Signal Reports on SSB
by joel Sampson / N5LXI

Most nets, and voice communications in general, require the need to exchange signal report. That is, how well you are receiving the other amateur radio station. The RST system is the standard used. The R stands for the Readability, S for Signal strength, and T for Tone, which is used on C.W. only.

The minimum signal report that makes sense is 21. If the first number is one, you can't copy the other station! Some nets may have a 22 for a minimum signal report.

2Barely readable
3Readable with considerable difficulty
4Readable with practically no difficulty
5Perfectly readable

Signal Strength
1Faint, barely perceptible
2Very weak
5Fairly good
7Moderately strong
9Extremely strong

A hint, especially when band conditions are poor, is to countout the signal report. For example, one-two-three (short pause)one-two-three for a 33 report. Repeat the report several times.

Words that describe the report often help. You are also, also,also two by two will often communicate better than just the signalreport. Also is a magical word that seems to cut through thenoise! Always give the RS signal report and the phrase, not just thephrase.

Other popular phrases: Maximum with five nine, speed limit (the oldspeed limit) with five five, triplets with three three and Magnum with fourfour. And for two by two, minimum (even though 21 is technically aminimum report), rifle shots bang-bang. You get the idea!