The Internet and 5 By 5

I’ve been in the technology business for a long, long, long time. When I was a kid I thought when my dad brought home a $400.00 dollar Hayes 1200 baud modem – I was in hog heaven. Today, when then average person connects to the Internet at a blazing 12Mbps (MegaBits per second) they really can’t appreciate how far we’ve come with technology.

The Internet is filled now with so much information, so many real-time thoughts, so much of humanity at one’s finger tip, at one’s command.

Knowledge in one’s head now replaced by the collective knowledge of humanity, if only you know how to search.

I saved $ 100 bucks by learning how to fix a leaking faucet myself. And then on a conference call I was listening in on the speaker asked “How do you hear us” and the response “5 by 5,” which made me think “where did that saying come from.”

In about five seconds I learned that “5 By 5” comes from – courtesy of

From an old Military Radio Telephone Procedure Manual (Circa 1953). In all probability, these came from the Q-Signals of yore where QRK was — What is the readability of my signals ? Answer: The readability of your signals is … (1 to 5). And QSA  — What is the strength of my signals ? Answer was: The strength of your signals is … (1 to 5).

Webmaster note: I believe the oft heard “You are Q5 is a voice equivalent to the CW QRK 5” And receiving you 5 by 5 is voice equivalent to QRK 5 and QSA 5

Report of Signal Strength
5 LOUD Your signal is very strong.
4 GOOD Your signal strength is good.
3 WEAK Your signal strength is weak.
2 VERY WEAK Your signal strength is very weak.
1 FADING Your signal strength fades to such an extent
that continuous reception cannot be relied upon.
Report of readability
5 CLEAR Excellent quality.
4 READABLE Quality is satisfactory.
3 UNREADABLE The quality of your transmission is so bad
that I cannot read you.
2 DISTORTED Having trouble reading you because your
signal is distorted.
1 WITH INTERFERENCE Trouble reading due to interference.
RADIO CHECK What is my signal strength and readability,
i.e., how do you hear me?
ROGER I have received your last transmission satisfactorily.
The omission of comment on signal strength and readability
is understood to mean that reception is loud and clear.
If reception is other than loud and clear it must be described
with the prowords from above

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Filed under All Posts, Humanity, Internet, Technology, Uncategorized

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