www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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WBØJNR
First licensed in 1970, Amateur Extra class license since 1982...
(I also hold a General Radio Telephone License)

Morse Code Hand Keys
Elecraft K1, J38 and a
Morse Express Chirstmas Key
Q and Z Signals
(The Q code and Z code)

 

 

International "Q" Signals (The Q code) were developed by the International Radiotelegraphic Convention in 1912. Their intent was to shorten, or make more efficient, certain aspects of Morse code communications (Click Here for my Morse code page). The best feature of Q signals, to me, is that they are universally recognized in all languages (as long as the person receiving them knows Morse code!!).

As an amateur radio operator I used Q signals extensively while operating CW (Morse code) on the amateur bands. An odd aspect of Q Signals is that they're also used in voice communications, sometimes helping a bit with language barriers. However, I'm a bit skeptical since operators speaking the same language can communicate more effectively by saying something like, "I have four messages for you," rather than repeating "QTC4, QTC4," - etc. - just my opinion, of course!

Z Signals (The Z code) were developed shortly after the creation of the Q code and was widely used in commerce, military, and maritime operations. As a Coast Guard Radioman I used a lot of "Z" signals in addition to the "Q" signals I grew accustomed to as an amateur radio operator in my early teens. As for the Z signals themselves, I've listed a bunch of them further down this page...

- Roger J. Wendell
WBØJNR, 2004

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for Morse code memories from telegraphers
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for the International Morse code alphabet and phonetics
Hand Key   Click on this hand key to hear real Morse code! (227k .wav file)
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my tribute to Morse telegraphy

 

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Notes from Visitors!
I also have messages on my Morse Memories, Guest Book and other pages!

Hello Roger Wendell

Just a short note. In the mid 60s, I was in the Navy at NAVCOMSTA (Naval Communication Station) Newport, RI and NAVCOMSTA Keflavik, Iceland. Reading through the Q and Z signals were like a scrap book of those years.

Thank you.

don

"Knowledge not shared is lost"

As long as we remember those who have given their all, as long as we embrace them in our memory, they will always be with us.

Don Kindell
November 16, 2008
Sidney, Ohio

 

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Q Signals (Q code)

(This is a list of the signals that are favored by amateur radio operators. A more comprehensive
  list, used by maritime and other services, is listed at the bottom of this page)

Q Signals can be used either with, or without, a question mark.
An additional figure, frequency or other information can accompany
a Q signal. Here's an example:

QTC?    means: "Do you have any messages for me?"

QTC4    means: "I have 4 messages for you"

Code Question Answer
QRA What is the name (or call sign) of your station? The name (or call sign) 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 ... (on ... kHz (or MHz)).
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.
QSG Can I use batch working? Send ... messages at a time.
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 telegram (message) which I sent you, or some previous telegram (message)? Repeat the last telegram (message) which you sent me (or telegram(s) (message(s)) numbers(s) ...).
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 (or on ... kHz (or MHz))? Please send a series of "V" on this frequency (or on ... kHz (or MHz)).
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.

Informal Use

Amateur radio operators have a relatively common subset of "Q" codes that they
ofent use as simple substitutes for words or phrases during a conversation - sometimes
slightly altering the meaning of the original Q code. Note: "QLF ?" (Are you sending with
your left foot) is unofficial and derogatory - but often used as a humerous remark or response...)
Additionally, the signal, QRPp means (or asks) that the transmitter output is one watt or less.

QRA Name
QRB Distance
QRG Frequency
QRK Intelligibility
QRL Busy
QRM Interference
QRN Noise
QRO High power
QRP Low power
QRQ High speed CW
QRS Low speed CW
QRSS Very low speed CW
QRT Shut down the station
QRV Ready
QRX Stand by
QRZ? Who is calling me?
QSB Fading
QSD Defective keying
QSK Break in
QSL Confirmation or card to confirm contact
QSO Radio contact
QSY Change frequency
QTC Message
QTH Location
QTR Time

 

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Z Signals
(Z code)

 ZAA    Maintain proper circuit discipline
 ZAI    Run
(1. Caller
 2. Test Tape
 3. Synchronizing tape
 4. Traffic
 5. Marking Signals
 6. Spacing Signals
 7. Reversals
 8. Run teletypewriter space bar signals)
 ZAX    You are ...
 (1. causing interference. Listen for sending;
 2. Causing interference by inattention to order to wait
 3. Sending att the same time as
 4. causing delay by slowness in answering
 5. Anwering out of turn)
 ZBB    For following message ypu will require ...... total of copies
 ZBF    For following message use large message form
 ZBH    Make preliminary call before transmitting messages
 ZBI    Change to voice transmission and reception
 ZBL    I am unable to receive you while I am transmitting.
 Do not use break - in procedure.
 ZBO  Of what precedence is your message?  I have (or ... has) (numeral followed by
 precedence prosign for each
 precedence) message(s) for you (or for ... )
 ZBZ  What is the printing accuracy of my signals
 (or those of ) ?
 The printing accuracy of your signals (or those of) is
 (1. Tottally currupt
 2. Very currupt
 3. Partly currupt rendering traffic unacceptable
 4. Occasionally currupt but traffic acceptable
 5. Perfect .. no curreuption)
 ZDJ    I have a message containing groups to transmit to you
 (or to)
 ZDK  Will you repeat message or portion indicated?  Following repetition of is made in accordance
  with your request
 ZDO    I could not send message to ....
 ZDQ    Message was relayed to (at .... by on .... kc/s)
 ZEN    This message has been delivered by a separate
 transmission to the addressee(s) immediately following
 this operating signal.
 ZEN1    This message has been delivered by a
 Messenger/Courier to the addressee(s)
 immediatley following this operating signal
 ZEN2    This message has been delivered by
 Mail to the addressee(s) immediately
 following this operating signal
 ZEU    Exercise (drill) message
 ZEX    This is a book message and may be
 delivered as a single address message to
 addressees for whom you are responsible
 ZFA    Following message has been read
 (received or intercepted)
 ZFH    This message is passed to you for ...
 1. Action
 2. Information
 3. Comment
 NOTE The call sign follows the
 operating signal. e.g ZFH2 ØA is For
 information of the station ØA
 ZFR    Cancel transmission
 ZGE    Make your call sign ... times (number
 of times indicated)
 ZGF    Make call signs more distinctly
 ZGN  When was I (or ....) Last heard?  Nothing heard of you (or ....) (since ....).
 ZGO  What 18 my call sign and sequence of
 answering?
 Your call sign is ....
 Answer after ....
 ZKA  Who is controlling station net?  I am (or .... is) controlling station on
 this frequency
 ZKB  Is it necessary to obtain permission of
 the controlling station (net control station)
 before transmitting messages?
 It is necessary to obtain the permission
 of the controlling station (net control station)
 before transmitting messages
 ZDK  Shall I take control of the net (for .... )
 (until .... )
 Take control of the net
 ZKE    I am reporting into the net
 ZKJ  May I close down (Until .... )?  (1. Close down (Until .... )
 2. I am closing down (until .... ))
 ZNB  What is the authentication?  Authentication is (may Include a time group)
 ZND    Your authentication is incorrect
 ZOE  Can you accept message?  Give me your message, I will for dispose of it.
 ZOF    Relay this message to now (or at).
 ZOK    Relay this message via ....
 ZOT    Transmit or handle this message at the
 lower precedence to the station(s)
 whose call sign follow(s).
 ZPF  What is the readability of the net (or of .... )?  The readability of the net (or of ....) is
 (1. Unworkable
 3. Difficult
 5. OK).
 ZRC  Shall I tune my Station to ....?
 (1. Proper frequency
 2. Zero beat with your (or ....'s) transmitter?
 Tune your station to
 (1. proper frequency
 2. Zero beat with my (or ....'s) transmitter
 ZRF  Will you send a tuning signal on your
 present frequency, (or on .... kc/s)?
 I am about to send a tuning signal on
 my present frequency, (or .... kc/s)
 ZRN  Do you intend to transmit on:
 1. Upper sideband;
 2. Lower sideband;
 3. Both sidebands indepently?
 I intend to transmit on:
 1. The USB;
 2. The LSB;
 3. Both Sidebands independently
 ZTD  Shall I use ....  Use ....
 ZTG  (Class of emission/type of transmission,
 See ACP 131).
 
 ZUA  Request time signal now (or at .... Hrs.).  Time signal will be transmitted now or at .... Hrs.
 ZUE    Affirmative (Yes).
 ZUG    Negative (No).
 ZUH    Unable to comply (or can first comply at ... Z (hrs))
 ZUI    Your attention is invited to
 ZUJ    Stand by
 ZUK  Appointment title desire personal
 conversation with (e.g. Fetch Sunray)
 Requested person (Appointment title)
 now ready ... (e.g. Sunray Speaking)
 ZXY    transmit this message to the addressees
 indicate by the numerals.
 ZXT    Tune antennas.
 ZYU    Change to frequency shift telegraphy
 (Shift c/s).

 

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"92 Code"

In 1859, Western Union standardized the "92 code" in which the numbers from 1 to 92 were assigned meanings to help eliviate circuit congestion.
Additional numbers were added later. In amateur radio, the number "73" is most comonly used at the end of communications between stations. Low
Power, or "QRP" amateur radio operators regularly use "72" as "Best Wishes Low Power" at the end of their communciations.

1859 WESTERN UNION "92 CODE"
1 Wait a minute. 25 Busy on another wire.
2 Very Important. 26 Put on ground wire.
3 What time is it? 27 Priority, very important.
4 Where shall I go ahead? 28 Do you get my writting?.
5 Have you business for me? 29 Private, deliver in sealed envelope.
6 I am ready. 30 No more - the end.
7 Are you ready? 31 Form 31 train order.
8 Close your key, stop breaking. 32 I understand that I am to ....
9 Priority business. Wire Chief's call. 33 Answer is paid.
10 Keep this circuit closed. 34 Message for all officiers.
12 Do you understand? 35 You may use my signal to answer this.
13 I understand. 37 Inform all interested.
14 What is the weather? 39 Important, with priority on thru wire.
15 For you and others to copy. 44 Answer promptly by wire.
17 Lightning here. 55 Important.
18 What's the trouble? 73 Best Regards.
19 Form 19 train order. 77 I have a message for you.
21 Stop for meal. 88 Love and kisses.
22 Wire test. 91 Superintendent's signal.
23 All stations copy. 92 Deliver Promptly.
24 Repeat this back. 134 Who is at the key?

 

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Full international Q-code

This list consists of almost all of the codes from QRA to QUZ but are mostly used for maritime and rescue operations - not used much by amateur radio operators.
(There are even more codes (QAA to QZZ) that were used in aviation and maritime traffic but not listed here...)

QRA What is the name of your station?
QRB How far approximately are you from my station?
QRC By what enterprise are the accounts for charges for your station settled?
QRD Where are you bound for and where are you from?
QRE What is your estimated time of arrival at ... (over ...)?
QRF Are you returning to ... ?
QRG Will you tell me my exact frequency (or that of ...)?
QRH Does my frequency vary?
QRI How is the tone of my transmission?
QRJ How many radiotelephone calls have you to book?
QRK What is the intelligibility of my signals (or those of ...)?
QRL Are you busy?
QRM Are you being interfered with?
QRN Are you troubled by static?
QRO Shall I increase transmitter power?
QRP Shall I decrease transmitter power?
QRQ Shall I send faster?
QRR Are you ready for automatic operation?
QRS Shall I send more slowly?
QRT Shall I stop sending?
QRU Have you anything for me?
QRV Are you ready?
QRW Shall I inform ... that you are calling him on ... kHz (or MHz)?
QRX When will you call me again?
QRY What is my turn?
QRZ Who is calling me?
QSA What is the strength of my signals (or those of ...)?
QSB Are my signals fading?
QSC Are you a cargo vessel?
QSD Is my keying defective?
QSE What is the estimated drift of the survival craft?
QSF Have you effected rescue?
QSG Shall I send ... telegrams at a time?
QSH Are you able to home on your direction-finding equipment?
QSI I have been unable to break in on your transmission.
QSJ What is the charge to be collected to ... including your internal charge?
QSK Can you hear me between your signals and if so can I break in on your transmission?
QSL Can you acknowledge receipt?
QSM Shall I repeat the last telegram which I sent you (or some previous telegram)?
QSN Did you hear me (or ... ) on ... kHz (or MHz)?
QSO Can you communicate with ... direct (or by relay)?
QSP Will you relay to ... free of charge?
QSQ Have you a doctor on board (or is ... on board)?
QSR Shall I repeat the call on the calling frequency?
QSS What working frequency will you use?
QSU Shall I send or reply on this frequency (or on ... kHz (or MHz))
QSV Shall I send a series of Vs on this frequency (or on ... kHz (or MHz))?
QSW Will you send on this frequency (or on ... kHz (or MHz))
QSX Will you listen to ... on ... kHz (or MHz)?
QSY Shall I change to transmission on another frequency?
QSZ Shall I send each word or group more than once?
QTA Shall I cancel telegram (or message) number ... ?
QTB Do you agree with my counting of words?
QTC How many telegrams have you to send?
QTD What has the rescue vessel or rescue aircraft recovered?
QTE What is my true bearing from you?
QTF Will you give me my position according to your bearings?
QTG Will you send two dashes of ten seconds each followed by your call sign (repeated ... times) (on ... kHz (or MHz))?
QTH What is your position in latitude and longitude?
QTI What is your true track?
QTI What is your true course?
QTJ What is your speed?
QTK What is the speed of your aircraft in relation to the surface of the Earth?
QTL What is your true heading?
QTM What is your magnetic heading?
QTN At what time did you depart from ... (place)?
QTO Have you left dock (or port)?
QTP Are you going to enter dock (or port)?
QTQ Can you communicate with my station by means of the International Code of Signals?
QTR What is the correct time?
QTS Will you send your call sign for tuning purposes or so that your frequency can be measured now (or at ... hours) on ... kHz (or MHz)?
QTT The identification signal which follows is superimposed on another transmission.
QTU What are the hours during which your station is open?
QTV Shall I stand guard for you on the frequency of ... kHz (or MHz) (from ... to ... hours)?
QTW What is the condition of survivors?
QTX Will you keep your station open for further communication with me until further notice (or until ... hours)?
QTY Are you proceeding to the position of incident and if so when do you expect to arrive?
QTZ Are you continuing the search?
QUA Have you news of ... ?
QUB Can you give me in the following order information concerning: the direction in degrees and speed of the surface wind, visibility, present weather, and amount, type and height of base of cloud above surface elevation at ... ?
QUC What is the number (or other indication) of the last message you received from me (or from ...)?
QUD Have you received the urgency signal sent by ... (call sign of mobile station)?
QUE Can you use telephony in ... (language), with interpreter if necessary; if so, on what frequencies?
QUF Have you received the distress signal sent by ...?
QUG Will you be forced to alight (or land)?
QUH Will you give me the present barometric pressure at sea level?
QUI Are your navigation lights working?
QUJ Will you indicate the true track to reach you (or ...)?
QUK Can you tell me the condition of the sea observed at ...?
QUL Can you tell me the swell observed at ...?
QUM May I resume normal working?
QUN Will vessels in my immediate vicinity please indicate their position, cruise and speed?
QUO Shall I search for ... (aircraft, ship, survival craft)?
QUP Will you indicate your position by searchlight, black smoke trail, pyrotechnic lights?
QUQ Shall I train my searchlight nearly vertical on a cloud, and if your aircraft is seen, deflect the beam up wind and on the water?
QUR Have survivors ... (1. received survival equipment, 2. been picked up by rescue vessel, 3. been reached by ground rescue) party?
QUS Have you sighted survivors or wreckage?
QUT Is position of incident marked?
QUU Shall I home ship or aircraft to my position?
QUW Are you in the search area designated as ...?
QUX Do you have any navigational warnings or gale warnings in force?
QUY Is position of survival craft marked?
QUZ May I resume restricted working?

 

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Links:

  1. Antennas!
  2. ARRL - American Radio Relay League
  3. Coast Guard
  4. Club stations
  5. Coast Guard Club and Amateur Radio Net
  6. CWCom Morse Code over the Internet
  7. Extra Class License
  8. Hand Keys on display by OZ2CPU
  9. FISTS The International Morse Preservation Society
  10. K3WWP's Successful Procedures for CW QSO's
  11. K9DE Learning and Using Morse Code
  1. Maritime radio
  2. Memorizing Morse code by Wolf at 1728 Software Systems
  3. Morse code
  4. Morse code alphabet and phonetics
  5. Morse Code Company
  6. Morse code memories from telgraphers
  7. QRP and Amateur Radio
  8. QSL cards
  9. Spark Gap info by John S. Belrose
  10. Spark Gap Recording from 1921 by VK7RO
  11. ZUT Coast Guard CW Operators Association

 

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