Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How strong is strong?

The myth of the RST report. How reliable is the report I get or give? Do we give to easy a 5NN report? Listen to what Rick McKee KC8AON has to say: "It takes two to QRP...someone has to listen...but frankly, I doubt they have to listen very hard in most cases. In most cases it is no harder to hear a 449 than a 599. 599 is going to sound better but come on, the 449 is perfectly readable most of the time...maybe not as loud.

599 - 5= Perfectly Readable, 9= Extremely Strong Signal, 9= Perfect Tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind.

449 - 4= Readable with practically no difficulty, 4= Fair Signals, 9=Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind.

Not much difference there, and I find that most folks will send a 599 on CW just so they can send it "5NN" and get it done quicker !

Very seldom these days do I actually see a signal that I would classify as a "9 - Extremely Strong Signal", even those that are running a lot of power ! I consider an extremely strong signal to be something over "10 over S9" level in good conditions, your idea of an extremely strong signal may be totally different, so the RST in my opinion is a relative thing depending on personal opinion and conditions. I for one would rather see something like "copy 100%" or "copy 90%" and I think that would be a more accurate way to go. For example, in good band conditions, a 9 rating - extremely strong signals may represent something like 30 over S9, but in poor conditions it might represent something like S7. I have had so many operators give me a 599 and then ask for several repeats, so I wonder why they give me a 599 when they are asking me to repeat so much."

That's something to think about. Today I worked E709WRC on 20 meter with CW, also SM4BZH. With BPSK31 US4IPC on 20 meter. Tonight on 40 meter DG1BVK, Werner from Schwedt, Germany with BPSK31.

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