Morse code abbreviations

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Morse code abbreviations differ from prosigns for Morse code in that they observe normal interletter spacing; that is, they are not "run together" the way prosigns are. From 1845 until well into the second half of the 20th century, commercial telegraphic code books were used to shorten telegrams, e.g. "Pascoela = Natives have plundered everything from the wreck".[1]

AA All after (used after question mark to request a repetition)
AB All before (similarly)
ARRL American Radio Relay League
ABT About
ADR Address
AGN Again
ANT Antenna
ARND Around
BCI Broadcast interference
BK Break (to pause transmission of a message, say)
BN All between
BTR Better
BTU Back to you
BUG Semiautomatic mechanical key
BURO Bureau (usually used in the phrase PLS QSL VIA BURO, "Please send QSL card via my local/national QSL bureau")
B4 Before
C Yes; correct
CBA Callbook address
CFM Confirm
CK Check
CL Clear (I am closing my station)
CLG Calling
CQ Calling any station
CQD Original International Distress Call, fell out of use before 1915
CS Callsign
CTL Control
CUD Could
CUL See you later
CUZ Because
CW Continuous wave (i.e., radiotelegraph)
CX Conditions
DE From (or "this is")
DN Down
DR Dear
DSW Goodbye (Russian: до свидания [Do svidanya])
DX Distance (sometimes refers to long distance contact), foreign countries
EMRG Emergency
ENUF Enough
ES And
FB Fine business (Analogous to "OK")
FCC Federal Communications Commission
FER For
FM From
FREQ Frequency
FWD Forward
GA Good afternoon or Go ahead (depending on context)
GE Good evening
GG Going
GL Good luck
GM Good morning
GN Good night
GND Ground (ground potential)
GUD Good
GX Ground
HEE Humour intended (often repeated, e.g. HEE HEE)
HI Humour intended (possibly derived from HEE)
HR Here, hear
HV Have
HW How
II I say again
IMP Impedance
K Over
KN Over; only the station named should respond (e.g. W7PTH DE W1AW KN)
LID Poor operator
MILS Milliamperes
MNI Many
MSG Message
N No; nine
NIL Nothing
NM Name
NR Number
NW Now
NX Noise; noisy
OB Old boy
OC Old chap
OK Okay
OM Old man (any male amateur radio operator is an OM regardless of age)
OO Official observer
OP Operator
OT Old timer
OTC Old timers club (ARRL-sponsored organization for radio amateurs first licensed 20 or more years ago)
OOTC Old old timers club (organization for those whose first two-way radio contact occurred 40 or more years ago; separate from OTC and ARRL)
PLS Please
PSE Please
PWR Power
PX Prefix
QCWA Quarter Century Wireless Association (organization for radio amateurs who have been licensed for 25 or more years)
R Are; received as transmitted (origin of "Roger"), or decimal point (depending on context)
RCVR Receiver
RFI Radio-frequency interference
RIG Radio apparatus
RPT Repeat or report (depending on context)
RPRT Report
RST Signal report format (Readability-Signal Strength-Tone)
RTTY Radioteletype
RX Receiver, radio
SAE Self-addressed envelope
SASE Self-addressed, stamped envelope
SED Said
SEZ Says
SFR So far (proword)
SIG Signal or signature
SIGS Signals
SK Out (proword), end of contact
SK Silent Key (a deceased radio amateur)
SKED Schedule
SMS Short message service
SN Soon
SNR Signal-to-noise ratio
SRI Sorry
SSB Single sideband
STN Station
T Zero (usually an elongated dah)
TEMP Temperature
TFC Traffic
TKS Thanks
TMW Tomorrow
TNX Thanks
TT That
TU Thank you
TVI Television interference
TX Transmit, transmitter
TXT Text
U You
UR Your or You're (depending on context)
URS Yours
VX Voice; phone
VY Very
W Watts
WA Word after
WB Word before
WC Wilco
WDS Words
WID With
WKD Worked
WKG Working
WL Will
WUD Would
WTC Whats the craic? (Irish Language: [Conas atá tú?])
WX Weather
XCVR Transceiver
XMTR Transmitter
XYL Wife (ex-YL)
YF Wife
YL Young lady (originally an unmarried female operator, now used for any female)
ZX Zero beat
73 Best regards
88 Love and kisses

An amateur radio conversation in Morse code[edit]

The skill to have sensible conversations with Morse is more than knowing just the alphabet. To make communication efficient, there are many internationally agreed patterns of communication.

A sample CW conversation between station 1 (S1) and station 2 (S2)

S1:

CQ CQ CQ DE S1 K
Calling anyone (CQ), this is (DE) S1, listening for any response (K)

S2:

S1 DE S2 KN
Calling S1, this is S2, listening for a response only from designated station (KN)
(Two-way connection established)

S1:

S2 DE S1 = GA DR OM UR RST 5NN HR = QTH TIMBUKTU = OP IS JOHN = HW? S2 DE S1 KN
Good afternoon dear old man. You are RST 599 here (the N's substitute for 9's; 
signal is very readable (5) and very strong (9), with very good tone (9))
I'm located in Timbuktu. The operator's name is John.
How do you copy?

S2:

S1 DE S2 = TNX FB RPRT DR OM JOHN UR 559 = QTH HIMALAYA = NAME IS YETI S1 DE S2 KN
Thanks for the nice (fine-business) report dear old man John. I read you 559 
(very readable (5), average strength (5), very good tone (9)).
I am in the Himalayas. My name is Yeti.

S1:

S2 DE S1 = OK TNX QSO DR YETI = 73 ES HPE CUAGN S2 DE S1 KN
Okay, thanks for this conversation (QSO), dear Yeti.
Best regards and hope to see you again.

S2:

S1 DE S2 = R TU CUAGN 73 S1 DE S2 SK
Understood. Thank you. Best regards. (signing off)

With heavy use of the Q code and Morse Code Abbreviations, surprisingly meaningful conversations can be had. Note that very few English words have been used ("is" and "name"), only abbreviations. S1 and S2 might not speak the same native language.

Of course, real rag-chewing (lengthy conversations) cannot be done without a common language. On the worldwide amateur bands this is often English.

Contesters often use a very specialized and even shorter format for their contacts. Their purpose is to process as many contacts as possible in a limited time (e.g. 100-150 per hour).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Commercial Telegraphic Code Books James A. (Jim) Reeds