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RS/RST in contests

May 15th 2015, 19:56


Joined: Dec 20th 2000, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Was just wondering why contest participants exchange RS/RST in contests. Does it count for points? Since the focus of a contest is to make as many contacts as possible in an allotted time-frame, would it make sense to just exchange something more relevant, like an ID number /location/callsign? Comments?

May 21st 2015, 15:49


Super Moderator

Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Many VHF contests only require a grid square or location identifier as the exchange.

But, the signal report can be useful, as it allows you to "synchronize" with the other station, or give a slight but useful delay if someone has transmitter issues like first character shortening.

Zack Lau W1VT
ARRL Senior Lab Engineer
Jun 26th 2015, 03:10


Joined: Mar 1st 2011, 09:28
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
The honest RST signal report allows the operator to adjust their transmitter power - since you should only use the minimum amount of power necessary and it gives the operator a good idea of how well their signal propagates in that direction.
This is all reliant upon both operators being brutally honest.
The person giving everyone a 5/9 is doing a disservice to both themselves and to others, making others believe that their signal is stronger than what it really is!
Most logging programs uses a 5/9/9 signal report as a automatic entry, and the operator, being in a big hurry to make as many contacts as quickly as possible, just gives out the bogus report, because they don't really want to talk to you, they just want your call sign for their log book!
Jul 5th 2015, 02:38


Joined: Sep 2nd 2003, 12:14
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Zach is correct, Matt. The static 59 (or 599) simply functions as a "sync symbol" that helps to identify the actual exchange information. I find it particularly useful in CW contests, when the exchanges are sent at a much higher speed than I would ever be comfortable with in a normal ragchew. My brain easily locks in on the sound of "5NN" (nines are usually truncated to N's for brevity) and is then fully prepared to receive the actual exchange information.

A true signal report is entirely unnecessary in a contest, since the QSO is already over before either operator would have time to adjust Tx power level. There is a time and a place for an honest signal report, and a contest just isn't one of those times, unless (and this happens rarely) you are requested to provide one by the other operator.

Mark AI4BJ

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