SINPO Code

Raffaello Tesi

SINPO, acronym for signal, interference, noise, propagation, and overall, is a code used to describe the quality of radio transmissions, especially in reception reports written by shortwave listeners. Each letter of the code stands for a specific factor of the signal, and each item is graded on a 1 to 5 scale.

The values of the scale have different meanings depending on the particular factor:

Signal

1

Terrible signal. Barely detectable. Voices audible but not understood. Some musical notes audible.

2

Poor signal. Voices audible and sometimes understood. Most musical notes audible.

3

Fair signal. Voices plainly audible and easily understood. Music plainly audible although lacking clarity.

4

Good signal. Everything’s plainly audible with just a little less than the best quality.

5

Excellent signal. As strong as it gets.

Interference

1

Rotten interference. Impossible to tune off to the side to avoid it. You can’t hear the signal you want.

2

Bad interference. Possible to hear the signal you want only some of the time.

3

Moderate interference. The signal you want is audible around half the time.

4

Slight interference. It rarely prevents you from hearing the signal you want.

5

No interference.

Noise

1

Horrible noise. Hearing the program is impossible.

2

Bad noise level. Ruins most of the reception.

3

Moderate noise. Some of the program audible or plainly audible with notable noise.

4

Slight noise. The program is plainly audible.

5

No noise.

Propagation

1

Terrible. Signal is faded out much more than it’s faded in.

2

Bad. Fades a lot, but not always beyond audibility.

3

Moderate. Shaky signal. Sometimes not audible, sometimes just weaker.

4

Slight. Mostly steady signal. Minor fading, almost always audible.

5

None. Signal strength steady.

Overall

1

Lousy. Not enjoyable or useful.

2

Poor. Occasional moments when the signal is useful but generally not of enjoyable quality.

3

Fair. Useful or enjoyable much of the time but with something to be desired.

4

Good. Generally good. Occasional problem moments or a slight constant problem.

5

Excellent. Enjoyable and useful reception free of trouble.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SINPO, table from http://www.koshko.com/radio/sinpo.shtml.

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