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RE: [amsat-international] Suggestion re grid squares

Hi Ray and all,
Personally I think it is a very good idea. I have often heard people
ask for the two last letters in the Locator - and used some time
on getting them right.
I think it is a wast of time, also here in Europe. I do not even log
the two last letters for satellite QSOs.
For my part I will write about that in the AMSAT-OZ Journal.
73 de OZ1MY/Ib

-----Original Message-----
From:	RaySoifer@cs.com [SMTP:RaySoifer@cs.com]
Sent:	18. august 2000 20:46
To:	amsat-int@AMSAT.Org; amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org; officers@AMSAT.Org
Subject:	[amsat-international] Suggestion re grid squares


Having recently operated again from the UK on UO-14 and UO-27, I would like 
to offer a suggestion.  Satellite operators in Europe generally exchange, 
during QSOs, their full six-character grid locators (eg, IO91QF).  In North 
America, only the first four characters are normally exchanged (eg, FN20).

It seems to me that the use of six-character grid squares in Europe is a 
carryover from terrestrial VHF/UHF operating practices, where the full 
Maidenhead locator provides meaningful information for such things as beam 
headings.  However, when using a satellite, one's antenna is aimed at the 
satellite, not at the other station.  Those major operating awards of which I 
am aware which are based on grid squares, eg VUCC, use only four-character 
locators rather than six.

The level of crowding and, consequently, of QRM on satellites in Europe is 
considerably worse than in North America.  If European satellite operators 
were to switch to using four-character grid locators, not only would contacts 
take less time to complete, but the QRM level would actually decrease 
somewhat as fewer incomplete QSOs would occur.

So, my suggestion is that we satellite operators adopt, by common consent, 
the four-character Maidenhead locator as a global standard QSO exchange in 
preference to the full six-character locator.  No change is proposed for 
terrestrial operation.

Please copy me (w2rs@amsat.org) on any comments posted to the bulletin board.

73, Ray

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