecing letters copied. I don't remember seeing any procedures for assembling calls from individual letters or missing letters in the SOP's, how was this communicated as best practices etc? (Just curious as I have always been interested in the "early days of meteor scatter".)  I certainly am not questioning nor have the right to question anybody who did that prior to WSJT and I recognize it was part of the process. But now it is not necessary. Full calls are decoded in text in fact it is so good that if someone enters a call wrong, I see stations saying on PJ "Check My Call".  "YOU ENTERED MYCALL WRONG"
                     
                    I often times during contacts accepted receiving both calls correctly from two different pings but not three or more. I suppose one could do that but with FSK441 and JT6M it has not been  necessary. I have now 3,561 meteor scatter contacts using wsjt modes and I have not had to piece calls together. Even weak e's using JT6M provide correct decoded calls with no need to piece together.
                     
                    Thus the necessity of piecing calls together is not something I find necessary to do or practical with the wsjt modes.  I don't know what others do but for me, both calls mean "both calls" decoded during a single ping or two pings using today software and pc. 
                     
                    Often time with two meters I find myself waiting for a single call to move forward in the contact. That is why I generally remove the last %R in Tx2 so stations have a better chance of decoding both calls with my Tx2 message. The double 2626 I suppose lets someone listening know who is transmitting.
                     
                    So I suppose the answer to your question is I believe because it is possible to copy complete calls with the latest and greatest software and piecing of calls is unnecessary why not let the decoder do the assembling of the messages. Most HSMS contacts take less than 20 minutes using this method. It is not my call to say what "Both Calls" means and if piecing of letters over time is acceptable .... but I know when I decode and read in print K2TXB it is you. I ignore the garbage letters and character and wait for the next ping if I receive WSTXB. Most of the time it is just a few minutes away.
                     
                    For me the most important information off a poorly decode ping is the df and sound. Yes I can tell if a station is 600 Hz low or High by the ears. But like Russ, the hearing is going fast.
                     
                    By the way, if I remember right wasn't the line speed with hscw much faster than FSK441? If so seems like there should have been more information per ping.
                     
                    Russ, when are we ever going to work on two meters?
                     
                    my two cents...
                    tip
                     
                     
                     
                     

                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:00 PM
                    Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                    Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
                     
                    If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
                     
                    I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
                     
                    73, Russ K2TXB


                    From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
                    To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                    Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
                    Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                     

                    I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
                     
                    The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
                     
                    I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
                     
                    I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
                     
                    I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
                     
                    Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
                     
                    I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
                     
                    my thoughts
                     
                    tip
                    wa5ufh
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
                    Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                    I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
                     
                    Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
                     
                    My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
                     
                    Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
                     
                    Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
                     
                    So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
                     
                    ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
                     
                    Bill W5WVO
                    DM65qh
                    New Mexico
                     
                     

                  • Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                    I also want to comment on this piecing calls together subject, as it goes to the heart of WSJT meteor-scatter SOP. I believe this subject hasn t been
                    Message 9 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      I also want to comment on this "piecing calls together" subject, as it goes to the heart of WSJT meteor-scatter SOP. I believe this subject hasn't been adequately aired, and in fact may be considered by some, in some strange manner, a "taboo" area. Therefore, I shall gleefully go there. Smile emoticon
                       
                      While WSJT has made meteor scatter communications a lot easier, as Tip says, it is still meteor scatter, and meteor pings are still short and often fraught with path distortions. The COGNITIVE tools one needs to work successfully with meteor scatter messaging are the same ones that have always been required. They're just not required AS MUCH because Joe's wonderful invention has taken SOME of the work out of it for us. But work remains -- fortunately! -- or else it wouldn't be very much fun.
                       
                      I believe it makes the most sense to think about WSJT m/s communications as if it were a mode we're already very familiar with -- voice. Think about how your mind works when you are listening to a weak DX station on SSB through a lot of noise and QRM. Russ explained this succinctly a bit earlier in this thread:
                       
                      When I hear a partial call on CW or SSB, I immediately begin thinking about whether the portion I got matches any call sign that I know.  If I think of a possible match, then the next time I hear the call I try especially hard to see if I can hear the missing letters that I think I know.  Often I do hear them, but I am sure that in many cases I would not hear them if I didn't already 'know' what they are. I think the above process is human nature.  We try to make sense of what we observe or hear, based upon what we know.  I doubt there is a single weak signal or DX operator who does not do this - mostly unconsciously or automatically.
                       
                      This is exactly right. Using WSJT doesn't change this essential attribute of human communications-related cognition; it just makes it a little easier, and allows us to dig even weaker m/s signals out of the muck.
                       
                      Now, Tip and I have long since agreed to disagree about whether meteor scatter is a weak-signal propagation mode, or FSK441 is a weak-signal transmission mode, but that's really the wrong question. A signal is a weak signal if it is WEAK, and you either try to work with it and copy it, or you pass on it and look for something stronger. It's mostly a matter of what your motivations are, what's fun for you. When trying to work a weak signal, you use the same cognitive tools in all cases, regardless of the modulation scheme or encoding method -- UNLESS the technology you are using takes that option away from you. Then you become nothing more than an appliance operator, which is what some hams think we WSJT jockeys are anyway. LOL  We know that's not true. Right? ...
                       
                      Bill W5WVO
                       

                      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:24 PM
                      Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                       

                      Hi again Randy.  Well, it looks like you did not fully understand what I was referring to.  I was not talking about the HSCW that we did for a few years - and which the Europeans practiced for many years prior to that, using speeded up and slowed down tape recorders.  I was talking about plain normal speed CW and SSB meteor scatter work.  But I cannot see any reason why the rules that were used then do not still apply.  Just because it is easier (than it used to be) to get full calls in a single ping does not mean that it is necessary.  However I don't think you disagree, I'm just saying...
                       
                      As for how the procedures were communicated, there were QST articles about the practice of meteor scatter, and sheets handed out at talks at hamfests, etc.  We got together on 75 meters to make skeds and discuss operating procedures, and we used the US mail to make skeds and etc.
                       
                      As for when we are ever going to work on 2 meters, I am afraid that is not very likely from my new home QTH.  I have a significant noise problem to my west and my antenna is now smaller and only at 25 feet.  However I am working on getting going again on EME, and hopefully when the moon is high the noise will not be a problem, so there is hope then.  Also I hope to make the EME station a portable (antennas on a trailer), so maybe if I find a quiet spot we can make it on MS some day too.  You never know!
                       
                      73, Russ K2TXB


                      From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:33 PM
                      To: Russ K2TXB; 'Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO'
                      Cc: '[WSJTGROUP] '
                      Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                       

                      Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.
                       
                       
                       
                      Russ my discussion is only HSMS related where I have some experience.

                      I started with HSCW and a few weeks latter WSJT was introduced. I only made a few contacts with hscw.  I did not know that was the earlier practice piecing letters copied. I don't remember seeing any procedures for assembling calls from individual letters or missing letters in the SOP's, how was this communicated as best practices etc? (Just curious as I have always been interested in the "early days of meteor scatter".)  I certainly am not questioning nor have the right to question anybody who did that prior to WSJT and I recognize it was part of the process. But now it is not necessary. Full calls are decoded in text in fact it is so good that if someone enters a call wrong, I see stations saying on PJ "Check My Call".  "YOU ENTERED MYCALL WRONG"
                       
                      I often times during contacts accepted receiving both calls correctly from two different pings but not three or more. I suppose one could do that but with FSK441 and JT6M it has not been  necessary. I have now 3,561 meteor scatter contacts using wsjt modes and I have not had to piece calls together. Even weak e's using JT6M provide correct decoded calls with no need to piece together.
                       
                      Thus the necessity of piecing calls together is not something I find necessary to do or practical with the wsjt modes.  I don't know what others do but for me, both calls mean "both calls" decoded during a single ping or two pings using today software and pc. 
                       
                      Often time with two meters I find myself waiting for a single call to move forward in the contact. That is why I generally remove the last %R in Tx2 so stations have a better chance of decoding both calls with my Tx2 message. The double 2626 I suppose lets someone listening know who is transmitting.
                       
                      So I suppose the answer to your question is I believe because it is possible to copy complete calls with the latest and greatest software and piecing of calls is unnecessary why not let the decoder do the assembling of the messages. Most HSMS contacts take less than 20 minutes using this method. It is not my call to say what "Both Calls" means and if piecing of letters over time is acceptable .... but I know when I decode and read in print K2TXB it is you. I ignore the garbage letters and character and wait for the next ping if I receive WSTXB. Most of the time it is just a few minutes away.
                       
                      For me the most important information off a poorly decode ping is the df and sound. Yes I can tell if a station is 600 Hz low or High by the ears. But like Russ, the hearing is going fast.
                       
                      By the way, if I remember right wasn't the line speed with hscw much faster than FSK441? If so seems like there should have been more information per ping.
                       
                      Russ, when are we ever going to work on two meters?
                       
                      my two cents...
                      tip
                       
                       
                       
                       

                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:00 PM
                      Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                      Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
                       
                      If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
                       
                      I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
                       
                      73, Russ K2TXB


                      From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
                      To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                      Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
                      Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                       

                      I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
                       
                      The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
                       
                      I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
                       
                      I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
                       
                      I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
                       
                      Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
                       
                      I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
                       
                      my thoughts
                       
                      tip
                      wa5ufh
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
                      Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                      I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
                       
                      Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
                       
                      My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
                       
                      Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
                       
                      Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
                       
                      So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
                       
                      ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
                       
                      Bill W5WVO
                      DM65qh
                      New Mexico
                       
                       

                    • Randy Tipton
                      Hey Bill, be careful what you volunteer for. Bill has written some very useful tutorial notes and that is the reason we have them on the wsjtgroup WebPages,
                      Message 10 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hey Bill, be careful what you volunteer for.
                         
                        Bill has written some very useful tutorial notes and that is the reason we have them on the wsjtgroup WebPages, with his permission of course. I believe the two links at the top of the PJ Central Page that Bill mentions "You must read this and Also This" could be changed in a positive way which provides even more useful information.  Maybe even a FAQ page would be useful with links to a "New Comprehensive Operating Manual".
                         
                        WSJT now has a condensed version of the SOP <F5> so the link <Also This> is really not needed in such great detail. Perhaps that SOP should be shortened with only the information needed for  using wsjt modes. I posted an Interpretation of the SOP several years ago at http://www.ykc.com/wa5ufh/Misc/ShortSOP.htm trying to shorten and simply the original SOP.
                         
                        The other link that takes you to the Ping Jockey Etiquette was written by me and critiqued by WB5APD, N0UK, K1SIX and a few others. This information was really needed at the time as many stations were experimenting with WSJT and PJ was new.  I am sure some of this information is still useful but maybe combined with other useful information in another format would inspire newbie's to learn more.
                         
                        Chris, N0UK is a member of this group and I believe would be open to improvements. PJ has become a very useful tool for NA stations and Chris doesn't get near the credit he deserves for maintaining the PJ pages. 
                         
                        My opinion is better written and more up to date information is needed.  Maybe a Comprehensive Manual as you mentioned and the PJ links are really one project. Links from PJ to the manual ... One thing to keep in mind is the WSJT8 work and how it ties in with a new manual? I don't know about you but I hate re-work and reengineering.
                         
                        I just wanted to be the first to say I believe you are both qualified and able to do a good job at technical writing wsjt data. Where can I vote...
                         
                         
                        tip
                         
                         
                         

                         
                         
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:12 PM
                        Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                        Guess it's time for me to chime in and comment on some of the comments here. Smile emoticon
                         
                        First, going in chronological order, I want to speak to the problem Tip mentioned of "newbies" (using the term very loosely, as Barry pointed out) gettng confused by false SH decodes.
                         
                        I agree with Barry here that this is an education problem -- and in some cases just an IQ problem, not to put too fine a point on it. Being a professional technical writer, I'm more painfully aware than anybody here that a lot of people decline to read technical manuals that contain (or should contain) information they absolutely need to understand. Sometimes it is because the technical manual is written in poorly constructed English; sometimes the manual doesn't actually contain all the relevant information it should; sometimes the manual is written in language or sentence structure that is too complex for the average user to understand. Sometimes it is a problem with users having learning disabilities like dyslexia, which make it impossible to extract usable understanding from written text. And sometimes the intrinsic nature of the material, no matter how well presented, is simply "over the head" of the person who is trying to understand it. Personally, I would have a comprehension problem with any advanced academic paper on particle physics. I'm simply not that smart or well enough educated in that area, and I wouldn't get all of it, or even much of it. I would have to admit that particle physics just "isn't for me," to use Barry's delightfully delicate phraseology -- that is, it's over my head.
                         
                        I wrote a paper a while back on using SH messages in FSK441, and I covered false SH messages (and how to avoid being confused by them) in pretty close detail. Looking back at that paper recently, I saw I could have written an even more granular treatment of this subject and presented even more options, but that would only have made the matter just that much more complex. And how many people have actually read that paper anyway? How many of the people who tried to read it actually understood it? I have no idea, but I think I can safely say it isn't anywhere close to 100% in either case.
                         
                        So, what to do? Bottom line, I don't believe that the opportunity to mask false decodes is any part of a good set of reasons for changing the digital meteor scatter protocol. Let's first do a better job of trying to get the operators who use the existing protocol smart enough to use it. Failing that, maybe we concede defeat and go to a less cognitively intense protocol.
                         
                        It could start with replacing the "you must read this - and also this" links on the PJ page with material that is more accessible, more up-to-date, and better written. I'd be happy to provide such material, but the owner of the page (whom I've never even communicated with on any basis) would have to concur. Tip might have a much better connection there than I have. Second, the accessibility of the material that I (and others) have written for the WSJT group on Tip's website could be more accessible in terms of web page design. Due to the use of frames, it's impractical to put together a URL that would take an interested person directly to any one document. (Not impossible if you know how to do it -- but most people don't. And then once there, you are outside the context of the website's frame structure with nowhere to go.) In summary, any one of us should be able to point a newbie (or a not-so-newbie) to a specific article's URL and say "go here and read this."
                         
                        I'm also willing to take on the project of writing a comprehensive manual for WSJT meteor scatter operation using FSK441, something that to the best of my knowledge hasn't ever been done -- or if it has, it hasn't been done well enough to become ubiquitous and essential. It is badly needed.
                         
                        Since this post has already become so long, I'll address the other matters I wanted to comment on in a separate post on this thread.
                         
                        Bill W5WVO
                         

                        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:24 PM
                        Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                         

                        Hi again Randy.  Well, it looks like you did not fully understand what I was referring to.  I was not talking about the HSCW that we did for a few years - and which the Europeans practiced for many years prior to that, using speeded up and slowed down tape recorders.  I was talking about plain normal speed CW and SSB meteor scatter work.  But I cannot see any reason why the rules that were used then do not still apply.  Just because it is easier (than it used to be) to get full calls in a single ping does not mean that it is necessary.  However I don't think you disagree, I'm just saying...
                         
                        As for how the procedures were communicated, there were QST articles about the practice of meteor scatter, and sheets handed out at talks at hamfests, etc.  We got together on 75 meters to make skeds and discuss operating procedures, and we used the US mail to make skeds and etc.
                         
                        As for when we are ever going to work on 2 meters, I am afraid that is not very likely from my new home QTH.  I have a significant noise problem to my west and my antenna is now smaller and only at 25 feet.  However I am working on getting going again on EME, and hopefully when the moon is high the noise will not be a problem, so there is hope then.  Also I hope to make the EME station a portable (antennas on a trailer), so maybe if I find a quiet spot we can make it on MS some day too.  You never know!
                         
                        73, Russ K2TXB


                        From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:33 PM
                        To: Russ K2TXB; 'Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO'
                        Cc: '[WSJTGROUP] '
                        Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                         

                        Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.
                         
                         
                         
                        Russ my discussion is only HSMS related where I have some experience.

                        I started with HSCW and a few weeks latter WSJT was introduced. I only made a few contacts with hscw.  I did not know that was the earlier practice piecing letters copied. I don't remember seeing any procedures for assembling calls from individual letters or missing letters in the SOP's, how was this communicated as best practices etc? (Just curious as I have always been interested in the "early days of meteor scatter".)  I certainly am not questioning nor have the right to question anybody who did that prior to WSJT and I recognize it was part of the process. But now it is not necessary. Full calls are decoded in text in fact it is so good that if someone enters a call wrong, I see stations saying on PJ "Check My Call".  "YOU ENTERED MYCALL WRONG"
                         
                        I often times during contacts accepted receiving both calls correctly from two different pings but not three or more. I suppose one could do that but with FSK441 and JT6M it has not been  necessary. I have now 3,561 meteor scatter contacts using wsjt modes and I have not had to piece calls together. Even weak e's using JT6M provide correct decoded calls with no need to piece together.
                         
                        Thus the necessity of piecing calls together is not something I find necessary to do or practical with the wsjt modes.  I don't know what others do but for me, both calls mean "both calls" decoded during a single ping or two pings using today software and pc. 
                         
                        Often time with two meters I find myself waiting for a single call to move forward in the contact. That is why I generally remove the last %R in Tx2 so stations have a better chance of decoding both calls with my Tx2 message. The double 2626 I suppose lets someone listening know who is transmitting.
                         
                        So I suppose the answer to your question is I believe because it is possible to copy complete calls with the latest and greatest software and piecing of calls is unnecessary why not let the decoder do the assembling of the messages. Most HSMS contacts take less than 20 minutes using this method. It is not my call to say what "Both Calls" means and if piecing of letters over time is acceptable .... but I know when I decode and read in print K2TXB it is you. I ignore the garbage letters and character and wait for the next ping if I receive WSTXB. Most of the time it is just a few minutes away.
                         
                        For me the most important information off a poorly decode ping is the df and sound. Yes I can tell if a station is 600 Hz low or High by the ears. But like Russ, the hearing is going fast.
                         
                        By the way, if I remember right wasn't the line speed with hscw much faster than FSK441? If so seems like there should have been more information per ping.
                         
                        Russ, when are we ever going to work on two meters?
                         
                        my two cents...
                        tip
                         
                         
                         
                         

                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:00 PM
                        Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                        Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
                         
                        If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
                         
                        I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
                         
                        73, Russ K2TXB


                        From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
                        To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                        Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
                        Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                         

                        I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
                         
                        The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
                         
                        I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
                         
                        I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
                         
                        I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
                         
                        Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
                         
                        I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
                         
                        my thoughts
                         
                        tip
                        wa5ufh
                         
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
                        Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                        I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
                         
                        Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
                         
                        My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
                         
                        Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
                         
                        Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
                         
                        So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
                         
                        ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
                         
                        Bill W5WVO
                        DM65qh
                        New Mexico
                         
                         

                      • Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                        Hey Tip, Apparently you are feeling like I stepped on a lot of people s toes, and you re running around trying to make nice for everybody. I m sorry if I
                        Message 11 of 12 , Jun 30, 2010
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                          Hey Tip,
                           
                          Apparently you are feeling like I stepped on a lot of people's toes, and you're running around trying to make nice for everybody. I'm sorry if I offended anyone; that certainly wasn't my intent. My apologies if anyone felt slighted.
                           
                          But we have a problem, folks. I'm seeing more and more people on WSJT m/s who just flat don't know what they're doing. I got on this mode only a few years ago (January 2008, to be exact), and it wasn't like that then. Something has changed, and I tend to look to the educational aspects of a problem like this, because I don't know any other way of addressing it.
                           
                          Again, sorry to have offended. I have slapped my wrist sharply, and will now crawl back into my hole and go to sleep. Sad smile emoticon  Tomorrow dawns a new and brighter day.
                           
                          Bill W5WVO
                           

                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 7:46 PM
                          Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                           

                          Hey Bill, be careful what you volunteer for.
                           
                          Bill has written some very useful tutorial notes and that is the reason we have them on the wsjtgroup WebPages, with his permission of course. I believe the two links at the top of the PJ Central Page that Bill mentions "You must read this and Also This" could be changed in a positive way which provides even more useful information.  Maybe even a FAQ page would be useful with links to a "New Comprehensive Operating Manual".
                           
                          WSJT now has a condensed version of the SOP <F5> so the link <Also This> is really not needed in such great detail. Perhaps that SOP should be shortened with only the information needed for  using wsjt modes. I posted an Interpretation of the SOP several years ago at http://www.ykc. com/wa5ufh/ Misc/ShortSOP. htm trying to shorten and simply the original SOP.
                           
                          The other link that takes you to the Ping Jockey Etiquette was written by me and critiqued by WB5APD, N0UK, K1SIX and a few others. This information was really needed at the time as many stations were experimenting with WSJT and PJ was new.  I am sure some of this information is still useful but maybe combined with other useful information in another format would inspire newbie's to learn more.
                           
                          Chris, N0UK is a member of this group and I believe would be open to improvements. PJ has become a very useful tool for NA stations and Chris doesn't get near the credit he deserves for maintaining the PJ pages. 
                           
                          My opinion is better written and more up to date information is needed.  Maybe a Comprehensive Manual as you mentioned and the PJ links are really one project. Links from PJ to the manual ... One thing to keep in mind is the WSJT8 work and how it ties in with a new manual? I don't know about you but I hate re-work and reengineering.
                           
                          I just wanted to be the first to say I believe you are both qualified and able to do a good job at technical writing wsjt data. Where can I vote...
                           
                           
                          tip
                           
                           
                           

                           
                           
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:12 PM
                          Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                          Guess it's time for me to chime in and comment on some of the comments here. Smile emoticon
                           
                          First, going in chronological order, I want to speak to the problem Tip mentioned of "newbies" (using the term very loosely, as Barry pointed out) gettng confused by false SH decodes.
                           
                          I agree with Barry here that this is an education problem -- and in some cases just an IQ problem, not to put too fine a point on it. Being a professional technical writer, I'm more painfully aware than anybody here that a lot of people decline to read technical manuals that contain (or should contain) information they absolutely need to understand. Sometimes it is because the technical manual is written in poorly constructed English; sometimes the manual doesn't actually contain all the relevant information it should; sometimes the manual is written in language or sentence structure that is too complex for the average user to understand. Sometimes it is a problem with users having learning disabilities like dyslexia, which make it impossible to extract usable understanding from written text. And sometimes the intrinsic nature of the material, no matter how well presented, is simply "over the head" of the person who is trying to understand it. Personally, I would have a comprehension problem with any advanced academic paper on particle physics. I'm simply not that smart or well enough educated in that area, and I wouldn't get all of it, or even much of it. I would have to admit that particle physics just "isn't for me," to use Barry's delightfully delicate phraseology -- that is, it's over my head.
                           
                          I wrote a paper a while back on using SH messages in FSK441, and I covered false SH messages (and how to avoid being confused by them) in pretty close detail. Looking back at that paper recently, I saw I could have written an even more granular treatment of this subject and presented even more options, but that would only have made the matter just that much more complex. And how many people have actually read that paper anyway? How many of the people who tried to read it actually understood it? I have no idea, but I think I can safely say it isn't anywhere close to 100% in either case.
                           
                          So, what to do? Bottom line, I don't believe that the opportunity to mask false decodes is any part of a good set of reasons for changing the digital meteor scatter protocol. Let's first do a better job of trying to get the operators who use the existing protocol smart enough to use it. Failing that, maybe we concede defeat and go to a less cognitively intense protocol.
                           
                          It could start with replacing the "you must read this - and also this" links on the PJ page with material that is more accessible, more up-to-date, and better written. I'd be happy to provide such material, but the owner of the page (whom I've never even communicated with on any basis) would have to concur. Tip might have a much better connection there than I have. Second, the accessibility of the material that I (and others) have written for the WSJT group on Tip's website could be more accessible in terms of web page design. Due to the use of frames, it's impractical to put together a URL that would take an interested person directly to any one document. (Not impossible if you know how to do it -- but most people don't. And then once there, you are outside the context of the website's frame structure with nowhere to go.) In summary, any one of us should be able to point a newbie (or a not-so-newbie) to a specific article's URL and say "go here and read this."
                           
                          I'm also willing to take on the project of writing a comprehensive manual for WSJT meteor scatter operation using FSK441, something that to the best of my knowledge hasn't ever been done -- or if it has, it hasn't been done well enough to become ubiquitous and essential. It is badly needed.
                           
                          Since this post has already become so long, I'll address the other matters I wanted to comment on in a separate post on this thread.
                           
                          Bill W5WVO
                           

                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:24 PM
                          Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                           

                          Hi again Randy.  Well, it looks like you did not fully understand what I was referring to.  I was not talking about the HSCW that we did for a few years - and which the Europeans practiced for many years prior to that, using speeded up and slowed down tape recorders.  I was talking about plain normal speed CW and SSB meteor scatter work.  But I cannot see any reason why the rules that were used then do not still apply.  Just because it is easier (than it used to be) to get full calls in a single ping does not mean that it is necessary.  However I don't think you disagree, I'm just saying...
                           
                          As for how the procedures were communicated, there were QST articles about the practice of meteor scatter, and sheets handed out at talks at hamfests, etc.  We got together on 75 meters to make skeds and discuss operating procedures, and we used the US mail to make skeds and etc.
                           
                          As for when we are ever going to work on 2 meters, I am afraid that is not very likely from my new home QTH.  I have a significant noise problem to my west and my antenna is now smaller and only at 25 feet.  However I am working on getting going again on EME, and hopefully when the moon is high the noise will not be a problem, so there is hope then.  Also I hope to make the EME station a portable (antennas on a trailer), so maybe if I find a quiet spot we can make it on MS some day too.  You never know!
                           
                          73, Russ K2TXB


                          From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 3:33 PM
                          To: Russ K2TXB; 'Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO'
                          Cc: '[WSJTGROUP] '
                          Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                           

                          Snip: For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.
                           
                           
                           
                          Russ my discussion is only HSMS related where I have some experience.

                          I started with HSCW and a few weeks latter WSJT was introduced. I only made a few contacts with hscw.  I did not know that was the earlier practice piecing letters copied. I don't remember seeing any procedures for assembling calls from individual letters or missing letters in the SOP's, how was this communicated as best practices etc? (Just curious as I have always been interested in the "early days of meteor scatter".)  I certainly am not questioning nor have the right to question anybody who did that prior to WSJT and I recognize it was part of the process. But now it is not necessary. Full calls are decoded in text in fact it is so good that if someone enters a call wrong, I see stations saying on PJ "Check My Call".  "YOU ENTERED MYCALL WRONG"
                           
                          I often times during contacts accepted receiving both calls correctly from two different pings but not three or more. I suppose one could do that but with FSK441 and JT6M it has not been  necessary. I have now 3,561 meteor scatter contacts using wsjt modes and I have not had to piece calls together. Even weak e's using JT6M provide correct decoded calls with no need to piece together.
                           
                          Thus the necessity of piecing calls together is not something I find necessary to do or practical with the wsjt modes.  I don't know what others do but for me, both calls mean "both calls" decoded during a single ping or two pings using today software and pc. 
                           
                          Often time with two meters I find myself waiting for a single call to move forward in the contact. That is why I generally remove the last %R in Tx2 so stations have a better chance of decoding both calls with my Tx2 message. The double 2626 I suppose lets someone listening know who is transmitting.
                           
                          So I suppose the answer to your question is I believe because it is possible to copy complete calls with the latest and greatest software and piecing of calls is unnecessary why not let the decoder do the assembling of the messages. Most HSMS contacts take less than 20 minutes using this method. It is not my call to say what "Both Calls" means and if piecing of letters over time is acceptable .... but I know when I decode and read in print K2TXB it is you. I ignore the garbage letters and character and wait for the next ping if I receive WSTXB. Most of the time it is just a few minutes away.
                           
                          For me the most important information off a poorly decode ping is the df and sound. Yes I can tell if a station is 600 Hz low or High by the ears. But like Russ, the hearing is going fast.
                           
                          By the way, if I remember right wasn't the line speed with hscw much faster than FSK441? If so seems like there should have been more information per ping.
                           
                          Russ, when are we ever going to work on two meters?
                           
                          my two cents...
                          tip
                           
                           
                           
                           

                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:00 PM
                          Subject: RE: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                          Hi Randy and all.  I have to take exception to one thing that I think you are saying.  Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you don't think a contact is valid unless you have received the complete call at one time, as opposed to piecing the calls together from partial decodes.
                           
                          If the latter is what you mean then I have to disagree.  For meteor scatter work, piecing calls together is long standing tradition, dating back to long before any digital modes were even thought of, and even before personal computers existed.  On those days of making skeds on 75 meters during the showers, and use of SSB or CW only, there was a common practice to keep a sheet of what was received on each of the 15 second sequences.  Each time a letter or letters were received or understood, it was written into the appropriate time slot.  Many of us would underline each piece that was new.  When all the underlined parts added up to complete calls, we would then start sending "S2", and "RS2" and finally "RRR".  (or "Roger S2", and "Roger Roger Roger", on SSB.  Often we would send a copy of this sheet along with the QSL card to show how well the signals were received.  This scheme was well known, common, and accepted by all concerned - at the time.
                           
                          I still do it with digital work, or for EME, and I am certain that all my contacts are completely valid.
                           
                          73, Russ K2TXB


                          From: wsjtgroup@yahoogrou ps.com [mailto:wsjtgroup@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Randy Tipton
                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:38 PM
                          To: Bill VanAlstyne W5WVO
                          Cc: [WSJTGROUP]
                          Subject: Re: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                           

                          I fully understand Bill's explanation even thou I am not in complete agreement. I generally think of meteor scatter as not being a weak signal mode. True enough there are weak pings but as Bill explains if one is patient a better ping almost always follows. But I suppose the philosophy of "why waste a weak ping" is valid provided one does not progress the contact with partial calls. I remember doing this once when learning and moved to Tx2 with less than both calls and got burned when the next ping I received was a single tone message. oups
                           
                          The issue I have of "all or nothing" is those weak pings do not provide the operator with a DF.  The partial decoded weaker pings from FSK441 seemed to almost always provide a good df indication where the user could adjust his RIT,reduce the tol and be better prepared for the next received ping. Hearing pings in JTMS with no decode bugged me however it did not prevent a contact from being made.
                           
                          I think that until the final optimization work is complete... maybe it can be made to force a manual decode via a mouse click for those shorter pings. I don't know if the partial calls and garbage from 40 - 60 ms blips adds much value except for the df. I suppose if one already has both calls and received only 2626 that is significant. (I have had this happen before)
                           
                          I don't know how many newbie's I have seen totally confused by the false decodes of short hand messages. I believe a "all or nothing" decode is a worth while quest. This morning I listened to KE7NR for about 15 minutes calling CQ using JTMS. I had 4 - 5 pings each seq and pages of nothing but perfect print. ie no garbage 
                           
                          I do not regard FSK441 as a "Flaky" mode but do acknowledge that reducing the garbage letters and characters decoded adds value provided it does not adversely effect qso completions.
                           
                          Bill thanks for your note, I saw Bill's comment on the PJ and asked him for an explanation.
                           
                          I remember the FSK441 A,B,C modes... Most agreed that FSK441A was better and the B & C were dropped. Thanks to Joe for continually looking for ways to improve our ability to communicate weak signal or whatever.
                           
                          my thoughts
                           
                          tip
                          wa5ufh
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:15 AM
                          Subject: [wsjtgroup] JTMS vs FSK441

                          I commented earlier this morning on PJ that I didn't think JTMS was an acceptable replacement for FSK441 on meteor scatter. I want to explain my reasons for making that observation.
                           
                          Joe already covered a few of the drawbacks, including some objections from across The Pond to the minor change in messaging protocol. Personally, I couldn't care less about that, and I think Joe's explanation of why no one else should either covered all the bases.
                           
                          My problem with JTMS stems from its use of forward error correction (FEC), which essentially makes decoding meteor-scatter pings quite a bit more demanding of signal quality, strength, and duration. It has the effect (probably unintended) of making meteor scatter less of a weak-signal mode. In reducing or eliminating the typical FSK441 "garbage," it also eliminates, in many cases, the ability to tease partial decodes out of low-quality pings. This effect might be perfectly acceptable to many m/s operators, but I am basically a DXer at heart when it comes to meteor scatter. The contacts I really enjoy are the ones where I have to do a lot of manual fine-tuning of the FSK441 decoder in order to work that new edge-of-ms-range grid square.
                           
                          Meteor scatter is a weird mode in that the signal is often distorted in unpredictable ways by a given meteor trail's peculiar composition and geometry. While it is oftentimes true that simply waiting long enough will eventually produce a higher-quality ping that JTMS will decode cleanly, I would rather do as much as I possibly can with the weak, distorted pings that I get, put the Q in the log, and move on to the next opportunity. I suppose you could call it a contester's or DXer's mentality. Smile emoticon
                           
                          Some might say that this can lead to "stretching" the credibility of what is received and decoded -- but it is no different than what is done every day on CW and SSB. Unless you depend exclusively on a computer-driven decode engine that completely eliminates human wetware from the operation, there is always going to be some measure of human judgment and integrity involved. I maintain that FSK441 is no more "flaky" or "suspicious" in this regard than SSB/CW, and in most cases is less so, even without niceties like FEC. I don't buy that argument.
                           
                          So while appreciating immensely the terrific work Joe has been putting in experimenting with new digital mode ideas, I'll be perfectly happy to continue muddling along with FSK441 when it comes to m/s.
                           
                          ISCAT, on the other hand, holds some real potential, if the decoder speed can be made practical (i.e., without requiring that the user has a Cray III). I'm actually really excited about this one, and hope it can be evolved to the point where it's a day-to-day workhorse mode for weak-signal ionoscatter/ Es/F2 work.
                           
                          Bill W5WVO
                          DM65qh
                          New Mexico
                           
                           

                        • Jim kennedy
                          Hi Folks, I think that Bill is on target in his observations. We do have problems with stations not following the prescribed protocol as outlined on the WSJT
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jul 1, 2010
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