FT8 on 144 MHz

FT8 has taken the HF bands by storm, a bit like PSK did in the early 2000s. These days it seems the mode of choice for DX stations, allowing them to make a number of QSO is a short duration. If you haven’t checked out FT8 then I would suggest you head over to Joe Taylor website and have a look at some of the weak signal propagation modes available.

If you are new to FT8 you may find this operating guide helpful.

Connecting my Icom 7100 to Ham Radio Deluxe, and then WSJT-X to “Ham Radio Delux” works just fine for me. It should be possible to connect WSJT directly to the Icom radio, but a lot will depend on your operating preferences.


The agreed dial frequency is 144.174 USB and you will see activity most of the time, probably more in the evenings and weekends


Its quite common to see Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, Wales and Scotland in a few hrs of monitoring under flat conditions.

50 MHz is also popular and works well under short sporadic E opening.


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  1. Svend Aage Jessen

    Are you working horizontal?
    73 de LA6YJA…

    1. Yes I have a small 3e for 144 MHz horizontal polarised.

    2. Je travaille ici IN94TS en vertical avec une bibande (et donc une reception omnidirectionnelle) et un lna .
      les résultats sont vraiment excellents .
      ce matin, hors sporadiue E , SV5,EA,IZ8,EA9,SV1,EK7 ete ctec et un français en qso avec un 4X1 ! ! ! !
      a bientot sur 2mts

      1. Translated to English

        I work here IN94TS in vertical with a double band (and thus an omnidirectional reception) and a lna.
        the results are really excellent.
        this morning, excluding E sporadic, SV5, EA, IZ8, EA9, SV1, EK7 and ctec et a French qso with a 4X1! ! ! !
        see you soon on 2mts

        Thanks, hope to see you on 144 MHz SSB

  2. Hi Dave I wish to try the UHF/VHF FT8 where am I able to download the software? Can I use a co-linear?

    1. Yes you can work with a white stick colinear and many do. Head over to Joe Taylor website and download wsjtx software 1.8.0 https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx-1.8.0-win32.exe

      1. That link is outdated, use https://physics.princeton.edu/pulsar/k1jt/wsjtx.html to find the current version of the software.

        73, Palle, OZ1RH

  3. HELP! cant get my icom 7100 to work on ft8 . could somebody do a step by step thanks 2e1paw

  4. Hi Dave i work a lot of ft8 and i mean a lot on hf with a flex 6300 , i would like to try 2m ft8 i have a Kenwood ts2000x do i need any other equipment Ray gm3pil

    1. Ray, the TS2000 does not have USB or a built-in sound card so you would need a digital interface cable to use the soundcard in your PC. I would have a look at G3LIV website and have a chat to Johnny about something suitable. http://www.g3liv.co.uk/products.html
      He is a really nice chap who used to sort out various cables when I had similar radios. Good luck Dave

  5. I find 2m FT8 with just a big-wheel omni antenna amazing. Most times I get spotted by a couple of Cornish stations when I run 2.5W QRP. The range is about 460km. On RX I seem to spot amazing distances. Foe aircraft reflections, the polarization seems to make little difference. I use horizontal as this works best with tropo.

    1. I run a TS 2000 with a cable I got on line and it works great. nothing else needed. here is the link to their site

  6. What do I need to run FT8 on 144 I am new on FT8 and not a lot clever on Computers any help please direct to my email address.
    The address is OK on QRZ
    yhanks M0PAM

  7. Hi
    Qrv ft991, vertical, 50w, ft8 in jo20el
    144.174 mhz
    73 de laurent on2vhf

    1. How do you keep the alc low on the 991, anymore than 10 watts my alc climbs up,, ie, 20 w 1/4,, 30w 1/2 way up the blue line,, 40 w 3/4 way up, cheers de GI4SZW email good on QRZ.com

      1. I don’t know much about the 991 sorry. I set my power to say 20% and then increase the audio gain until the ALC just starts to bite, then if needed back it off a little. Sometimes you can attenuate the audio gain inside the data modes program (FLDigi) and sometimes you need to delve into the windows sound card setting. The simplest way is inside the program. Good luck.

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