Standard Radio Etiquette

Standard Radio Etiquette

Although we are not Radio Amateurs, the years in experience of those users might come in handy sometimes. Next to that there are also al lot of Amateur Radio Users in the Network Radio Channels and they have the habit of using their own language and habits. For example: leaving space after a transmission to have other users join in or interrupt with a question.

So here’s a list of abbreviations and their explanation, I also added the Radio Alphabet that should be default knowledge for everyone.
For example callsign NR515 is pronounced “November Romeo Five One Five

Radio Alphabet


  • Speak like you were talking to someone face to face. Key the mike, AND THEN start to talk. Don’t start speaking as you key the mike. Devices have a short delay before transmitting. If you start speaking too soon, your first few words may not be heard. Make sure you have finished talking before you un-key the mike.
  • Give your call sign clearly, and slowly.
  • Leave a blank after your transmission or after receiving a transmission, so other users can join in.
  • Pass the mic around if there are multiple users.
  • Use English and avoid jargon as much as possible. Q-codes are really a Morse code short hand. They have their place when voice communications are marginal. Say, “My wife” rather than the “xyl”.
  • Avoid falling into the habit of using cute-isms: “Roger Roger”, “QSL on that”…
  • Avoid phonetics unless you are asked to do so. When using phonetics, use standard phonetics: “Alpha, Bravo, Charlie”… etc.
  • If you are listening and would like to have a conversation, just give your call sign. You can add “monitoring”, or “listening”. Using the term “CQ” is generally discouraged.
  • When you wish to communicate on a frequency, listen for a while before talking, there may be a conversation in progress.
  • If you want to join into a conversation, just give your call between transmissions rather than using the term “Break Break”. You will be acknowledged and allowed into the conversation.
  • If you want to talk to a certain person, call their using their call sign once or twice, then your call sign.
  • In an emergency, give your call and say “emergency” rather than using “Break Break”. Saying “emergency” will make it clear why you are interrupting and it will also get more attention from those just listening.
  • Make sure you ID (state your call sign) according to the rules, but avoid over ID’ing.
  • There is no need to send your call sign, then say “For ID”. Your call sign IS your ID.
  • okay, make sure you give your call sign.

Standard Amateur Radio ‘Q’ Code List
(This is just for reference )

  • QLE : What is your expected signal? : The expected signal is low…
  • QNI : May I join the net? : You may check in…
  • QRA : What is the name (or call sign) of your station? : The name (or call sign) of my station is …
  • QRG : Will you tell me my exact frequency (or that of …)? : Your exact frequency (or that of … ) is … kHz (or MHz).
  • 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 : How many voice contacts do you want to make? : I want to make … voice contacts.
  • QRK : What is the readability of my signals (or those of …)? : The readability of your signals (or those of …) is … (1 to 5).
  • QRL : Are you busy?I am busy. (or I am busy with … ) :  Please do not interfere.
  • QRM : Do you have interference? [from other stations) : I have interference. ( Man made interference/noise )
  • QRN : Are you troubled by static? : I am troubled by static. ( Natural interference / noise )
  • QRO : Shall I increase power? : Increase power.
  • QRP : Shall I decrease power? : Decrease power.
  • QRQ : Shall I send faster? : Send faster (… wpm)
  • QRS : Shall I send more slowly? :Send more slowly (… wpm)
  • QRT : Shall I cease or suspend operation?/ shutoff the radio : I am suspending operation. /shutting off the radio
  • 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 him on … kHz (or MHz)?Please inform … that I am calling him on … kHz (or MHz).
  • QRX : Shall I standby / When will you call me again?Please standby / I will call you again at … (hours) on … kHz (or MHz)
  • QRZ : Who is calling me? : You are being called by … on … kHz (or MHz)
  • QSA : What is the strength of my signals (or those of … )? : The strength of your signals (or those of …) is … (1 to 5).
  • QSB : Are my signals fading? : Your signals are fading.
  • QSD : Is my keying defective? : Your keying is defective.
  • QSG : Shall I send … telegrams (messages) at a time? : Send … telegrams (messages) at a time.
  • QSK : Can you hear me between your signals? :I can hear you between my signals.
  • QSL :  Can you acknowledge receipt? : I am acknowledging receipt.
  • QSM : Shall I repeat the last telegram (message) which I sent you, or some previous telegram (message)? : Repeat the last telegram (message) which you sent me (or telegram(s) (message(s)) numbers(s) …).
  • QSN : Did you hear me (or … (call sign)) on .. kHz (or MHz)? : I did hear you (or … (call sign)) on … kHz (or MHz).
  • QSO : Can you communicate with … direct or by relay? : I can communicate with … direct (or by relay through …).
  • QSP : Will you relay a message to …? : I will relay a message to … .
  • QSR : Do you want me to repeat my call? : Please repeat your call; I did not hear you.
  • QSS : What working frequency will you use? : I will use the working frequency … kHz (or MHz).
  • QST : Here is a broadcast message to all amateurs.
  • QSU : Shall I send or reply on this frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz))? : Send or reply on this frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz)).
  • QSW : Will you send on this frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz))? : I am going to send on this frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz)).
  • QSX : Will you listen to … (call sign(s) on … kHz (or MHz))? : I am listening to … (call sign(s) on … kHz (or MHz))
  • QSY : Shall I change to transmission on another frequency? : Change to transmission on another frequency (or on … kHz (or MHz)).
  • QSZ : Shall I send each word or group more than once? : Send each word or group twice (or … times).
  • QTA : Shall I cancel telegram (message) No. … as if it had not been sent? : Cancel telegram (message) No. … as if it had not been sent.
  • QTC : How many telegrams (messages) have you to send? : I have … telegrams (messages) for you (or for …).
  • QTH : What is your position in latitude and longitude (or according to any other indication)? : My position is … latitude…longitude
  • QTR : What is the correct time? : The correct time is … hours
  • QTU : At what times are you operating? : I am operating from … to … hours.
  • QTX : Will you keep your station open for further communication with me until further notice (or until … hours)? : I will keep my station open for further communication with you until further notice (or until … hours).
  • QUA : Have you news of … (call sign)? : Here is news of … (call sign).
  • QUC : What is the number (or other indication) of the last message you received from me (or from … (call sign))? : The number (or other indication) of the last message I received from you (or from … (call sign)) is …
  • QUD : Have you received the urgency signal sent by … (call sign of mobile station)? : I have received the urgency signal sent by … (call sign of mobile station) at … hours.
  • QUE : Can you speak in … (language), – with interpreter if necessary; if so, on what frequencies? : I can speak in … (language) on … kHz (or MHz).
  • QUF : Have you received the distress signal sent by … (call sign of mobile station)? : I have received the distress signal sent by … (call sign of mobile station) at … hours.