CW Abbreviations

CW specific abbreviations and Q-signals

Having trouble decoding the CW communications you hear?  Much of if could be unfamiliarity with the common abbreviations and Q-codes used during a CW conversation between amateur stations.

Many of the following Q-codes can be suffixed with a '?' to turn them into a question.  I.e. sending QRL? means "is this frequency busy" and QTH? means "what is your location"...

Abbreviations used during a CW net

The QN signals (q-codes) are special ARRL signals for use in amateur cw nets only. They are not for use in casual amateur conversation. Other meanings that may be used in other services do not apply. Do not use QN signals on phone nets. Say it with words. QN signals need not be followed by a question mark, even though the meaning may be interrogatory

ARRL QN Signals For CW Net Use
  1. QNA*  Answer in prearranged order.
  2. QNB*  Act as relay Between _____ and _____
QNC All net stations Copy. I have a message for all net stations.
  1. QND*  Net is Directed (controlled by net control station).
  2. QNE*  Entire net stand by.
  1. QNF  Net is Free (not controlled).
  2. QNG  Take over as net control station.
  3. QNH  Your net frequency is High.
  4. QNI  Net stations report In.*.
    I am reporting into the net. (Follow with a list or traffic or QRU).
  5. QNJ  Can you copy me?
    Can you copy _____?
QNK* Transmit message for _____ to _____ QNL Your net frequency is Low.
QNM* You are QRMing the net. Stand by.

  1. QNN  Net control station is _____
    What station has net control?
  2. QNO  Station is leaving the net.
QNP Unable to copy you. Unable to copy _____
QNQ* Move frequency to _____ and wait for _____ to finish handling traffic. Then send him traffic for _____
QNR Answer _____ and Receive traffic.
QNS* Following Stations are in the net. *(Follow with list.)

Request list of stations in the net.
QNT I request permission to leave the net for _____ minutes.

  1. QNU*  The net has traffic for you. Stand by.
  2. QNV*  Establish contact with _____ on this frequency. If successful, move to _____ and send him traffic
    for _____
  1. QNW  How do I route messages for _____?
  2. QNX  You are excused from the net.* Request to be excused from the net.
QNY* Shift to another frequency (or to _____ kHz) to clear traffic with _____ QNZ Zero beat your signal with mine.
For use only by the Net Control Station.