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Ham Radio - CW International Q-Signals
Q-SignalCW MeaningQ-SignalCW Meaning
QRAWhat is your callsign? (callsign)QSAWhat is my signal strength? (1-5)
QRGWhat is my exact frequency? (this freq)QSBAre my signals fading? (signals are fading)
QRHDoes my frequency vary? QSDIs my keying defective?
QRIWhat is my signal tone quality? (1-3) QSGShall I send __ messages at a time?
QRKWhat is my signal intelligibility? (1-5) QSKCan you work break-in? (break-in operation)
QRLAre you (or this freq) busy? (This freq. is busy) QSLCan you acknowledge receipt? (I confirm receipt of message)
QRMIs my transmission being interfered with? (signal interference) QSMShall I repeat the last message I sent?
QRNAre you troubled by static? (static, atmospheric noise)QSOCan you communicate with this station? (radio contact between stations)
QROShall I increase transmitter power? (increase power, high powered)QSPWill you relay to __?
QRPShall I decrease transmitter power? (decrease power, low powered)QSTA general call preceding messages to all radio operators (info, news).
QRQShall I send faster? QSVShall I send a series of V's?
QRSShall I send slower? (send slower)QSWWill you transmit on __?
QRTShall I stop sending? (stop transmitting)QSXWill you listen on __ (freq)?
QRUDo you have any messages for me? (I have no messages for you)QSYShall I change frequency? (change frequency)
QRVAre you ready? (I am ready to transmit)QSZShall I send each word/group more than once?
QRWShall I tell __ (callsign) you're calling him? QTHWhat is your location? (station location)
QRXWhen will you call me again? (wait, standby)QTRWhat is your correct time?
QRZWho is calling me? (anyone answering my transmission)QTXWill you keep your station open for further communication with me?


Q-signals are three letter combinations used to represent common phrases or sentences for CW operation. They may be used as a question with a question mark (?) or statement without the question mark. For example, "QRZ?" is used to ask for the calling station(s) to identify again. "Please (pse) QRS" is used as a request to send the code at a slower speed. "The QTH is" is used to indicate this station's location.

Although originally used for CW, many Q-signals have become acceptable for phone operation.

Non Q-Signal CW Radiotelegraph Abbreviations:

73 -- Best Regards.
88 -- Love and Kisses.
YL -- Young Lady meaning Unmarried Lady; also any female ham radio operator.
XYL -- Ex-Young Lady, meaning a Married Lady; usually refers to a ham's wife.
OM -- Old Man, any male ham radio operator.


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