ham radio lingo and q-codes

Ham Radio Lingo and Q-Codes

Ham operators still use Morse Code. However, as you can imagine, sending a lengthy text can be time-consuming. Of course, you can always pair your ham radio with a computer for a smoother experience but using Q-Codes will make communication faster.

Ham operators also developed their own lingo just like CB radio owners. Using Q-Codes and ham radio lingo usually shows that you are a skilled ham operator, and this will earn you respect from other hams.

Today, we'll thus take a look at a few Q-Codes and ham radio lingo that will help set you apart from the newbies. Though there's a lot to learn when it comes to ham radio lingo, we picked the most popular words that you will come across often.

A Q-Code is a standardized set of three letters that is used in commercial radiotelegraph communication to reduce the time it takes to convey messages. Most of the codes begin with the letter "Q" hence the name "Q-Code".

The codes fall into specific groups. For instance, the QAA-QNZ range usually has codes that are relevant in the aviation industry while the QOA-QQZ has codes that are ideal for marine use. QRA-QUZ has general codes that are suitable for practically anything.

Q-Codes

Without further ado, here is a list of a few of the common Q-Codes that you can start using today.

Q-Code

Meaning

QLE

What signal are you expecting?

QNI

Can I join the network?

QRA

What is the name of your station? / What is call sign of your station?

QRG

What is the exact frequency?

QRH

Does my frequency vary?

QRI

How is the tone of my transmission?

QRJ

How many voice contacts do you wish to make?

QRK

How readable are my signals?

QRL

Are you currently busy?

QRM

Are you experiencing interference?

QRN

Is static noise troubling you?

QRO

Should I increase transmission power?

QRP

Should I decrease transmission power?

QRQ

Should I send faster?

QRS

Should I send slower?

QRT

Should I cease or suspend the current operation?

QRU

Do you have anything for me?

QRV

Are you ready?

QRX

Should I stand by? / Will you be calling me again?

QRZ

Who is calling me?

QSA

What is the strength of my signals?

QSB

Is my signal fading?

QSD

Is my keying defective?

QSK

Can you hear me between your signals?

QSL

Can you acknowledge receipt of the message?

QSN

Did you hear me on KHz or MHz?

QSO

Can you communicate directly or by relay?

QSP

Kindly relay a message to ______.

QSR

Do you want me to repeat my call?

QSS

What working frequency will you be using?

QSU

Should I send or reply on this frequency?

QSW

Will you send on this frequency?

QSY

Should I change transmission on another frequency?

QSZ

Should I send each word or group more than once?

QTA

Should I cancel the telegram message?

QTC

How many telegram messages are you to send?

QTH 

What is your position in latitude and longitude or relative to a known location?

QTR 

What is the time?

QTU

What are your operating times?

QTX

Will you keep your station open for further communication with me?

QUA

Have you heard any news about ______?

QUC

What is the number of the last message you received from me?

QUD

Have you received the urgency signal sent by ______?

QUE

Can you speak in ______ (language)? If so, on what frequencies?

QUF

Have you received the distress signal sent by _______?

Application of Q Codes

Q-Codes usually have two portions. The first part contains the question while the second part has the answers. Ideally, you are supposed to substitute a question with the relevant Q-Code to convey your message. 

You can also use Q-Codes naturally within a conversation. For example, someone stating that he/she has a high level of QRM means that he/she is experiencing high levels of interference.

Ham Radio Lingo

Now that you know of a few of the Q-Codes that hams use, it's time you learnt the ham radio lingo. Using ham radio lingo will not only show that you are conversant with ham radios, but it could also help you get respect from other ham operators that you interact with. It also increases your chances of making a couple of friends.

Ham Radio Lingo

Meaning

73

Best Regards

88

Hugs or Kisses

ACSB

Amplitude Compandored Sideband modulation

AGC

Automatic Gain Control

Barefoot

Running your transmitter without an amplifier

AOS

Acquisition of Signal (mostly from a satellite)

ARRL

American Radio Relay League

BFO

Beat Frequency Oscillator

Bird

Refers to a satellite or at times the brand name of a powerful wattmeter

Boat Anchor

Refers to an old, heavy radio

BPSK

Binary Phase Shift Keying

Brass Pounder

Refers to someone who sends telegraph the old-fashioned way

CBA

Call Book Address

CC&R’s

Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions - Rules drawn up by the homeowner’s associations

CTCSS

Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System

DX

Long distance

Eyeball

Face-to-face meeting

FB

Fine Business

Keyer

An electronic device that lets you send Morse Code semi-automatically

LOS

Loss of signal

LSB

Lower sideband

MPR

Mass Produced Rig – A mass-produced radio

MUF

Maximum Useable Frequency

NB

Noise Blanker

NCS

Net Control Station

NTS

National Traffic System

PEP

Peak Envelope Power

PL

Private Line

PM

Phase/Pulse Modulation

PTT

Push to Talk

QCWA

Quarter Century Wireless Club

QSL Manager

Amateur Radio operator

Rig

Radio

RST

Readability, Strength, Tone

RX

Receive

SWL

Shortwave Listener

Ticket

FCC License

Talk-Around

Simplex

VEC

Volunteer Exam Coordinator

WAC

Worked All Continents

WAN

Worked All Neighbors

WAS

Worked All States

WX

Weather

Conclusion

All in all, learning ham radio lingo and Q-Codes is a gradual process. Despite picking up one or two words that you can use the next time you want to transmit using your ham radio, it is a good idea to use the words naturally as you will learn them far quicker. Remember not to overuse them too. Not everyone is conversant with ham radio lingo and Q-Codes.

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