locked Re: #Q65 Managing Expectations #Q65

Chris G4IFX

Hi Hasan, that’s a great summary of the capabilities and potential of Q65, thank you. It’s an exciting mode.


Hi Joe, 50.275 is currently in use for Q65 in NA but it’s not such a great choice in Europe because of other activity below 50.300, especially SSB in contests but also with MSK144 around 50.280. In Europe we’re currently using 50.305 for troposcatter and ionoscatter using Q65-30A, but it’s early days and everyone’s still experimenting. There is quite a lot of random 30A activity in EU during the daylight hours, although most of us use the ON4KST chat for talkback so we do tend to know who’s around.


As a general point, although it might be a bit too early to button such things down, I think we need to be working towards one or more global frequencies for Q65 in the same way as we have for FT8. The potential is significant for intercontinental contacts with weak scattery signals, outside or on the edges of Es openings or (if we’re lucky enough) by F2/TEP.








From: main@WSJTX.groups.io <main@WSJTX.groups.io> On Behalf Of Joe Dz
Sent: 13 February 2021 15:05
To: main@WSJTX.groups.io
Subject: Re: [WSJTX] #Q65 Managing Expectations




Excellent summary.  Well written.  As you know from my QST and CQ HamSCI articles, I have used JT65 and then FT8 on 6m to investigate how weather, storms, jet streams and magnetic fields affect transatlantic summer and winter 6m Es-like communications.  Now one of the very nice things about the JT modes are the preselected frequencies, so we have watering holes to meet at, without having to always make schedules ahead of time.  This works very well for FT8 and modes like MSK144 for meteor scatter (although Ping Jockey is a great help there).


I seem to me that the new Q65 mode is ideal for doing some HamSCI oriented research on how magnetic fields and solar activity affect ionospheric scatter.  Thus my interest.  Now, just from my experience here in North America, I have the following frequencies/modes for non-EME contacts:


50.275  Q65-30A  There is where I find most of the activity.

50.235  Q65-120A

50.305  I have seen this freq on DX Maps.  Are folks here using 30A or something else?


Per other emails:

144.170 and 144.120  What are folks using on 2m?  Like 30A on 6m or 60C per the suggestions in the K1JT Q65 getting started notes?


I also operate Olivia on the HF bands, and watering holes are pretty critical there, because like some Q65 QSOs, there can be good signal copy using Olivia when nothing shows on the waterfall.


If we can establish watering hole frequencies and mode, then I think Q65 can be used for some good ionosphere research like FT8 was and is being used.


Joe, K1YOW


From: main@WSJTX.groups.io [mailto:main@WSJTX.groups.io] On Behalf Of Hasan Schiers N0AN
Sent: Saturday, February 13, 2021 9:22 AM
To: main@WSJTX.groups.io Notification
Subject: Re: [WSJTX] #Q65 Managing Expectations


Managing Expectations is a very good title!



1. Q65-15A is not FT8. If you are in a hurry Q65 modes are not for you, unless there is significant enhancement of band conditions. Then Q65-15A is fast and works very well, but not in crowded band conditions


2. Q65-30A is NOT MSK144. If there is a plenitude of meteors, MSK144 is MUCH faster to complete a QSO


3. On 6 meters, if there are a lot of meteors , FT8 is not a good mode, as they kill FT8 decodes.


On 6m, what is Q65 good for and why would anyone want to run it?


a. Q65-30A and other Q65 modes are FAR more sensitive  than MSK144 and other digital modes.


b. They do not not require meteors for 24x7, but  can take advantage of them, if they are present.


In its present form, Q65 is not Plug and Play. It requires some learning and some fine tuning to get peak performance out of it.


Months of experimenting with early versions of the Q65 series has demonstrated the following:


Without band enhancement like sporadic E, meteor trails or Tropo Ducting, it is NOT typically a Random Mode. Getting on and calling CQ hoping for a QSO will not yield the same results as MSK144, until and unless operator density increases dramatically. The high performance levels listed below are based on scheduling a qso with a partner.


1. Well equipped stations running 100W to yagis with low local ambient noise can work consistently 1000 miles at the best time of day. Further, with 700w  or more, they can consistently work 1000 miles at ANY time of day. (Using 6m mode Q65-30A)


2. Well equipped stations running < 100w to yagis, with low local ambient noise can EASILY work 1100 miles using mode 120E on 6 meters.


Using a 5 EL LFA @ 60' fed with 1/2" hardline:


I  work K1JT nearly every morning at 1000 miles, running 600W out using Q65-30A.

Not just worked, but decoded 90% of available sequences for 15 to 30 minutes at a time. (and I have considerable noise in that direction)


I also have worked, day after day after day, W7OUU at a distance of 1070 miles, running less than 20w output on 6 meters , over a 15 to 30 minute period of running Mode 120E (two minute transmit / receive time)


We would simply disable autoseq and transmit the same thing over and over again. (Count how many decodes were successful vs how many transmissions were made.)


If you are not able to get the results documented and replicated as noted above, it is not the fault of the mode. Something else is wrong.


Causes include: (but are  not limited to)


1. High local ambient noise. Many people I talk to and work have no idea how bad their local noise level is on 6 meters, because they have never measured it. I consistently see certain stations 8 to 15 dB down on their receive side, who originally said, 'my noise is low' . Measurements show just the opposite.


2. Not using the right power level, Q65 mode and mode settings for the path in question.


Setting realistic expectations for the Q65 suite of modes involves study, practice and patience. 


It is not JT65, it is not QRA64, it is not FT8 , it is not MSK144. It is not point and shoot. It typically requires scheduling, and it always requires patience. 


If you are looking for instant gratification, the Q65 suite of modes is not for you.


It is new. It is quite different in how it works and how it needs to be set up.


Properly configured it is amazing, assuming your station is up to it, including noise levels at both ends of the path.


FT8 is largely dependent on Sporadic E, which is often super efficient and acts like a mirror. Making reliable contacts when Es is booming is very easy and quite fast. Q65 was not designed to take the place of FT8 in these conditions, although Q65-15A would be very good.


The q65 modes were designed for Ionoscatter and EME. Ionoscatter occurs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. I call them the 'no waiting' modes on 6 meters.


While Q65 can take advantage of all these other propagation modes, (Es, Troposcatter, Tropo-ducting, Meteor Trails, etc)  it is certainly not necessarily better at  decoding signals on those  other modes than software specifically designed to take advantage of a specific mode of propagation (like MSK144 for meteor scatter)


Used in the proper way, and set up properly, Q65 is borderline magic. As a drop-in replacement for the commonly used modes of the present, it is bound to disappoint.


Manage expectations accordingly.


73, N0AN




On Sat, Feb 13, 2021 at 6:56 AM Christoph Petermann <mail01@...> wrote:

Good morning,
I must admit, for the very first "shot" of Q65 it works great. Can't wait for improvements...
Its" lockdown-time" and what else can you do : This week I ran my "personal testseries" with some stations on 6m and 2m and compared it with the "known modes" My first impression is, that under marginal conditions, where the signal was barely visible in the waterfall, I got lot better results than with FT8. But there are not yet so many stations being QRV in Q65 at the same time. It is early in the year and the season yet to come.
The mode Q65_60C outperformed JT65A each time of my 7 tests. Next week I will have the chance to try it on 23cm EME.
So, keep up the fine work.
73 de Christoph (DF9CY)

Join main@WSJTX.groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.