HAM Radio 101

Ham Radio 101: Cross Cultural Communication Made Easy with Q-Signals

Q-signals are a system of radio shorthand originally derived from old-school telegraphy codes. They date back as far as the advent of wireless radio. Used frequently among hams, Q-signals provide a convenient mode of communication for operators who don’t share a common language and are used to convey short snippets of information and questions.

For example, “QRZed?” is often used to ask, “Who is calling me?” Q-signals are easy to pick up and fun to toss around to communicate on the air. Here are a few to give you a head start into “multi-lingual” learning.

QRA: What is the name of your station? The name of my station is ___.

QRB: How far are you from my station? I am ____ km from your station.

QRD: Where are you bound and where are you coming from? I am bound ___ from ___.

QRG: Will you tell me my exact frequency? Your exact frequency is ___ kHz.

QRH: Does my frequency vary? Your frequency varies.

QRJ: Are you receiving me badly? I cannot receive you, your signal is too weak.

QRK: What is the intelligibility of my signals? The intelligibility of your signals is ___ (1-Bad, 2-Poor, 3-Fair, 4-Good, 5-Excellent.)

QRL: Are you busy? I am busy, please do not interfere

QRM: Is my transmission being interfered with? Your transmission is being interfered with ___ (1-Nil, 2-Slightly, 3-Moderately, 4-Severly, 5-Extremely.)

QRN: Are you troubled by static? I am troubled by static ___ (1-5 as under QRM.)

QRO: Shall I increase power? Increase power.

QRP: Shall I decrease power? Decrease power.

QRQ: Shall I send faster? Send faster (___ WPM.)

QRS: Shall I send more slowly? Send more slowly (___ WPM.)

QRT: Shall I stop sending? Stop sending.

QRV: Are you ready? I am ready.

QRZ: Who is calling me? You are being called by ___.

QSK: Can you hear me between your signals and, if so, can I break in on your transmission? I can hear you between my signals, break in on my transmission.

QSL: Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt.

QSM: Shall I repeat the last message which I sent you? Repeat the last

QSY: Shall I change to another frequency? Change to another frequency.

QTH: What is your location? My location is ___.

QTX: Will you keep your station open for further communication with me? I will keep my station open for further communication with you.

QUD: Have you received the urgency signal sent by ___? I have received the urgency signal sent by ___.

QUF: Have you received the distress signal sent by ___? I have received the distress signal sent by ___.

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