Mon Feb 21 11:41:42 EST 1994

Since I didn't work ARRL DX (excuse deleted) I would be able to
make a somewhat unbiased comment on the use of 599 as an RST, for
today at least. 
The use of RST would seem to be a historical carry over for the original
"TESTS" which lead to our current contests.  I asked a question last
summer about this.  The use of MULTIPLIERS would seem to have added to
the length of the exchange.  In ARRL DX, power level is used as part of
the exchange since the QTH multiplier is imbedded in the call itself.
In an effort to be "fair" in the politically correct sense, yes, RST be
incorrect if always given 599 or, as an abortion to the code, 5NN.  Must
we be "purists"?  If so, then DX station ought to monitor their power to
the nearest watt, e.g., 102 vs. 100, to satisfy the same "purist" agenda.
I am sure in order to keep high rates, N6TR, CT, and CT would be only too
happy to modify their hardware to accomodate the A/D output of some extra
hardware to give us this exact data which is so vital to some.  Or would 
they?  Since the DX stations would be required to give two pieces of precise
data as opposed to the W/V operators, would this give an unfair advantage
to W/V operators? Yes, thus I suspect this is the true "agenda" of the RST
Elimination of RST would move this one step further, since now there 
would be no signal report to put of those QSL cards and the causual operator
would no longer have an interest in working DX stations, i.e., working
towards DXCC.  
The use of a 599, or as we prefer 5NN, RST clearly IMPLIES a perfect 
understanding of the message exchanged.  If this were not the case, why
are many exchanges filled with ? -AGN - QSL? comments?  The contester,
even little pistols such as myself, are very concerned with error rates
since an error rate greater than 2 percent will potentially lead to
disqualification.  Thus, the use of 599 is not merely a pointless RST
exchange for contesters but rather an observed and proveable fact.  The
"purist" is never required anything for his QSL other than an exchange took
place, the contester has to prove more and submit his logs for evaluation
to some contest body WHO WILL EXAMAIN THE OTHERSIDE of the QSO.

de alan, N2ALE 599 CA

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