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Terminology

Alright, it said right in the book that encryption and codes were not allowed. Whats all this jargon mean then, and why is it permitted?

Short answer, ham radio is like any other field in life. It has developed its own subset of vocabulary. Some of that might be the Q-codes which were briefly touched on; some of it is words used in an odd way, and in one case its just a number that actually has meaning of its own.

I'll just list of few commonly used ones to get you started; there are others and many that I don't know either. These will be enough to get you started.

"73" - Yep, thats the number I referred to in the introduction. It is simply a brief way of saying best regards, best wishes, etc. It is often used to indicate that you wish/need to end the contact; for example you might say "I am going to have to say 73's for now ... I've got too ..."

XYL - Spouse

QSL - "Did you hear me ok" or "I did hear that ok".

QSY - Change frequency. ie You might be asked "Shall we QSY to 146.52" would mean change operating frequency to 146.52MHz.

Handle - Another word for your first name.

Call - Call sign is often shortened to just the word call; mentioned mainly because it can be confusing whether someone is referring to 'making a call' or asking for your call sign.

QRT - "We've finished our conversation, and I'm shutting off my station."

Clear - There is references around the internet stating this means you are shutting down your station, but frequently it is used to indicate you are finished with your conversation and the frequency is available to anyone who wants to use it.

QRZ - Who is talking to me? While this will be used occasionally according to its meaning, you will also hear it used frequently to refer to the web site www.qrz.com; and in particular that website's call sign look up feature. It is commonly pronounced Q-R-ZED; substituting an outdated phonetic word for the letter Z.

QTH - Technically means location; but also used to indicate home location.