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10 Codes and Other CB Radio Lingo
The most commonly used 10 codes:
When getting started, remember at least the following 10 codes:
- 10-1 Receiving Poorly
- 10-4 Ok, Message Received
- 10-7 Out of Service, Leaving Air (you're going off the air)
- 10-8 In Service, subject to call (you're back on the air)
- 10-9 Repeat Message 10-10 Transmission Completed, Standing By (you'll be listening)
- 10-20 "What's your location?" or "My location is..." Commonly asked as "What's your 20?"
And maybe also this code... 10-100 Need to go to Bathroom. Also, remember that the code 10-4 only means "message received". If you want to say "yes", use "affirmative". For "no", use "negative".
The Complete CB 10 codes
- 10-1 Receiving Poorly
- 10-2 Receiving Well
- 10-3 Stop Transmitting
- 10-4 Ok, Message Received
- 10-5 Relay Message
- 10-6 Busy, Stand By
- 10-7 Out of Service, Leaving Air
- 10-8 In Service, subject to call
- 10-9 Repeat Message
- 10-10 Transmission Completed, Standing By
- 10-11 Talking too Rapidly
- 10-12 Visitors Present
- 10-13 Advise weather/road conditions
- 10-16 Make Pickup at...
- 10-17 Urgent Business
- 8 Anything for us?
- 10-19 Nothing for you, return to base
- 10-20 My Location is ......... or What's your Location?
- 10-21 Call by Telephone
- 10-22 Report in Person too ......
- 10-23 Stand by
- 10-24 Completed last assignment
- 10-25 Can you Contact .......
- 10-26 Disregard Last Information/Cancel Last Message/Ignore
- 10-27 I am moving to Channel ......
- 10-28 Identify your station
- 10-29 Time is up for contact
- 10-30 Does not conform to FCC Rules
- 10-32 I will give you a radio check
- 10-33 Emergency Traffic at this station
- 10-34 Trouble at this station, help needed
- 10-35 Confidential Information
- 10-36 Correct Time is .........
- 10-38 Ambulance needed at .........
- 10-39 Your message delivered
- 10-41 Please tune to channel ........
- 10-42 Traffic Accident at ..........
- 10-43 Traffic tie-up at .........
- 10-44 I have a message for you (or .........)
- 10-45 All units within range please report
- 10-50 Break Channel
- 10-62 Unable to copy, use phone
- 10-62sl unable to copy on AM, use Sideband - Lower (not an official code)
- 10-62su unable to copy on AM, use Sideband - Upper (not an official code)
- 10-65 Awaiting your next message/assignment
- 10-67 All units comply
- 10-70 Fire at .......
- 10-73 Speed Trap at ............
- 10-75 You are causing interference
- 10-77 Negative Contact
- 10-84 My telephone number is .........
- 10-85 My address is ...........
- 10-91 Talk closer to the Mike
- 10-92 Your transmitter is out of adjustment
- 10-93 Check my frequency on this channel
- 10-94 Please give me a long count
- 10-95 Transmit dead carrier for 5 sec.
- 10-99 Mission completed, all units secure
- 10-100 Need to go to Bathroom
- 10-200 Police needed at ..........
10 codes originated in the USA and are, apparently, CB radio lingo only used in English-speaking countries. However, no matter which codes are used inyour country, be aware that there are local dialects in every urban area and region. You have to listen to others to learn the phrases and codes in you area.
Be aware that the use of codes specifically to obscure the meaning of a transmission is probably illegal in most countries. The difference is this - codes which are well known and make communications shorter or more efficient are normally allowed.
Some of the more common Q codes
Q codes are used in many kinds of radio communications, including CB sideband but not typically on CB AM. (If your radio doesn't have sideband, don't worry about Q codes.) Q codes originated with amateur radio but their use in CB radio lingo, even more so than 10 codes, can vary depending on who published the list.
The following is an abbreviated list of Q codes borrowed from amateur radio:
- QRM man made noise, adjacent channel interference
- QRN static noise
- QRO increase power
- QRP reduce power
- QRT shut down, clear
- QSL confirmation, often refers to confirmation cards exchanged by hams
- QSO conversation
- QSX standing by on the side
- QSY move to another frequency
- QTH address, location
The following is from a list of Q codes used by the X-Ray Club (a sideband-users club headquartered in Paradise, California):
- QRL Busy, Stand By
- QRM Man Made Interference
- QRT Stop Transmit or Shutting Down (same as 10-7 on AM)
- QRX Stop Transmit or Standing By
- QRZ Who is Calling?
- QS Receiving Well
- QSB Receiving Poorly
- QSK I have something to Say or Station breaking QSM Repeat Message
- QSO Radio Contact
- QSP Relay Message
- QSX Standing By (same as 10-10 on AM)
- QSY Changing Frequency
- QTH My Location is... or What's your location? QTR Correct Time
Q codes may be used to ask questions (QTH?) or to answer them (QTH is 5th and Ivy Streets.)
The ARRL Handbook and the ARRL operating guides have more complete listings of those used for amateur radio. (ARRL is an amateur radio organization.) Historically, the Q signals were instituted at the 'World Administrative Radio Conference' (WARC) in 1912. Because of their international origin, Q codes may be more accepted outside English-speaking countries than 10 codes are.
Some tips for communicating with others on the CB
The following is a list that is generally considered proper procedure or polite when using a CB radio. It can also be considered a beginner's survival guide. This list was compiled from common problems that have plagued beginners since CBs first became popular.
- When two people are talking, essentially they temporarily "own" the channel. US FCC regulations say that they have to give other people opportunities to use the channel if they're going to use it more than several minutes. But it is not up to an outsider to "take" the channel from them.
- Take care not to "step on" other units (i.e. transmitting at the same time as they are, thereby making both your transmissions unreadable.) This usually means that you should adjust your break squelch level so that you can hear the other unit and then only begin to transmit when you can't hear anyone else.
- NEVER deliberately key over someone else. Nobody likes that.
- If you hear one unit break for another unit, give some time for the unit to respond before you say anything yourself. (Keep in mind that they may have to fumble for a microphone in a moving car or dodge furniture enroute to a base station.) Remember, the calling unit has the channel.
- If you want to talk on a channel that is in use, it is very likely that your initial transmissions will accidentally "walk over" someone else's. So you must keep them short. The word "break" is generally accepted. Try to time it in a pause in the conversation.
- Even when your "break" has been recognized, keep your next transmission short. For example, "Break one-seven for Godzilla" if you're on Channel 17 and looking for someone whose handle is Godzilla. If Godzilla doesn't answer in a reasonably short amount of time, it doesn't hurt to say "thanks for the break" to the units that stopped their conversation for you.
- If you break on an open (unused) channel, you don't have to be as brief. For example, "Break 17 for Godzilla. Are you out there Godzilla?". However, the short form is perfectly acceptable, too. Use what fits your style.
- If someone speaking to you gets "walked over" so that you can't understand the message, you basically have two options. You can tell the person you were listening to, "10-9, you were stepped on", or you can find out what the breaker wants, "Go ahead break", before returning to your original conversation. You should eventually recognize the breaker and find out what they want.
- If two people are talking and you would like to interject a response, you will probably just walk over someone. Use the procedure above to properly break into the conversation.
- If someone doesn't answer your breaks after two or three attempts. Stop and wait for several minutes or, in mobile units, for several highway miles or city blocks. Others may have their radios on and don't want to listen to the same break more than three times in succession.
- In other circumstances, improvise. Take into account other people's points of view. Give people proper access to the channel and try not to do anything to annoy other units.
- If you make a mistake in any of the procedures above, don't waste air time on a busy channel by apologizing. (If the channel isn't busy, it's your choice.) Just try to do it right in the future. Everyone takes a little time to learn.
OK, now you know how to conduct yourself on the radio. However, there are and will probably always be units that don't. Be patient. You don't have authority to enforce any rules so don't break any by trying.