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Author Topic: What signal report do I put on qsl card?  (Read 3977 times)
KD8IWZ
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Posts: 52




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« on: January 13, 2013, 01:32:12 PM »

I plan to participate in the North American QSO party (ssb) The rules say the exchange is to be the operaters name and state. If/when I fill out a card, what do I enter for signal report? My guess is just the standard '59' contest report. Would appreciate feedback please.

thanks
73  Dale
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1066




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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 02:13:49 PM »

Everyone seems to put 5/9 on signal reports not only on QSL cards, but also when a signal report is given. I am from the old school (55+) years in ham radio. I always give an accurate (as good as I read on my S-meter) report both on a QSL card if I send one, or an over the air report. If I read S-5/Q4 thats what I report. If I read a S +30 over 9/Q5 thats what I report. What I would like to know is when did every signal strength become 5/9/9 irregardless of the actual reading?  Why even bother with a signal report if all the recordings are the same. A simple I hear you OK should be the norm. I on the other hand like to hear my actual signal at the station I am talking to if it is S-2/Q3 I would like to know that. I never give a station a 9/5 unless it tis really a 9/5. I give the station the actual reading I see on my meter, and my opinion on the clarity and readability of his audio.

Just my opinion.

73s

K2OWK
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M0HCN
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Posts: 473




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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 02:40:21 PM »

I didn't think the reports were based on S meter readings (Which would make them highly dependent on some very poorly calibrated gear), but on perceived SNR and readability.

I also don't give 59 unless that is what my ears are saying, but I guess if you give a 59 over the air then that is what should go on the card.

And yes, I am well aware that contests seem to use a proforma signal report as part of the message format.

73, Dan.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 03:13:16 PM »

Yeah, back when I was into contesting, all of 'em received the same report as given onair, "five-nine" for phone and 599 for CW. 

For the other contacts, I too never leaned on nor trusted the silly S meter readings all that much, would give my judgement call as to their signal, but if the S meter was reading over 9 then I always figured the other ham would enjoy being told such.  "Ten over Nine" etc.  But I USE the RF gain control.  When used properly, the RF Gain can serve you MUCH better than the AF Gain or main volume control can.  For one thing, proper use of RF Gain can deliver much lower perceived and real signal to noise ratio.  You can and should use it, even for the ragchews, where I've found I can quite often make the other guys' and gals' SSB transmissions sound almost like FM.  "Armchair Copy Here..."

Don't sweat the small stuff.


73
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W8JX
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Posts: 6093




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« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 03:31:51 PM »

Everyone seems to put 5/9 on signal reports not only on QSL cards, but also when a signal report is given. I am from the old school (55+) years in ham radio. I always give an accurate (as good as I read on my S-meter) report both on a QSL card if I send one, or an over the air report. If I read S-5/Q4 thats what I report. If I read a S +30 over 9/Q5 thats what I report. What I would like to know is when did every signal strength become 5/9/9 irregardless of the actual reading?  Why even bother with a signal report if all the recordings are the same.

I agree while some may question the accuracy of a S-meter it does give you a measurement of relative strength. I always give actually reports as I see them on meter for second digit and will state if it is with preamp on or off too. I use "ear" for first digits 1-5.  If it is a 43 I give it same as I would a 59+15 when I see and hear one.
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N4CR
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Posts: 1672




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« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 09:33:27 PM »

Your ears should tell you what report to give them. Not your S meter. If it means anything readability could be 59 with no S meter reading at all if they are will above the noise and perfectly readable.

Such nonsense coupling signal reports to an S meter that's different every radio, every coax and every antenna. Meaningless.
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73 de N4CR, Phil

We are Coulomb of Borg. Resistance is futile. Voltage, on the other hand, has potential.
KA4POL
Member

Posts: 2037




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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 09:56:26 PM »

Everyone seems to put 5/9 on signal reports not only on QSL cards, but also when a signal report is given. I am from the old school (55+) years in ham radio. I always give an accurate (as good as I read on my S-meter) report both on a QSL card if I send one, or an over the air report. If I read S-5/Q4 thats what I report. If I read a S +30 over 9/Q5 thats what I report. What I would like to know is when did every signal strength become 5/9/9 irregardless of the actual reading?  Why even bother with a signal report if all the recordings are the same. A simple I hear you OK should be the norm. I on the other hand like to hear my actual signal at the station I am talking to if it is S-2/Q3 I would like to know that. I never give a station a 9/5 unless it tis really a 9/5. I give the station the actual reading I see on my meter, and my opinion on the clarity and readability of his audio.

Just my opinion.

73s

K2OWK

This says it all, great. To me it seems very much like laziness to say 5/9. ...or is it 9/5 Grin Cheesy
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KA4POL
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Posts: 2037




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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 10:05:12 PM »

Your ears should tell you what report to give them. Not your S meter. If it means anything readability could be 59 with no S meter reading at all if they are will above the noise and perfectly readable.

Such nonsense coupling signal reports to an S meter that's different every radio, every coax and every antenna. Meaningless.

The signal report is Readability and Strength and Tone if you wish. How can one hear the strength of a signal if this is clearly only a measurement of the field strength? For me it is interesting to see how strong my signal is being received. I know it is not a perfect measurement but a good indication anyway. It does not hurt to read the S-meter.
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WN2C
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Posts: 470




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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 03:19:36 AM »

Back in the day when an S meter was an add on to a receiver, all you had to go on was your ear. On phone (AM) it was like the saying goes 'armchair copy' or on CW, how well you could hear his signal w/o missing letters or words due to fading or other interference.

Rick  wn2c
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EI2HEB
Member

Posts: 58




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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 03:23:54 AM »

Your ears should tell you what report to give them. Not your S meter. If it means anything readability could be 59 with no S meter reading at all if they are will above the noise and perfectly readable.

Such nonsense coupling signal reports to an S meter that's different every radio, every coax and every antenna. Meaningless.

Well yes, a 5/9 report, or any report for that matter, is highly dependend on the working conditions it is received with.
So if the report is dependend on that, why give a report at all; unless you can also report such conditions ?

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K7KBN
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Posts: 2814




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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2013, 07:13:12 AM »

If you run your volume control full up and control the audio output of the rig with the RF gain (as many do), the S-meter isn't going to be functioning anyway.  S-meters only started becoming standard equipment on receivers in the 1950s.  Whatever did we do without having this precise, ultra-accurate source of wisdom?
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73
Pat K7KBN
CWO4 USNR Ret.
W8JX
Member

Posts: 6093




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« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2013, 09:11:34 AM »

Your ears should tell you what report to give them. Not your S meter. If it means anything readability could be 59 with no S meter reading at all if they are will above the noise and perfectly readable.

Such nonsense coupling signal reports to an S meter that's different every radio, every coax and every antenna. Meaningless.

The nonsense is making any readable signal 59 all the time as it defeats the purpose of the report. It does not matter what some one else's radios S meter says but rather only yours as you are in QSO and report how they are received on your antenna, coax and rig.   
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5689




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« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2013, 12:05:53 PM »

Contesting has set the convention long ago. 

But contesting is a different situation from all of our other comms. 


Those who may insist on giving Contest reports onair other than five nine are likely not going to be met with much happiness. 
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N6AJR
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Posts: 9910




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« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2013, 01:39:32 PM »

NAQP does not even require a signal report if I remember correctly.  the exchange is N6AJR TOM CA and thats all you need for this Conetst. if you send out a card, then in the box you automatically yse 5/9 or 5/9/9 for contest QSO.  in normal, non contests QSO you put in the actual RST.
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KD8IWZ
Member

Posts: 52




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« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2013, 02:29:36 PM »

Tom/N6AJR, thanks for your reply, that's what I was looking for. If no signal report was given during the contact, I wasn't sure what to put on the card, was afraid if I didn't put something in, the card might not be accepted for any award(s) the person receiving it might be applying for.

Thanks again
73  Dale
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