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Do all CW operators know what the CW prosign KN means?


Do you have any in stock?


Well I learned from Andy’s “rant” on the use of KN.
Thanks Andy!

Richard N2GBR.


Plain text in which language? The whole purpose of prosigns is to avoid needing to know 50 languages.


I know.

But I’ll do what my English countrymen have done for years… instead of learning any foreign language I’ll key S-L-O-W-L-Y and L-O-U-D-L-Y :rofl:


That’s my MO – stay out of the way until the pile up clears. I respect the Mobile Operators who have a short window to contact --voice, of course!
It is frustrating hearing operators who don’t care, disregard every convention in the book and shout I’M KING OF THE HILL.
Voice is challenging enough. CW carries a real burden and if an operator can’t respect the conventions, name him and shame him.


It is often heard emanating from the self-elected band police when there is a pile up for a DX station. I rarely usemail AS, preferring QRX which most callers seem to understand. I also use the ONLY word and send slowly. I think lowering your speed is an excellent way of getting callers to pay attention. Moving off a couple of kHz and calling again is a fallback position - the genuine and keen chasers will always find you, particularly if the RBN spots the change. However, why should an activator have to resort to such measures?


Having read several different ways to have a quick QSO on CW for SOTA, and for the benefit of those new to activating using CW would the bare basics be something along the lines of…



MM0FMF MM0FMF 579 579 KN

M0RSF/P MM0FMF 559 559 KN



I agree with you. I decided to learn CW so as to get those DX Sota QSO’s that I miss out on otherwise with just ssb. Ive only been at it a few months and its slowly paying off.
When I’m nervously sitting on a summit, or chasing from home and attempting CW at my very slow speed, all I want is a call sign and RST exchange in the simplest way possible, the stage I’m at anything else will quickly confuse me and we both could loose out. Unless I ask, I will already know the summit details so thats not important.


For callers answering a cq, the contest format of simply sending a callsign seems to work ok, but some operators find it confusing as they are unsure who is being called.

When acknowleding the caller, the abbreviation of leaving out the word DE is a fairly recent change. I use DE when I first acknowledge the caller and I send the caller’s callsign so all on frequency know who the report is intended for.

Usually there would be no need to use KN on any but the initial transmission to a specific caller.

I think there’s an error in your line that has the same callsign twice.

On most contacts I would use BK instead of KN, because (to me) KN only has meaning in the context of a reply to a spcific station, where there is ambiguity. Having established callsign Y is being called, the BK is sufficient at the end of a transmission.

But as you see, even a sample QSO is subject to personal preferences and habits. I’m not claiming I’m right or that anything else is “wrong”.

Ideally you would be prepared to accept anything after the RST report ranging from full callsign exchange including DE followed by K or KN all the way down to BK.

The main thing at present is to realise that everybody cannot copy everybody, band conditions are long and unreliable, so removing ambiguity is more important than fast contacts. Faster speeds don’t always increase the contact rate.

After all that, a method has to be adopted for correcting errors. If your caller sends their callsign more than once, it means they think you don’t have it right. So the best response to that is to send their callsign again at least once and ask QSL? BK to which the repsonse should be QSL TU etc. (or if they send their callsign again, they still don’t think you have it right.)

For SOTA, some ops always seem to request your summit reference. This should be done by REF? To which you reply REF G/NP-001 etc.


At the Graz Morse Code School we focus on a range of Q codes, prosigns and abbreviations from the very first lesson. In particular, that other little understood non abbreviation: UP


I vote for:

Stop sending for at least 60 seconds.
Slowly and deliberately in plain text P S E O N L Y G 3 ? or whatever several times.

Repeat as needed.

Works for me.

If all else fails, break out the flask and enjoy a brew while they all calm down a bit.

73 de Ian