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Author Topic: Contest-Style QSOs the Norm Now with Some Ops?  (Read 6747 times)
AF5CC
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Posts: 863




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« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2014, 09:03:21 PM »

The S meter was never intended to be the S in the RST.  I am not sure how that nonsense got started.

John AF5CC
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KI6LZ
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Posts: 586




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« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2014, 09:10:18 PM »

My guess is when most hams got radios with S meters. Now that is a good question for the old timers here.
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NU1O
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Posts: 2662




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« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2014, 09:13:43 PM »

At first, like 9 years ago, I wanted to BS.
I honestly thought that was the whole idea of amateur radio.
But I quickly learned that MOST of the old tymers DESPISED
newbies. ABSOLUTELY DESPISED us newbys.
I got read the riot act many, many times for BOTHERING them.



I have run into other amateurs who wanted no part of me but they were almost always part of a clique.  It seems some people get a lot ruder when they are part of a group and I found out exactly what you did:  it was always an Old Timer.

Most of the nonsense we hear on the air is caused by Extra Class hams.  You know, the guys who claim they're protecting the hobby from going into the sewer.  What these guardians of the hobby don't realize is they are the real problem.

I was never big into contestants and other than participating in the CW Sprints I now largely ignore most contests except for the New England QSO Party and the 10 meter contest.  I'd much rather have a ragchew QSO and I find plenty of willing partners but you can't tell ahead of time which QSO is going to turn into an hour long chat and which is going to result in a 599 thank you man contact so all you can do is get on the air and work a lot of stations.  

There are some obvious clues to help you save time.  If somebody is running stations contest-like style there isn't much point in calling because he isn't going to change his behavior when you call.  People calling a general CQ are usually good candidates for a possible ragchew.  An overseas station calling CQ DX is usually a waste of time because just about all are looking to work a lot of stations quickly. I'm not going to say I find overseas hams more polite than US hams because I've run into plenty of jerks overseas.

If you like CW get out of the Extra Class portions of the bands and answer CQ or call CQ.  I think it helps to have a QRZ bio spelling out your interests.  I look up just about every station I work and something in the other ham's biography often catches my attention and that often leads to a ragchew.  People like to talk about something they have a big interest in.  If a station reads my biography and reads I'm a baseball fan he isn't going to get me to shut up if he asks about baseball and I find the reverse is true.

Good luck and have fun.

73,

Chris  NU1O
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NU1O
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Posts: 2662




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« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2014, 09:25:13 PM »

Even if it's going to a be sig report and see ya  - why can't the report be realistic? There is no way most of my signal reports should be 59. No way. I have gotten realistic reports but they are few and far between - such as 45 or the like. The signal report is practically meaningless in ham radio anymore.

I give realistic reports but let's be real here. Is there any consistent standard for RST? What about your rig's S meter. Think all are the same? Think again. Therefore someone who is S9 one one radio might be S8 on another. So what use is an "honest"report then?

The problem is not people turning a 57 or 58 into a 59.  The fact of the matter is there are people who only give out a 59 when the actual report maybe 44.

There is a generally accepted definition for an S meter level.  S9 equals 50 micro volts.  Elecraft sells a little handheld signal generator which will emit a 50 uV signal.
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KI6LZ
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« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2014, 10:04:58 PM »

Consider this from three stations within 20 miles of each other. I get a 59 from a station with antenna on 80 foot tower, a 37 from a station with power line noise and 50 foot high dipole, and a 52 from a station with an attic antenna. What good does the signal report do me? Maybe during the QSO they tell me what they are using, maybe not.

Best it tells me is there is propagation to that area, that's all. During a contest I don't need that RST report to know where the propagation is.
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N5INP
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« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2014, 05:06:39 AM »

I give realistic reports but let's be real here. Is there any consistent standard for RST?

No, it's inherently subjective because it's not based on a calibrated instrument.

Quote
What about your rig's S meter. Think all are the same? Think again.

Uh, no, I don't need to "think again".

Quote
Therefore someone who is S9 one one radio might be S8 on another.

The 5 & 9 in signal reports is not based on the S meter.  Roll Eyes

Quote
So what use is an "honest"report then?

It should be simply your honest subjective opinion on the readability and strength of the signal. But I can damn well assure you my signal that propagates all over the world is not almost always a "59" at the other end.

Quote from:  link=topic=96043.msg749321#msg749321 date=1396760698
Consider this from three stations within 20 miles of each other. I get a 59 from a station with antenna on 80 foot tower, a 37 from a station with power line noise and 50 foot high dipole, and a 52 from a station with an attic antenna. What good does the signal report do me? Maybe during the QSO they tell me what they are using, maybe not.

The signal report should be re-thought. It's too far biased to the high end all the time. It should be changed from 1-5 readability and 1 -9 strength to 1-3 for readability and 1-3 for strength

For both both R & S:

Readability

1 - Barely understandable
2 - Moderately understandable
3 - Perfectly Understandable

Strength

1 - Weak
2 - Moderate
3 - Strong

Now you might say, well they will just bias those to "33" as well. True, but at least it will be easier to throw out a better judgement in a short QSO. I've NEVER heard an R report given of less than 4 or a signal report given of less than 4. Neither listening to other people or from my own contacts.

Personally, I don't see how a signal report of 11, which is logically possible in the current system, could be given out. 11 means "Unreadable, barely perceptible". You would not even be working the station if it had a 11, you would not be talking to it! Cheesy

Quote
During a contest I don't need that RST report to know where the propagation is.

Get rid of it in contests. It's just plain stupid to waste time giving out "59" when it's meaningless. If you want to save time, stop giving out these 59 reports in contests. Either you hear the contest station or you don't. If you don't, don't reply. If you do, make the contact and move on. Simple.


« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 06:01:40 AM by N5INP » Logged

AA9RN
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Posts: 210




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« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2014, 06:48:10 AM »

Some guys need to upgade their stations.

In the last contest I did I received a 5x10  and a 10x 10 report.

I had other reports the same years ago. Lowest was 2x3.

I say skip it in a contest. Replace it with something else as like age, how long you been a ham etc
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N1UK
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Posts: 1437




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« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2014, 12:36:12 PM »

Quote
Elecraft sells a little handheld signal generator which will emit a 50 uV signal.

I built that kit and I find it very useful. I adjusted the s-meter on my TS930S which was reading about 15db high.


Mark N1UK
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W2IRT
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« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2014, 02:42:55 PM »

I say skip it in a contest. Replace it with something else as like age, how long you been a ham etc

I love it in a contest for one reason. It subconsciously tells the brain that the next piece of information is the exchange. In CW it's especially useful to me since my ability to copy fast CW isn't all that great.
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WO7R
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« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2014, 04:41:24 PM »

Quote
Even if it's going to a be sig report and see ya  - why can't the report be realistic?

Because not everyone cares.  Going by what I hear on the air, most do not care.

You, yourself conceded it is or ought to be a subjective report.  If it's subjective, it can be whatever the operator wants it to be.

Which is, in fact, what actually happens.

A genuinely "honest" report needs to have some sort of calibration and measurement.  Anything else is the exchange of subjective who knows what.  If it is subjective, everyone can be 5x9, even if they struggle mightily to get the QSO done.  Because, if you concede it is subjective, then people are free to report whatever they feel.  I can "feel" anything.

If I'm not even going to look at the rig's meter (and I often do not, even when giving an "honest" report) then it is just my subjective opinion, which is what I hear in my ear.

But, what I hear in my ear is corrected by AGC and whether my preamp is on or off and how my filters are set.

To me, in practice, a so-called "honest report" is simply any report that isn't 59.  If somebody cares about "honest" reports and you give them anything whatever besides a 59, they go away happy.  Whenever I find someone that wants that, I gladly give it to them.  Easy to make someone happy.

And, I'm with you.  It's subjective, so if I happen not to be looking at the meter, then that's OK.

The rest of the time, I give out 59, especially in contests.  Why screw someone I got the exchange otherwise correct with out of points?  They are going to "hear" 59 or 599 whatever I give; they are concentrating on the meaningful part of the exchange.
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WO7R
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« Reply #40 on: April 06, 2014, 04:47:19 PM »

Quote
I love it in a contest for one reason. It subconsciously tells the brain that the next piece of information is the exchange.

Me, too.  It's nice to have a little boilerplate ahead of the serious business of the exchange, especially when the exchange is complex, like the ham's age or name or something else I'm really not supposed to know.

Anyhow, it's tradition and not all traditions are bad.  This one, including the "bogus" 59s, would be, in practice, impossible to eradicate because it actually isn't all that important in the end.

I have a lot of stuff that I can computerize in my logging and have.  I can make SQL queries up the wazoo.  But, I have not and never really will study my signal reports.  If I did, I would certainly filter out all the 59/599 reports and study the rest.  But, I'd take the rest with about a barrel of salt.
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N5INP
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« Reply #41 on: April 06, 2014, 05:59:13 PM »

.
Anyhow, it's tradition and not all traditions are bad.

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WD4ELG
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Posts: 873




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« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2014, 06:47:35 PM »

N5INP, although not a single "millenial" will understand that joke and the reference of the picture, 80% of the hams will get it because we're an older crowd.

Well done!

BTW, did you know that he (Topol) starred in the James Bond flick "For Your Eyes Only" in 1981?
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WO7R
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Posts: 713




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« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2014, 08:10:54 PM »

I admit, the picture was very funny.

More on Topol here:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaim_Topol

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N5INP
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Posts: 849




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« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2014, 04:27:18 AM »

Why do we STILL send paper QSL cards in the day of the internet, eQSL, and LoTW?

TRADITION!

Now, you may ask - who started this tradition?

Well, I'll tell you ... I don't know.

But it's a tradition nonetheless! And without our traditions, we wouldn't know how to be proper hams!
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