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What means "5 by 5"?
May 4, 2007 6:02 AM   Subscribe

Radio communications trivia: What is the meaning of the term "5 by 5"?

I repeatedly hear the term "reading you 5x5". What do the fives represent? Power? Clarity? (unlike this question). Is there a 3x4? What would that sound like?

Google Fu turns up plenty of examples, but no definitions.
posted by fox_terrier_guy to Technology (9 answers total)
 
Wikipedia
posted by cmm at 6:08 AM on May 4, 2007


By way of anecdote, I've occassionally heard someone in an (airport) control tower describe how they're receiving plane's radio, like "you're about a five by one" when transmissions are loud but unintelligible.
posted by Godbert at 6:55 AM on May 4, 2007


Thanks to all who responded - the answers are "5x5".
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 8:20 AM on May 4, 2007


Thanks. Now I understand what Faith was talking about on Buffy The Vampire Slayer.
posted by teg at 9:43 AM on May 4, 2007


"Thanks. Now I understand what Faith was talking about on Buffy The Vampire Slayer."

or...
the Terran Dropship pilot in BroodWar!
posted by tdischino at 9:55 AM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Incidentally, when communicating with CW ("continuous wave", i.e., Morse code) there is usually a third digit added, which runs up to 9 and indicates the quality of the tone -- from harsh, wavering buzz to solid, clear sine wave.

A perfect code signal is "559".
posted by jammer at 10:50 AM on May 4, 2007


tdischino: The StarCraft dropship just got that line from the dropship in the movie Aliens though.
posted by aubilenon at 11:22 AM on May 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


If I recall, in the video game Halo the drop ships also use 5x5. Female voice of the Cortana.

Yah. Now its all becoming clearer....
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 1:19 PM on May 4, 2007


Damn, teg, you got there before me. But, actually, I googled it after I heard Faith say it a few dozen times.
posted by sneakin at 2:08 PM on May 4, 2007


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