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The True Value of 5 and 9

Having just listened to a 9A station work a JA station on the 15m band, I’ve come to the the conclusion that signal reports are pretty well useless and a total waste of time.

The JA station responded to the CQ of the 9A station and after what seemed like an eternal struggle, with the 9A station trying virtually every combination of letters and numbers known to mankind, finally got the callsign logged and gave the JA station …would you believe a 5/9!

Seems to me, the only true value of 5+9 is 14 :frowning:

Thank the Lord, SOTA Activators are spared the ignominy of having to log signal reports into the Database…

73
Mike MM6MMM

In reply to 2E0YYY:
I agree Mike, the way ‘most’ operators give 5 9 to every station calling is a waste of time. Even for contesting, every exchange has 5 9 in it, whats the point?

For me personally it makes no difference to me what my signal report is, as long as the other station can hear me and we can exchange a few over’s.
Latterly ive rarely given out a signal report unless the other station specifically asks for it!

Adrian
MM0TAI

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Thank the Lord, SOTA Activators are spared the ignominy of having to
log signal reports into the Database…

Well yes, if we had to do that imagine the pedants who would be complaining about reports of 5 and 1 on 2 metres!

(And now the MT knows just what to do to annoy people! :wink: )

73 (=10)

Brian G8ADD

I don’t mind ‘standard’ 59 (or 599) reports so much. It is interesting how HF contests tend to be all 59 reports, whereas the Tuesday night UK activity contests (VHF) tend to involve true reports.

Give me a ‘standard’ (even if not true) report of 59 over the irritating and incorrect “five and zero” any time! (Although it can be quite fun listenng to Jimmyy M3EYP explaining the signal reporting system to an old timer when this occurs!).

73, Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Here we go again! I am quite happy to accept “five and zero” as verbal shorthand for “you are not registering on the S-meter but you are fully readable!” which is a situation I am quite familiar with on V/UHF! Oh well, we could always move to SINPO!

73

Brian G8ADD

What you describe is a 5 and 1 Brian!

Tom M1EYP

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

Thank the Lord, SOTA Activators are spared the ignominy of having
to
log signal reports into the Database…

Well yes, if we had to do that imagine the pedants who would be
complaining about reports of 5 and 1 on 2 metres!

LOL, absolutely no question about that!

(And now the MT knows just what to do to annoy people! :wink: )

ROTFL, if I had to log signal reports, all of my activations would suddenly become smash and grab, Brian :-)))

73
Mike M6MMM

In reply to G8ADD:

In reply to M1EYP:

Here we go again! I am quite happy to accept "five and zero"
as verbal shorthand for “you are not registering on the S-meter
but you are fully readable!” which is a situation I am quite
familiar with on V/UHF! Oh well, we could always move to SINPO!

During activations, I’ve received plenty of /0 signals on 2m FM which are a genuine radio 5 armchair copy. AIUI, you can’t give out a 5/0 signal report or maybe the RSGB won’t except the report for contests?

Mike
M6MMM

In reply to MM0TAI:

In reply to 2E0YYY:

For me personally it makes no difference to me what my signal report
is, as long as the other station can hear me and we can exchange a few
over’s.
Latterly ive rarely given out a signal report unless the other station
specifically asks for it!

There are plenty of staions on the HF bands, who want their signal report in the first over. Usually, the ones who say 73 as soon as they receive it.

73
Mike M6MMM

AIUI, you can’t give out a 5/0 signal report or maybe the RSGB won’t except the report for contests?

Both. The signal strength component of a report is defined, discretely, from 1 to 9. (See the link above). You can no more give a “5 and 0” as give a “5 and 10” - or indeed a “5 and minus 3” or a “5 and the square root of pi” (although the latter does have a certain appeal).

Tom M1EYP

In reply to M1EYP:

Well that wiki article answers it nicely. Quoted below.

“… often made based on the S meter of the radio receiver at the location of signal reception. “Strength” is measured on a scale of 1 to 9.[3] A common misconception is that the report “5 and 0” is somehow valid. It is not, in fact it is completely unacceptable.”

Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RST_code

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to M1EYP:

AIUI, you can’t give out a 5/0 signal report or maybe the RSGB
won’t except the report for contests?

Both. The signal strength component of a report is defined,
discretely, from 1 to 9. (See the link above). You can no more give
a “5 and 0” as give a “5 and 10” - or indeed a
"5 and minus 3" or a “5 and the square root of pi”
(although the latter does have a certain appeal).

So, in effect, as a 5/0 signal report is not unacceptable, you have to make up a 5/1 report? This, of course, brings me back to the very reason I started this thread. The report has little or no real value…

73
Mike M6MMM

The report has value if you send it and interpret it as intended, according to the following:

1 Faint signal, barely perceptible
2 Very weak
3 Weak
4 Fair
5 Fairly good
6 Good
7 Moderately strong
8 Strong
9 Very strong signals

Your ears should always overrule your signal meter in the case of a conflict!

Tom M1EYP

In reply to 2E0YYY:

The report has lots of value as long as you and your QSO partner know what they are doing. Sadly this is not always the case.

People who give 5-0 reports probably don’t know which end of a soldering iron gets hot. Worse, should they grab the hot end of your iron they wont react and let go but may merely question when the BBQ will be served.

Non-stop 5-9 reports in contests are silly. But you know whether you were 5-9 with the other station by how many times he asks you to repeat “your infos”. No repeat then you were 5-9, 5 or more repeats and you were 3-1. Everything else is somewhere in between. See it’s not rocket science. :slight_smile:

Andy
MM0FMF

In reply to 2E0YYY:

This, of course, brings me back to the very
reason I started this thread. The report has little or no real
value…

wrong You are doing what a lot of people do - you are assuming that the S part of the report is based on a meter reading, which it is not.

S1 means barely perceptible, if there was an S0 it would mean “inaudible”

In reply to G8TMV:

It seems to me that “S” is a meter reading whereas what you, Tom and Andy are talking about is QRK. Now I don’t have a “proper” S meter on the FT857, just a bar and a number that comes up, but if the signal is too weak to register it is sensible and says nothing. On my TS-520S there is a lovely big proper S meter, and the scale does not begin at 1, it begins at zero…to register S1 it has to make a definate movement. Now if you have an S meter it is not an ornament, it is there to be used, although our trio of Luddites would much rather invent something off the top of their heads which gives an impression of how loud the signal sounds to them, irrespective of the intervention of advanced circuitry such as AGC! This brings me to where I started, if I get a report of five and zero, I accept it as verbal shorthand for (to expand it) “I give unbiassed reports based on the S meter, the S meter is not moving for your signal but it is perfectly readable”. It seems to me that the Luddites that keep the S meter in their blind spots ought to be reporting QRK 9, not S9, so that the other person knows if he is talking to a techie or a Luddite.

So there! ;-))

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

what you, Tom and Andy are talking about is QRK.

No, QRK is a scale of readability from 1 to 5.

I suspect you meant QSA but that is 1 to 5 also.

but if the signal is too weak to register it is sensible and
says nothing.

Ah, but it does move! Have you checked it with a magnifying glass?

the scale does not begin at 1, it begins at zero

So you are being a meanie and rounding down :frowning: :wink:

Colin G8TMV

In reply to G8TMV:

In reply to G8ADD:

what you, Tom and Andy are talking about is QRK.

No, QRK is a scale of readability from 1 to 5.

I suspect you meant QSA but that is 1 to 5 also.

but if the signal is too weak to register it is sensible and
says nothing.

Ah, but it does move! Have you checked it with a magnifying glass?

the scale does not begin at 1, it begins at zero

So you are being a meanie and rounding down :frowning: :wink:

Colin G8TMV

Being a meanie, I haven’t bought a Radio Communication Handbook since the Sixth Edition, so things might have changed, but on page 21.3 it says: “…it was necessary to indicate the readability of a signal and the scale QSA1 to QSA5 was used to denote this; at the same time the signal strength was given as QRK to QRK9.” Not bad for somebody who doesn’t know which end of the soldering iron to hold, according to a certain GM!

73

Brian G8ADD

In reply to G8ADD:

Being a meanie, I haven’t bought a Radio Communication Handbook since
the Sixth Edition,

Spotted a second hand coppy of the Sixth Edition at a rally recently. Gave it a miss as I did’nt have time to learn hyroglifics :wink:

Mike
M6MMM

Sixth Edition?
I still have not got to the end of the Fourth!