Happy to announce 0.8 of JS8Call. This is a backwards incompatible release (which is the primary reason for it being released right when 0.7 expired). So, head over to the Download Page to snag your copy: https://groups.io/g/js8call/wiki/Download-Links to enjoy the new features!
Plenty of big changes included in 0.8, so make sure you check out the documentation: https://docs.google.com/document/d/159S4wqMUVdMA7qBgaSWmU-iDI4C9wd4CuWnetN68O9U/edit?pli=1# Most importantly, there’s a new “Getting started” section in the documentation that is very helpful for knowing the important things you should pay attention to when setting up your station.
So, what’s new in 0.8?
- First, I fixed a big decode issue, so 0.8 should be much better for decodes where time has drifted between stations. But, because of this and some message format changes, 0.8 is backwards incompatible with 0.7.
- A few directed commands are a little more verbose so they are easier to remember and easier to read. No more “?” vs “@” vs “&” vs “^” vs “*”. Those still work for now, but the preferred method is the long-form “SNR?” “QTH?” “QTC?” “GRID?” “STATUS?” because they also correspond to the result ala: KN4CRD: K0OG SNR -05
- BEACONs are gone. They are called HEARTBEAT now. The functionality is the same, they are just renamed. But, this helps illustrate the intent of them…to signal that your station is alive and on the air.
- The idle watchdog timer now only applies to HEARTBEAT transmissions, so it should help to encourage folks to heartbeat while they are near the station control point and can make a QSO. Plus, the idle timer function bugs are fixed, so it works correctly and correctly reports whether or not the station is active.
- There’s a new Group Callsign feature. It allows you to direct a message to a pre-arranged group name. These callsigns start with an “@” symbol and operate similarly to “@ALLCALL” (notice it also has an “@” sign in front). So, say you want to start or join a group. Head to your settings and add the group name to the group callsigns box. Bingo. You can now direct messages to that group and anybody else who has done the same will receive your messages as if it were an @ALLCALL.
- The time drift for each station is displayed in the band/call activity lists.
- The “worked before” status is displayed in the call activity list (with a little checkmark next to the callsign).
- Saved messages now have macro-like functionality where you can replace values in the message. Like: “TU UR <SNR> into <MYGRID4> HW CPY?” and it’ll automatically put in their SNR and your grid. Awesome.
- Sadly… I removed the stations heard command. It was never incredibly useful since it takes many many transmissions to respond with a list that is relevant. I’ll be exploring this again in the future with a better approach.
- Plus a bunch of bug fixes and tweaks to make the program run smoother.
I hope you continue to enjoy JS8. I encourage everybody to keep an open mind, but to also send me useful feedback. I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Jordan / KN4CRD
And of course, full changelog here:
0.8 is not backwards compatible