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Author Topic: Don't need SIGNAL REPORT for valid QSO?  (Read 15156 times)
WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« on: May 20, 2013, 04:00:19 PM »

I'm reading "The Complete DX'er" and I came across something that surprised me.

He stated that contrary to popular opinion, you DON'T need a signal report for a valid QSO.

From what I can see - that is correct and news to me.

LOTW doesn't even log it. 

The Callsign, Date, Time, Mode..  is fine.

Some contests don't ask for a Signal Report and one asks for Callsign and what you had for Dinner "WH7DX STEAK" etc...

Often the signal report is the hardest to hear..   I've worked many on the Geratol Net 3.668 and some on the HHH Net lately and it's always the numbers that are hardest.

Comments?   This is big news if true because if you were cut off or didn't get it.. can you just send the QSL Card and put 59 because it's not a requirement - i.e. you're not breaking any rules etc..Huh
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WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 04:18:51 PM »

I found this online so it's public - I'll post it here.


From: Jim Miller KG0KP [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Sunday, October 02, 2011 5:26 AM
To: reginfo
Cc: Silver, Ward
Subject: What components comprise a "valid QSO"?

Mr. Dan,

There is a discussion going on now on one of the reflectors about the 59
and 599s being given in contesting for RST.  This mutated into a
question as to why it was even needed.  I seemed to think that the
origin was from the FCC, guessing in Part 97 of course, however on quick
glance through it, I did not find anything stating what was required to
make up a "valid QSO" that would be accepted by "whoever".  Now I am
wondering where the origin actually is or if there actually is a
requirement at all.  I always considered the bare minimum would be the
exchange of your call and RST with other information optional but now I
don't know where this information came from.

What information is required to be exchanged to make the contact a valid
QSO and where is it stated?  If it is not the FCC, is it the ARRL who
specified what is required?

I am not much of a contester and now am wondering if ALL contests
actually exchange RST as a part of their exchange.

If some component of the requirement is not exchanged; is that contact
not valid?  In the eyes of WHO?  Only the ARRL in the interest of credit
for DXCC and WAS etc?Is it illegal if it was not the FCC that wrote the
requirement?

Thanks es 73, de Jim KG0KP


From: "Henderson, Dan N1ND" <[hidden email]>
To: "Jim Miller KG0KP" <[hidden email]>
Cc: "Silver, Ward" <[hidden email]>
Sent: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 6:03 AM
Subject: RE: What components comprise a "valid QSO"?


Hi Jim

There is no rule that says what constitutes a QSO.  Nothing requires an
exchange of signal reports, names, locations, etc.

If you are operating in a Contest, to be a valid contact for that
contest, you need to give the required exchange.  But if you work
someone in the contest just to work them, say for a new DXCC entity, but
don't give the context exchange, it doesn't mean it is an invalid QSO
for non-contest purposes.

As far as being illegal because the FCC didn't write the requirement,
that is a bogus argument. Unless you are doing something prohibited by
Part 97.113, the FCC doesn't care what the content of the communications
are.

73


Dan Henderson, N1ND
Regulatory Information Manager
ARRL, the national association for Amateur Radio(tm)
860-594-XXXX
[hidden email]
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N4NYY
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Posts: 4742




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« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 04:51:39 PM »

The signal report is not required. I asked this when I did not get the report, but  did get the QSL. Also, LoTW does not require a signal report.

The signal report is overrated, and heavily misunderstood. If you get a 59 on SSB, that is the best you can get. However, I cannot begin to tell you how many 59+ or 59+20 I have heard. There is no such thing. Strength portion of the RS or RST is NOT supposed you be your S meter reading. If he is in the red, it is 9. If he is S7-8, I still give a 9. And this an "across the board" thing. Old hams, new hams, Extras, Techs. Everyone does it.

Not to mention most DXpeditions and contesters only use a 59/

So, I would not worry about your report.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2013, 04:55:09 PM »

The + report, +10, +20 or whatever, may not be a requirement, but neither is any signal report at all a requirement anyway, but I always felt that telling a ham that their sig was "20 over" would leave 'em with the same good feeling such reports used to give me when received. 


73
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WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2013, 05:15:38 PM »

I understand a contest or dx giving 59 and that's fine.   For anyone else not operating a pileup I expect and would like a real signal report.  If I'm 33 or 59+10 into Europe I'd like to know.   

I think signal reports should be

22 - my volume is turned up and my head is near speakers trying....
33- my volume is up but I'm not sweating it and my head isnt that close
44 - volume normal and head in normal position (not tilted or close)  Grin
51 - your loud and clear but no movement in meter.
5x. Etc....

The point that is surprising is that you don't need much of anything for a valid qso.   I had to beg for my Marpelo card even though I was in their log book as having a contact, technically that's a contact.

So what's a card checker looking for?    Would that just be your call sign on his card?   I think I need to lookup what dxcc requires
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N7SMI
Member

Posts: 315




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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 07:17:07 PM »

Field day is the largest operating event on the planet, and it doesn't require a signal report. I'd think if it were required for a valid QSO, that the ARRL would require it.
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 08:21:10 PM »

Dxcc qualified cards don't need signal reports.   They need call sign, date, mode and frequency.

I never read in any material before that I can remember that signal reports was optional.   That's important.   Many have valid contacts even though they weren't able to copy a signal report.   

The second you confirm call signs your done.
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K2DC
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Posts: 1346


WWW

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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2013, 02:39:16 AM »

I remeber being told that a valid QSO consisted of the exchange of call signs and one other previously unknown piece of informationlike signal report, name, QTH etc.  However, I don't remember where that came from and may not have been anything "official" (whatever that means).

73,

Don, K2DC

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K0OD
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Posts: 2530




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« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2013, 03:11:26 AM »

Hams didn't even use the RST system until about 1934.

You can see tons of early QSL cards on the internet. Those used various other reporting systems. BTW, the earliest known QSL card dates from about 1920. Hams were making perfectly good Qs from the beginning of spark... Before QSL cards and before RSTs.

The signal report "requirement" was probably something an idiot net controller dreamed up in the 70s.

That said, JUST TRY GIVING A VHF CONTACT WITHOUT A GRID SQUARE. You'll get something akin to DIE, K0OD, DIE!
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WX7G
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Posts: 5920




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« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2013, 05:56:32 AM »

The only signal report sent in most, if not all, contests is 59 or 599. It serves as a preamble to let the operator know the important part of the contest stage is about to be sent.

When DXing the signal report is akin to sending QSL
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WH7DX
Member

Posts: 1029




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« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2013, 10:11:19 AM »

I remeber being told that a valid QSO consisted of the exchange of call signs and one other previously unknown piece of informationlike signal report, name, QTH etc.  However, I don't remember where that came from and may not have been anything "official" (whatever that means).

73,

Don, K2DC



I read something like that yesterday - but for awards it's the same as LOTW and Callsign, Date, Time, Mode, Frequency  and it fills in all the rest regarding location.

Now I know that if I'm working a hard to hear DX, I just need to make sure we both copy the call sign correctly and after that it's just extra...

I think I was thrown off by the other Nets where they put a big emphasis on signal reports, and for HHH you already know the Call Sign, they use the Signal Report to verify you can hear them.

eQSL asks you for the Signal Report.
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KG4RUL
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Posts: 2686


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« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2013, 10:27:51 AM »

Having once made the mistake of putting a 47 RST on a QSL card, I now put either a 59 or 599 as appropriate.  The Ham that got the 47 E-Mailed me to berate me for not giving him the 59 he DESERVED, irrespective of the fact that his signal WAS a 47.  After a flurry of E-Mails were exchanged, I ended up filtering out his several addresses and he FINALLY went away mad but, he did go away!
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KE4YOG
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Posts: 182




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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2013, 11:00:18 AM »

I remember getting a report of 3 and 3 from Iraq. It took us a couple of minutes for him to get my call. He was 51 or so. I gladly sent my card and I was happy to get his back with 33. I had rather have a true signal report than a inflated 59. I understand when people are working a pile up and giving 59s to all but I like knowing what my signal is really like. I get 59's that I know are inflated and give the same at times but I prefer a true signal report!
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AA4PB
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Posts: 12682




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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 11:52:23 AM »

You should have sent him a new QSL card with a report of 0/0  Grin
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WH7DX
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Posts: 1029




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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2013, 12:18:21 PM »

I remember getting a report of 3 and 3 from Iraq. It took us a couple of minutes for him to get my call. He was 51 or so. I gladly sent my card and I was happy to get his back with 33. I had rather have a true signal report than a inflated 59. I understand when people are working a pile up and giving 59s to all but I like knowing what my signal is really like. I get 59's that I know are inflated and give the same at times but I prefer a true signal report!

I'm the same way.   I want to know how I'm coming through.   I tell people if they sound really clear and loud and they're a 5-7 or clear and loud but a 5-1.   I'll usually tell them not to worry if they're not that high because I have a mountain to my north.   I wouldn't understand if someone was upset with a true low report because you'd think they understand that propagation is a strange thing and they're probably getting 59s in other areas..   not a big deal.

Now I know that I can write something on a QSL card like - "I didn't get the signal report, but that's ok because I have all the other data that matters for a valid QSO.. signal report is irrelevant etc.".  Assuming it mattered.   Once I hear him say my call sign we're good.





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