HAM RADIO INFORMATION
A good place to start if you're new to radio. . . .
INTERNATIONAL MORSE CODE
Morse code is a method of transmitting text information as a series of clicks that can be received using the CW mode. International Morse Code is represented by a unique sequence of dots and dashes created by placing a morse key inline to a radio transmitter. The duration of a dash is three times the duration of a dot. Each dot or dash is followed by a short silence, equal to the dot duration. The letters of a word are separated by a space equal to three dots (one dash), and the words are separated by a space equal to seven dots. The dot duration is the basic unit of time measurement in code transmission. For efficiency, the length of each character in Morse is approximately inversely proportional to its frequency of occurrence in English. Thus, the most common letter in English, the letter "E," has the shortest code, a single dot.
Q CODES Used By Radio Amateurs
- QRG Will you indicate my exact frequency in kilocycles? Your frequency is ... kc.
- 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 Are you receiving me badly? Are my signals weak? I cannot receive you. Your signals are too weak.
- QRK What is the legibility of my signals (1 to 5)? The legibility of your signals is ... (1 to 5).
- QRL * Are you busy? I am busy (or busy with....). Please do not interfere.
- QRM * Are you being interfered with? I am being interfered with.
- QRN * Are you troubled by static? I am troubled by static.
- QRO * Must I increase power? Increase power.
- QRP * Must I decrease power? Decrease power.
- QRQ * Must I send faster? Send faster ... (words per min.).
- QRS * Must I send more slowly? Transmit more slowly ... (w.p.m.).
- QRT * Must I stop transmission? Stop transmission.
- QRU * Have you anything for me? I have nothing for you.
- QRV * Are you ready? I am ready.
- QRW Must I advise ... that you are calling him on ... kc? Please advise ... that I am calling him on ... kc.
- QRX * When will you call again? I will call you again at ... hours (on ... kc.).
- QRZ * By whom am I being called? You are being called by ...
- QSA What is the strength of my signals (1 to 5)? The strength of your signals is ... (1 to 5).
- QSB * Does the strength of my signals vary? The strength of your signals varies.
- QSD Is my keying correct? Are my signals distinct? Your keying is incorrect; your signals are bad.
- QSG Must I transmit ... telegrams (or one telegram) at a time? Transmit ... telegrams (or one telegram) at a time.
- QSK * Shall I continue the transmission of all my traffic? I can hear you between my signals. Continue: I shall interrupt you if necessary.
- QSL * Can you acknowledge receipt? I am acknowledging receipt.
- QSM Shall I repeat the last telegram I sent you? Repeat the last telegram you sent me.
- QSO * Can you communicate with ... directly (or through...)? I can communicate with ... direct (or through...).
- QSP Will you relay to ...? I will relay to ... free of charge.
- QSV Shall I send a series of VVV....? Send a series of VVV.
- QSX Will you listen for ... (call sign) on ... kcs? I am listening for ... on ... kcs.
- QSY * Shall I change to ... kilocycles without changing the type of wave? Change to ... kc. without changing type of wave.
- QSZ Shall I send each word or group twice? Send each word or group twice.
- QTA Shall I cancel nr ... as if it had not been sent? Cancel nr ... as if it had not been sent.
- QTB Do you agree with my word count? I do not agree with your word count; I shall repeat the first letter of each word and the first figure of each number.
- QTC How many telegrams have you to send? I have ... telegrams for you or for ....
- QTH * What is your position (location)? My position (location) is ....
- QTR What is the exact time? The exact time is ....
- QST * General call preceeding a message address to all amateurs
FREQUENCIES & BANDS
HF - High frequency
- 80 meters – 3.5-4 MHz (3500–4000 kHz) – Best at night, with significant daytime signal absorption. Works best in winter due to atmospheric noise in summer. Only countries in the Americas and few others have access to all of this band, in other parts of the world amateurs are limited to the bottom 300 kHz or less. In the US and Canada the upper end of the sub-band from 3600–4000 kHz, permits use of single-sideband voice as well as amplitude modulation, voice ; often referred to as 75 meters.
- 60 meters – 5 MHz region – A relatively new allocation and originally only available in a small number of countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, but now continuing to expand. In most ( but not all ) countries, the allocation is channelized and may require special application. Voice operation is generally in upper sideband mode and in the USA it is mandatory.
- 40 meters – 7.0–7.3 MHz – Considered the most reliable all-season DX band. Popular for DX at night, 40 meters is also reliable for medium distance (1500KM) contacts during the day. Much of this band was shared with broadcasters, and in most countries the bottom 100 kHz or 200 kHz are available to amateurs. However, due to the high cost of running high power commercial broadcasting facilities; decreased listener-ship and increasing competition from net based international broadcast services, many 'short wave' services are being shut down leaving the 40 meter band free of other users for amateur radio use.
- 30 meters – 10.1–10.15 MHz – a very narrow band, which is shared with non-amateur services. It is recommended that only Morse Code and data transmissions be used here, and in some countries amateur voice transmission is actually prohibited. Not released for amateur use in a small number of countries. Due to its location in the centre of the shortwave spectrum, this band provides significant opportunities for long-distance communication at all points of the solar cycle. 30 meters is a WARC band. "WARC" bands are so called due to the special World Administrative Radio Conference allocation of these newer bands to amateur radio use. Amateur radio contests are not run on the WARC bands.
- 20 meters – 14.0–14.35 MHz – Considered the most popular DX band; usually most popular during daytime. QRP operators recognize 14.060 MHz as their primary calling frequency in that band. Users of the PSK31 data mode tend to congregate around 14.071 MHz. Analog SSTV activity is centered around 14.230 MHz.
- 17 meters – 18.068–18.168 MHz – Similar to 20m, but more sensitive to solar propagation minima and maxima. 17 meters is a WARC band.
- 15 meters – 21–21.45 MHz – Most useful during solar maximum, and generally a daytime band. Daytime sporadic-E propagation (1500 km) occasionally occurs on this band.
- 12 meters – 24.89–24.99 MHz – Mostly useful during daytime, but opens up for DX activity at night during solar maximum. 12 meters is one of the new WARC bands.
- 10 meters – 28–29.7 MHz – Best long distance (e.g., across oceans) activity is during solar maximum; during periods of moderate solar activity the best activity is found at low latitudes. The band offers useful short to medium range groundwave propagation, day or night. During the late spring and most of the summer, regardless of sunspot numbers, afternoon short band openings into small geographic areas of up to 1500 km occur due to Sporadic-E propagation. "Sporadic-E" is caused by areas of intense ionization in the E layer of the ionosphere. The causes of Sporadic-E are not fully understood, but these "clouds" of ionization can provide short term propagation from 17 meters all the way up to occasional 2 meter openings.
THE PHONETIC ALPHABET
THE PHONETIC ALPHABET
The phonetic alphabet is a list of words used to identify letters in a message transmitted by radio or telephone. Spoken words from an approved list are substituted for letters. For example, the word "YAGI" would be " Yankee, Alpha, Golf, India" when spelled in the phonetic alphabet. This practice helps to prevent confusion between similar sounding letters, such as "m" and "n", as well as "s" and "f" . It helps radio operators to clarify communications that may be garbled during transmission.
Identify All Types Of RF Signals - That you have heard or would like to find. You can listen to various audio recordings of the many different types of transmissions from Marine, Aircraft, CB, data to Ham radio and the rest.
SIGNAL CHECK IDENTIFICATION