The English School Radio Club

Revised Practical Notes

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Operating Practices

1. The International Q Code

QRG - What is my exact frequency?
Your frequency is ..... kHz
QRH - Does my frequency vary?
Your frequency varies.
QRK - What is the readability of my signals?
The readability of your signals is ..... (R1-5)
QRL - Are you busy?
I am busy. 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 - Shall I increase power?
Increase power.
QRP - Shall I decrease power?
Decrease power.
QRQ - Shall I send faster?
Send faster
QRS - Shall I send more slowly?
Send more slowly.
QRT - Shall I stop sending?
Stop sending.

2. More Q-Codes!

QRU - Have you anything for me?
I have nothing for you.
QRV - Are you ready?
I am ready,
QRX - Are you standing by?
Stand by (OR I shall ca1l you again).
QRZ - Who is calling me?
You are being ca1led by ...
QSB - Are my signals fading?
our signals are fading.
QSL - Can you give me acknowledgment of receipt?
I can give you acknowledgment of receipt.
QSO - Can you communicate with ...?
I can communicate with ... .
QSF - Will you relay to ...ώ
I will relay to ...
QSV - Shall I send a series of VVVs? ) for TX
Send a series of VVVs. ) testing
QSY - Shall I change frequency?
Change :frequency.
QTH - What is your location?
My location is ...
QTR - What is the correct time?
The correct time is .... hours GMT.

The R-S-T Code System

While in Radio contact stations exchange reports on the readability and strength of their signals by using the RST Code.

Readability - R
RI - Unreadable.
R2 - Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.
R3 - Readable with considerable difficulty.
R4 - Readable with some difficulty.
R5 - Perfectly readable.

Signal Strength - S
S1 - Faint signals.
S2 - Very weak signals.
S3 - Weak signals.
S4 - Fair signals.
S5 - Fairly good signals.
S6 - Good signals.
S7 - Moderately strong signals.
S8 - Strong signals.
S9 - Extremely strong signals (anything above this is exceptionally strong signals).

Tone -T
TI - Extremely rough hissing note.
T2 - Very rough AC note. No musicality.
T3 - Rough, low pitched AC note. Slightly musical.
T4 - Rather rough AC note, moderately musical.
T5 - Musically modulated note.
T6 - Modulated note, slight trace of whistle.
T7- Near DC note, smooth ripple.
T8 - Good DC note, just a trace of ripple.
T9 - Perfect DC note.

X - if note appears crystal controlled
C - if there is a chirp
D - if there is drift
K - if there are clicks.

Some International Amateur Radio Prefixes

A4 - Uman HA - Hungary PY - Brazil
A9 - Bahrain HB - Switzerland SM- Sweden
AP - Pakistan HE - Liechestein SV- Greece
CE - Chile HM - Korea U- USSR(ex)
CP - Bolivia I - Italy UG6- Armenia
CR6 - Angola OE - Austria VK- Australia
CT1 - Portugal J - Japan YB- Indonesia
CT2 - Azores JY - Jordan YU- Yugoslavia
D - Germany X - Jan Mayen ZC4 - Cyprus (British Bases)
EA - Spain K/W - USA ZE - Rhodesia
EA6 - Balearic Is KL7 - Alaska ZS- South Africa
EAS - Canary Is. KZS - Canal Zone 4U1- I. T. U. Geneva
ET - Ethiopia LA - Norway 5B4- Cyprus
F - France LU - Argentina 5Z4- Kenya
FI8 - French Somalia OH - Finland 9J2- Zambia
G - England ON - Belgium 9K2 - Kuwait
GW - Wales OZ - Denmark 9H1 - Malta

A Typical QSO

(1) 5B4ES:          Is the frequency in use? Is the frequency occupied Break....#2

(2) 5B4ES:          Hello CQ CQ CQ; Hello CQ CQ CQ; This is Five Bravo Four Echo Sierra; Five Boston Four England Spain #3, calling CQ on 20#4, meters. Calling CQ CQ CQ; CQ CQ CQ from Five Brazil Four Ecuador San-Diego; Number Five Baker Number Four Easy Sugar calling CQ on 20 meters and standing by....#5

{1} LYlBXT#6:        5B4E5 this is LYlBXT

(3) 5B4ES:           LYIBXT#8 from 5B4ES#9 .Okay Old Man#10 thanks for coming back to my call. My name is Nicolas #11, spe1t like November, India, Charlie, Oscar, Lima, Alpha, Sierra and the QTH here is Nicosia, the capital city of the island of Cyprus. Nicosia is spelt like November, India, Charlie, Oscar, Sierra, India, Alpha, #12. Okay Old Man, MIC back to you. LYIBXT this is 5B4ES#13.

{2} LYlBXT:           5B4E5 from LYlBXT. Roger, Roger#14 ,Nicolas#15.The handle here is Arvis #11 spelt like America, Rome, Venezuela, India, Sugar#3 Arvis is my name, and the QTH here is Kiev City #16, spelt like Kilo, India, Echo, Victor. Your signal report is 5 and 9+10, 59+10. Please go ahead my friend Nicolas. 5B4E5 this is LY1BXT#13

(4) 5B4ES:           LYlBXT this is 5B4ES#13.Fine copy, Arvis #15.Your signal report is 5 and 9+40, 59+40 #17, a very strong signal indeed, my friend. Anyway, Arvis, thank you very much for the nice call, and hope we meet again on the air. Bye-bye and best 73's#18

{3} LYlBXT:           Okay, Nicolas#18 thanks for the short QSO; 73's.


#1: Pre-operating procedure: connecting equipment, tuning, testing mic etc.
#2: Listen & wait; if frequency in use then change frequency and retry. Otherwise continue.
#3: Non-ITU phonetic alphabet can be used, as long as words are easy to recognize -this adds variety to QSO.
#4: It is obvious!!! Often added for variety.
#5: Listen and wait. If no amateur answers then try step (2) again.
#6: LY1BXT is an example! Any station from any country could reply.
#7: Usually both callsigns are at first spelt out phonetically.
#8: Before and after conversations ALWAYS the other station's callsign FIRST...
#9: …and your callsign SECOND
#10:As long as we do not know amateurs name, we call him 'Old Man', or 'Young lady' if a female operator.
#11:First pronounce normally: Then use the phonetic alphabet.
#12:Our QTH in always Nicosia!!! Also spell with phonetic alphabet.
#13:At this stage (if the signal strength permits), callsigns can be pronounced normally (no phonetic alphabet).
#14:Using 'Roger'(=understood),'Fine' etc., makes conversation sounds more naturally, and flows easily.
#15:Knowing 'Old Mans name, we can now usually call him by it.
#16:OM's QTH; first normally; Then using phonetic alphabet. Usually we note it down with his name under 'Notes for this QSO' in the logging software .
#17:The signal report is usually give in the two forms shown.
#18:QSO does not have to end here. You can also talk about equipment, WX, PX, school etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc. ....

NOTE:Once you are on the air, you will notice that every amateur has his/her own style of talking on the air. You do not have to stick to the above QSO. These are just guideles to help you out. You will slowly acquire your own style which you can use once you become an amateur.

ALSO NOTE:In the above QSO, certain things are hypothetical, they will change from QSO to QSO (apart from your name of course!).

Using The Equipment

An overview of how to use the equipment of the club follows.(Or anyone else who has the same equipment!)
Information for the following equipment will be given:

  • YAESU FT-1000MP tranceiver,
  • YAESU FT-902DM tranceiver,
  • Kenwood TL-922 Linear Amplifier,
  • A.T.U.

The information given will be about the preselected positions of the controls of the equipment,and the tuning procedure.This will only be a summary of the procedures.For more information refer to the appropriate equipment mannuals.


The tuning of the FT-1000MP is almost done automatically by the tranceiver itself, unlike the mannual tuning of the FT-902DM as you will see later.
Before switching on the tranceiver make sure that

  • i)all the interconnections are correct,
  • ii)the right antenna is selected and
  • iii)the tranceiver is not in transmit mode.

The two controls(buttons)on the tranceiver responsible for tuning are :
  1. TUNE control
  2. TUNER control

    The TUNE control simply tunes the tranceiver automatically when pressed.It can be used whether the TUNER control is On or Off.

    The TUNER control turns On/Off the tuner function.When the TUNER is On (can be seen on the display) the tranceiver automatically tunes whenever it is necessary (for example when you change frequency etc.)

VERY IMPORTANT-When you are using the TL-922 Linear Amplifier this TUNER function must be off in order to use the linear correctly.The tuning should be done from the linear!


Tuning The FT-902DM

1.1 Do NOT turn the POWER on yet.
1.2 Check all interconnections. Ensure the correct antenna is connected.
1.3 Make sure the transceiver is not in transmit mode. This can be done in four ways:

  1. Microphone button OFF.
  2. VOX GAIN control set to MOX.
  3. TUNE button OFF.
  4. PTT (Footswitch) OFF.

2.1 Preset all controls to their expected positions (see below).
2.2 Switch PPWER ON. 2.3 Switch HEATER ON.
2.4 Set meter switch PO-IC-ALC to IC position.
2.5 Press TUNE and adjust carrier to give 50ma current (see transceiver's meter).
2.6 Press TUNE and adjust PRESELECT to give a maximum current. If current exceeds l00ma then reduce carrier and repeat.
2.7 Press TUNE and adjust PLATE to give a minimum current without leaving the band segment.

3.1 Set the meter switch to PO
3.2 Switch your attention to the MFJ/DAIWA power meter (depending on which is connected).
3.3 Select 20W scale on the DAIWA unit or LOW power on the MFJ. 3.4 Press TUNE and adjust PRESELECT for maximum power.
3.5 Press TUNE and adjust LOADING for maximum power.
3.6 Press TUNE and adjust PLATE for maximum power.
3.7 Move carrier to 1 o'clock position and select 200W scale on the DAIWA unit . Repeat steps 3.4-3.6.
3.8 Move carrier to maximum and repeat stages 3.4-3.6.

NOTE: If after step 3.7 one can read an SWR greater than 1.5-2 then proceed to use A.T.U. If you change band, then steps 2.4-3.8 must be repeated.

4.1 Adjust meter switch to ALC position and reduce carrier to minimum:
4.3 Activate microphone and speak in a normal voice: Adjust the MIC GAIN control so that the needle is just inside the green segment of the built-in meter. Deactivate the MIC.
4.4 Turn PROCESSOR ON. Turn PROC LEVEL down to zero.
4.5 Activate microphone and speak in a normal voice. Adjust the PROC LEVEL control for the same effect as in step 4.5.
4.6 Deactivate the microphone. The FT902DM is now tuned, and ready for operation.


  1. Make sure the A.T.U. is correctly connected to the antenna and transmitter.
  2. Select the Band in use using the BAND selector.
  3. Adjust the carrier to a high enough value so as to get a clear reading on the power meter.
  4. Press TUNE on the transmitter and adjust both TUNE and LOAD in turn until the SWR drops to a low level (below 1:1.5 and if possible to 1:1).
  5. Continue tuning the transmitter.

NOTE: The Band selector is not calibrated with 100% accuracy. The scale is mainly a guideline. Sometimes the desired effect may be achieved by moving the Band selector to one position left or right from the actual recommended position.



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Notes Revised and Rewritten by Nicolas Lymbouris, April 1999

WebSite ReDesigned By Christakis Zapitis, October 2000