Configuring WSJT-X to log to N3FPJ for ARRL Field Day (part 1)

My amateur radio club (RCARCS) uses N3FPJ logger for Field Day (we run N3FPJ on one laptop and the log from each station over WiFi). This year I want to have a go at setting up a digital mode station to log automatically to N3FPJ from WSJT-X to run some FT8, and also from fldigi to work PSK and RTTY. First up, let’s look at getting WSJT-X working.

WSJT-X doesn’t log directly to N3FPJ (it does to N1NM though), but it does indirectly through the intermediate helper app JT-Alert. The setup we’re going to do then is:

WSJT-X -> JT-Alert -> N3FPJ Field Day logger.

Starting with N3FPJ, the first step is to enable the Server API from Settings / Application Programming Interface:

The next step after installing JT-Alert is to select ACLog (N3FPJ’s main logging app) in the settings. The options give you a setting to connect to a locally running ACLog, and while this works for a local N3FPJ’s ACLog app, it doesn’t for N3FJP’s Field Day logger. This part is not obvious, but to configure JT-Alert to log to the Field Day logger even if on the same PC you configure the remote connection settings and then also point it to the .mdb log file of the locally running N3FPJ:

Here you also select the log type is ‘Field Day’. This approach for the config is in the Help docs for JT-Alert here:

Next, configuring network options in WSJT to allow JT-Alert to connect. Without making any other changes, if you start JT-Alert and then start WSJT you’ll see these two dialogs which tell you what settings you need to change in WSJT:

In WSJT settings on the reporting tab, select all 3 checkboxes in the UDP section, and replace the default 127.0.0.1 with your current IP address, e.g.

To use FT8 for Field Day, WSJT has a setting to customize the exchange to include the required class and ARRL section:

To test out the config so far, start the apps in this order: N3FPJ, JT-Alert, WSJT. To test logging a QSO, enter a test call in the DX Call field and press the Log QSO button:

… note here when running Field Day mode you should enter the correct exchange sent and exchange received so the QSO is logged correctly in N3FPJ.

The log is automatically sent across to N3FPJ via JT-Alert:

I noticed if you don’t manually enter the exchange sent and received then it will populate just the callsign field with the sent and received still blank. If you complete both as you log from WSJT then the log entry is saved into N3FPJ automatically.

Note: in JTAlert v2.13.6 I noticed the above steps work fine on Windows 10 if you are logged in as an Admin user. If you log in as a regular user, JTAlert will not copy logs across to N3FPJ, unless you start JTAlert with ‘Run as Administrator’. Also, it will pop up the warning message saying that it failed to check if the log was successfully written, even though it is written to N3FPJ successfully. There is a timing setting in the JTAlert Performance settings to increase the length of time before the N3FPJ is checked for a successful log, but it doesn’t appear to make any difference for this issue.

Next up, I’ll look at getting fldigi setup to also log direct to N3FPJ.

Observing HF Propagation on 20m from US West Coast to East Coast

Spent a few mins operating FT8, and PSKReporter is showing 2 very distinct bands of reception reports, at approx 1200 miles and 2400 miles to the East from my location in Davis, CA:

I’m guessing the first band is propagation with 1 hop and the second band on the East coast is the second hop. It very distinctly shows how in between these two areas there’s noticeable dead zones where I’m not being heard at all. Very interesting!

Packet Radio on Debian 9 with Direwolf and ax25

I’ve played around with Packet and Direwolf on the Raspberry Pi quite a bit, but every time I try and getting it working on Linux on a desktop I run into some differences in the config. From past attempts, I followed most of the steps I had followed before here.

The following steps are with a USB Rigblaster Plug n Play, connected to the dataport on my Icom 880h radio .

I installed and compiled Direwolf from source as before, and started it up with:

$ direwolf -t 0 -p
Dire Wolf version 1.5
Reading config file direwolf.conf
Audio device for both receive and transmit: plughw:0,0 (channel 0)
Channel 0: 1200 baud, AFSK 1200 & 2200 Hz, E+, 44100 sample rate.
Ready to accept AGW client application 0 on port 8000 …
Ready to accept KISS TCP client application 0 on port 8001 …
Virtual KISS TNC is available on /dev/pts/1
Created symlink /tmp/kisstnc -> /dev/pts/1

I installed the ax25 apps as in the previous article, and then added 1 line to /etc/ax25/ports:

1    KK6DCT-1    1200    255 2   2m packet

I then started kissattach:

$ sudo kissattach /dev/pts/1 1

/dev/pts/1 is the value from when Direwolf started, and port 1 is the line I added to the ports file.

From here I can connect to the local ag6qo-1 BBS, via the BERR37 node:

axcall 1 ag6qo-1 via berr37