The Q-code is a standardised collection of three-letter message encodings used during radio communications all starting with the letter ‘Q’.

imageInitially developed for commercial radiotelegraph comms when radio used Morse code exclusively, these codes are used both to keep clarity in communication and abbreviate common radio expressions.

In modern times, Q-codes are used in many kinds of radio communications, including Freeband (11m), Citizens Band (CB) and Ham radio but not typically during AM transmissions on CB.

qcodelistBelow is a list of common Q codes used in radio communications…

  • QRM – Man made noise, adjacent channel interference
  • QRN – Static noise
  • QRP – Reduce power
  • QSL – Confirmation (often refers to confirmation cards exchanged by radio operators)
  • QSO – Conversation, radio contact
  • QTH – Address, location, town, country
  • QRT – Stop transmitting, shutting down
  • QRX – Stop transmitting, standing by
  • QRZ – Who is calling?  Go ahead
  • QSB – Receiving poorly, signal fading
  • QSK – I have something to say, station breaking, can I interrupt?
  • QSY – Changing frequency
  • QTR – Correct Time