HAM Radio Q-Code

Q-Code

These codes were originally developed to shorten transmission times when using CW, but are frequently used in voice transmissions. (eg. I am going to go QRT, thanks for the QSO.) The QRA...QUZ code range includes phrases applicable to all services and is allocated to the International Telecommunications Union. NATO's ACP 131(E), COMMUNICATIONS INSTRUCTIONS - OPERATING SIGNALS, March 1997, chapter 2 contains a full list of 'Q' codes. Other 'Q' code ranges are allocated specifically to aviation or maritime services; many of those codes have fallen into disuse as voice displaces CW in commercial operation.
The Q-code was originally instituted at the Radiotelegraph Convention held in London, 1912 and was intended for marine radiotelegraph use. The codes were based on an earlier list published by the British postmaster general's office in 1908.[1] More information about the history and usage of Q-codes can be found here.
Code Meaning Sample use
Q Codes Commonly Used by Radio Amateurs
QRG Exact frequency HE TX ON QRG 14205 kHz
QRI Tone (T in the RST code) UR QRI IS 9
QRK Intelligibility (R in the RST code) UR QRK IS 5
QRL This frequency is busy. Used almost exclusively with morse code, usually as a question (QRL? - is this frequency busy?) before transmitting on a new frequency
QRM Man-made interference ANOTHER QSO UP 2 kHz CAUSING LOT OF QRM
QRN Natural interference, e.g. static crashes BAND NOISY TODAY LOT OF QRN
QRO Increase power NEED QRO WHEN PROP POOR
QRP Decrease power QRP TO 5 W (As a mode of operation, a QRP station is five watts or less, a QRPp station one watt or less)
QRQ Send more quickly TIME SHORT PSE QRQ
QRR Temporarily unavailable/away, please wait WILL BE QRR 30 MIN = THAT STN IS QRR NW
QRRR Land distress A non-standard call proposed by ARRL for land-based or railroad emergency traffic in situations where response from ships at sea (which listened for SOS) was neither needed nor desired.[2][3] Now deprecated.
QRS Send more slowly PSE QRS NEW TO CW (QRS operation - a slower dot rate - is useful during weak-signal conditions; a QRSS mode uses an extremely low code rate on a channel less than 1Hz wide to allow reception under extreme QRP conditions)
QRT Stop sending ENJOYED TALKING 2 U = MUST QRT FER DINNER NW
QRU Have you anything for me? QRU? ABOUT TO QRT
QRV I am ready WL U BE QRV IN UPCOMING CONTEST?
QRX Will call you again QRX @ 1500H
QRZ You are being called by ________. QRZ? UR VY WEAK (Only someone who has previously called should reply)
QSA Signal strength UR QSA IS 5
QSB Fading of signal THERE IS QSB ON UR SIG
QSD Your keying is defective QSD CK YR TX
QSK Break-in I CAN HR U DURING MY SIGS PSE QSK
QSL I Acknowledge receipt QSL UR LAST TX = PSE QSL VIA BURO (i.e. please send me a card confirming this contact).
QSM Repeat last message QRM DROWNED UR LAST MSG OUT = PSE QSM
QSN I heard you QSN YESTERDAY ON 7005 kHz
QSO A conversation TNX QSO 73
QSP Relay PSE QSP THIS MSG TO MY FRIEND
QST General call to all stations QST: QRG ALLOCS HV CHGD
QSX I am listening on ... frequency QSX 14200 TO 14210 kHz
QSY Shift to transmit on ... LETS QSY UP 5 kHz
QTA Disregard last message QTA, DID NOT MEAN THAT
QTC Traffic STN WID EMRG QTC PSE GA
QTH Location QTH IS SOUTH PARK CO
QTR Exact time QTR IS 2000 Z

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