New Ham Info

Making your first Contact/QSO on HF


Your initial call:

  • Choose a HF band & frequency, then listen for a minute or longer.
  • Askis this frequency in use then listen.
  • Repeat step 2 at least one time.
  • Then call CQ CQ CQ this is [your call sign here]CQ CQ CQ this is [your call sign in phoneticsCQ CQ CQ this is [your call sign in phonetics]
  • Wait for a minute and repeat.

Getting a reply:

  • Write down their call sign.
  • Announce [their call sign] this is [your call sign]. Say; Hello,or Good morning/afternoon/evening, thanks for coming back.
  • Your report is [example;5 9 see charts below]. My name is [your name].
  • The QTH / location here is [you home area]. So how do you copy? [their call sign this is [your call sign]. 
  • In reply, the other station should give their information and your signal report. When finished with their side of the conversation they will transmit [your call sign],this is [their call sign] and over.
  • The QSO will continue back and forth and will typically conclude with you saying [their call sign] this is [your call sign] signing off and standing by for further calls.
  • Remember to identify your station once every 10 minutes during any conversation.



  • 1–Unreadable
  • 2–Barely readable, occasional words distinguishable.
  • 3–Readable with considerable difficulty.
  • 4–Readable with practically no difficulty.
  • 5–Perfectly readable.

Signal Strength

  • 1–Faint signals, barely perceptible.
  • 2–Very weak signals.
  • 3–Weak signals.
  • 4–Fair signals.
  • 5–Fairly good signals.
  • 6–Good signals.
  • 7–Moderately strong signals.
  • 8–Strong signals.
  • 9–Extremely strong signals.