Test scheduled

Since Industry Canada was not very welcoming about having me out to their place to take the exam, I scheduled my Basic Qualification (BQ) for next week with one of the volunteer accredited examiners here at the local radio club. I still have to pay $20 but that fee goes to the radio club instead, which seems more worthy anyway.

My Baofeng speaker mic, a longer Nagoya antenna and another mag mount antenna for the car arrived today (amazon.ca) but the mailman left a note at the door instead of delivering them for some reason. I didn’t go pick them up from the drop-off point though yet because I don’t have the actual radio on hand, so it seems sort of pointless, to as wi5her suggested, stand there with the antenna in one hand, the mic in the other and call CQ over OpenQNL. But then again, maybe not.

Q Codes: QNL

The QN Signals are Morse code operating signals that were introduced for Amateur radio net operation in 1939 on the Michigan QMN Net to lighten the burdens of net control operators.


Same source:

Although these codes are within the Aeronautical Code signals range (QAA–QNZ) and thus conflict with official international Q signals beginning with QN, the ARRL informally queried FCC’s legal branch about the conflict. The opinion then of the FCC was that “no difficulty was forseen as long as we continued to use them only in amateur nets.”

I’ve never used these codes. I’ve never transmitted on the air. I have an American Technician class amateur radio license and am almost done studying for Canadian Basic qualification.

On Wikipedia source, linked above, there is a section: ARRL QN Signals For CW Net Use.

QNL as a CW abbreviation is listed as:

A notice to a named station that the frequency that the station is transmitting on is lower than the Net’s nominal frequency. c.f. QNH.

QNH, meanwhile:

A notice to a named station that the frequency that the station is transmitting on is higher than the Net’s nominal frequency. c.f. QNL.

H seems to be representing High and L, Low.

I’ve been trying to decipher how the Q codes overall work. Here’s a good operational list of Q codes. QN subset not listed there. Only QR, QS and QT.

I’m assuming three letter codes are a function of telegraphy codes and have seen docs online placing the origin and popularity of various forms of telegraphy codes between (approx.) 1880’s – 1920’s.

It seems like there are just so many different overlapping sets of codes, decisions, agreements, organizing bodies, etc. It’s mind-boggling to try and untangle all of it.

I’ve only caught in the wild locally an amateur radio net (once) using a repeater I think about 2 hours drive away. I’m not sure how to find their schedules or frequencies. I am scanning with SDR, learning on my own. It’s like the internet but it’s not. It’s its own thing, for sure.

Excerpt from an ARRL document on QN Signs:

I’d like to learn more about nets. And untangle all these codes and abbreviations. It’s a compelling puzzle I’m engaging in for the sheer puzzle of it all.

Like this, what does it all mean, the Aeronautical Codes:

First defined in ICAO publication “Doc 6100-COM/504/1” in 1948 and in “ICAO Procedures for Air Navigation Services, Abbreviations and Codes (PAN a S-ABC)” [Doc8400-4] (4th edition 1989), the majority of the Q codes have slipped out of common use; for example today reports such as QAU (“I am about to jettison fuel”) and QAZ (“I am flying in a storm”) would be voice or computerized transmissions.

Computerized transmissions.

Q Codes page on Wikipedia.

“Q” has no official meaning, but it is sometimes assigned with a word with mnemonic value, such as “Queen’s” (e.g. QFE = Queen’s Field Elevation), “Query”, “Question”, or “reQuest”.

I like this idea that “Q has no official meaning” but that it’s probably a question, query, inquiry or request of some kind.

QN is probably kind of like “Query Net” then I gues… though I haven’t found any document confirmation that in Q codes, N = Net. (Labeling as Assumption for now)

Quasi-natural language?

QNL is used outside of radio to mean, occasionally, Quasi-natural language. References seem to abound for natural language programming, bots, conversational UI, etc. In some sense, that starts to feel similar to procedural words or prowords in radio:

Procedure words or prowords are words or phrases limited to radio telephone procedure used to facilitate communication by conveying information in a condensed standard verbal format.

I imagine QNL as a kind of clipped procedural language subset (superset?) used for specific kinds of transactional communication. Like the Q codes as a whole themselves, or radio prowords.

Something something, performative speech acts.

Wikipedia, Performativity:

… the capacity of speech and communication not simply to communicate but rather to act or consummate an action, or to construct and perform an identity. A common example is the act of saying “I pronounce you man and wife” by a licensed minister before two people who are prepared to wed (or “I do” by one of those people upon being asked whether they take their partner in marriage). An umpire calling a strike, a judge pronouncing a verdict, or a union boss declaring a strike are all examples of performative speech.

Follow The Spectrum: Origins of the ATC

We remember it like it was yesterday… 

Caught the BARF train downtown—just like any other morning — to the offices of the widely-regarded innovation powerhouse, Early Clues, LLC, (a not-for-non-profit startup) where we all interned together.

The door was unlocked, which was odd. JANICE usually had to buzz us in due to security issues in the neighborhood. But today it swung open with nary a creak, revealing the first of many shocks which came to be multiplied in the coming days: an all but empty office.

A couple of mostly empty boxes with grungy cables and an office chair with broken wheels were unceremoniously piled in the middle of the room, next to an overturned fern. Had we been robbed?

Suddenly, the door opened behind us, and we wheeled about, expecting one of our C-levels, come to set everything to rights. But it was just some guy wearing a Postmates t-shirt and sunglasses, carrying a branded messenger bag.

“Are you guys, uh — ” he looked at his iPhone for confirmation, “the interns?”


“Then, this is for you,” he said, pulling a wrapped package out of his messenger bag and handing it to us.

What could it be? 

The guy just shrugged and left. And we were left to unwrap it, with trembling hands. Why — a handheld radio! Tuned to 146.425 MHz. And a copy of the ARRL Ham Radio Technician Class Handbook, with an inscription inside the cover:

“Follow the spectrum.”

 — Yours, Richard S. Rider, CTO,


And in small letters beneath, a mysterious cipher was scrawled:

openQNL repo: password1234
And on that day the Anthuorian Technology Club was born — or should we say reborn?

Richard S. Rider, as we remember him

Much water has passed under the bridge since that fateful day. Much conjecture, gossip and fake news has unfortunately sprang up in the wake of the now infamous vanishing of the former EC staff. As it has already been discussed ad nauseam in the Tri-Cities Gadgette and other tech press, we won’t dwell on it further here. All we can officially say on the matter, is “No comment at this time.”

Nay, we come together again here to put the past behind us, and to start afresh. We who were once lowly interns are leveling up our RF skills and vow to follow the mandate of the illustrious Founders of our Order. We will take up the mantle left to us and continue with the original core product road-map as best we can, wherever it may take us, though we know not the way.

We still believe in the mythic technology underlying OpenQNL, despite our elmer going SK (“Silent Key”, that is: Kicked The Bucket) and everything else that has happened. For Anthuor is with us, and his antlers are antennas.

Helmoquinth, Anthuor!


Tim Boucher (KB3SZG)
Jeremy Puma (KO0PER)
Garrett Kelly (WI5HER)
The Anthuorian Technology Club