Do all CW operators know what the CW prosign KN means? (Part 1)

KN sent as “dah-di-dah-dah-dit” is an invitation for named station to transmit.

Often it is sent when several stations are calling you and you have only understood a partial call from the mix.

e.g. M?0??F KN invites MM0FMF to reply or MW0AAF or anything with letters matching. It would be wrong for GM4TOE to reply as he has no matches just as MW0HGY does not end with an F.

I write as it would seem not all CW operators understand this. Which was why it took me 5mins to work HB9DAX with the QRM & QSB on the frequency along with the other station who just ignored the KN and sent his call. I think I tried 4 or 5 calls of HB9D?X KN before I could get the call from the QRM and QSB. HB9DAX was trying his best and this other station kept calling me over the top of him. Grrr!

Even if you don’t know what KN means, when a call is directed at something which does not match letters in your call it means you should SHUT UP AND NOT SEND till a general invite is made again. I was on the point of shutting down at this point but that would only punish the good ops. So I stayed active. But angry.


He may know but not care.


Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner :smile:


Name and shame him!

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It has been my experience that sending bk is a bit more successful in such cases, although of course it is a joke, hi.

Today I had to go into plain language to request a specific callsign ONLY, asking others to QRX. Thankfully the majority complied with my request so I didn’t have much of an issue.

A short while later, when I asked for the /P station I heard calling, three replied… all /P. Thanks to all concerned as I managed to work all three. One did go away for a while and returned when it was a little quieter. :+1:

Very annoying Andy I agree - you could try sending KNNNNN which sometimes works.

It could be rudeness or just a self taught operator Morse operator (like most of us are) who is trying to run before he can walk and who either cannot copy anything other than his callsign and 5NN or who hasn;t learnt the handful of prosigns one needs to get by. I hope you have dropped him/her an email via the address in QRZ.COM to point out your frustration and the wasting of time and extra lost contacts that you could have made if you hadn’t had to overcome his inept operation.

73 Phil

Well I’ve learned something today, so your efforts in highlighting this weren’t totally in vein Andy. You’ve educated at least one person!

To be fair, I’m still (very slowly) trying to get to grips with CW & have only actually had one on air QSO with a friend, which was a bit of a train wreck if I’m brutally honest!!!

Another one to add to my list of “phrases” to learn so that it’s instantly recognisable whenever I hear it.


I have to assume the majority do not know what it means, to account for the many, many times I have heard a station CQ, then wind up with “KN”. Nonsensical, of course, as, in context, it means “Hello anybody, but please nobody call me” :slight_smile:


Another prosign which usually falls on deaf ears is AS sent as “di-dah-di-di-dit” and for those who don’t know, it means please standby!

Unfortunately, I think this stems from the fact that very few operators these days have “proper” CW QSOs and as such aren’t exposed to the common abbreviations and prosigns.

73 from the old school,

Victor GI4ONL


Another worth being aware of is the AS symbol, meaning wait.

I sometimes use that when a second caller drops in and I just need them to wait for the current QSO to end.

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Blustering on the reflector will change nothing.


It makes me feel better.
James has learnt something new.
And I’ve picked up on trying plain text more often.

That’s 3 good things. :wink:

HF Anti-Radiation Missiles with depleted uranium cased munitions are the way forward.


It has the potential to change things for the worse.

It is never wise to give public attention to any form of attention-seeking behaviour.


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The situation is quite annoying, Andy.

Under such circumstances (a station coming back to me with non- matching calls) I usually slow down significantly, tell the mob to stand by (QRX or AS), twice ore even three times. Then repeat the phrase ‘M?0? ONLY’ at least twice.
My perception is that ‘M?0? KN’ will be ignored by some operators.

If they are not calling zero beat, it is also worth trying to move your Rx- frequency slightly (RiT). Sometimes it helps extracting the wanted signal.

This is - of course - working around the problem. Excellent operators only call if they are sure that it’s their turn :wink:

73, Roman - DL3TU

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I think you have some good tips there Roman. Slowing right down and some plain text may help next time.

I don’t think it is just CW, had the same on 40m SSB where I had part of the callsign but a station where none of the letters matched kept on replying. Ended up doing a long cq and starting over again…

I agree. Those of us who learned the prosigns might bemoan the decline in their use but we are swimming against the tide. I have rarely heard ‘AS’ on air. You will save more time (if that’s what you care about) sending plain language and slowing down than repeating your prosign five times.

Even an Old Pedant like me has learnt that.

Andy ( M0ALC / G8CPZ)


You could also send QRT but I guess most folks may mistake it for you going OTA/ VA or CL.
One issue appears that there is quite a different understanding & usage of some pro signs, abbreviations and Q codes amongst some hams.