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Thread: Confusion about a question on signal reports.

  1. #1

    Default Confusion about a question on signal reports.

    Hi All,

    I’m currently studying for my foundation license and going through the exam secrets book, but I’m stumped by the correct answer given to one of the questions, see below, surely 2 and 5 is fairly hard to read with a good but not brilliant signal strength?

    The Question:

    The signal report 2 and 5 means
    A a weak signal and very difficult to read
    B a weak signal but still very clear to read
    C a fairly strong signal but is hard to understand
    D a fairly strong signal and a clear one

    The answer and explanation:

    B. Signal level reports range from 1 to 9 with 1 being very weak, barely perceptible. Readability is on a 5 point scale with 5 meaning perfectly clear and easy to read (actually listen to and understand). In reality a signal report of 2 would probably get a readability report of 3 or 4 but with only background noise and a perfectly clear channel a 2 and 5 report is possible.

  2. #2
    K7KBN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Bremerton WA USA


    And these reports are made by humans, who don't all have the same degree of hearing acuity or, as in my case, hearing loss. Many older receivers (say from around 1960 and earlier) don't have S-meters; those that do rarely have "accurate" S-meters. If a received signal is "weak" but is understandable without undue difficulty, a 2x5 might indeed qualify. If you have a directional antenna, aiming it more directly to the source of the signal might bring it up to a 3x5. If it's a legitimate QSO, log it.

    Reminds me of the junior Naval Officer who would call the flagship every hour and ask "how do you hear me?". One evening, the Admiral picked up his handset and said, "I hear you 2X2. That's TOO loud and TOO often."
    Pat K7KBN
    Semper ubi sub ubi.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator 5B4AJB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Meneou, Cyprus


    RST = Readability, Signal, Tone

    as a radio ham you will only need two, 599 or 5NN

    Only readability matters, signal strength is mostly irrelevant and tone is usually reserved for CW...

  4. #4


    I’ll pick B !

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