RST reporting system

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When listening to amateur radio Morse code transmissions you will often hear the phrase:

UR RST 599 OM.

 

This is a reference to the RST signal reporting system. The three letters refer to Readability, Signal strength and Tone. Here is a summary of the meaning of the numbers:

 

Readability:

1 Unreadable signal to 5, Perfectly readable

 

Signal strength:

1 Very faint, just about detectable to 9, extremely strong signal

 

Tone

1 Very noisy, bad signal to 9, perfect tone

 

So, RST 588 means:

 

“Your signal is perfectly readable and fairly strong with almost perfect tone.”