KD8PHI | Ham Radio

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Jun 2012

RST Signal Report

RST Signal Report

(sourced from http://www.hamradio.me/rst/)

A good system to indicate signal quality has been around for some time. The three numbers below suggest signal quality, signal strength and tone quality. That last number is only for CW operations while the first two are used to evaluate both CW and SSB signals.

During some quick contests, you will often hear voice operators giving 59 reports regardless of the actual signal quality. Some contests require the signal report as part of the exchange, but operators have grown tired of these kind of requirements so they routinely just say “you’re 59″ and move on.

R = Readability:
R 1 – Unreadable
R 2 – Barely readable, some words occasionally distinguishable
R 3 – Readable, but with considerable difficulty
R 4 – Readable with practically no difficulty
R 5 – Perfectly readable

S = Signal Strength:
S 1 – Faint signal, barely perceptible
S 2 – Very weak signal
S 3 – Weak signal
S 4 – Fair signal
S 5 – Fairly good signal
S 6 – Good signal
S 7 – Moderately strong signal
S 8 – Strong signal
S 9 – Extremely strong signal

T = CW TONE
T 1 – 50 / 60 hertz a.c., very rough & broad
T 2 – Very rough a.c., harsh & broad
T 3 – Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered
T 4 – Rough note, some trace of filtering
T 5 – Filtered rectified a.c. but strongly ripple-modulated
T 6 – Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation
T 7 – Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation
T 8 – Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation
T 9 – Pure Tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind

R = RSQ Readability (Percent characters correctly received):
R 1 – 0% Undecipherable
R 2 – 20% Occasional words distinguishable
R 3 – 40% Considerable difficulty, many missed characters
R 4 – 80% Practically no difficulty, occasional missed characters
R 5 – 95%+ Perfectly readable

S = RSQ Strength (Signal over Noise rather than S-Meter):
S 1 – Barely perceptible trace
S 3 – Weak trace
S 5 – Moderate trace
S 7 – Strong trace
S 9 – Very Strong trace

Q = RSQ Quality:
Q 1 – Splatter over much of the spectrum
Q 3 – Multiple visible pairs
Q 5 – One easily visible pair
Q 7 – One barely visible pair
Q 9 – Clean signal – no visible unwanted sidebar pairs

Other digital modes may benefit from using the principles of RSQ and it is being promoted quite effectively.
MixW has its own PSK31 RST meter which seems a bit cruel in its analysis of a signal. However, I have to believe it is consistent. If you use MixW this is the report to give the other guy.
It must be noted many folks just don’t care all that much about super accurate signal reports and frequently just send a 59 or 599 report if the signal is reasonably good.


What about signal reports during contests?
For the contests that required a signal report as part of the exchange, speedy QSOs ensure only 59 and 599 are mostly heard. Yes this means the RST report is pretty much meaningless during a contest. However, that 59 or 599 frequently prepends another variable piece of exchange information like your state, your ARRL section, county (during QSO Parties). I personally like exchanges that use an incrementing serial number and QTH over signal report.

SSTV Freq

70 cm: (FM)
430.950 MHz SSB SSTV Call Freq.

1.25 metres: (FM)
223.850 MHz 1.25m Band SSTV Call Freq.

2 metres: (FM)
145.500 MHz 2m Band SSTV Call Freq.
145.600 MHz 2m Band SSTV Call Freq.
144.550 MHz SSB SSTV Call Freq.

6 meters: (FM)
50.680 MHz 6m Band SSTV Call Freq.
50.950 MHz SSB SSTV Call Freq.

10 metres: (USB)
28.680 MHz 10m Band SSTV Call Freq.

11 metres: (USB)
27.700 MHz France, Australia
27.420 MHz Australia
27.235 MHz Northern Ireland

12 metres: (USB)
Every day 24.975 MHz

15 metres: (USB)
21.340 MHz 15m Band SSTV Call Freq.

20 metres: (USB)
14.230 MHz 20m Band SSTV Call Freq.
14.233 MHz 20m Band SSTV Call Freq.
14.240 KHz Europe SSTV Call Freq.

30 metres: (USB)
10.132 MHz - Use narrow mode MP73N

40 metres: (LSB)
7.033 MHz 40m Band SSTV Call freq.
7.171 MHz 40m Band SSTV Call Freq.
7171 KHz Europe DIGITAL SSTV Call Freq.
7040 KHz Europe SSTV Call Freq. (7043)

80 metres: (LSB)
3845 KHz 80m Band SSTV Call Freq.
3730 KHz Europe Call Freq.
3733 KHz Europe DIGITAL SSTV Call Freq.

160 metres: (LSB)
1890 KHz 160m Band SSTV Call Freq.

Digital Freq

  • PSK31 and JT65
  • 21.070
  • PSK31 and JT65
  • 14.080
  • 14.076
  • PSK31
  • 10.141
  • PSK31, PSK125 and JT65
  • 7.076
  • 7.035
  • PSK31 and JT65
  • 3.579
  • PSK31 and JT65
  • 1.838