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Q Signals
by John Shannon, K3WWP

As with the English language there are many ambiguities among Q signals. The meanings for many of the Q signals have evolved with usage over the years. Many of them have evolved from sentences to words. For example QTH Kittanning, PA means "My location is Kittanning, PA". However it is commonly (erroneously?) used as My QTH is Kittanning, PA using QTH as a noun. Most Q signals can be used as questions (WITH A ? AFTER THE SIGNAL) as well as statements. The ? is very important. The meaning is different with and without the ?. The following table lists the more commonly used Q signals with their traditional meanings as a question and as a statement.

SignalUsed As a QuestionUsed As a Statement
QRGWhat is my (his) frequency?Your (His) frequency is ------
QRHDoes my frequency vary?Your frequency varies
QRIHow is the tone of my transmission?Your tone is 1 (good) 2 (variable) 3 (bad)
QRJAre you receiving me badly? Are my signals weak?I cannot receive you. I receive you badly
QRKWhat is the readability of my (his) signals?Your (His) readability is (1)unreadable to (5)perfect
QRLIs this frequency busy?This frequency is in use
QRMAre you being interfered with?I am interfered with
QRNAre you troubled by static?I am being troubled with static
QROMust I increase power?I increase power
QRPCan I decrease power?I decrease power
QRQShall I send faster?Send faster ------- WPM
QRSShall I send slower?Send slower ------- WPM
QRTShall I stop sending?Stop sending
QRUHave you anything for me?I have nothing for you
QRVAre you ready?I am ready
QRXWhen will you call me again?I will call you again at ------
QRZWho is calling me?You are being called by ----
QSAWhat is the strength of my (his) signals?Your (His) strength is (1)barely perceptible - (5)very good
QSBAre my signals fading?Your signals are fading
QSLCan you acknowledge receipt?I acknowledge receipt
QSOCan you communicate with -------?I can communicate with -------
QSPWill you relay to -------?I will relay to -------
QST Calling all radio amateurs
QSVShall I send a series of V's?Send a series of V's
QSXWill you listen to ------- on --------- kHz?I am listening to ------- on -----------
QSYShall I change frequency?Change frequency to ----------
QSZShall I send each word twice?Send each word twice
QTHWhat is your location?My location is -----
QTRWhat is the time?The time is ---------