Ham radio has many fans around the world. It is because ham radio (or amateur radio) has many advantages.
First, it is fun talking to strangers from the other parts of the world, who have the same hobby. Second, it is especially useful during emergency situations. While other devices will lose their connectivity, ham radio will continue to work.
You must have a license of a certain class (technician, general or extra) to use a ham radio. In order to get a license, you need to pass a difficult exam.
Ham radio also has a special code and jargon that only ham radio user’s use.
What is Q Code?
Q-code is a standardized set of three letters. Each code begins with the letter Q which is the reason for the name.
Why do you need this code? It is a working signal. This signal was initially developed for commercial radiotelegraph communication. It then “migrated” to amateur communication and ham radio users actively use it.
It is difficult to distinguish one Q-code from another. Operators put the prefix “INT”, or use some kind of suffix.
There are different codes and many of them have very narrow specifics. For example, codes in the QAA range – QNZ are involved in aviation, and QOA – QQZ codes are for marine use. QRA – QUZ codes are suitable for everything.
Ham radio and Q Code
Ham radio adapted two sets of Q-codes. Therefore, these two sets are used only in amateur communication.
The first set “migrated” from the civilian ITU series from QRA to QUZ. You need to be careful with the first set of codes, because many may not fit the meaning.
A simple example: the code asks for the cost, and the amateur link is free. It means that you should not pay attention to this code.
The second set is QN signals. These signals are used only in ARRL NTS networks. The second set of codes is also not simple, because this set is not used in amateur radio.
How are the Q codes used?
Radio amateurs use Q-codes in voice communication as abbreviated nouns, verbs, and adjectives. They use these to try to make phrases.
Most Important Ham Radio Q Codes
QLE-What is your expected signal?
QNI– May I join the net?
QRA – What is the name (or call sign) of your station?
QRG– Will you tell me my exact frequency?
QRH – Does my frequency vary?
QRI – How is the tone of my transmission?
QRJ – How many voice contacts do you want to make?
QRK -What is the readability of my signals?
QRL – Are you busy?
QRM – Do you have interference from other stations?
QRN – Are you troubled by static?
QRO– Shall I increase power?
QRP – Shall I decrease power?
QRQ – Shall I send faster?
QRS– Shall I send more slowly?
QRT – Shall I cease or suspend operation?
QRU – Have you anything for me?
QRV – Are you ready?
QRX – When will you call me again?
QRZ – Who is calling me?
QSB – Are my signals fading?
QSD – Is my keying defective?
QSA – What is the strength of my signals?
QSK – Can you hear me between your signals?
QSL – Can you acknowledge receipt?
QSN – Did you hear me on ..kHz (or MHz)?
QSO– Can you communicate with … direct or by relay?
QSP – Will you relay a message to …?
QSR – Do you want me to repeat my call?
QSS – What working frequency will you use?
QSU – Shall I send or reply on this frequency?
QSW – Will you send on this frequency?
QSX – Will you listen to … (call sign(s) on … kHz (or MHz))?
QSY – Shall I change to transmission on another frequency?
QSZ – Shall I send each word or group more than once?
QTA – Shall I cancel telegram (message) No. … as if it had not been sent?
QTC – How many telegrams (messages) have you to send?
QTH – What is your position in latitude and longitude (or according to any other indication)?
QTR – What is the correct time?
QTU – At what times are you operating?
QTX – Will you keep your station open for further communication with me until further notice (or until … hours)?
QUA – Have you news of … (call sign)?
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), – with interpreter if necessary; if so, on what frequencies?
QUF – Have you received the distress signal sent by … (call sign of mobile station)?
So, how can you answer? Normally. I mean if you got a code “QRH”, that means “Does my frequency vary?” you can answer like “Your frequency varies.”
Ham Radio Lingo
Have you ever heard how Ham radio operators use different terminology? It was the lingo used for ham radio.
Operators use their “inner language” and understand each other perfectly.
If you want to become your ham opera operator in the environment or like to eavesdrop on other operators, here are the most popular “terms”.
73 – “Best Regards”
88 – “Hugs” and/or “Kisses”
ACSB – Amplitude Compandored Sideband modulation
AGC – “Automatic Gain Control”
Antenna Party – A long-standing tradition among hams
Barefoot – Refers to running your transmitter without an amplifier
AOS – “Acquisition of Signal” from a satellite
ARRL – American Radio Relay League
BFO – Beat Frequency Oscillator
Bird – nickname for “satellite” or brand name of a high-end watt meter
Birdie – A signal produced within a radio by microprocessor or related circuitry
Boat Anchor – heavy, old radio
BPSK – Binary Phase Shift Keying
Brass Pounder – Refers to someone who sends telegraphy by old fashioned key
CBA – Call Book Address
CC&R’s – “Covenents, Conditions, and Restrictions”; an extensive set of rules drawn up by homeowner’s associations
CTCSS – Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System or a private line
DR – dear
DSW – Russian abbreviation for “goodbye”
DX – Long distance
Eyeball – Face-to-face meeting
FB – Fine Business
Harmonic – 1. Children. 2. Secondary RF emission
Keyer – Electronic device for sending Morse Code semi-automatically
LOS – Loss of Signal
LSB – Lower Sideband
MPR – “Mass Produced Rig”; a radio which is produced in large quantities
MUF – Maximum Useable Frequency
NB – Noise Blanker
NCS – Net Control Station
NTS – National Traffic System
Paddles – Short for “Morse Code Key”
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 – “receiver”/ “receive”
SWL – Shortwave Listener
Ticket – FCC License
Talk-Around – Simplex
UTC – “Coordinated Universal Time”means a single time reference to be used worldwide
VEC – Volunteer Exam Coordinator
WAC – Worked All Continents
WAN – Worked All Neighbors
WAS – Worked All States
WX – weather
XYL – ex-wife and YL – wife
YL – Young Lady
As you can see, ham radio Lingo and Q codes are not just for professionals but also for amateurs. Now you can not only listen but understand and use the secret language of ham radio users.
This is a very interesting practice that makes using the radio not only interesting but also secret.
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