Radio Check

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A Radio Check or Comms Check is conducted to confirm the communication status and ensure proper reception between stations.

In order to stay abreast of changing propagation conditions stations report each other deterioration in signal strength and readability.

Signal strength is given using the terms:

  • LOUD
  • GOOD
  • WEAK

Readability is given using the terms:

  • CLEAR
  • READABLE
  • UNREADABLE

The best possible reponse would be LOUD and CLEAR with WEAK and UNREADABLE being the worst.

Assuming two stations: Alpha 1 and Bravo 2

Alpha 1: "Bravo Two, this is Alpha One, Radio Check, OVER."
Bravo 2: "Alpha One, this is Bravo Two, LOUD and CLEAR, OVER."
Alpha 1: "Alpha One, LOUD and CLEAR, OUT."

Sometimes radio operators might use the term "Lima Charlie" to refer to "LOUD and CLEAR".

A rather old and more specific way that confirms the Signal Strength and Readability is the 5 by 5 method, where five is the best possible value for both, signal strength and readability.

Alpha 1: "Bravo Two, this is Alpha One, Radio Check, OVER."
Bravo 2: "Alpha One, this is Bravo Two, I read you FIVE BY FIVE, OVER."
Alpha 1: "Alpha One, FIVE BY FIVE, OUT."

In some cases, when a station comes on a net/frequency, where it does not know what stations are listening out it can use the radio check to establish contact with one station.

Alpha 1: "ANY STATION, this is Alpha One, Radio Check, OVER."
Bravo 2: "Alpha One, this is Bravo Two, LOUD and CLEAR, OVER."
[...]


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