[amsat-bb] Why 6 digit grid locator in Europe?

Dani EA4GPZ daniel at destevez.net
Wed Feb 17 23:05:47 UTC 2016

El 17/02/16 a las 08:20, Juan Antonio Fernandez escribió:
> I can´t understand it.
> My thinking:
> - Any award needs 6 digits
> - Time on SATs is limited, Why to waste it trying to understand something
> useless
> - Other places, such as USA, only use 4 digits from years
> - To wrap up, all are advantages
> Anybody knows some reason why should we follow using 6 digits?
> If there is not a strong reason, I think we should start using 4 digits

Dear all,

I would like to go even further. A valid contact is defined as one where
there has been exchange over the air of:

- Both callsigns
- The signal report
- A confirmation of the reception of these (usually a roger or 73 will do)

At least it's written that way in the IARU R1 VHF manager's handbook.

An exchange of grid locators is not required to make a contact valid.

I don't follow all the awards, but I'm not aware of any awards that
actually require grid locators to be exchanged over the air to make the
contact count for the award. Sure you need to track grid locators if you
are after VUCC, but you can get the grid locators by qrz.com/email/qsl
cards/etc. It's not needed that you get them on the air.

It bothers me especially on FM sats, where time is shared between all
the operators and many times people insist in repeating their 6 digit
locators several times because of difficult conditions. This is just a
waste of time.

Of course I want to put the grid locators on my logbook, but most of the
time the locators I get on the air are just the same that are listed on
qrz.com, so I could just get them there.

In especial conditions, such as if you're operating portable and the
satellite is not busy (read as only 3 or less people), then it may make
some sense to pass the 4 or 6 digit locator over the air. But please,
don't repeat it several times as you struggle to make a contact in
difficult conditions.

This is less of a problem in linear sats, because time is not shared
between all the operators. Still, the same reasons for not passing the
locator at all are valid.

So, my suggestion is: Please, don't pass the grid locator at all, except
in especial conditions.


Dani EA4GPZ.

More information about the AMSAT-BB mailing list