Q Codes Used in Amateur Radio

The International Q Code system is an abbreviated way to exchange a great deal of information with a simple code. This was initially used in Amateur Radio during Morse Code transmissions, so standard short codes could simplify the transfer of information.

The Q Code consists of three-letter groups with each group having a specific meaning. Each group begins with the letter Q. These codes were found on the inside cover of a 1965 ARRL Amateur Radio Station Log Book.

Amateur Radio Q Code List

Q Codes can be used in two ways. If the code is asked as a question, or on CW sent with a question mark following the code, then the code will represent a question. Each of the lines below that start with a Q: represent the question form of the code. Codes sent as a statement represent you trying to state the information you send, and are represented by the S: lines. So, QRG? means “What is my exact frequency in kilohertz?” And, “QRG 7250” means your frequency is 7250 kHz, or 7.25 MHz.

  • QRG
    Q: Will you indicate my exact frequency in kiloHertz?
    S: Your frequency is … kHz.
  • QRH
    Q: Does my frequency vary?
    S: Your frequency varies.
  • QRI
    Q: How is the tone of my transmission?
    S: The tone of your transmission is; 1. Good; 2. Variable; 3. Bad.
  • QRJ
    Q: Are you receiving me badly? Are my signals weak?
    S: I cannot receive you. Your signals are too weak.
  • QRK
    Q: What is the legibility of my signals (1 to 5)?
    S: The legibility of your signals is … (1 to 5).
  • QRL *
    Q: Are you busy? I am busy (or busy with….).
    S: Please do not interfere.
  • QRM *
    Q: Are you being interfered with?
    S: I am being interfered with.
  • QRN *
    Q: Are you troubled by static?
    S: I am troubled by static.
  • QRO *
    Q: Must I increase power?
    S: Increase power.
  • QRP *
    Q: Must I decrease power?
    S: Decrease power.
  • QRQ *
    Q: Must I send faster?
    S: Send faster … (words per min.).
  • QRS *
    Q: Must I send more slowly?
    S: Transmit more slowly … (w.p.m.).
  • QRT *
    Q: Must I stop transmission?
    S: Stop transmission.
  • QRU *
    Q: Have you anything for me?
    S: I have nothing for you.
  • QRV *
    Q: Are you ready?
    S: I am ready.
  • QRW
    Q: Must I advise … that you are calling him on … kc?
    S: Please advise … that I am calling him on … kc.
  • QRX *
    Q: When will you call again?
    S: I will call you again at … hours (on … kc.).
  • QRZ *
    Q: By whom am I being called?
    S: You are being called by …
  • QSA
    Q: What is the strength of my signals (1 to 5)?
    S: The strength of your signals is … (1 to 5).
  • QSB *
    Q: Does the strength of my signals vary?
    S: The strength of your signals varies.
  • QSD
    Q: Is my keying correct? Are my signals distinct?
    S: Your keying is incorrect; your signals are bad.
  • QSG
    Q: Must I transmit … telegrams (or one telegram) at a time?
    S: Transmit … telegrams (or one telegram) at a time.
  • QSK *
    Q: Shall I continue the transmission of all my traffic?
    S: I can hear you between my signals. Continue: I shall interrupt you if necessary.
  • QSL *
    Q: Can you acknowledge receipt?
    S: I am acknowledging receipt.
  • QSM
    Q: Shall I repeat the last telegram I sent you?
    S: Repeat the last telegram you sent me.
  • QSO *
    Q: Can you communicate with … directly (or through…)?
    S: I can communicate with … direct (or through…).
  • QSP
    Q: Will you relay to …?
    S: I will relay to … free of charge.
  • QSV
    Q: Shall I send a series of VVV….?
    S: Send a series of VVV.
  • QSX
    Q: Will you listen for … (call sign) on … kHz?
    S: I am listening for … on … kHz.
  • QSY *
    Q: Shall I change to … kiloHertz without changing the type of wave?
    S: Change to … kHz. without changing type of wave.
  • QSZ
    Q: Shall I send each word or group twice?
    S: Send each word or group twice.
  • QTA
    Q: Shall I cancel nr … as if it had not been sent?
    S: Cancel nr … as if it had not been sent.
  • QTB
    Q: Do you agree with my word count?
    S: I do not agree with your word count; I shall repeat the first letter of each word and the first figure of each number.
  • QTC
    Q: How many telegrams have you to send?
    S: I have … telegrams for you or for ….
  • QTH *
    Q: What is your position (location)?
    S: My position (location) is ….
  • QTR
    Q: What is the exact time?
    S: The exact time is ….
  • QST *
    S: General call preceeding a message address to all amateurs and A.R.R.L. Members. This is in effect “CQ ARRL”.
  • QRRR
    S: Official A.R.R.L. “land SOS.” A distress call for emergency use only.
* indicates commonly used Q Codes.