To make communication in Morse code faster we use these Q-codes. A Q-code always start with letter Q and these codes are sent by ham radio operators as short messages. This eliminates sending long massages and is more effective. There are hundreds of ham radio codes and we discuss here only a few for better understanding.
There are basically 3 ranges of Q-codes fixed for different services. The Q-code range from QAA-QNZ is reserved for aeronautical use, the range QOA-QQZ is reserved for maritime and the range QRA-QUZ is reserved for all other services. We have given 10 Q-codes below for your understanding.
- QRA – What ship or coast station is this?
- QRB – What is your distance?
- QRC – What is your true bearing?
- QRD – What are you bound for?
- QRF – What are you bound from?
- QRG – What line do you belong to?
- QRH – What is your wavelength in meters?
- QRJ – How many words you have to send?
- QRK – How do you receive me?
- QRL – Are you busy?
In general broadcasting communication Morse code is not used but when you are in remote region like south pacific or Antarctica you should use these handy Q-codes. The Q-codes are sets of abbreviation created at the beginning of last century in order to simplify radiotelegraphy communication among the ham operators.
Each code is made from three letters the starting of which is Q and each code represents a specific question and the answer of these question is also specific without question mark. In order to avoid any confusion a call sign known as broadcasting station cannot use a Q-code. The amateur ham radio operator use a subset of full international Q-code and most they extensively use these Q-codes very easily.
These ham radio Morse code are mostly common but it slightly varies from country to country. There also some informal Q-codes that slightly differs in meaning. These Q-codes are specially designed in order to use by ham radio operators.
It is to be noted that each question has a specific answer that can be easily transmitted by the operators. If you are a beginner or novice you can have a print out of them in your front desk. When you will be an expert after sometime you need not to keep print out.
What is the name (or call sign) of your station?
The name (or call sign) of my station is …
How far are you from my station?
The distance between our stations is … nautical miles (or km).
Will you tell me my exact frequency (or that of …)?
Your exact frequency (or that of … ) is … kHz (or MHz).
Does my frequency vary?
Your frequency varies.
How is the tone of my transmission?
The tone of your transmission is (1: good, 2: variable 3: bad)
What is the readability of my signals (or those of …)?
The readability of your signals (or those of …) is … (1: bad .. 5: excellent).
Are you busy?
I am busy. (or I am busy with … ) Please do not interfere.
Do you have interference?
I have interference.
Are you troubled by static noise?
I am troubled by static noise.
Shall I increase transmit power?
Please increase transmits power.
Shall I decrease transmit power?
Please decrease transmits power.
Shall I send faster?
Please send faster (… words per minute).
Shall I send more slowly?
Please send more slowly (… words per minute).
Shall I cease or suspend operation?
I am suspending operation.
Have you anything for me?
I have nothing for you.
Are you ready?
I am ready.
Shall I standby? / When will you call me again?
Please standby. / I will call you again at … (hours) on … kHz (or MHz).
Who is calling me?
You are being called by … (on … kHz (or MHz)).
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).
Are my signals fading?
Your signals are fading.
Is my keying defective?
Your keying is defective.
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.
The informal Q-codes for amateur ham radio operators are:
High speed CW
Low speed CW
Very low speed CW
Shut down the station
Who is calling me?
Confirmation or card to confirm contact
The Q-codes have 2 portions, the first portion contains some question from one side and the second is its answer from other side. And the answer from opposite side is to acknowledge is byn QSL Qedit Scripting Language. Thus the use of Q-codes provides very quick and effective radio communication to ham radio operators.
It is noted tha ham operator often use Q code in their normal speech. For example one is talking about high level of QRM, the basic meaning of the Q-code is taken and it is understood that there is a high level of manmade interference. Similarly Q-code QRP is only using low power.
In radio communication Q-code were being used to make the process of transmission more quickly and precisely hem using Morse code. By and by this Q-code has extensively spread among the ham radio operators In Q-code there are wide variety of phases have been used.
These were used by marine, airborne and even land base communication. The meaning of the code was defined by ITU international communication union. However they are very convenient to use and such these are liked by most of the ham radio operators.