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Author Topic: How to write prosigns?  (Read 9925 times)

Posts: 729


« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2010, 07:52:19 AM »

In HF operating that involved only Q or Z signals, the manner of sending a question, such as QRK? was to use the 'interogatory' signal.  This was INT, sent all as one character.  So to ask QRK? you would send INT QRK.  As already noted IMI (also one character) was the repeat signal.   Both of those, if written down (why write them down??) would have the bar over them to indicate they are 'tied together,' that is, sent as single characters. 

BK is confusing for hams today.  It has two forms.  BK as two separate letters, means "back", and is used as "BK TO U."    BK as one character together is "BREAK" and has become to mean the 'quick break'.  You ask someone "going to the ham fest?  BK (as one character)" and it is tellng him to respond right now.  Incidentally, he can do so without sending a beginning "break" signal!   It is redundant.   He doesn't have to send: BK YES BK for example.  He can just send 'YES BK"   However most higher speed hams won't use BK (break) at all.  Just:  "U GOING TO HAM FEST? (and pause)  Other guys responds with 'YEP"   and that's all that is needed.  As in real conversation. 

SK is VA.  It's the same thing.  It is also "I A A" if you want to do it.  It is all one character.  Many of today's keyboards will not send those combined characters so it does come out as separate letters.   But that isn't how it is supposed to be.

Some prosigns are not sent as one character.  DE is one of them.  But AR and AS are combined into single characters.  BT is also.  Technically BT means a break between address and text, or one part of text and another.  Most hams use it in place of a period, as well as to just be sending something while their mind is figuring out what to say next.

The "equals" sign is actually a BT with an extra 'dit' in the middle.  It is called the double dash, which is what an equals sign actually is.  We hams substitute BT for this. 

The ARRL Handbook used to give a whole list of all these prosigns, both the ones that are sent as one character and those that are individual characters.  I'm not sure they do that anymore.  And no one really cares as we are getting further and further away from any kind of "standard operating procedures." 



Posts: 18

« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2010, 01:19:15 PM »

"Probably was easier to type IMI on a mill"


Same issue with computer code learning software expecting + and = for prosigns. Harder to type than common letters, however easy it would be if handwriting.

But is not reasonable to use a group of letters, like IMI when interfacing with computer, however easy it is on  mill. Programed software doesn't want to wait for a response consisting of a group of keypresses, but only to wait for one keypress like = (or even for + or ? which is one 'keypress' made with two keystrokes SHF = or SHF /).

What's easy for the computer program is different from what is easy for the mill operator which is different  from what is easy for hand copy.

Came into play when I was learning the code. Copying by hand, I did not have the slightest problem with recognizaing and writing down prosigns. But after switching to computer keyboard I set the code learning program preferences to not send prosigns because they slowed me down. At the test of course I was agian copying by hand and prosigns were easy to deal with.

Posts: 246

« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2010, 05:33:29 AM »

From what I remember, on the American code tests a test taker could write KN, BT, SK with bars on the ham exams (I think DN had to be /).  I did and there were never any problems.  I don't copy code with a pencil and pad anymore, but if I'm talking to another ham in a ham shack and I have headphones on I'll say "the station signed SK".  I have never heard a ham say or write "VA", but whatever's handy.  I doubt that writing VA would get credit on an exam though, given that it's unconventional.  But then again, that's a moot point nowadays ...

I with the computer programs would let you create your own procedurals using macros rather than have to type symbols.  That's one reason why I've grown weary of using keyboards.  It's much more intuitive to send a procedural on a bug or paddles rather than have to think "Okay, I want to send BT, what button do I have to press?"  Slows everything down.

73, Jordan

Posts: 4710

« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2010, 06:30:18 AM »

The ARRL Handbook used to give a whole list of all these prosigns, both the ones that are sent as one character and those that are individual characters.  I'm not sure they do that anymore.  And no one really cares as we are getting further and further away from any kind of "standard operating procedures." 

I care - so here's my list. In this list, underlining means sent as one character:


AR  End of transmission
K Go ahead
KN Go ahead, specific station, all others keep out
SK End of QSO
CL Closing down station, will not listen for calls.
DE From, this is
CQ Call to any station


AA All after
AB All before
ABT About
ADR Address
AGN Again
AMP Amplifier, ampere
ANT Antenna
BCI Broadcast Interference
BCNU Be seeing you
BK Break, back
BN Between
B4 Before
C Yes
CFM Confirm
CK Check
CL Call
CLD Called
CLG Calling
CU See you
CUD Could
CUL See you later
CUM Come
DLVD Delivered
DX Distance
ES &, and
FB Fine business, excellent
GA Go ahead, good afternoon
GB Goodbye, God bless
GBA Give better address
GE Good evening
GG Going
GM Good morning
GN Good night
GND Ground
GUD Good
HAW Laughing
HI Laughing
HNDL Handle
HR Here, hear
HV Have
HW How
LID Poor/unskilled/inconsiderate operator
MILL Typewriter
MILS Milliamperes
MSG Message
N No
ND Nothing doing
NIL Nothing
NR Number
NW Now
OB Old boy
OM Old man
OP Operator, name of operator
OSC Oscillator
OT Old Timer
PSE Please
PWR Power
R Received, are
RPT Repeat
RX Receiver
SED Said
SEZ Says
SIG Signature
SINE Operator's initials or nickname
SK Silent Key
SKED Schedule
SRI Sorry
SVC Service
TFC Traffic
TNW Tomorrow
TNX Thanks
TT That
TU Thank you
TVI Television Interference
TX Transmitter
TXT Text
UR Your, you're
URS Yours
VY Very
WA Word after
WB Word before
WD Word, wood
WKD Worked
WUD Would
WX Weather
XCVR Transceiver
XTAL Crystal
XYL Wife
YL Young lady
73 Best regards
88 Love & kisses

Those are just the common ones, there are many more.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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