I am an older HAM (VHF/UHF) but relatively new to HF and digital. I just started learning the capabilities of WSJT-X in the last two months. It works on my IC-7300 and I have exercised WHISPER mode on all my available bands as well as competed a handful of QSO's on FT8. I have only dabbled in the other modes and in receive only.
I got into the HF and digital not to talk around the world but more to explore back up comms across the US assuming a total loss of cell phone, land line, and internet. I would like to understand the current capabilities, and possibly explore enhancements to WSJT, that would allow someone to have a defined set of users (by call sign) and autonomously have those users be able to ping each other for open RF pathways in the various bands (sort of like WHISPER only two-way), then be able to add in text messaging (or some other form of messaging) when some further or more complex messaging is necessary (i.e. an emergency). So I am thinking a scenario like family members (licensed HAM operators) on opposite coasts and all other comm options fail. Prior to whatever disaster causes loss of comms, the autonomous pinging part of this would have already provided each end with a good idea of which bands have RF pathways to link up on. The time slot for that band would be pre-planned during the autonomous pinging (i.e.40m on the hour, 20m at 10 past the hour, etc). Knowing the bands that have open RF paths, the time slot for that band, and a pre-coordinated link-up frequency in that band would provide someone a starting place to try to QSO with the family (or anyone in that pre-coordinated group) in the case of some disaster where suddenly you dont have cell phone or internet.
I hope I am explaining this well enough to generate some conversation or get some advice on tools that may be out there and how best to configure them.
I havent played with this yet, but I think I read on the forum that you can add in frequencies in config files for WSJT so that you can set up, for example, FT8 mode on a quieter part of the band than where most of the traffic is taking place. So maybe part of what I am thinking is just configuration files? Not sure if you can control the relative time slot for the band like I described, but maybe there are other ways to approach this that are also just a config file change?
Summarizing as best I can, the goal would be for stations within a known network, you could 1) autonomously pulse each other on each of a list of bands that are coordinated in time, 2) determine when two way transmission paths are open between users on the different bands, 3) be able to insert some message 'break' if you wanted to break from monitoring and actually converse, either by voice or data.
Someone will probably tell me its already been done, but I havent seen it yet so I am just asking.
KB6LAB (but my new vanity may be in soon)