HAM Radio 101

Word of the Day (QSO): What Does QSO Mean?


In our last Word of the Day post, we discussed State QSO Parties—a contest in which operators try to work as many stations as possible in a state or group of states. If you’re new to the hobby, you might have asked, “Sounds like fun. But what’s a QSO?” QSO is another of Ham Radio’s Q-Signals. These were developed in the early days of radio as shorthand to simplify communication—primarily to abbreviate what was sent via Morse Code and also between different language speaking operators. Ham Radio operators still make liberal use of them today. A QSO is another word for “contact,” as in “I made 783 QSOs during Field Day last year!” or “Making QSOs with European stations was difficult during the contest.”

Many Hams enjoy keeping a record of stations they’ve made QSOs with by writing them in a log book. For old-schoolers who opt for pen and paper over use of a keyboard, DX Engineering carries several types of log books here.


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