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Old 09-22-2008, 06:11 PM
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Default radio check question

When you request a radio check and the response is " radio check is 5 x 5", what does that mean?
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Old 09-22-2008, 06:33 PM
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Default RE: radio check question

A signal of full strength and with full readability is known as a "5 by 5" signal.
"2 by 5" is weak but very clear signal.

The second number measures the readability of the signal.

Bad (Unreadable)
Poor (Readable now and then)
Fair(Readable with great difficulty)
Good (Readable with minor difficulty)
Excellent (Perfectly readable)
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:30 PM
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Default Re: radio check question

How do you determine if it's full strength vs full readability? All I can tell is they are coming in 'loud and clear'. Is that the same thing as full strength and full readability?

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Old 09-22-2008, 07:49 PM
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Default RE: radio check question

Slightly OT, but what seems to be commonly overlooked is where the reply to a radio check originates. If the reply to a radio check is 10-20 miles away, most likely all is well. If it happens to be from a close by boat, it doesn't mean nearly as much.

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Old 09-23-2008, 05:06 AM
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Default RE: radio check question

A lot of folks use this term but don't have a clue as to why nor how to properly use it. Most do it to sound cool.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/5x5
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Old 09-23-2008, 05:23 AM
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Default RE: radio check question

I heard one guy call for a radio check like 5 times in a row (I guess he was not recieving). The 5th time, somebody responded: "I read you 2x2 - too loud and too often"
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Old 09-23-2008, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: radio check question

In the ham radio world for voice we use 5x9. The first number speaks to the quality of the signal, the second number its relative strength. Now if you are using code you would add a third number that is also 1-9 and that is for tone. There are more than one reason to get something less than a 5 in signal quality. Microphone too close to you mouth and speaking too loud can sound as bad as a really scratchy signal.

A good way to test your radio gear (at least up here where we have to cross river bars) is to call the Coasties on 16 and ask for a bar report. If they hear you and respond your radio must be working a little. If you are really curious about how well the radio functions, have it checked out by a qualified person with proper test equipment.

Good luck and be safe
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Old 09-23-2008, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: radio check question

Quote:
tculin - 9/23/2008 10:03 AM

A good way to test your radio gear (at least up here where we have to cross river bars) is to call the Coasties on 16 and ask for a bar report. If they hear you and respond your radio must be working a little.
This is a clever way to get the USCG to give you a radio check. I have heard less clever people hail the CG for what turned out to be a radio check and get a rather stern reminder that Ch 16 isn't for radio checks.

Mike
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Old 09-23-2008, 03:25 PM
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Default RE: radio check question

Quote:
georgedo - 9/22/2008 9:11 PM

When you request a radio check and the response is " radio check is 5 x 5", what does that mean?
In todays world it means the guy either used to be a CB operator, and that was just the jive for you sound fine (cause most people like yourself do not know the real meaning explained above), OR, thye just herd other folks say it and repeat it.

As stated above, the more important fact to find out is, where is the person responding from (distance wise). The proper radio check response SHOULD be: "Your radio sounds fine, loud and clear, New Port Bay, over". now you know how far you are going, OR, if you are also in new Port Bay, then should probably find somebody else farther away to check for distance.
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Old 09-23-2008, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: radio check question

As an alternative to calling the Coast Guard you can also call your local assistance towing operator. We typically monitor channel 16 roughly 24 hours a day, at least during boating season. However, I advocate that people simply scan around through other channels until they hear someone talking and then ask for a radio check. That keeps the clutter of radio checks off of 16.

Other confusing jargon I hear when the CG does actually respond to a request for a radio check is their reply "You're Lima Charlie." They're just using the phonetic alphabet to say the acronym for "Loud and Clear." I wish the CG would use less jargon when talking to the boating public...
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