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Morse translator that produces a "print out" and audio version of the code from your plain language typed inputs. Also type in morse and get translation to text!!!


ON THE AIR SLOW SPEED CHAT GROUP  ---  A way to practice your slow speed code. It is part of the FISTS GROUP.  Mon thru Fri schedule is at 1400Z on 15m (21.158 or 21.058... the FISTS calling  frequencies).

CW Operating -- by Robert Halprin
Buy the Book Today!

Morse Code; Breaking the Barrier -- by Dave Finley
Buy the Book Today!



NOTE: The use of periods and hyphens in the tables below are for ease of presentation, many code instructors use a handout and teach with the sound equivalent. That is A= dit dah or didah, etc. When reading the mores characters do not say dot dash, rather learn to see ·- and say as didah

A ·-
B -···
C -·-·
D -··
E ·
F ··-·
G --·
H ····
I ··
J ·---
K -·-
L ·-··
M --
N -·
O ---
P ·--·
Q --·-
R ·-·
S ···
T -
U ··-
V ···-
W ·--
X -··-
Y -·--
Z --··
1 ·----
2 ··---
3 ···--
4 ····-
5 ·····
6 -····
7 --···
8 ---··
9 ----·
0 -----

Period       ·-·-·-
Comma        --··--
Slash(1)     -··-·  
Plus         ·-·-·
Equal        -···-
Question     ··--··
Open Paren   -·--·
Close Paren  -·--·-
Dash         -····-
Quote        ·-··-·
Exclamation Point None 
at Present
Underscore   ··--·-
Single Quote ·----·
Colon(1)     ---···
Semicolon    -·-·-·
Dollar Sign  ···-··-
Warning      .-..-
Error       ........
Repetition(ii ii) .. ..
@ Sign -- AC run together. 
i.e.,  ·--·-·  or simply AT 
See Note 2
NOTES (1)also:'divided by'
(2)To keep up with the times, 
the IARU has proposed adding a new 
character--the commercial "at" 
or @ symbol--to permit sending e-mail 
addresses in Morse code. The draft new 
recommendation proposes using the 
letters A and C run together 
(.--.-.) to represent the @ symbol. 
Tis pending approval. Meanwhile 
simply send "AT", today's Hams will 
know it means "@".


acute ·--·-
 A-corona .--.-
 Ä umlaut (1) ·-·-
`E acute ··-··
~N tilde --·--
 Ü umlaut (1) ··--
 Ö umlaut (1) ---·
 ! -·-·--

CH (2) ----

 Note: 'umlaut' is also known as 'diaeresis' (2) Used only in German; not in Dutch.


  Also termed "CUT NUMBERS"

1 ·-   A
2 ··-  U
3 ·--  W
4 ···- V
5 ···  S
6 -··· B
7 --·  G
8 -··  D
9 -·   N
0 -    T typically a long dash

These are sometimes used in contests for reports and serial numbers, the most common being:
1 (A), 9 (N), and 0 (T)

 OTHER MORSE CODE ALPHABETS - Greek, Cyrillic, Hebrew, Arabic, Japanese, Chinese  -- URL1, URL2, URL3




There is no one way to learn the code that will work for everyone. Beware of the ham who says “here is a sure fire way to learn the code”. Here are several methods – choose the one that works best for you.

AUDIBLE - Probably the most popular and effective method. For many, the instant recognition of a SOUND and the association with a character (letter, number, punctuation, prosign) or whole word is usually recommended. The less interpretation needed between the initial hearing and recognition, the better. As you progress - try not to repeat the sound -- just strive for instant recognition. 

Most USA tests are given in the Farnsworth method - that is 12 WPM character speed, 5 WPM overall speed. BEFORE ANYTHING -- check with your local testing group FIRST to determine if you are tested in Farnsworth -- then study that way -- many who have studied straight 5 WPM  - couldn't copy a darn thing in Farnsworth.   Super Morse has provision for Farnsworth. Also see Farnsworth below.

MUSICALLY OR LANGUAGE ASSOCIATED -- Some learn musically or language associated- some learn it as a song or word -- 
dah dah ditit -- The zebra did it - letter Z. 
dah dah di dah here comes the bride -  she is a queen - letter Q.
Dog did it,"  "dah-di-di!"  Letter D -  See Code Quick 

One musician recommends: "As for the music and CW, it may appeal to you. It's the rhythm that does it. Tap your foot to a 4 x 1 cadence. Then tap your finger on the desk in sequence with it.   Tap it three times  and you have a "S"  tap it four times you have a "H"  tap it five times you have a "5". Now do this while keeping the foot going:  Send a  "V"   di  di  dit  dah. Keep in cadence.  Catch the rhythm?  great isn't it?

VISUAL -- some learn best by seeing it on the screen as they hear it.

AUDIBLE - INVERSE - Some study the opposites A (didah) then N (dahdit), K then R, etc. Some find this confusing -- try it if it works for you.

AUDIBLE PHONETICS - Some learn by associating it with the NATO Alphabet  i.e, dit-dah followed by A or ALPHA after a while you will hear dit dah and A or alpha pops into the brain.

PATTERNS -There are patterns in morse code letters. For example: the letter A is similar to the letter W except that the letter W has an additional dah to it. One might study A (didah), W (didadah), J (didahdahdah), 1(didahdahdahdah) in order, then mixed. This is effective if one has difficulty in discerning J from 1 etc.

TYPING - some find that they have an automatic reflex to hearing a character and hitting the right key on a keyboard. Check with your VEC if they will allow you to take the test this way. One of our local examiners does allow this as well as a Braille keyboard for the blind.

SENDING – Some folks learn better by sending with a key. Others read signs while driving on the highway and mentally send the characters. This is usually in conjunction with a listening method.

CHARACTERS - at 5 WPM (non-farnsworth) it is feasible to repeat (or count) the dits and dahs in your head and pass the test --- this is the hard way and Farnsworth makes this tough – NOT RECOMMENDED but may be the only way for some. Best to have the characters sent at 12 wpm with 5 wpm spacing.  Below this speed, the mind perceives the sound of the individual elements, and not the sound of the whole element.

PLAIN TEXT VS MIXED RANDOM CHARACTERS.  Studying Morse in plain text gives the advantage of being able to anticipate what is coming next where mixed random characters – ya gotta know them all. Maybe practice both if that works for you.

KOCH METHOD - Learn morse code using high speed random characters.

FARNSWORTH - Farnsworth morse is composed of higher speed characters sent with longer than standard spacing between them. This means that the mind gets used to hearing the "right sounds" while having plenty of time to think about them.  All the great code schools of the past used Farnsworth teaching.

BRAIN SOAK – Some folks give up on methods and just plain listen to code practice until one day it just all comes together. The impediment to increasing speed and proficiency is called a barrier which you may feel you will never hurdle, but is amazing when one day after brain soaking – it magically all comes together. Your mileage may vary.

COMPUTER PROGRAMS AND COURSES - There are many available -- see Morse Programs and try them out -- choose the one that works the best for you. Remember that the one that works for your buddy or elmer may or may not be the best for you.

FOR MANY -- studying EVERY day for 15 to 30 minutes is successful. Leaving long periods between study sessions is usually counter-productive. Studying for long periods at a session - frazzles many a brain.

One long time code instructor advises; "Most people's problems with the code stem from trying to learn it too fast without sufficient drilling before they move on to each new letter.  The average person needs about 30 hours of study and practice on the code to hit 5 wpm.  Now this is an average.  Some will take longer and some will take less." So a half hour in the morning, a half hour in the evening and in a month -- you should have it.

Another advises: Whatever method you use, try to *hear* the code directly as a letter. IOW, don't try to translate the sound into dot-dash and translate that into A, just hear the dot-dash and think A.  Easier said than done, but when you master it your receiving speed will increase dramatically.


Also Excellent Reading "The Art & Skill of Radio Telegraphy" By William G. Pierpont N0HFF  -- Available for downloading in PDF


(of ourse, code is no longer required to pass, but we're keeping the following for historical sake)

NOTE: Following is a typical exam handout sheet used in San Diego. Before you study the code or prepare for a test, call YOUR VEC and get the latest information. You will want to know in what manner to study, note that in the example, code characters are sent at 13 wpm, with the spacing adjusted for overall 5 wpm speed – study accordingly is recommended. The VEC’s in your particular area can be found at URL:

  This is a typical Morse code test as given by our local Volunteer Examiners in San Diego, California. It is presented here as a matter of what to expect when you take the test.

When you put the earphones on and the tape is started, you will hear one minute of practice to help you loosen up. This will also give you the opportunity to make sure the volume is set high enough to allow you to hear the characters being sent. An example of the one-minute practice might be like the following:

  V V V The following is one minute of practice at 5 wpm to allow for adjustment of the volume.

  Following the one minute of practice, there will be a slight pause followed by text sent by one operator in a typical QSO. What follows is a sample of what you might hear:

V V V  WA7VXB/8 de N3YZW BT RRR Thanks Roger for the nice report. Your report is RST 569 ? 569 here in Gambrills, MD.  My name is Julles and I work as a Keypunch Operator. My age is 30 and I am married and have 2 children. The rig is a Yaesu 101B putting out 75 watts to a 2 element Quad antenna. I feed the antenna with 50 ohm coaxial cable. The weather here is warm and breezy, temperature is 74 degrees. So how copy? AR WA7VXB/8 de N3YZW SK

You will note that the sample QSO contains all of the alphabet letters, numbers 1 thru 0, punctuation such as the period, comma, question mark, slant bar, and the prosigns BT, AR, and SK. All of these are required by the FCC to demonstrate your knowledge of the Morse Code. The actual QSO you hear will be approximately five minutes in duration.

Following your listening to the QSO, we will check your copy looking for a string of 25 characters in a row without error.  If you have copied 25 characters in a row without error, you pass. If not, you will be provided with an answer sheet with ten questions about the QSO you just copied. If you answer seven (7) or more correctly, you pass. Each letter in the text counts as one (1) character, numbers, punctuation and prosigns count as two. If you have the appropriate number of characters in a row correct, you pass the code test. As you see, you have two chances to pass.

What are the questions like? Following are some examples, along with the correct answer:

What is the callsign of the station being called?   WA7VXB/8

What is the callsign of the calling station?   N3YZW

What is the name of the operator being called?    Roger

What is the name of the calling operator?   Julles

What is the calling operators job? Keypunch Operator

What make and model radio is he using? Yaesu l01B

What kind of antenna is he using?  2 Element Quad

What kind of feedline is he using?  50 Ohm Coaxial Cable

How many children does he have? 2

What is the temperature at his location?     74 Degrees

You will note that there is emphasis on callsigns and numbers, pay close attention to the make and model of the radio being used and the antenna system. Remember which is the calling station and the station being called. Some have had the calls correct, but reversed them on the answer sheet. READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY!

Remember, your first chance at passing is your text. Go back over it carefully, you are going to have some blank spots. Use your best judgment as to what is missing. Remember, state abbreviations will probably be sent as two letters, e.g. CA not CAL or Calif. We will start counting with the first correct character and continue until you miss. We will start again at the next correct character and continue until you miss again. We do this until the end of the text, counting letters as one (1), numbers and punctuation, and prosigns as two (2) characters. If we find enough correct in a string, i.e. 25 you pass.

Suppose your text looked like this before you went back over it to see if you could fill in where you missed a character:  "The rig i_, a Ya_su 101B put _g out 75 w___s to a 2 el_m_nt Q __d ant__na."

That line is sixty-six (66) characters long. When you go back over your text, don't you think you could fill in the blanks? If you know rig names and models, types of antennas, feed lines, etc. you should have no problems. Another thing -- penmanship is important, write or print your letters and numbers carefully, so we can read your writing. Block printing is best, but try not to lose out because a cursive "c" looked like an "e". It is not pleasant for us to have you miss out by a single character.

If you have any specific questions, be sure to ask one of the Volunteer Examiners before your Morse Code Receiving Test begins. We wish you the best of luck and look forward to hearing you on the bands.  YOUR VOLUNTEER EXAMINER TEAM

Thanks to Harry A. Hodges, W6YOO, ARRL ASM - VE Team Leader  

AC6V Note -- When You pass the Tech License --- SEE

Added note for calculators -- most exam sessions allow a four banger but memories must be wiped cleaned


A1-1.      CW TUTORIAL

In addition to the quickie DXpedition and contest CW contacts, you can work a lot of DX in a one-on-one QSO.  A lot of common DX is available on CW, with very little competition. For example, the mob will pileup on a European station on phone, but on CW on many occasions you can hear that same country calling CQ with no takers. An excellent CW Tutorial can be found by Jack Wagoner WB8FSV at URL:
Lets take it step by step.

  1. Have a list of CW Abbreviations, Prefixes, and Q-Signals handy. Some DX stations cannot converse in English but you both can get the essentials across with Q-Signals.

  1. Know how to “zero beat” a CW signal. Many stations have very narrow filters and you want to be in their bandpass. Refer to the operating manual for your radio.

  1. Know how to use your RIT, XIT, Dual VFO’s, and CW filters. See Chapter 2.

  1. Listen for a DX station calling CQ or wait until they have finished with a QSO.

  1. Good operators will send KN as a turn over, which is “go ahead, over, others keep out.” Sending just K opens it for others to break in and this is OK if that is desired.  SK is the signoff that should be used or CL (“clear”) if closing your station.

  1. Give a call in 1 X 2 call format  --  DX11DX    DE     WZ9UUU    WA9UUU AR    (The AR is a prosign sent as one character, i.e. didahdidahdit and means that I am through with this transmission). The DX station knows their call, so send it once. Sending your call twice allows the other station to hear it, then confirm it.

  1. If you make the connection, the usual follow up is his or her signal report, repeated twice if the contact is shaky and weak, then your name and QTH. Don’t send more than that on the first round. Turn it back to the DX with a K or KN. This will allow the two of you to evaluate if a QSO is sustainable or desirable.

  1. On the next over, ask about QSL information if you want it, before the band slips out.

  1. If no DX is calling CQ, but the band seems open, find a clear frequency and listen for a bit, if clear, then send QRL?  QRL asks is the frequency busy? If someone responds with C, or QRL, no need to respond and clutter up the frequency. If no response to your QRL, repeat a couple of times and then call CQ. Sending just QRL without your callsign is against the rules, but most do it anyway.

  1. Calling CQ is typically in a 3 X 2 format    CQ CQ CQ    DE   WZ7UUU  WZ7UUU    K.   Long long CQ’s are likely to be ignored. Don’t use AR instead of K as it means ending the transmission, and not an invitation for an answer. KN is a turn over to the station you are already working in a QSO

  1. Listen for a few seconds using RIT to check for off frequency responses. If you have a narrow CW filter in line, use RIT and tune up and down from your transmit frequency to determine if someone is responding.

  1. Repeat your CQ or QSY to a clear frequency, as you may be on a Big Gun frequency that can’t hear you.

  1. After the initial contact, it is typically  DX11DX   DE   WX6DDD GM (GA, GE)  OM  TNX  FER  CALL  UR  RST ###  (339, 599, 549, etc.) NAME  HR  IS  ROD  ROD.  QTH  IS  SAN  DIEGO, CA.  SAN  DIEGO, CA. HW?  AR  DX11DX   DE   WX6DDD  K (OR) KN. See your list of abbreviations if you are not familiar with these.

  1. DX11DX returns with essentially the same info, you may get “R” indicating that DX11DX copied all, or QSL on all is sometimes sent.

  1. The next round is an invitation to rag chew. If DX11DX is too fast for you, send a QRS (send slower please). Longer QSO’s usually include your station configuration, the weather (WX), jobs, ages, etc. You may receive an invitation to operate QSK (break-in) where the QSO is much more conversational. Practice with a friend first as this takes some getting used to and proper equipment settings.

  1. It is not necessary to do a  (DX11DX   DE   WD6YYY) every time except every 10 minutes of course. When you turn it over – you can use BK or just KN or K.

  1. A signoff looks like this:

DX11DX DE WF6TTT, FB VLAD TNX NICE QSO HPE CUL VY 73 GM  SK  DX11DX   DE   WF6TTT  Use SK or CL (Closing Station) on your final transmission not AR or K (N)

Then there are some cuties signoffs   dit dit,  and a response of  dit. Old Military types use dit dita dit dit (Shave and a Haircut) with the response of dit dit (2 Bits)!

  1. For contests, a common CQ is “test AC6V test”.

  1. Tail-ending. Wait until another QSO is complete, and then call the station you want to contact.

  1. Breaking into a QSO is not commonly done on CW and should be approached with caution. If it obvious that two old friends are in conversation, it is not advisable. If the exchanges include KN – it’s a signal that others are not welcome, best wait until the QSO is over and then tail-end. The standard break-in method on CW is to wait between transmissions and then send "BK" for break, or  "BK de WT8III".

It is very common to send RST reports in abbreviated form, for example 599, is sent as 5NN. "N" in place of the number "9". Also another time saver is for the zero using a long "T". "T" is sent in place of the number zero as in " POWER HR IS 3TT WATTS". There is a number code for all numbers; however, the N and T codes are the most common ones.
Also CW stations sometimes report their zones as "A4" or "A5" instead of sending "14" or "15".  1 = A,   2 = U,   3 = V,   4 = 4,   5 = E,   6 = 6,   7 = B,   8 = D,   9 = N,   0 = T

CW Bandwidth = wpm X 4 (e.g., 40 WPM = 160 Hz)
From the ARRL License Manual 1976:
"With proper shaping, the necessary keying bandwidth is equal to 4
times the speed in words per minute for International Morse Code;
e.g. at 25 words per minute, the bandwidth is approximately 100 cycles.

Character Spacing and Calculating Morse Code Speed

The word PARIS is the standard to determine CW code speed. Each dit is one element, each dah is three elements, intra-character spacing is one element, inter-character spacing is three elements and inter-word spacing is seven elements. The word PARIS is exactly 50 elements.
Note that after each dit/dah of the letter P -- one element spacing is used except the last one. (Intra-Character).
After the last dit of P is sent, 3 elements are added (Inter-Character). After the word PARIS - 7 elements are used.
di da da di
1 1 3 1 3 1 1 (3) =
14 elements
di da
1 1 3 (3) =
8 elements
di da di
1 1 3 1 1 (3) =
10 elements
di di
1 1 1 (3) =
6 elements
di di di
1 1 1 1 1 [7] =
12 elements
Total =
50 elements
() = intercharacter
[] = interword

If you send PARIS 5 times in a minute (5WPM) you have sent 250 elements (using correct spacing). 250 elements into 60 seconds per minute = 240 milliseconds per element.

13 words-per-minute is one element every 92.31 milliseconds.

The Farnsworth method sends the dits and dahs and intra-character spacing at a higher speed, then increasing the inter-character and inter-word spacing to slow the sending speed down to the overall speed. For example, to send at 5 wpm with 13 wpm characters in Farnsworth method, the dits and intra-character spacing would be 92.3 milliseconds, the dah would be 276.9 milliseconds, the inter-character spacing would be 1.443 seconds and inter-word spacing would be 3.367 seconds.


A Beginner's Guide to Making CW Contacts  -- by Jack Wagoner WB8FSV

IAMBIC Keying -- Mode A and Mode B

Adjusting Straight Keys, Paddles, & Bugs


PROSIGNS AND OTHER PROCEDURAL SIGNALS  FOR MORSE CODE Prosigns are symbols formed by running together two characters into one without the intercharacter space) to make an abbreviation for the most common procedural signals. Usually written with a BAR over the characters. The ones in <  >  are considered by the ARRL as prosigns -- see ARRL page URL:

<AA>    End Of Line
<AAA>  Full Stop
<AR>    End of message
<AS>    Stand by; wait
<BT>    Separation (break) between address and text; between text and signature.
<HH>    (Error in sending. 8 dits - Transmission continues with last word correctly sent.)
<II>       Short form of above <HH>

<IMI>    Repeat; I say again. (Difficult or unusual words or groups.)
    Number follows
<SK>    Out; clear (end of communications, no reply expected.)


The following without the <  > are other commonly used two letter procedural signals -- some Hams run them together -- others do not.

BK    Break
CL    Going off the air (clear)
CQ    Calling any amateur radio station (Many add a space between the C and the Q)
DE    This or From

KA    Beginning of message
KN    Go only, invite a specific station to transmit
VE    Understood (VE)

Commonly used in CW - single letter meanings
C      Correct yes
K      Go, invite any station to transmit
N      No Negative
R      All received OK

More in the table below

CW ABBREVIATIONS Prosigns in <   >

AA -       All after
<AA>    End Of Line
AB -       All before
ABT -     About
ADEE -   Addressee
ADR -     Address
ADS -     Address
AGN -     Again
AM -      Amplitude Modulation
ANI -      Any
ANS -     Answer
ANT -     Antenna
<AR>    End of message

<AS>    Stand by; wait
<AT> - used for the @ sign for E-Mail Addresses New proposal is AC run together


BCI -     Broadcast Interference
BCL -    Broadcast Listener
BCNU - Be seeing you
BD -      Bad
BK -     Break, Break in
BN -     All between; Been
<BT>    Separation (break) between address and text; between text and signature.
BTH  Both
BTR -   Better
BTW -  By The Way
BUG -  Semi-Automatic key
BURO -Bureau
B4 -     Before




C -       Yes, Correct
CB -     CallBook
CBA - Callbook Address
CFM -  Confirm; I confirm
CK -    Ckeck
CKT -  Circuit
CL -     I am closing my station; Call
CLBK - Callbook
CLD -  Called
CLG -  Calling
CMG - Coming
CNT -  Can't
CONDX - Conditions
CPI -   Copy
CQ -    Calling any station
CRD -  Card
CS -     Call Sign
CU -    See You
CUAGN - See You Again
CUD  - Could
CUL -  See You later
CUM - Come
CUZ -  Because
CW -   Continuous wave

DA -     Day
DE -     From, This Is
DIFF -  Difference
DLD -   Delivered
DLVD - Delivered
DN -     Down
DR -     Dear
DSW -  Russian CW abbreviation for goodbye.
DWN -  Down
DX -     Distance

EL -     Element
ES -     And
ENUF - Enough
EU -     Europe
EVE -  Evening

FB -     Fine Business, excellent
FER -   For 
FM -    Frequency Modulation: From
FONE - Phone
FQ -     Frequency
Freq -- Frequency
FWD -- Forward
GA -     Go ahead; Good Afternoon
GB -     Good bye, God Bless
GD -     Good, Good Day
GE -     Good Evening
GESS - Guess
GG -     Going
GLD -- Glad
GM -    Good morning
GN -     Good night
GND -   Ground
GP --    Ground Plane
GS -     Green Stamp
GUD -   Good
GV -     Give
GVG -  Giving
<HH> Error in sending
HI -
The telegraph laugh; High
HPE -   Hope
HQ -    Headquarters
HR -    Here; Hear, Hour
HRD -  Heard
HRS -  Hours
HRD -- Heard
HV -    Have
HVG - Having
HVY - Heavy
HW -   How, How Copy?
II  --     I Repeat
<II> Short form of <HH>
<IMI> -    Repeat, Say Again
INFO - Info
JA -    Japanese Station
K -       Invitation To Transmit
KA    Beginning of message
KLIX - KeyClicks
KN    Go only, invite a specific station to transmit
LID -     A poor operator
LNG -   Long
LP -     Long Path
LSN -   Listen
LTR -   Later; letter
LV -     Leave
LVG -  Leaving
LW -    Long Wire., Long Wave
MA -    Millamperes
MGR -  Manager
MI -     My

MILL - Typewiter
MILS -  Millamperes
MNI -    Many
MOM - Moment
MSG -  Message; Prefix to radiogram
MULT - Multiplier
N -       No, Negative, Incorrect, No More
N -       Nine (as in Signal Report)
NCS -  Net Control Station
ND -     Nothing Doing 
NIL -    Nothing; I have nothing for you;   Not In Log
NM -    No more
<NR> -     Number, Near
NW -    Now; I resume transmission
OB -    Old boy
OC -    Old chap
OK -    Correct
OM -    Old man
OP -    Operator
OPR -  Operator
OT -    Old timer; Old top
OW -   Old Woman
PBL -    Preamble
PKG -    Package
PSE -    Please
PT -      Point
PWR -   Power
PX -      Press, Prefix
R -       Received as transmitted; Are;
R -       Decimal Point 
(with numbers)
RC -     Ragchew
RCD -   Received
RCVR - Receiver
RE -     Concerning; Regarding
REF -   Refer to; Referring to; Reference
RFI -    Radio frequency interference
RIG -    Station equipment
ROTFL - Rolling on the floor laughing
RPT -   Repeat, Report
RTTY - Radio teletype
RST -   Readability, strength, tone
RX -     Receive, Receiver
SA -        Say
SASE -    Self-addressed, stamped envelope
SED -      Said
SAE -     Self-Addressed Envelope
SEZ -      Says
SGD -     Signed
SHUD -   Should
SIG -      Signature; Signal
SINE -    Operator's personal initials or nickname
<SK>    Out; clear (end of communications, no reply expected.)
SK -       Silent Key
SKED -   Schedule
SN -       Soon
SP -       Short Path
SRI -      Sorry
SS -       Sweepstakes
SSB -     Single Side Band
STN -     Station
SUM -    Some
SVC -     Service; Prefix to service message
SWL -   Short Wave Listener
/ST short timer on check in
T -         Zero (with numbers)
TEMP - Temperature
TEST - Testing or Contest
TFC -    Traffic
TIA -     Thanks In Advance
TMW -  Tomorrow
TKS -    Thanks
TNX -    Thanks
TR -      Transmit
T/R -     Transmit/Receive
TRBL - Trouble
TRIX -   Tricks
TRX -    Transceiver
TT -      That
TTS -    That is
TU -      Thank you
TVI -     Television interference
TX -      Transmitter; Transmit
TXT -    Text
U -        You
UFB -    Ultra Fine Business
UNLIS - Unlicensed
UR -      Your; You're
URL -    Universal Resource Locator
             Address For a WebPage
URS -    Yours

VE    Understood (VE)
VERT - Vertical
VFB -    Very fine business
VFO -    Variable Frequency Oscillator
VY -      Very
W -     Watts
WA -   Word after
WATSA - What Say
WB -    Word before
WD -   Word
WDS -  Words
WID -   With
WKD -  Worked
WKG -  Working
WL -    Well; Will
WPM - Words Per Minute
WRD - Word
WRK - Work
WUD - Would
WW -  Would
WX-    Weather
XCVR -    Transceiver
XMAS -   Christmas
XMTR -    Transmitter
XTAL -     Crystal
XYL -        Wife
YF -Wife
YL -   Young lady
YR -   Year
Z - Zulu Time
30 -   I have no more to send
33 -  Fondest Regards
55 -  Best Success
73 -   Best Regards (NOT 73'S) *
88 -   Love and kisses (NOT 88'S)

161 - 73+88=161" first came about in FOC circles (First-Class CW Operators' Club, founded by Louis Varney G5RV a number of years ago). The essential meaning is "Best regards to you and your XYL".
 ? question (like QRL?)


The RST (Readability-Strength-Tone) System

The RST System of Signal Reporting has been used for years (circa 1934) as a shorthand method of reporting Readability, Signal Strength and for CW, Tone (i.e., quality of the CW tone). For voice contacts only the R and S are used. The S component is usually not the same as your S-Meter reading as most S-Meters aren't calibrated to track the RST System. The RST is also reported on QSL Cards and must be filled in correctly -- e.g., a 569 report for a Voice Contact is invalid. Note that many DX operations and contest stations merely report 59(9) as a convenience to avoid having to log each of the real reports. A questionable practice but a fact of DXing/Contesting

1 -- Unreadable
2 -- Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable
3 -- Readable with considerable difficulty
4 -- Readable with practically no difficulty
5 -- Perfectly readable

1 -- Faint signals, barely perceptible
2 -- Very weak signals
3 -- Weak signals
4 -- Fair signals
5 -- Fairly good signals
6 -- Good signals
7 -- Moderately strong signals
8 -- Strong signals
9 -- Extremely strong signals

TONE 1 -- Sixty cycle a.c. or less, very rough and broad
2 -- Very rough a.c. , very harsh and broad
3 -- Rough a.c. tone, rectified but not filtered
4 -- Rough note, some trace of filtering
5 -- Filtered rectified a.c.but strongly ripple-modulated
6 -- Filtered tone, definite trace of ripple modulation
7 -- Near pure tone, trace of ripple modulation
8 -- Near perfect tone, slight trace of modulation
9 -- Perfect tone, no trace of ripple or modulation of any kind

Infrequently used is the addition of a letter to the end of the 3 numbers.
These are: X = the signal is rock steady like a crystal controlled signal;
C = the signal is chirpy as the frequency varies slightly with keying;
and K = the signal has key clicks.

X is from the early days of radio when such steady signals were rare.

Today most all signals could be given an X but it is hardly ever used. It is helpful to report a chirpy or clicky signal by using the C or K, e.g. 579C or 579K.

It is very common to send RST reports in abbreviated form, for example 599, is sent as 5NN. "N" in place of the number "9". Also another time saver is for the zero using a long "T". "T" is sent in place of the number zero as in "POWER HR IS 3TT WATTS". There is a number code for all numbers, however,  the N and T codes are the most common ones.
Also CW stations sometimes report their zones as "A4" or "A5" instead of sending "14" or "15".

1 = A,   2 = U,   3 = V,   4 = 4,   5 = E,   6 = 6,   7 = B,   8 = D,   9 = N,   0 = T


 Perfectly readable 
 Practically no difficulty, occasional missed characters
 Considerable difficulty, many missed characters
 Occasional words distinguishable
  S9   Very Strong trace
  S7   Strong trace
  S5   Moderate trace
  S3   Weak trace
  S1   Barely perceptible trace
  Q9   Clean signal - no visible unwanted sidebar pairs
  Q7   One barely visible pair
  Q5   One easily visible pair
  Q3   Multiple visible pairs
  Q1   Splatter over much of the spectrum

Q-Signals For Amateur Radio Operators 
Q-Sig Message
QRA What is the name of your station? The name of my station is ___.
QRB How far are you from my station? I am ____ km from you station
QRD Where are you bound and where are you coming from? I am bound ___ from ___.
QRG Will you tell me my exact frequency? Your exact frequency is ___ kHz.
QRH Does my frequency vary? Your frequency varies.
QRI How is the tone of my transmission? The tone of your transmission is ___ (1-Good, 2-Variable, 3-Bad.)
QRJ Are you receiving me badly? I cannot receive you, your signal is too weak.
QRK What is the intelligibility of my signals? The intelligibility of your signals is ___ (1-Bad, 2-Poor, 3-Fair, 4-Good, 5-Excellent.)
QRL Are you busy? I am busy, please do not interfere
QRM Is my transmission being interfered with? Your transmission is being interfered with ___ (1-Nil, 2-Slightly, 3-Moderately, 4-Severly, 5-Extremely.)
QRN Are you troubled by static? I am troubled by static ___ (1-5 as under QRM.)
QRO Shall I increase power? Increase power.
QRP Shall I decrease power? Decrease power.
QRQ Shall I send faster? Send faster (___ WPM.)
QRR Are you ready for automatic operation? I am ready for automatic operation. Send at ___ WPM.
QRS Shall I send more slowly? Send more slowly (___ WPM.)
QRT Shall I stop sending? Stop sending.
QRU Have you anything for me? I have nothing for you.
QRV Are you ready? I am ready.
QRW Shall I inform ___ that you are calling? Please inform ___ that I am calling.
QRX When will you call me again? I will call you again at ___ hours.
QRY What is my turn? Your turn is numbered ___.
QRZ Who is calling me? You are being called by ___.
QSA What is the strength of my signals? The strength of your signals is ___ (1-Scarcely perceptible, 2-Weak, 3-Fairly Good, 4-Good, 5-Very Good.)
QSB Are my signals fading? Your signals are fading.
QSD Is my keying defective? Your keying is defective.
QSG Shall I send ___ messages at a time? Send ___ messages at a time.
QSJ What is the charge to be collected per word to ___ including your international telegraph charge? The charge to be collected per word is ___ including my international telegraph charge.
QSK Can you hear me between you signals and if so can I break in on your transmission? I can hear you between my signals, break in on my transmission.
QSL Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt.
QSM Shall I repeat the last message which I sent you? Repeat the last message.
QSN Did you hear me on ___ kHz? I did hear you on ___ kHz.
QSO Can you communicate with ___ direct or by relay? I can communicate with ___ direct (or by relay through ___.)
QSP Will you relay to ___? I will relay to ___.
QSQ Have you a doctor on board? (or is ___ on board?) I have a doctor on board (or ___ is on board.)
QSU Shall I send or reply on this frequency? Send a series of Vs on this frequency.
QSV Shall I send a series of Vs on this frequency? Send a series of Vs on this frequency.
QSW Will you send on this frequency? I am going to send on this frequency.
QSY Shall I change to another frequency? Change to another frequency.
QSZ Shall I send each word or group more than once? Send each word or group twice (or ___ times.)
QTA Shall I cancel message number ___? Cancel message number ___.
QTB Do you agree with my counting of words? I do not agree with your counting of words. I will repeat the first letter or digit of each word or group.
QTC How many messages have you to send? I have ___ messages for you.
QTE What is my true bearing from you? Your true bearing from me is ___ degrees.
QTG Will you send two dashes of 10 seconds each followed by your call sign? I am going to send two dashes of 10 seconds each followed by my call sign.
QTH What is your location? My location is ___.
QTI What is your true track? My true track is ___ degrees.
QTJ What is your speed? My speed is ___ km/h.
QTL What is your true heading? My true heading is ___ degrees.
QTN At what time did you depart from ___? I departed from ___ at ___ hours.
QTO Have you left dock (or port)? I have left dock (or port).
QTP Are you going to enter dock (or port)? I am going to enter dock (or port.)
QTQ Can you communicate with my station by means of the International Code of Signals? I am going to communicate with your station by means of the International Code of Signals.
QTR What is the correct time? The time is ___.
QTS Will you send your call sign for ___ minutes so that your frequency can be measured? I will send my call sign for ___ minutes so that my frequency may be measured.
QTU What are the hours during which your station is open? My station is open from ___ hours to ___ hours.
QTV Shall I stand guard for you on the frequency of ___ kHz? Stand guard for me on the frequency of ___ kHz.
QTX Will you keep your station open for further communication with me? I will keep my station open for further communication with you.
QUA Have you news of ___? I have news of ___.
QUB Can you give me information concerning visibility, height of clouds, direction and velocity of ground wind at ___? Here is the information you requested...
QUC What is the number of the last message you received from me? The number of the last message I received from you is ___.
QUD Have you received the urgency signal sent by ___? I have received the urgency signal sent by ___.
QUF Have you received the distress signal sent by ___? I have received the distress signal sent by ___.
QUG Will you be forced to land? I am forced to land immediately.
QUH Will you give me the present barometric pressure? The present barometric pressure is ___ (units).

Note that Q signals can take the form of a question when followed by a question mark.

Mega Q-Signals A Listing of All Known Q-Signals. Many Apply To Maritime and Aviation Use -- Not for General Ham Use.






Last Update: January 17, 2008