The "Q" code is a standardized collection of three-letter message encodings, also known as a brevity code, all of which start with the letter "Q". Q codes are commonly used in voice communications as shorthand nouns, verbs, and adjectives making up phrases. Q codes can be used to confer information, or when followed by a "?" used to ask a question.
Initially developed for commercial radio-telegraph communication, these codes were later adopted by other radio services, such as marine, aviation, and amateur radio.> The codes are broken down into 3 catagories for use in different radio services:
- QAA to QNZ For Aviation use.
- QOA to QQZ For the Maritime Services.
- QRA to QUZ Used in all radio services.
Q Codes QRA-QUZ - All Radio Services
|QHF Going to the Hamfest |
QRA Name of your station
QRB Distance from my station
QRD Departing & destination Locations
QRG Exact frequency
QRH Is my frequency varying?
QRI Transmission Tone
QRJ Is my transmission poor?
QRK Can you understand me?
QRL Frequency is busy
QRM Man-made interference
QRN Natural interference, i.e. static
QRO Increase power
QRP Decrease power
QRQ Speed up transmission
QRR Ready for automatic operation
QRS Slow down transmission
QRT Stop sending
QRU Have you anything for me?
QRX Call again
QRZ Called by ________.
QSA Signal strength
QSB Fading of signal
QSD Keying is defective
QSG # of messages sent at one time.
QSJ International telegraph charge.
QSL Acknowledge receipt
QSM Repeat last message
QSN I heard you
QSO A conversation
QSP Relay message
QSQ Doctor on board
QST General call to all stations
|QSU Reply on this frequency |
QSV Series of Vs on this frequency
QSW Send on this frequency
QSX I am listening on ____ frequency
QSY Change/shift frequency
QSZ Send each word, or group X times.
QTA Disregard message
QTB Confirm word count
QTC Traffic, # of messages
QTE Location - true bearing (# of degrees)
QTG 2 dashes, 10 seconds each, followed by my call sign
QTI Location - true track (# of degrees)
QTJ Speed (km/h)
QTL Location - true heading (# of degrees)
QTN Departure time
QTO Departure confirmation
QTP Entering dock/port
QTQ Communicate using International Code of Signals
QTR Exact time
QTS Send call sign so it can be measured
QTU Hours of station operation
QTV Monitor frequency
QTX Keep station open
QUA News of _______.
QUB Information concerning conditions: visibility, clouds, wind
QUC Number of last message received
QUD Confirmation of urgency signal
QUF Confirmation of distress signal
QUG Forced landing
QUH Current barometric pressure
For a list of Q Codes (QAA to QNZ) used in aviation see our Guide of Aviation Q Codes.