Ham Radio – CW International Q-Signals
Q-Signal CW Meaning Q-Signal CW Meaning
QRA What is your callsign? (callsign) QSA What is my signal strength? (1-5)
QRG What is my exact frequency? (this freq) QSB Are my signals fading? (signals are fading)
QRH Does my frequency vary? QSD Is my keying defective?
QRI What is my signal tone quality? (1-3) QSG Shall I send __ messages at a time?
QRK What is my signal intelligibility? (1-5) QSK Can you work break-in? (break-in operation)
QRL Are you (or this freq) busy? (This freq. is busy) QSL Can you acknowledge receipt? (I confirm receipt of message)
QRM Is my transmission being interfered with? (signal interference) QSM Shall I repeat the last message I sent?
QRN Are you troubled by static? (static, atmospheric noise) QSO Can you communicate with this station? (radio contact between stations)
QRO Shall I increase transmitter power? (increase power, high powered) QSP Will you relay to __?
QRP Shall I decrease transmitter power? (decrease power, low powered) QST A general call preceding messages to all radio operators (info, news).
QRQ Shall I send faster? QSV Shall I send a series of V’s?
QRS Shall I send slower? (send slower) QSW Will you transmit on __?
QRT Shall I stop sending? (stop transmitting) QSX Will you listen on __ (freq)?
QRU Do you have any messages for me? (I have no messages for you) QSY Shall I change frequency? (change frequency)
QRV Are you ready? (I am ready to transmit) QSZ Shall I send each word/group more than once?
QRW Shall I tell __ (callsign) you’re calling him? QTH What is your location? (station location)
QRX When will you call me again? (wait, standby) QTR What is your correct time?
QRZ Who is calling me? (anyone answering my transmission) QTX Will you keep your station open for further communication with me?
QNI May I join the net? (or those that joined the net)


Q-signals are three letter combinations used to represent common phrases or sentences for CW operation. They may be used as a question with a question mark (?) or statement without the question mark.


“QRZ?” is used to ask for the calling station(s) to identify again.

“Please (pse) QRS” is used as a request to send the code at a slower speed.

“The QTH is” is used to indicate this station’s location.

Although originally used for CW, many Q-signals have become acceptable for phone operation.

Non Q-Signal CW Radiotelegraph Abbreviations:

73 — Best Regards.
88 — Love and Kisses.
YL — Young Lady meaning Unmarried Lady; also any female ham radio operator.
XYL — Ex-Young Lady, meaning a Married Lady; usually refers to a ham’s wife.
OM — Old Man, any male ham radio operator.