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eHam Forums => CW => Topic started by: KC8SLC on February 09, 2013, 01:14:16 PM



Title: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: KC8SLC on February 09, 2013, 01:14:16 PM
Hello everyone! I have been practicing code for some time now and I'm ready to get on the air!! My question is what do you send to ask if the frequency is clear? I checked the Q code list, and I did not see anything. Thanks, Tim.


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: G4IJE on February 09, 2013, 01:23:43 PM
Send QRL? If there's no reply you are good to go.


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: W7ASA on February 09, 2013, 03:43:31 PM
Yes - an please remember to put the the question mark at the end of the Q-signal so that it's a question.  It would look like this (as an example)

QRL ?  K      //PAUSE TO LISTEN//
QRL ? K      // INCASE THERE IS ANY DELAY IN RESPONSE//
CQ CQ CQ DE YOUR CALLSIGN . . .

There are those who (unwittingly?) leave the question mark off and send simply QRL QRL QRL  CQ CQ CQ  ... (no question mark) Which translated mean's "This frequency in now busy."  //Elvis has entered the room.//   Which is rather like pushing into a total stranger's house at dinner time and then demanding an apology.

Thanks for asking.  It shows that you're going to be a considerate operator!


73 de Ray
W7ASA ..._ ._


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: NK7Z on February 09, 2013, 04:50:14 PM
Hello everyone! I have been practicing code for some time now and I'm ready to get on the air!! My question is what do you send to ask if the frequency is clear? I checked the Q code list, and I did not see anything. Thanks, Tim.

I have always used QRZ QRZ de mycall...


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: N9KX on February 09, 2013, 05:13:55 PM
sending QRL? is the standard practice.  while it translates as 'are you busy?' i always think of it as 'is this frequency busy?'
on phone one often hears: "QRZed, is the frequency in use? but QRZ? means: who is calling me?  It seems strange  ??? that I've never heard "QRL, is the frequency in use?" on phone.  On phone, I usually use the simpler: "Is the frequency in use?"

here is a link to a CW guide I found that mentions it under the calling CQ section:
http://www.netwalk.com/~fsv/CWguide.htm (http://www.netwalk.com/~fsv/CWguide.htm)


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: WB3CQM on February 09, 2013, 05:30:33 PM
QRZ means Who is calling me. (Wrong to use to find a clear freq)  

QRL ? means is the Freq in use.

You will also hear some hams send just  ? ? or ?? their call Or just ?

I look at DX Summit and I have Reverse Beacon on . I look at the freq in question and I sit there a while to make sure no one is using it.

Still does not mean no one is on that freq. No# 1 the band can change and 1 min ago no one was there but now there is.

Just because you send QRL ? or some hams will send just QRL , does NOT mean no one is there. People do NOT always send RR or QRL or QSY or YES  . They just for some reason do not say anything maybe because  the DX station is sending their call or a rst or important info. Then if they would send QSY or QRL or YES they have just QRMed the dx station or they just missed something being sent to them. I sure do not like to ever send anything if you come on freq and send QRL? Cause I there fore answer yes   or qsy I have QRMed the DX station or a qso that could be a problem.

I have heard stations come on freq send QRL ? and no one answer them . Then they call cq and then they jump down his throat. So don't get mad if this happens.

 there for I look at dX summit , reverse beacon , I send QRL ? wait Send QRL ? again Wait send short cq my call . If nothing heard  Then longer cq sequence. But I do not call cq much so no big deal . In fact I think I went over a year or more without calling cq ::lol::

I mostly chase after  new dx I sit for hours waiting listening for station to come on freq or for the propagation to change where I can send my call . "crazy " I know. Working the gray line .

Or I just tune up and down the band . up the band down the band. ::lol:: Jump up to 40 up to 30 back to 160 . Searching listening , copying other stations .

You will figure it out , have fun .

Good Luck and 73 JIM



Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: KB9BVN on February 09, 2013, 10:48:31 PM
Sending QRL? is the sign of a good CW operator.  Send it, wait, send it again....then proceed if no response.

If you hear someone send the letter C after you QRL? - that means yes, the freq is busy.

C = si = yes

C is faster than YES and doesn't wreck the QSO in progress as bad.



Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: M0JHA on February 10, 2013, 01:23:20 AM
People NOT  using QRL ? is a pet hate of mine , just bad manners .


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: 2E0OZI on February 10, 2013, 02:36:08 AM
I always send QRL? x 2 then wait a bit and listen. Then do it again. Then call.

Not that anybody hears me!

There are guys who DO send QRL? but wait about a millisecond before they start calling..... >:(


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: WB3CQM on February 10, 2013, 04:27:20 AM
Sending QRL? is the sign of a good CW operator.  Send it, wait, send it again....then proceed if no response.

If you hear someone send the letter C after you QRL? - that means yes, the freq is busy.

C = si = yes

C is faster than YES and doesn't wreck the QSO in progress as bad.



Yea "C" that  is maybe the Best one . 

Good Post .

73 JIM


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: KC8SLC on February 10, 2013, 05:32:07 AM
Thanks for the excellent input guys!! If I get time, I'll hook up my SW30 or AC1 Junior the next few days and have at it!!!  :D :D :o :o


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: N9KX on February 10, 2013, 06:56:07 AM

[no response to a 'QRL?'] does not mean no one is on that freq. No# 1 the band can change and 1 min ago no one was there but now there is.

Just because you send QRL ? or some hams will send just QRL , does NOT mean no one is there. People do NOT always send RR or QRL or QSY or YES  . They just for some reason do not say anything maybe because  the DX station is sending their call or a rst or important info. Then if they would send QSY or QRL or YES they have just QRMed the dx station or they just missed something being sent to them. I sure do not like to ever send anything if you come on freq and send QRL? Cause I there fore answer yes   or qsy I have QRMed the DX station or a qso that could be a problem.

I have heard stations come on freq send QRL ? and no one answer them . Then they call cq and then they jump down his throat. So don't get mad if this happens.
 

excellent points.  i have observed a few occasions where a station on a frequency demands another station QSY because they have been on a particular frequency for say an hour.  what they fail to realize is propagation may have changed, so while a particular frequency may be in use by a Pacific DX station working multiple contacts and two American stations having a QSO at the same time without QRM under one set of condx, when propagation changes QRM may occur although both have 'held' the frequency for some time.  I think it was on 40 meters that I heard a fairly impolite complaint by some American hams about it recently.  Usually hams are pretty knowledgeable and polite when such conflicts arise, but lately that seems to be less true.  on phone especially, on-the-air behavior is not nearly as polite as it was several decades ago, but in general it is still pretty good... 

just remember sometimes QRM happens.  as long as you do your best to not cause it by asking if a frequency is in use (and listening) before calling CQ, and as long as you are willing to cease transmissions immediately if u find u have accidentally interfered with a QSO -- it is all good. 73


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: W3HKK on February 10, 2013, 11:58:16 AM
...frequently heard, usually someone who just turned on the rig or just tuned to the frequency and hasnt been listening:

QRL? pause for 1 second.
CQCQCCQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQCQ.....
==========================
It  comes across as trying to hijack the frequency by expecting someone who is already there in QSO, to notice, drop everything, and give an immediate response, while ignoring the station he is already talking to.

On a quiet or noisy band with other qrm, qrn, some qsb, filters cranked in,  the existing  qso may be fairly busy trying to copy each other, or  have such good copy that the brief newcomer isnt enough of a problem to copy/answer or even notice very much.

It's also surprising how  often CQ's are answered by  someone elses QRL? quickly followed by CQCQCQCQCQCQ.  For some reason this is especially  noticable around 7.025-7.035.

Nothing beats listening on the frequency first.  Then, to be sure, calling a QRL? is  the right thing to do.

For those contest operators out there, well, that's another story! :)




Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: AB9NZ on February 10, 2013, 04:22:41 PM
How does a fella call or answer a QRL when working a modem noise mode in the cw bands? 73 de Tom, ab9nz


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: WB6THE on February 13, 2013, 08:11:34 PM
Been a CW ham for 46 years and I don't consider myself any expert.
Not looking to start any wars, but here is as I see it. You decide to look for
a frequency for a CW QSO and you intend to call CQ. So tune around and here's
what sounds like an empty frequency. So listen for a minute ot two and you hear
nothing so go ahead and call CQ because you've listened and heard nothing.
No reason to ask QRL (Is The Frequency In Use) because you've listened for a time.
If the frequency IS in use and you've not heard any activity but the frequency *IS* in use
then one of the ops who can hear you might send QRL TNX (Busy, Thank You).
If you are active in a QSO on a frequency and you hear QRL then send QRL TNX.
Also, don't drop onto an empty frequency and call QRZ (Who Is Callng Me). No one is
calling you... no one knows that you are on frequency.
QRZ QRZ on an empty frequency is equivalent to "breaker breaker 19". QRL would be a
good request if you're in QSO and need to change frequency up or down to avoid QRM.
Not a lot of time to listen so just ask if the frequency is busy. Use QRL sparingly.
Now, suppose you call CQ and you get a reply but you're adjusting the receiver and CW
filters, etc and you can hear the station but simply missed his call. QRZ (Who Is Calling Me0
is appropriate. All just my observation and opinion.












Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: WB3CQM on February 14, 2013, 04:05:27 AM
Most likely I do not have to ask QRL ? due to the fact I have listened on that freq for a good time. I have looked at the DX Summit and I have watched the reverse beacon.

I give you example of this though.

You use no network to check the freq . You are in the DX Window . You really do not care and that is find . I sure would like to have a nice rag chew in the dx window with a dx station also. Not my point I am trying to get across.

You listen for as long as you so care to . You DO NOT hear anyone.
Does NOT mean there is NO one there .

The station is there working Split . It really does not matter you call cq . After all you can not hear him. There may be 1000's of stations working this DX station  split though and can hear the DX and YOU . 

It can happen on ANY band this condition for you , not hearing the station in question. So call cq without the QRL ? and see what happens. 2 things : No one comes back , someone comes back .either it answer your cq or run you off . No big deal. It is just a hobby!

Last night on 160 a station was on 1824 with a pile up UP 2kc. Just happen there was a dX station up 2.5 kc. Every one was having a fit over people on freq. Saying up up up ect...adding to the qrm. Finally the DX at 26.5 just went to working EU stations. NO big deal , this happens on a crowed band. Some one will still get through and there is tomorrow.

Either way to use or not use QRL ? "listen "  before calling cq.

The majority of hams that Call QRL?  the pro sign I mostly hear is R R or just one R by most hams to indicate the Freq is in use. . Not saying that is right. It is just what I happen to hear most times.

And so then I have heard this happen where a station ask QRL? and someone comes back R and the Station in question waits 2 min and then just starts to call cq. I guess he thinks the guy sent the R was just not telling the truth . After all he can not hear anyone.

73 JIM


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: N4OI on February 14, 2013, 04:46:32 AM
Here is one process:
1. Listen for a minute or so with wide filter and watch panadapter (if available) -- give 500 to 1000 KHz buffer, depending on how crowded
2. If no activity, call "QRL?" -- wait 5 or 10 seconds and do it again -- twice, maybe three times
3. If no response, start the CQ -- keep filters wide and receive RIT on (in case you have to chase a boat anchor)

Regarding responses, I have heard "yes", "R", "QRL" and "C".  (Sometimes I get a "go ahead" from someone who has presumably been hanging around a while and then will start.)  When on the receiving end of the "QRL?", I usually just send "C" and that sends the requestor off to QSY.

Perhaps most important, if I get a positive response to my "QRL?", I do not reply with anything -- no "TU", "TNX OM" or even "di-dit".  The frequency is in use, after all! 

Regardless, if all else fails, just tighten the filter to 50Hz and put that close-in dynamic range spec. that you paid for to the test -- it is all fun!


73 ES GOD BLESS U ES URS DE KEN N4OI  ;D


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: N2EY on February 14, 2013, 08:21:24 AM
Here's what I do:

Step 1: Listen, tuning up and down a bit because I have a sharp receiver filter.

Step 2: Send "didit..dit"

If no response,

Step 3: Send "QRL?" and wait several seconds or more. Repeat.

If no response,

Step 4: Send CQ. I find 3/2/1 works best:

CQ CQ CQ DE N2EY N2EY N2EY
CQ CQ DE N2EY N2EY
CQ DE N2EY K

73 de Jim, N2EY

...btw, "AR" is only used when replying to a CQ and at the end of formal messages. "AR K" is not good practice.






Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: N0XE on February 17, 2013, 06:55:19 AM
QRL? has migrated to the norm in today's ham radio, I do recall a time in the early 70s when many CW ops just sent a couple I's , repeated it and if no response that usually meant the frequency is clear, if you got a response it was usually answered with a Q signal and most of the time it was Qrl, meaning the frequency is busy,  I made thousands  of CW contacts while operating in AK from 74 to 79 and that was pretty much the norm up there at that time,  of course things have changed as they always do,  QrL followed by a ? sent a few times should be all  you need to do.  Have fun, CW is still Awesome!!  By the way Q signals are for CW use, not phone but slowly they have migrated in to  phone usage over the years, another example of how things change over  many decades and as the hobby progresses, some hams like change , some don't,  73 Jim N0XE


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: K9ZMD on February 17, 2013, 08:44:03 PM
And in the early 60s, it was not rare to hear the land telegrapher's "C" (a quick "didit dit") instead of QRL? to ask if the frequency is clear.  That OT practice diminished quickly as Novice ops misunderstood and morphed it into a "shave & a haircut" mating call to establish contact (instead of calling CQ). 

It was hilarious - back in the days of receivers with barn door-wide front ends - to hear one Novice op do that "shave & a hair cut" lidism on his own crystal frequency, followed by a slew other lids replying with "dit dit"s spread across the entire Novice band. 



Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: W4FID on February 24, 2013, 03:36:11 AM
Couple basics, please. First yes do listen. But skip may mean you are not hearing a station already in QSO but you'll QRM the guy he is working. And he may transmit for a minute or two -- so a brief listen may not let you know the freq is indeed already in use. QRL? a couple times may hurt an in progress QSO. That plus the guy's sending back QRL may be just enough disruption to cause someone to miss a valued DX contact or part of an NTS message or the exchange needed for an award r contest. Listen then a quick ?? and listen and a quick ?? is less disruptive. If you get back a quick C or Y you have your answer. If not a quick de yourcall another listen then CQ will fulfill the ID requirements well enough with a minimum chance of being disruptive. Not ID, tuning up, failing to actually listen, not realizing skip often means you will only hear one of the two stations already in QSO are all bad form. You are to be commended for caring enough to check it out and learn. WELCOME ABOARD.


Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: IK0YGJ on March 18, 2013, 02:58:45 PM
Agree with the friends here, the standard practice foresees a modified use of the Q code, by sending a QRL?, then wait, the again QRL? then wait, and then - if no response - start CQing.
If the frequency is in use the best practice is to send a "C" as another OM said, however it happened that someone replied "No" to my QRL?, HI.
73 Carlo IK0YGJ



*******
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Title: RE: Is the frequency clear?
Post by: STAYVERTICAL on March 24, 2013, 03:18:33 AM
Listen first for a little while.
It may be that a DXpedition is working split and their is a temporary lull in the mayhem.
So tune up and down a few Khz and scout out the terrain.
I usually turn off my narrow CW filter at first, and can usually hear if something unusual is happening up or down from me.

Then, one QRL? and a 5 second wait should be enough to give someone a chance to send C or something else.
Of course what may not be busy now could be in a minute - that is just the price we pay for using the ionosphere for propagation.

73 - Rob