Apr 25 2006

Radio Q codes

Published by at 3:12 pm under retro

I’ve recently started to play a bit with amateur radio which is better known as ‘ham’ radio. It is a world of many many codes and acronyms. More, I think, than the computing business since radio’s origin was about a hundred years ago and bandwidth was really low (think hand typed Morris Code). A bunch of the codes that first sounded like acronyms are really three letters long and start with the letter Q; Q-codes. ti turns out that these are the remnants of a code system defined by the British in 1909. The Wikipedia has a good history and explanation of Q codes.

Some of thes codes are still used and some have made it into the slang used by ham aficionados.
QSO: A conversation (e.g. Thanks very much for the QSO).
QSL: “I Acknowledge receipt” has become an elaborate system for confirming communications between two operators with levels of coverage and corresponding awards. e.g. Please QSL via the bureau (i.e. please send me a card confirming this contact).

Human conventions and habits last so long…….

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