WSJTX Introduces Q65: Best Weak Signal Performance QSO Mode

WSJTX is a popular program for various digital amateur radio protocols such as FT8 and WSPR which are designed for making contacts with very weak and low power signals on HF. With some of these protocols contacts can be made all over the world in poor conditions with very low transmit power. If you're interested we have a tutorial on how you can use the direct sampling mode on a RTL-SDR Blog V3 dongle to set up a super low cost monitor for FT8, WSPR etc on a Raspberry Pi.

Recently WSJTX have introduced a new mode called "Q65" which claims to have the best weak signal performance amongst all modes implemented in WSJTX. As explained in the Q65 quickstart guide (pdf) they note:

Q65 is particularly effective for tropospheric scatter, rain scatter, ionospheric scatter, and EME on VHF and higher bands, as well as other types of fast-fading signals.

Q65 uses 65-tone frequency-shift keying and builds on the demonstrated weak-signal strengths of QRA64, a mode introduced to WSJT-X in 2016.

If anyone has tested reception of this mode with an RTL-SDR please let us know in the comments. It will be interesting to see what sort of distances can be achieved.

WSJTX Receiving Q65
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Frank A Lowry

does this work for all SDRs or only the RTL-SDR?


Dear Frank ! The WSJT-X software support itself this mode. Only the latest beta version support this mode.


So probably works with any SDR radio via virtual audio cable. Find on link 2.4.0-rc1