Wednesday, August 31, 2011
International CW Z Signals
By international convention, CW operators have developed a list of standard three-character groups to improve brevity and comprehension on CW. Here are the most commonly used Z signals. (Z signals take the form of questions when followed by a question mark.)
ZRB I'm tuned up on the wrong band. Can you copy me anyway? You're tuned up on the wrong band, but I can copy you anyway.
ZRC Do you make cow sounds when you tune up on phone? I make cow sounds when I tune up on phone.
ZRD Are you in charge of donuts for your Amateur Radio club? I'm in charge of donuts for my Amateur Radio club.
ZRE Do you have to go eat now? I have to go eat now.
ZRG Are you going to Dayton? I'm going to Dayton.
ZRH Is it hot enough for you? It's hot enough for me.
ZRM Is your wall map laminated? My wall map is laminated.
ZRO Has your XYL/OM told you to get off the air yet? My XYL/OM says I have to get off the air.
ZRS What kind of chair are you sitting in? My chair is a ___________.
ZRT Were you just tuning across the band and decided to give me a shout? I was just tuning across the band and decided to give you a shout.
ZRW When was the last time you went outside? I went outside________ (1) last week, (2) this week, (3) can't remember.
ZSB Am I boring you to tears? I'm boring myself to tears.
ZSC What did you say your call sign was? I can't remember my call sign, or yours.
ZSD Do you know what all the buttons and dials on your rig are for? I don't know what all these buttons and dials on my rig are for.
ZSE What are you having for dinner? I'm having_________ for dinner.
ZSH Do you have a hat with your name and call sign on it? I have a hat with my name and call sign on it.
ZSK Do you tell new hams not to kerchunk, then do it anyway to demonstrate? I tell new hams not to kerchunk, then I do it anyway to demonstrate.
ZST Did you watch last week's episode of __________ on TV? I watched last week's episode of __________ on TV.
ZSY Can you make your voice real high so DX will think you're a YL? I can make my voice real high so DX will think I'm a YL.
ZZZ Are you starting to nod off? I'm starting to nod off.
HOW TO READ PROPAGATION NUMBERS
The A index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 1 to 6 is BEST
- 7 to 9 is OK
- 11 or more is BAD
Represents the overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Ap" if averaged from the Kp-Index) (an average of the eight 3-hour K-Indices) ('A' referring to amplitude) over a given 24 hour period, ranging (linearly) typically from 1-100 but theoretically up to 400.
A lower A-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Ap-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
SFI index [ HIGH is GOOD ]
- 70 NOT GOOD
- 80 GOOD
- 90 BETTER
- 100+ BEST
The measure of total radio emissions from the sun at 10.7cm (2800 MHz), on a scale of 60 (no sunspots) to 300, generally corresponding to the sunspot level, but being too low in energy to cause ionization, not related to the ionization level of the Ionosphere.
Higher Solar Flux generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; Solar Flux rarely affects the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
K index [ LOW is GOOD ]
- 0 or 1 is BEST
- 2 is OK
- 3 or more is BAD
- 5 is VERY VERY BAD
The overall geomagnetic condition of the ionosphere ("Kp" if averaged over the planet) over the past 3 hours, measured by 13 magnetometers between 46 & 63 degrees of latitude, and ranging quasi-logarithmically from 0-9. Designed to detect solar particle radiation by its magnetic effect. A higher K-index generally means worse HF conditions.
A lower K-Index generally suggests better propagation on the 10, 12, 15, 17, & 20 Meter Bands; a low & steady Kp-Index generally suggest good propagation on the 30, 40, 60, 80, & 160 Meter Bands.
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