If you are a new ham checking into a repeater or someone listening to the ham radio band with a scanner, you will discover a lot of the jargon. In the following table, you will find the most common lingo you will hear on the amateur band and, more specifically, on repeaters.
The table also contains some of the most common QCode. It is a standard collection of codes starting with the letter "Q", initially developed for commercial radio-telegraph communication and later adopted by other radio services.
The ARRL recommends that amateurs use the NATO phonetic alphabet as most amateurs around the world will recognize them. The call sign W6BSD will be Whiskey, 6, Bravo, Sierra, Delta, and not Wendy, 6, Bob, Susan, Dorothy.
|7 3||Cheers / best wishes||Thank you for the QSO and 73 from W6BSD|
|Boat anchor||old radio||I am replacing a vacuum tube on my boat anchor|
|HT||handheld transceiver||I am only carrying my HT when I travel|
|PTT||push-to-talk button||Press the PTT and wait a second before talking|
|QRM||interference||I had a lot of QRM during your last transmission|
|QSL||acknowledge / confirm||QSL on your signal report|
|QSO||contact||Thank you for the QSO|
|QSY||change frequency||Let's QSY on 652|
|QTH||location||what is your QTH?|
|clear||off the air||73 all from W6BSD, clear|
|copy||understood||100% copy on your last transmission|
|double||talk simultaneously||There was a double on the last tranmission|
|elmer||mentor||My elmer told me about your club|
|final||end of transmission||I will be clear after your final|
|full‑quieting||no background noise||you are full-quieting into the repeater|
|homebrew||home made||I am using an homebrew antenna|
|jump off||leave the radio||diner is ready, I need to jump off|
|kerchunck||short press on the PTT||someone is kerchunking the repeater|
|key up||transmit||key up when you are ready|
|mobile||traveling||this is W6BSD mobile or this is W6BSD bicycle mobile|
|net||on-air gathering||The club net is Wednesday at 7:30 pm|
|picket fence||fluttering transmission||I hear picket fence noise are you mobile?|
|ragchew||long discussion||Yesterday I had a ragchew with W6IPA|
|relay||pass a message||Can you relay that information for me?|
|roger||agree||Roger that Wayat|
|rubber duck||short inefficient antenna||how am I getting into the repeater? I am on a rubber duck|
|shack||radio room||I have a boat anchor in my shack|
|silent key||passed away||Mike, K4LUY is a silent key|
|stand by||wait||Ok John take your time, W6BSD standing by|
|step on||talk over / double||Sorry Larry I stepped on you|
|unkey||stop transmitting||unkey your microphone before sneezing on the air|
Ham Radio1 is a great hobby to learn. It will introduce you to new groups of people. You will be learning about technology, people in other parts of the world, emergency communications, and radiosport, amongst other things. The Radio Society of Great Britain produced a great video to explain what is ham radio.
If you are interested in becoming a licensed ham radio operator, you can find all the information on how to pass the exam on the ARRL website2.