Communications – SSB “Q” Codes and other Terms

SSB “Q” Codes and other Terms



The “Q” codes used by Single Sideband (SSB) operators on CB are the same ones used by ham operators around the world for both voice and Morse code communications (in part because a lot of SSB operators on CB are also hams, and in part because communications there are handled similarly to ham communications on the shortwave bands). If you ever wondered about the ham hobby but didn’t want to invest the money or license study time, CB SSB is the place to test your curiosity. Like the 10-code used on AM-CB, there are lots of codes that are seldom, if ever, used. However, being an internationally accepted list of codes, they have the same meaning everywhere, so you can look up someone’s obscure code and it will always mean the same thing – unlike many of the 10 code numbers that have different meanings in different areas of the country. You may also notice that a few of the “Q” codes are popular enough that they are even used on AM CB occasionally, such as QSL, QSO, and QTH. But you’ll never hear a veteran “Sidebander” using 10 codes on SSB! For those worried about the size of the codes list, I have marked in RED the most commonly used codes.


Single Sideband (SSB) Terms & “Q” Codes
CQ Calling Any Station
DX Long Distance (Communications)
QRB Distance To Station
QRG Transmitting/Reception Frequency
QRH Frequency Stability
QRI Tone Quality (1 to 9).
QRJ Weak Signal
QRK Overall Signal Quality (1 to 5).
QRL Busy
QRM Interference (Man Made)
QRN Static Interference.
QRO Increased(Hi) Power.
QRP Decreased(Low) Power.
QRQ Send faster
QRS Send slower
QRT Stop sending
QRU Messages for:
QRV Are you ready?
QRW Notify (station) that I am calling
QRX Stand by
QRZ Who is calling me?
QSA Signal Strength? (1 to 9)
QSB Signal Strength varies
QSD Signals Garbled
QSK Break (into conversation)
QSL Can you confirm communication (send confirmation postcard)
QSM Should I repeat last message? Repeat last message.
QSO Communication/Conversation
QSP Relay A Message
QSV Send a Test Signal
QSW Transmit on (frequency) in (mode)
QSX Monitor (frequency) for my transmission
QSY Change frequency to:
QSZ Should I duplicate each word?
QTC I have messages to send
QTH My location is:
QTR The correct time is:
EXAMPLE OF “Q” CODE USE: “CQ?…..Hello, CQ-DX, CQ-DX. Hotel Foxtrot Triple Three…..Central New Mexico Unit 333 calling CQ DX, and standing by for any QRP station”

    Translation: HF333 in Central New Mexico is sending a general call to communicate with any long-distance (over 100 miles away) station using low power (less than 100 watts).


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