What Are Q-Codes
The international Q-codes are a collection of abbreviations that was created to simplify Morse code communications.
Each individual code is comprised of three letters always prefixed with a “Q” hence the name of “Q-codes”.
The codes are structured in such a way so that it may be used as either a question or an answer (or statement).
The Amateur radio Q-Codes are only a small subset of the full international Q-code set which includes codes for nautical and aeronautical purposes.
These additional codes are not included as they are beyond the scope of this article.
Amateur radio informal Q-code
Quite often Q-codes are used by amateurs in an informal manner, the original meaning being slightly altered. Scroll down for the original version of the Q-codes.
|Q Code||Formal meaning|
|QRQ||High speed CW|
|QRS||Low speed CW|
|QRSS||Very low speed CW|
|QRT||Shut down the station|
|QRZ?||Who is calling me?|
|QSL||Confirmation or card to confirm contact|
The original set of Q codes are listed below.
|Code||Used as a question||Used as an answer or statement|
|QRA||What is the name (or callsign) of your station?||The name (or callsign) of my station is …|
|QRB||How far are you from my station?||The distance between our stations is … nautical miles (or km)|
|QRG||Will you tell me my exact frequency (or that of …)?||Your exact frequency (or that of … ) is … kHz (or MHz)|
|QRH||Does my frequency vary?||Your frequency varies|
|QRI||How is the tone of my transmission?||The tone of your transmission is (1: good, 2: variable 3: bad)|
|QRK||What is the readability of my signals (or those of …)?||The readability of your signals (or those of …) is … (1: bad … 5: excellent)|
|QRL||Are you busy?||I am busy. (or I am busy with … ) Please do not interfere|
|QRM||Do you have interference?||I have interference|
|QRN||Are you troubled by static noise?||I am troubled by static noise|
|QRO||Shall I increase transmit power?||Please increase transmit power|
|QRP||Shall I decrease transmit power?||Please decrease transmit power|
|QRQ||Shall I send faster?||Please send faster (… words per minute)|
|QRS||Shall I send more slowly?||Please send more slowly (… words per minute)|
|QRT||Shall I cease or suspend operation?||I am suspending operation|
|QRU||Have you anything for me?||I have nothing for you|
|QRV||Are you ready?||I am ready|
|QRX||Shall I standby? / When will you call me again?||Please standby. / I will call you again at … (hours) on … kHz (or MHz)|
|QRZ||Who is calling me?||You are being called by …|
|QSA||What is the strength of my signals (or those of … )?||The strength of your signals (or those of …) is … (1: very weak .. 5: very strong).|
|QSB||Are my signals fading?||Your signals are fading|
|QSD||Is my keying defective?||Your keying is defective|
|QSK||Can you hear me between your signals (while transmitting), and if so can I break in on your transmission?||I can hear you between my signals (while transmitting); 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, or some previous message?||Repeat the last message which you sent me|
|QSN||Did you hear me (or …) on … kHz (or MHz)?||I did hear you (or …) on … kHz (or MHz)|
|QSO||Can you communicate with … direct or by relay?||I can communicate with … direct (or by relay through …)|
|QSP||Will you relay a message to …?||I will relay a message to … .|
|QSS||What working frequency will you use?||I will use … kHz (or MHz)|
|QSU||Shall I send or reply on this frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz))?||Please send or reply on this frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz)).|
|QSV||Shall I send a series of "V" on this frequency?||Please send a series of "V" on this frequency|
|QSX||Will you listen to … on … kHz (or MHz)?||I am listening to … on … kHz (or MHz).|
|QSY||Shall I change transmission frequency (to … kHz (or MHz))?||Please change transmission frequency (to … kHz (or MHz)).|
|QSZ||Shall I send each word or group more than once?||Send each word or group twice (or … times).|
|QTC||How many telegrams (messages) have you to send?||I have … telegrams (messages) for you (or for …).|
|QTH||What is your position in latitude and longitude (or according to any other indication)?||My position is … latitude, … longitude|
|QTR||What is the correct time?||The correct time is … hours|