Top 10 Q-codes for voice conversations

This site introduces the top 10 Q-codes which you are most likely to encounter during a ham radio voice conversation (or QSO). But what is a Q-code? The so called Q code is a collection of 3 letter acronyms starting with the letter Q initially developed for radiotelegraph (‚morse code‘) communication. A subset of those Q codes are also in voice communication.

Author’s Note: Obviously this selection is heavily influenced by my preference for portable ham radio operations, if you different operating modes your Top 10 Q-code list might look different.

Q-codeMeaning as QuestionMeaning as Answer/StatementExample
QSLCan you acknowledge receipt?I am acknowledging receipt.Usage: When you want to confirm the correct reception of information by the other party.

: "Your SOTA reference number is OE/OO-129, I repeat OE/OO-129, QSL?"
B: "QSL"
QSBIs my signal fading?Your signal is fading.Usage: When you experience signal-fading due to rapidly changing propagation conditions.

: "Your report is 45 with QSB, I repeat your report is 4-by-5 with QSB".
QRZWho is calling me?You are being called by ... on ... kHzUsage (Original): When a station has called you but you did not copy the full callsign.

: "OE5LXR/P, this is DL1XXX, your report is 44."
B: "DL1? QRZ?"
A: "OE5LXR/P, this is DL1XXX, I repeat D-L-1-X-X-X, QSL?"
B: "QSL, DL1XXX, this is OE5LXR/P, your report is also 44."

Usage (Currently)
When you are in a pile-up situation with multiple stations calling you and you've just finished your last call.

A: "DL1XXX, thank you very much for your call, 73"
B: "73"
QSOCan you communicate with ...?I can communicate with ... .Usage: QSO is a common short hand for a ham radio conversation.

A: "DL1XXX, this is OE5LXR/P, thank you very much for the QSO, have a nice evening, 73."
QRMAre you being interfered with?I am being interfered with.Usage: To inform the other party of a signal interference by a 3rd party where the source of interference is man-made.

A: "DL1XXX, this is OE5LXR/P. You've got some heavy QRM on your signal."
B: "QSL, my QTH is in the city and there is a lot of QRM due to switched power supplies."
QTHWhat is your position?My position is ...Usage: For informing the other party of your current location or asking for their location.

A: "OE/DL1XXX/P, this is OE5LXR/P, my current QTH is OE/OO-129, Pfenningberg, what's your QTH?"
B: "QSL, my QTH is OE/TI-517, Hohe Salve."
A: "QSL, thank you very much for summit-to-summit!"
QSYShould I change to transmission on another frequency?Change to transmission on another frequency.Usage: To perform a change of frequency if the one currently in use becomes unusable (e.g. due to man made noise (QRM) caused by a strong station on a adjacent frequency).

: "OE5LXR/P, this is DL1XXX, there is strong QRM on your signal, I suggest QSY to 14385"
B: "QSL, QSY 14385"
QRVAre you ready?I am ready.Usage: Less used in the actual QSO but might be seen as a comment in a spot or alert, e.g. "ETA +/- 30 min, will spot when QRV"
QROShall I increase power?Increase power.Usage: In a situation when the signal of the other station is very weak you may ask them to increase power.

A: DL1XXX, this is OE5LXR/P, you are very weak, very weak, QRO, QRO, QRO.
QRTShall I cease or suspend operation?I am suspending operation.Usage: When you are ceasing operation from your current location.

: "OE5LXR/P is ceasing operation from OE/OO-129, OE5LXR/P QRT".