Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Q Code

Whilst happily tapping away the other day my mind started wondering about the Q code. Who started it and what as it really used for? Interestingly when looking it up in Wikipidia  it was created around 1909 by the British Government for the use by British ships and coastal stations.
When you see the full list it’s quite large and the code pretty well covers everything for maritime use, well that’s what it was set up to do!

Some of the more obscure ones include, QUQ which is “ Shall I train my searchlight nearly vertical on a cloud, and if your aircraft is seen, deflect the beam upwind and on the water?" QRC "By what enterprise are the accounts for charges for your station settled?" And a personal favourite, QUB "Can you give me in the following order information concerning: the direction in degrees and the speed of the surface wind, visibility, present weather and amount, type and height of base cloud above surface elevation at ........?" All excellent stuff!

Of course intermingled within the original code is our own amateur radio Q code, three of which I find interesting mainly because I don't remember them from my CW course many moons ago. QRA - Name, QRB - Distance and QSD - Defective keying (I could have certainly used that one on a few occasions. - Happy Tapping!

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